Welcome Eatery IMAGE CREDIT: Aaron McLean Photographer

Welcome Eatery in Grafton, Auckland has been presented the National Best Metro/CBD Café award in the 2018 Meadow Fresh New Zealand Café of the Year awards, at a special announcement event held in Auckland March 7.

For the sixth year running, the awards highlighted the diverse, delicious and most delightful of the New Zealand café culture, shining a light on outstanding cafés across the nation.

Welcome Eatery only uses free range meats, free range eggs, sustainable fish, organic milks and every piece of the packaging is compostable. Whilst satisfying customer expectations of what a cafe should offer and a motto of homely yet innovative, Welcome is also experimental and makes a special effort to inspire guests with dishes they might never have considered eating. Items like a pumpkin smoothie, tapioca breakfast pudding and whiskey cured salmon may have sounded strange to a few but have ended up becoming popular dishes. According to the judges, Welcome Eatery blurs the lines between restaurant and café and work hard to be good at what they do.

Judging, tasting and deliberating was conducted by a highly-experienced panel led by NZ’s pre-eminent food and restaurant authority, Kerry Tyack.

“Spacious, slick, spotless, modern and superbly professional, this café knows its urban market and delivers effortlessly every time. Great food from the cabinet and a frequently changing menu combined with food-savvy service, results in a completely satisfying experience. The clientele, most likely from local businesses are frequent regulars taking advantage of the space to have meetings, escape from the office or just to meet and hang out. The coffee is wonderful, well-made and reliably consistent. The food is deceptive in its simplicity but cleverly contemporary. Welcome Eatery gets our nod as a café that expresses best the concept of a well-conceived, expertly managed oasis with its eye clearly on its inner-city market,” said Kerry Tyack.

Katherine Jensen, Meadow Fresh Marketing Director says “Congratulations to Welcome Eatery’s owner Orion Health, Manager and Head Chef Mark McAllister, the staff and team – the National Best Metro/CBD Café category award winner! We are extremely proud to sponsor the awards that acknowledge the important role cafes play in New Zealand’s culture and lifestyle. We truly have a dynamic Kiwi café scene throughout the nation. It is with great pleasure, we announce the 2018 Meadow Fresh NZ Café of the Year and the national category award winners.”

Welcome Eatery won the Auckland region Best Metro/CBD award in December and can now enjoy the glory of winning the National Best Metro/CBD award.

2018 MEADOW FRESH NZ CAFÉ OF THE YEAR | The Daily Café | 3 Commerce Lane | Te Puke


Best Metro/CBD | Welcome Eatery | 181 Grafton Road | Grafton | Auckland

Best Rural | Orepuki Beach Cafe | 33 Stafford Street | Orepuki | Southland

Best Regional Town | The Daily Cafe | 3 Commerce Lane | Te Puke | Western Bay of Plenty

Best Suburban | Sweet Vanilla Kitchen | 49 Pretoria Street |Lower Hutt

ICG Classic Kiwi | Nick’s Café | 30 Constable Road | Waiuku | Auckland

Meadow Fresh People’s Choice Award | Portershed Cafe | 322 Lincoln Road | Addington | Christchurch

Unilever Food Solutions Innovation & Sustainability Award | BearLion Foods | Christchurch.

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