When engaged in eating: Hamilton

I’ve been up in Hamilton again this week, where most of the time there was sunshine and stunning sunrises and sunsets. Hamilton tends to get a bad press, but there is a lot more going on than you might suspect. It is the gateway to the Waikato region, and is a city on the way up rather than on the way down these days. I’ve been there a lot over the past 4 or so years, and even in that short space of time I have seen a change.

Morning has broken

It may come as a surprise, but Hamilton has lots of cafes and restaurants, usually buzzing and busy, even on Tuesday evenings. Whether you are looking for breakfast, lunch or dinner, there is a good choice. Here are my suggestions.

For breakfast and lunch, consider Miltons Canteen on Alexandra Street. The menu has a decent choice of breakfast and brunch items, as well as a good selection of cabinet foods. The poached eggs are served on excellent rye bread (cut nice and thick), and the granola looked good. They do some nice sandwiches, such as a reuben made from corned beef, and a good looking chicken salad.

Mr Milton’s Canteen

Mavis & Co can be found right next to the Wintec (Waikato Institute of Technology) campus in the city centre and they also run the cafe out at the airport. Good for my favourite breakfast, poached eggs on toast, lunches include ‘bagel of the day’ and various hot dishes. They are also licensed. Finally, Cucina on Thackeray Street, offers good list of breakfast dishes such as creamy mushrooms on toast, and hot dishes, salads and sandwiches for lunch.

Poached eggs at Mavis & Co

My two top places for dinner are the award winning Palate ,and Gothenburg for beautiful small dishes and tapas. This time around I had dinner at Mr Pickles, where the food was fresh and full of flavour, and Banh Mi Caphe for some Vietnamese street food.

Mr Pickles

Title of the post? Quote from Agatha Christie “When engaged in eating, the brain should be the servant of the stomach.” 

You can find Thistles and Kiwis on Facebook, and also on Instagram@thistleandkiwis.  As for Twitter….am totally inactive these days.  If you want to get in touch, email me on thistlesandkiwis@gmail.com


  1. Great quotation! The food in all the pictures looks delicious. Maine has a lot of communities like Hamilton, once in the doldrums but now on their way up. Unfortunately, the town we live in, Winthrop, is still in the doldrums phase.


  2. Yes I thought that quotation was great too. It is interesting how some places are thriving again. Hamilton has a university and a polytechnic and is close enough to Auckland to pick up people who want to escape that city.


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