If there is one thing Palmerston North doesn’t lack, it’s a generous selection of unbelievably good restaurants. Whether you’re a local looking to broaden your taste buds, or a visitor wanting to experience some of the best food in town, this list of recommendations will make your choice that much easier.

Aberdeen on Broadway

Renowned for their exceptional Angus Pure beef, Aberdeen is by far the best place to go if you love a good steak. Located in one of Palmerston North’s most historic buildings, Aberdeen has the benefits of both inside seating as well as a fully covered courtyard, making it the perfect setting no matter the season. Although their steak is a firm local favourite, the Aberdeen menu is varied and includes an array of seasonal dishes that any foodie will love. Whether you’re planning a cosy dinner for two, or a large corporate function, Aberdeen won’t disappoint.

Hint: In winter, book early and ask for a table close to the open fire in the courtyard for an extra cosy dining experience.

Open from 11am on Fridays, all other days 4.30pm – late.

Aberdeen Restaurant

Aberdeen on Broadway, 161 Broadway Avenue

Haru Japanese Restaurant

Located on Broadway Avenue, an easy walk from the city centre, Haru is home to some of the best Japanese cuisine in the lower North Island. Haru is a reasonably new addition to Palmerston North, however it didn’t take long for word to spread about this new local favourite. With an intimate, moody setting, Haru is the perfect place to go for a social dinner with friends before a movie or show.

Hint: If you want to experience a traditional multi-course Japanese dinner, we recommend the Haru Kaiseki Ryori which includes small servings of multiple menu items as well as desert.

Open daily 5.30pm – 9.30pm.

Haru Kitchen

Haru Japanese Restaurant, 19 Broadway Avenue

Nero Restaurant

Rated number one on TripAdvisor for restaurants in Palmerston North, Nero Restaurant really does live up to its reputation. Located down a side street off Broadway Avenue, Nero Restaurant is close to the city centre with the bonus of being away from the hustle and bustle of the main streets. Their fully landscaped courtyard adds to the feeling of serenity and makes for the perfect setting in the warmer months. Their impressive menu offers a wide variety of European cuisine, and their lamb dish would have to be one of their most popular. With more than a dozen awards to their name, you’re guaranteed to have an incredible dining experience at Nero Restaurant.

Hint: Leave room for desert – you won’t regret it!

Open for lunch from 11am – 2pm Tuesday through to Friday, Dinner from 5pm – late

Salmon at Nero during Plate of Origin

Nero Restaurant, 36 Amesbury Street

The Fat Farmer

Located off the beaten track in Hokowhitu, a mere five-minute drive from the city centre, The Fat Farmer is the perfect choice for those who can never settle for just one dish. Renowned for their sharing plates, The Fat Farmer’s menu is bursting with variety. If you’re a local seeking out the perfect location for an after-work drink or a visitor wanting to experience an array of flavours, The Fat Farmer is the place to be. With so much choice it would be hard to pick a local favourite. A few of our favourite dishes would be the Bruschetta, Southern Fried Free-range Chicken, Lamb Chips and the Steamed Bao Buns.
The lively atmosphere, social setting and exceptional wine list makes The Fat Farmer the perfect location for a social gathering.

Hint: Ask your waiter how many dishes they would recommend for your size group.

Open 4.30pm – late Tuesday and Wednesday, 3.30pm – late Thursday

Bao buns at Fat Farmer

The famous Bao Buns at The Fat Farmer, 360 Albert Street

Table 188 Restaurant

If you’re after an intimate setting and a great wine list, look no further than Table 188. Located in The Square, Table 188 is perfect for those looking for a high-end dining experience in the centre of town. The relaxing atmosphere makes it a great choice if you’re looking for somewhere to unwind and switch off for a few hours. Whether you’re hungry for something different or a timeless classic, Table 188’s menu offers something for everyone. The food not only tastes incredible but is also beautifully presented which adds another layer of elegance to the dining experience.

Hint: The Bruschetta (layered with basil, tomato, parmesan, fire roasted capsicum and balsamic) is the perfect start to your meal.

Open daily 11am – 10pm.

Table 188

Table 188 Restaurant, 2 The Square

Words by Manawatu local

Holly Steger

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