Upper South Island and the West Coast Restaurants

In Marlborough visit a winery restaurant—there's no better way to ensure that your meal suits what you're drinking. Cloudy Bay clams are harvested here, salmon and Greenshell mussels are farmed in the Marlborough Sounds, and local crops—besides grapes—include cherries and garlic. In Kaikoura try crayfish. The region is named aft
In Marlborough visit a winery restaurant—there's no better way to ensure that your meal suits what you're drinking. Cloudy Bay clams are harvested here, salmon and Greenshell mussels are farmed in the Marlborough Sounds, and local crops—besides grapes—include cherries a
In Marlborough visit a winery restaurant—there's no better way to ensure that your meal suits what you're drinking. Clou

In Marlborough visit a winery restaurant—there's no better way to ensure that your meal suits what you're drinking. Cloudy Bay clams are harvested here, salmon and Greenshell mussels are farmed in the Marlborough Sounds, and local crops—besides grapes—include cherries and garlic. In Kaikoura try crayfish. The region is named after this delicacy (In Māori, kai means "food" and koura means "lobster"). Nelson is also famous for seafood, in particular scallops, and for fresh produce and, yes, for wine. On the West Coast, try the local delicacy whitebait fritters—a sort of omelet filled with the whitebait—tiny, young eel-like fish netted at river mouths as they migrate upstream in late spring.

Some restaurants in more remote tourist regions close in winter (June through August); others may curtail their 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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  • 1. Bridge Bar & Cafe

    $$$ | New Zealand

    Perched high on the edge of the rugged, wild Taramakau River, this restaurant and bar has blown into the area like a fresh blast off the Southern...Read More

  • 2. Café de Paris

    $$$ | New Zealand

    Pronounced " parr -iss" in these parts, this spot serves French cuisine with a New Zealand accent—unfussy. Enjoy French cooking with fresh local...Read More

  • 3. Living Room Café and Lounge Bar

    $$ | New Zealand

    The sunny corner location in the heart of Blenheim's shopping area means this café never lacks for action. Surrounded by glass on two sides...Read More

  • 4. The Chart Room

    $$$ | New Zealand

    True to its name, this smart, centrally located restaurant is decorated with copies of Captain Cook's nautical charts and maps. It's one of...Read More

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