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Spotlight on Hamilton Restaurants and Bars

What on Earth happened to The Tron? The city once dubbed “too boring” for touring rugby teams is now anything but.

New Zealand’s fourth largest city is all grown up, transforming from that awkward child at school who never said much into a social butterfly. And what was once a relatively quiet city on a Friday or Saturday night is now heaving with top-notch bars and restaurants.

Look for a restaurant in the centre of Hamilton and you’d be forgiven for being indecisive. There are so many good ones – all catering to different tastes, all vying for your attention.

Feel like Turkish food? You can’t go wrong with Babaganush on Grey Street. Looking for a good Chinese restaurant? Look no further than the Three Leg Frog Restaurant & Bar on Victoria Street.

Or perhaps you want an award-winning Hamilton restaurant with flair? In that case you should head to Palate Restaurant on Alma Street for the best casual-dining experience in the region.

Meanwhile, Hamilton’s bars and pubs are nothing to be sniffed at either. Start or finish your night at the House on Hood (you can’t miss it, it’s the bar and restaurant that looks like a house on Hood Street), where you can sample the best range of craft beers in Hamilton.

Similarly, Homestead Bar and Eatery is the place to go if you’re looking for something a little quieter, a more intimate pub away from the hustle and bustle of the CBD. The beer is always cold and fresh, and it does excellent pub grub.

During the day, too, Hamilton’s cafes cater for all tastes. The best of the lot, though, is arguably Metropolis Caffe in the city centre. Something of a Hamiltonian icon, this funky café is decked out with artwork on the walls and a rustic décor – with wonderful food to match.

Hamiltonians, you need not look at the bright lights of Auckland’s restaurant scene with envy (if you ever did!) because New Zealand’s largest inland city has a buzzing restaurant, bar and pub scene all of its own.

What’s your favourite restaurant, bar and cafe in Hamilton?

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  1. 236 Victoria Street, Hamilton Central, Waikato

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