Upper South Island and the West Coast Restaurants

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Upper South Island and the West Coast Restaurant Reviews

In Marlborough visit a winery restaurant—there's no better way to ensure that your meal suits what you're drinking. Salmon and Greenshell mussels are farmed in the pristine Marlborough Sounds, and local crops—besides grapes—include cherries, wasabi, and garlic. In Kaikoura try crayfish (lobster). The region is named after this delicacy (kai means food in Māori; koura means "lobster"). Nelson is famous for its scallops and seafood. On the West Coast, try whitebait fritters—a sort of omelet starring masses of baby fish.

Some restaurants close in winter (June through August); others may open only on weekends, or curtail their weekday hours. In summer, all doors are open and it's best to make reservations. If a restaurant is open on a major holiday, it may add a surcharge to your bill.

Year-round, the restaurants and cafés around the glaciers and other remote spots can be quick to close their doors at night. Arrive by 8:30 (it's sometimes even earlier in winter), or you might go hungry. Some of the smallest towns, including Punakaiki, settlements in the Marlborough Sounds, and parts of Golden Bay, have few cafés and no general stores, so bring your own supplies.

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