It’s not what you’d call the cuisine capital of the country, but it does have one seriously redeeming gastronomical saving grace: La Nonno, an Italian bakery and café.
Apart from a superb range of artisan Italian-inspired breads and pastries they bake a pie to die for. (My doctor tells me if I don’t lay off the pies that’s exactly what will happen to me . . . but what would he know? I won’t live longer, it’ll just seem longer).
Try the butter chicken pie, not exactly an Italian classic, I realise, but a wonderful manifestation of the pieman’s craft.
Even if pies aren’t your comestible of choice, the coffee alone is worth the stop. Again, maybe it’s the Italian influence – you gotta admit, the Italians do do wildly good coffee – but this cup is a cut above the rest of the run-of-the-road cafes along the way.
A highly recommended stop.Read more about Northland on my webpage at http://new-zealand-travel-guide.com/northland.htm.