Tucked inside a fly fisherman’s paradise, this eatery pays homage to French patisserie.
About an hour from the Tongariro River on New Zealand’s North Island, one of the country’s oldest fly-fishing tackle shops operates in the quiet town of Turangi. Fly fisherman know it as a one-stop shop for preparing themselves to venture down the famous Tongariro, which is the most-fished river in the country. After opening in the 1920s, the shop has since changed hands several times and moved down the street, all the while maintaining a stellar reputation for its owners’ fly-fishing expertise. And thanks to Grant and Deb Alley, who currently operate it, the Creel Tackle House has another lure: brioche.
Grant handles food for fish, while Deb, who is classically trained in French patisserie, takes care of food for people. Past the glaring lures and hooks, nestled off to the side, her tiny bakery and cafe churns out epicurean delights every single day. But this outpost is no afterthought. It’s one of the best places to eat for miles around. The shop sells homemade pies, shortbread, fresh fruit tarts with cream, vegetable galettes, preserves, breakfast, lunch, coffee, and gifts. Don’t miss the signature chorizo burger or her famous brioche (plus, brioche french toast on the weekends).
Know Before You Go
Contact the bakery for packed lunches suitable for picnics and—naturally—fishing trips. The cafe is open from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., and the tackle shop is open from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.