Martinborough, a charming town nestled in New Zealand’s Wairarapa region, is renowned for its picturesque vineyards and award-winning wines. But what often remains hidden in the shadow of these vineyards are the delightful Martinborough restaurants that offer a culinary experience like no other. In this guide, we’ll explore the vibrant dining scene of Martinborough, highlighting the best restaurants, local flavors, and dining tips to make your visit truly unforgettable.

Martinborough’s culinary scene is a blend of sophistication and rustic charm. The restaurants here take pride in sourcing local ingredients, often from nearby farms and markets, ensuring that every dish is a celebration of the region’s unique flavors. When you dine in Martinborough, you’re not just enjoying a meal; you’re experiencing the essence of the town itself.

Let’s dive into the heart of the matter and explore some of the most renowned Martinborough restaurants:

Union Square

Address: 20 Memorial Square, Martinborough

Union Square is a top-notch dining establishment with a warm and inviting ambiance. Here, you can savor exquisite New Zealand cuisine prepared with a modern twist. Their extensive wine list complements the local flavors perfectly.

Signature DishDescription
Lamb RackSucculent lamb rack served with seasonal vegetables and red wine jus.
Wine PairingTe Kairanga Pinot Noir – a local gem.

Poppies Martinborough

Address: 91 Puruatanga Road, Martinborough

Poppies Martinborough is not only a renowned winery but also a fantastic restaurant. With a focus on fresh, seasonal ingredients, their menu is a testament to the region’s culinary heritage.

Signature DishDescription
Duck ConfitCrispy duck leg confit with braised red cabbage and orange glaze.
Wine PairingPoppies Martinborough Pinot Noir – a perfect match.

The Martinborough Hotel

Address: 10 The Square, Martinborough

For a touch of historic charm and elegant dining, The Martinborough Hotel is a top choice. This iconic establishment offers a diverse menu featuring both local and international dishes.

Signature DishDescription
Venison WellingtonVenison wrapped in pastry with mushroom duxelles, served with truffle sauce.
Wine PairingMartinborough Vineyard Syrah – a local favorite.

Local Flavors and Ingredients

Assorted cheeses, olive oil bottle, honey and nuts on a wooden board

Martinborough’s culinary scene is distinguished by its unwavering commitment to utilizing the freshest locally-sourced ingredients. The restaurants in this charming town take pride in crafting memorable dishes that reflect the region’s rich agricultural heritage. Below, we’ll explore the key ingredients and flavors that define Martinborough’s distinctive cuisine.

Pinot Noir

A visit to Martinborough would be incomplete without experiencing the town’s signature wine, Pinot Noir. Known for its distinctive taste and regional character, Pinot Noir grapes thrive in the area’s unique terroir. Local wineries like Palliser Estate and Ata Rangi produce exceptional Pinot Noir, and it frequently finds its way into the town’s culinary offerings. Whether used as a marinade, reduction, or a complement to a dish, Pinot Noir infuses meals with a rich, fruity, and slightly spicy flavor profile that is quintessentially Martinborough.


Martinborough boasts vibrant lavender fields that not only add to the town’s scenic beauty but also serve as a source of fragrant and flavorful ingredients. Lavender is creatively incorporated into various dishes, desserts, sauces, and even cocktails. Its unique floral notes and aromatic essence elevate the dining experience, making it a staple in Martinborough’s culinary repertoire.

Olive Oil

The town’s local olive groves yield high-quality olive oil that is nothing short of liquid gold. This golden elixir is a favorite among locals and visitors alike. Martinborough’s olive oil is often served for dipping alongside freshly baked bread or drizzled over salads, showcasing its exceptional quality and robust flavor. The olive oil is emblematic of the town’s commitment to locally-sourced, premium ingredients.


Wairarapa, the region surrounding Martinborough, is celebrated for its artisanal cheeses. Local dairy farms and cheesemakers produce a delightful array of cheeses, ranging from creamy Brie to tangy blue varieties. Cheese platters featuring these artisanal treasures are a common sight in Martinborough restaurants, making for a delectable starter or a delightful end to a meal. The cheeses’ distinct textures and flavors are a testament to the region’s dedication to crafting exceptional dairy products.

Dining Tips for Martinborough Restaurants

Restaurant table with a 'Reserved' card being placed on it

Before diving into the culinary scene, it’s essential to be prepared and make the most of your dining experience. Here are some valuable tips:


Martinborough’s popularity as a food destination means that its restaurants can fill up quickly, especially on weekends and during peak tourist seasons. To avoid disappointment, make reservations in advance. Here are a few highly-rated Martinborough restaurants to consider booking ahead:

Restaurant NameCuisineReservation Contact
Terra VinaItalianPhone: +64 6-306 9231
Union SquareModern BistroOnline:
Poppies MartinboroughNew ZealandEmail: [email protected]

Local Wine Pairing

Martinborough is synonymous with exceptional wine, particularly its world-renowned Pinot Noir. When dining in Martinborough, don’t miss the opportunity to pair your meal with a local wine. Local restaurants often offer expert recommendations for wine pairings that perfectly complement your dish. Here are some notable Martinborough wineries to explore:

WinerySignature WineTasting Information
Palliser EstatePinot NoirTasting Room: Open daily, 10 am – 4:30 pm
Ata RangiPinot NoirTasting Room: By appointment only
Te KairangaChardonnay, Pinot NoirTasting Room: Open daily, 10:30 am – 4 pm

Dress Code

While Martinborough maintains a laid-back vibe, some restaurants have a smart-casual dress code. To avoid any surprises, it’s advisable to check the dress code in advance when making reservations. Here are a few dining establishments with specific dress code policies:

RestaurantDress Code
Poppies MartinboroughSmart-Casual
Wharekauhau LodgeSmart-Casual
Union SquareSmart-Casual


Tipping is appreciated in Martinborough restaurants, but it’s not mandatory. It’s customary to leave a tip of 10-15% for good service. However, always check your bill, as some restaurants may include a service charge. Tipping is a way to show appreciation for the exceptional dining experience you’ve enjoyed.


Martinborough, with its rich culinary heritage and dedication to local flavors, is a paradise for food enthusiasts. Whether you’re exploring winery restaurants or charming bistros, you’re sure to have a delightful dining experience in this picturesque town. So, when you visit Martinborough, don’t forget to indulge in the flavors of the region by dining at its finest restaurants. Martinborough restaurants are not just places to eat; they are places to savor and celebrate the essence of this beautiful town.


Q1. What types of cuisine are available in Martinborough?

A1. Martinborough offers a diverse range of cuisines, but New Zealand and local flavors dominate the dining scene. You’ll find everything from classic Kiwi dishes to international options.

Q2. Are vegetarian and vegan options available in Martinborough restaurants?

A2. Yes, most restaurants in Martinborough cater to vegetarian and vegan preferences. They often have dedicated dishes or can modify existing ones to suit your dietary needs.

Q3. Can I bring my own wine to Martinborough restaurants?

A3. Some restaurants may allow you to bring your own wine, but corkage fees may apply. It’s best to check with the specific restaurant in advance.

Q4. Is there a dress code for dining in Martinborough?

A4. While Martinborough is generally casual, some upscale restaurants may have a smart-casual dress code. It’s advisable to check the dress code when making reservations.

Q5. Are children welcome in Martinborough restaurants?

A5. Yes, many Martinborough restaurants are family-friendly and offer children’s menus. However, it’s a good idea to check in advance to ensure a pleasant dining experience for your family.