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13 Best Hamilton Restaurants
by Raashka Mannie | 22 Apr 2021
Fresh venues and fresh eats await you at Hamilton. With a love for farming and the outdoors, it’s no surprise that the restaurants at Hamilton are fully stocked to host fabulous events and functions. From cocktail parties to toast to success to intimate dinners for you and a choice few, Hamilton has a range of restaurants that double as venues. Restaurants are popular venue choices amongst many because they almost always offer the option of in-house catering. So, when it comes down to it, it’s all about choosing a restaurant with a menu that suits your tastebuds. Hamilton has plenty of those to offer, but if you’re looking for even more variety for your event, check out our complete Hamilton guide here.
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One of the handful of restaurants overlooking the Waikato River, Gothenburg is centrally located and offers a modern, warm setting for your Hamilton event. This restaurant venue features high ceilings, plenty of natural light and bespoke menu options, available for both partial and exclusive hire. Whether you're after seated tapas dinners or a night of cocktails and canapés, Gothenburg can cater to your needs. You can hire out their main dining room or choose to head upstairs to a private dining space, with glass walls that allow for gorgeous views of the river and activity below. The upstairs dining option also has audiovisual options and is perfect for smaller meetings. Gothenburg has a series of set menus for you to choose from, but are also happy to listen to any menu requirements and restrictions. If you're really keen on it, you can request a tailor-made menu for your event for an added touch of personality.
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Camarosa is a restaurant venue in Hamilton that specialises in showcasing all the bold and delicious flavours found in the Waikato Region. Their produce is local, fresh and prepared with the greatest care, all on the cusp of the city and right opposite Willowbrook Park. You can dine in the main space or book their private meeting room for your Hamilton function, fully secluded from the bustle of the restaurant but still fully accessible and ideal for up to 14 guests. Camarosa has a dedicated functions menu, with breakfast, lunch and dinner set menus for you to choose from. If you're after a more bespoke event, you can speak to the friendly team at Camarosa to see if they can whip up something entirely unique to your event. Camarosa is a venue with a relaxed atmosphere, experienced with functions and an excellent restaurant for your next Hamilton event.
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Who doesn't love a taste of Mexico? So full of flavour and so rich with energy, Mexico is a Hamilton restaurant that brings a spoonful of spice to Waikato. When it comes to private dinners and events, Mexico is happy to help you throw a fiesta that you and your guests won't soon forget. They have a wide variety of set menus, liquor and more available for you to pick from when crafting your function, offering a vibrant and fun setting for your Hamilton event. Their Hamilton restaurant is located on the banks of the Waikato River, in the middle of the city and a convenient location for all. They are open 7 days a week and their interior features golden light, characterful paintings and outdoor dining spots for you and your guests. Mexico is the perfect restaurant choice for a relaxed or informal Hamilton event, whether you're hosting a cocktail party or celebratory dinner.
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Madam Woo is here to bring you and your guests Malaysian-inspired delights as you've never before tasted. Their menu combines traditional flavours with a modern outlook, resulting in diverse and delicious cuisine. From nasi lemak to laksa, Madam Woo is a Hamilton restaurant chock full of character and ready to share it. When it comes to hosting events, Madam Woo is well-practised: choose between their main dining space, available for exclusive and partial hire for up to 100 guests, or their private dining room that can accommodate up to 40. Both areas are filled with natural light and have the options of tailor-made made and set menus. While the main dining space can be an excellent option for a cocktail party or larger dinner, their private dining room is perfect for more intimate and private gatherings.
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Set along the Waikato River, Palate is a light-filled Hamilton restaurant with a focus on creating seasonally-inspired menus. Award-winning, Palate is run by Mat McLean, one of New Zealand's leading chefs. Their function space is a beautiful place to hold wedding receptions, cocktail parties, dinners and more - almost any event that requires a good meal and a good view. For private and corporate functions, they can cater for up to 100 guests, available 7 days a week and with the option of both set and bespoke menus. If you have a reservation in the restaurant for a party of over 12, you can order off a set menu - there are several to choose between, all catering for different budgets and occasions. Palate's main dining space opens onto a wooden deck that offers serene views of the river and city, enjoyed both in the sunshine and at night.
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Wayward Pigeon was designed by award-winning Christchurch architects and is over 800 square meters. This spacious Hamilton venue features a designated bar, restaurant and function areas, as well as outdoor spaces and balconies. Their menu has been carefully put together by one of the Waikato's most decorated chefs, Andrew Clarke, and is a salute to contemporary dining in New Zealand. Open 7 days a week, Wayward Pigeon is a Hamilton restaurant that has multiple spaces for private hire and is happy to host any manner of event, from luncheons to cocktail parties. The interior is modern and filled with natural light, with high ceilings and enormous windows. As a function space, this Hamilton restaurant is endlessly versatile and would make for a perfect choice for a venue. They are situated just outside the city centre.
Zealong Tea Estate
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A unique space that's full of flavour, Zealong Tea Estate isn't exclusively a restaurant, but it's sure to tick all your boxes. Purpose-built in the 2010s, Zealong Tea Estate has a dedicated function space that offers gorgeous views of New Zealand's only commercial tea plantation. There are 3 options to choose from: the Pavillion, which features plenty of natural light, an alfresco terrace and a capacity of up to 70 guests; the Vista, completed in 2016, with an indoor/outdoor flow and a capacity of 300 guests; and the Executive Suite, a smaller space for up to 25 guests, elegant and ideal for intimate dinners, tea tastings, meetings and so much more. Zealong Tea Estate also offers an educational experience regarding tea, which is as delicious as it is unique. Their teas are organic and award-winning, and they have come to specialise in hosting any number of events, from dinner parties to seminars. Zealong Tea Estate is a 20-minute drive from the centre of Hamilton and offers incredible in-house catering for any function.
The Lawrenson Group
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As the largest hospitality provider in Hamilton, The Lawrenson Group has a group of 13 quality dining venues across the region. These include New Zealand's Top Regional Restaurant (Cuisine 2013) and several of Hamilton's most popular bars. The venues included in the group are: Furnace (capacity: 90), Keystone (capacity: 200), Victoria St. Bistro (capacity: 50), VSB Functions (capacity: 80), Easy Tiger (capacity: 100), Bluestone Steakhouse (capacity: 100), Bar 101 (capacity: 100), The Helm (capacity: 400), Shenanigans (capacity: 250), The Outback (capacity: 1,350), The Hood (capacity: 300), The Bank (capacity: 400), Upstairs at The Bank (capacity: 100), and Hoot St. Studio (capacity 250). Each of these venues offers excellent service and the option of on-site catering. Each of these venues also has different attributes that make them unique, such as The Bank's terraced rooftop garden and Victoria St. Bistro's award-winning staff. No matter the event type, The Lawrenson Group has a venue that will be the perfect fit for your Hamilton event.
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SkyCity Hamilton is a handy venue in the middle of the city, overlooking the Waikato River and serving as a convenient space for all restaurant venue needs. There are 7 dining spaces at this Hamilton venue, including Sammies and Stuff, The Local Taphouse, Eat Burger, Marble Room, Vue Bar, Number 8 Bar and Zone Sports Bar, all with their own charms and uses. If that's not enough, SkyCity Hamilton offers private spaces away from their designated eateries accomodating up to 600 guests and featuring 3 breakout rooms. SkyCity Hamilton also comes with state-of-the-art in-house audiovisual equipment, with a dedicated and experienced team on hand to assist you. Your function will be planned and organised with the help of their seasoned team, with options of everything from tailored menus to sound systems for your specified use. With SkyCity Hamilton, you're guaranteed a restaurant venue that knows how to host a perfect event.
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Vilagrad Winery was established in 1922 and is a restaurant venue that specialises in fine wine, food and entertainment. It is Waikato's most beloved winery destination, with a series of multi-award-winning wines, all hand-crafted and hand-harvested at the winery itself. They offer superb Mediterranean cuisine for your on-site catering options, as well as on-site accommodation for any guests. Their venue space is large and flexible, accommodating anywhere from 300 to 500 guests, making it an ideal choice for conferences, gala dinners, cocktail parties and so much more. You can dine in the original cellar, tucked away amongst the barrels and golden light, or in the reception area as you overlook the picturesque vineyards. Vilagrad Winery also offers private tours and tastings of the winery, making for a unique and fun experience for all your guests.
The Good George Hospitality Group
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The Good George Hospitality Group is a locally-owned group that includes 7 dining and private venues in the Waikato Region, all of which make lovely venue choices for your next event. Their venues include Cook Street Social, Good Union, Smith & McKenzie Chophouse - McKenzie Room, Smith & McKenzie Chophouse - Downstairs Area, Good George Brewing, Good Neighbour Brew Bar and Little George. Each venue offers on-site catering and has varying capacities (anywhere from 20 guests to over 300). They bring with them their own personalities and accolades, including Good Union as the Winner for Best Bar 2018, Cook Street Social as the Best Redeveloped Food and Beverage 2018 (both awarded by Hospitality New Zealand), and Good George Brewery as Hamilton's multi-Gold award-winning brewery.
The Narrows Landing
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Offering stylish surroundings, eclectic menus and cosy accommodation, The Narrows Landing is an exciting venue in Hamilton that can host any function. With their seasoned and professional team on hand, this Hamilton venue can cater for up to 200 guests. There are 5 spaces to choose from with The Narrows Landing. The Pirongia Deck is their largest space, with high ceilings and plenty of natural light, great for anything from gala dinners to seminars with their in-house audiovisual supplies. The Observatory is much more intimate, an organic space ideal for meetings, much like The Matangi Room that offers more space but the same cushy atmosphere and its own bar. Their Main Dining space is open plan and bathed in light, with a lovely indoor-outdoor flow to the main deck and manicured gardens. Finally, The Escape Room is their most informal space, perfect for relaxing featuring a private bar, full dance floor, pool table, and so much more. The Narrows Landing is steeped in nature and offers a lovely Hamilton venue for all.
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Within the Hamilton Lake Domain and offering a serene waterfront setting, The Verandah is a modern restaurant venue that resides within the heart of Hamilton. Just 13km from the airport, this restaurant venue has a capacity of 400 guests and is perfect for any event type, from product launches and exhibitions to cocktail parties and trade shows. They offer on-site catering from their experienced chef, as well as careful and seasoned event management from their committed team. The Verandah also features a deck area with a canopy that makes for a charming addition to your Hamilton event, whether you choose to have it as a breakaway space or an outdoor bar. They also allow events on their manicured lawn, allowing for a marquee or gazebo set-up should your event require it.