About Us

Café Esplanade is one of Palmerton North’s favourite destinations for great food and amazing coffee.

Located in historic Victoria Esplanade  we’re open from 930am to 4pm seven days a week during summer  months,  and from 10am to 3pm seven days a week throughout winter.

Our delicious homemade food boasts fresh seasonal fare and delicious options for all tastes ages and budgets with extensive options for people who are gluten free or vegetarian.

If you enjoy amazing coffee look no further than our award winning Revive Expresso and for iconic New Zealand Ice Cream enjoy Tip Top and Kapiti ice creams by the scoop.

Victoria Esplanade is favourite destination for Palmerstonian’s. A beautiful and extensive inner city park adjacent to the Manawatu River, Victoria Esplanade was opened to mark Queen Victoria’s 60th Jubilee.

In the heart of the Esplanade is Victoria House the home of Café Esplanade.

The original building plans are dated the 5th of January 1891. Construction, which cost £759 9s 11d, was carried out by local builders Burrell and King. The main architectural feature of the wooden single storey building is the imitation brickwork at the corners, called quoins. Built in 1889, Victoria House (alterations were made and the central portion extended forward in 1895) was Palmerston North’s third purpose-built central post office.

Originally located on the corner of Main Street and the Square, this historic post office was relocated several times throughout its life and eventually moved to sit behind the subsequent Post Office when this was built in 1905.

In the years that followed the building was largely hidden from view until the site came up for redevelopment in 1988, the occupier Postbank, donated the building to the Palmerston North City Council. The building was cut in to three sections and shifted in the early hours of 10 March 1989 to its new location in the Victoria Esplanade.

The Manawatu Branch Committee of the New Zealand Historic Places Trust (now Historic Places Manawatu-Horowhenua) commissioned an architect’s plan and feasibility study of the move, and the Miniature Railway Society donated $107,240 towards the cost of the relocation and restoration, while the Council oversaw the project and provided the remaining approximately $120,000 required for the refurbishment, which took place in 1990.

That year the New Zealand Historic Places Trust presented the Council with a National Merit Award for its role in preserving the Post Office. The council initially leased the building to John and Liz Buxton who opened the building as the Palm Grove Lounge, a tea kiosk, restaurant and function venue, in 1990.

In 2008 the business received an extensive makeover when it was purchased by the Vivian family, which retained the Victorian charm of the building while preparing the business for a busy life ahead as one of Palmerston North’s most popular destinations.

Discover what makes us different visit Café Esplanade today.