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Take a Fat Dog and give it a reputation

February 10, 2010

Ask a local in Rotorua to recommend a good place to eat and you will probably be directed to Fat Dog café. It is one of the town’s popular eateries — with travellers and locals — and has to have one of the most crammed menu boards I’ve seen in a very long time.

The café lives in a ramshackle looking shop close to the Hospital on Arawa Street. It’s roomy inside and also has seating outside for sunseekers, and smokers.

But is Fat Dog really that good?

Well, going by portion sizes I would say yes, but be ready to pay for it. Like the rest if New Zealand, food prices have increased — a lot.

I loved the eclectic mix of armchairs, sofas and dining tables, the old wooden floors that creaked underneath but somehow managed to keep everyone on top.

by Cate

And, I loved the old style baking: scones and muffins both in need of sampling on separate occasions.

by Cate

If coffee is what you are looking for, coffee is what you will get here — creamy and strong — and fair trade.

What sets Fat Dog apart from the local competition is its character. Complimenting the mix of furniture are the brightly painted walls covered in odd little verses, about dogs. Because at Fat Dog, the dog rules.

by Cate

Having a relaxed atmosphere has precedence over decorum. There is no powder room, no ladies nor gents, only a bog. And if you don’t know what that word translates to ….

by Cate

Here’s what I didn’t like about the café:

Internet – expensive at $2 for 20 MB

Food – hit and miss in freshness and taste. I went there for a meal with a group of friends. –The bacon and egg pie was overcooked and old, the salmon on the salmon salad left an unusual aftertaste in the mouth, and the steak sandwich had overly chewy steak inside.

But, the menu is big and there were plenty of people enjoying their food, maybe I just went there on an off day.

It’s worth checking out if for the coffee alone. For directions and more information click here: Fat Dog Cafe

Caffeinated Traveller

  1. bill cox permalink
    February 10, 2010 11:01 pm

    hi i used to go to the fat dog a lot but the food quality varies too much. just when you think the food is getting good again it turns out to be terrible. i dont go there anymore there are much better places in rotorua. cheers bill

    • February 10, 2010 11:04 pm

      Hi Bill thanks for your feedback. Can you recommend to readers some other places you enjoy? I’ll be back in Rotorua soon and would also like to check these places out.



  2. February 11, 2010 8:34 am

    Fat Dog café, what a name!! Not sure I would have gone in there if I had just seen the sign when passing by. In my experience, quite much lies in the name of a place.

  3. February 12, 2010 4:41 am

    seems like a place to go for just the name!!!

  4. February 17, 2010 7:22 pm

    Erica and Ms N – lol – you both have differing views on the name. I think a name says a lot about the place. Not sure whether fat dog would entice me inside or whether I would walk on by. But word of mouth made me walk in.

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