On Thursday night, Meadow Fresh Café of the Year bestowed Capers in Rotorua with the ultimate accolade.
The dedicated team at Capers have been serving fresh, casual cafe fare for over a decade, delighting Rotorua locals and visitors alike with their simple yet satisfying menu and fresh-to-go cabinet offerings.
"Capers has been a top contender in previous years and this year the judges could find no reason not to reward its quality," said the panel of Meadow Fresh judges, who crowned Capers 2017's Supreme Winner.
At the helm of this casual dining destination is head chef Victor Edelsten, whose salads, tapas, signature mains and an impressive selection of vegetarian and vegan menu options, keep hungry punters coming back for more.
Among this year's other notable finalists were Red Shed Palazzo in Karaka, who received Tuckers Ridge Pies Best Rural award. Judges praised the cafe's "interesting atmosphere" and "generous portions".
"The passing truck driver, mums out with kids or classic car enthusiasts – everyone will leave happy. It’s a true country gem that the judging team have no hesitation in recommending as a must-visit."
This year's Best Suburban award went to Sweet Vanilla Kitchen in Lower Hutt while Puhoi Valley People's Choice went to Surf Shack in Waihi Beach. The Hellers Classic Kiwi accolade went to the team at Rumbly Tums in Tokoroa while the Goodman Fielder and Unilever Food Solutions Award for Innovation was bestowed upon The Sugar Shed in Pukekohe.
The judging panel's special mentions went to BearLion Foods in Christchurch and Gabriels Cafe & Bar in Lawrence.