After months of searching the 2017 national winners were celebrated at a special event held in Auckland.

Rotorua’s Capers café has been named the 2017 Meadow Fresh NZ New Zealand Café of the Year. Congratulations to Gregg, Susan, Liz and the team!

Left to right: The Capers team – Susan Brown (Owner), Liz Todd (Manager) and Gregg Brown (Owner)

Capers has been a top contender in previous years and this year the judging panel chose to reward its quality, consistency and most of all the passion it clearly displays for satisfying every customer who walks through the door.

Head Judge Kerry Tyack said “Capers has all the credentials to proudly be the 2017 Meadow Fresh New Zealand Café of the Year. The food is fresh, beautifully presented and serves up an enticing menu delivering uncomplicated and innovative cuisine. Capers inspires loyalty from its customers by providing great food and coffee on site, as well as takeaway meals and salads and a retail larder full of local artisan and organic produce. Capers is superbly organised and managed. The engaging staff are proactive in determining and meeting customer’s needs. The café itself is an easily accessible bright open space and importantly, the coffee is consistently well brewed and hot! With great care taken on their food, coffee and customer experience, Capers is a great example of a local café that consistently brings passion and integrity to its customers.”


Some of the delights on offer at Capers.

In addition to the prestige of taking out the top prize. Capers will get to enjoy prizes including a trip to Melbourne, national PR coverage and a Dish editorial package

Meadow Fresh NZ Café of the Year 2017 Supreme Winner – Capers (Rotorua)

National category award winners:

  • Tuckers Ridge Pies Best Rural: Red Shed Palazzo (Karaka)
  • Tararua Best Metro/CBD: Capers (Rotorua)
  • Hellmann’s Best Suburban: Sweet Vanilla Kitchen (Lower Hutt)
  • Hellers Classic Kiwi: Rumbly Tums (Tokoroa)
  • Puhoi Valley People’s Choice: Surf Shack (Waihi Beach)
  • Goodman Fielder and Unilever Food Solutions Award for Innovation: The Sugar Shed (Pukekohe)

A very special mention from the judges goes to BearLion Foods in Christchurch and Gabriel’s Café in Lawrence, who are both who are doing amazing things with their businesses.


All of the national winners and regional winners are showcased on our website – click here to see them all.

Congratulations to our winners for everything they do that makes them stand out from the crowd. You and your teams can truly be proud of all of your efforts.

Again, a huge thank you to our wonderful sponsors, who without we wouldn’t be able to run this competition. And to all the cafés that took part, thank you for making it such a fabulous success, we hope to see you back again a bit later this year.




Congratulations to the 2018 Meadow Fresh New Zealand Café of the Year regional category winners!

The judges have been hard at work to find this year’s most- loved cafes in New Zealand and we can now reveal the café’s that are at the top of their game.

All of the regional category winners will feature on our website as the top cafés of 2018 as well as receiving a certificate to put up in their café.


Our judges are going to be busy, the category winners for each region will get another visit from the judging team. From these café’s the National Meadow Fresh New Zealand Café of the Year winners will be decided, and announced at an event in February in Auckland. If you have any questions about the competition then get in touch with us here.


Auckland region
Best Suburban – Friend of the Farmer Café, Takanini
Best Metro/CBD – Welcome Eatery, Grafton
Best Regional Town – The Butcher’s Shop Café, Pukekohe
Best Rural – The Sugar Shed, Pukekohe

Upper North Island region
Best Suburban – Gather Foodhouse, Hamilton
Best Metro/CBD – Artisan Café, Rotorua
Best Regional Town –The Daily Café, Te Puke
Best Rural – Colenso Café, Whenuakite

Lower North Island region
Best Suburban – Columbus Coffee @ Mega, New Plymouth
Best Metro/CBD – Maina, Havelock North
Best Regional Town –The Federal Store, New Plymouth
Best Rural – The Clareville Bakery, Carterton

Wellington region
Best Suburban – Sweet Vanilla Kitchen, Lower Hutt
Best Metro/CBD – Ekor Book Shop & Café, Wellington
Best Regional Town – Espresso Café, Upper Hutt

Upper South Island region
Best Suburban – The Old Vicarage, Christchurch
Best Metro/CBD – Hello Sunday, Christchurch
Best Regional Town – Fools of Desire, Rangiora
Best Rural – The Villa, Wakefield

Lower South Island region
Best Suburban – Café Society, Frankton
Best Metro/CBD – Precinct Food, Dunedin
Best Regional Town – Kelly’s Kitchen, Milton
Best Rural – Orepuki Beach Café, Riverton

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