Nelson & Golden Bay, Family Restaurants

  • The Mermaid's Beach House -

    Open in summer only - but definitely worth making a beeline to! Scrumptious plant based food shack with outside seating serving great coffee, mouth-watering salads, specialized smoothies and stunning vegan cake. Wholesome eating that tastes amazing and is bursting with goodness.

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  • The Woolshed Cafe - Takaka

    Canaan Woolshed is a traditional NZ woolshed which has been converted into a coffee and craft shop.
    We have coffee, real fruit ice cream, cake, scones  and offer cabinet food and toasted sandwiches for more filling options. Our opening hours in the Summer are Tues-Sunday 10AM-4PM.
    We are open weekends only out of peak season. For current hours check our Facebook page. The shop sells wool, felted and woven wool products, cards and other quality souvenirs. Outside you can experience farm animals up close and there is an outdoor picnic area.

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  • East Street Eats and Bar

    A funky kitsch cafe, fully vegan. Offers lunch, dinner and desserts. Many dishes are gluten-free. Sometimes live music.

    The puddings are to die for. Cute little outdoors area to sit in when warm. Winner of 2018 Wild Tomato Best Cafe Award.

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  • Burger Culture - Nelson

    Welcome to Burger Culture, Nelson’s only dedicated burger joint – fresh, handcrafted, independent. Our fundamental goal is to create a destination that delights the senses. Be nostalgic, cast your mind back to when you were a kid; you only ever did what you wanted to do. Stuff that’s fun, exciting, maybe a bit rebellious. This is a playground for your inner child, let that kid out – it’s still there, screaming out for a burger.

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  • Happy Cow

    This is a really great website for finding vegan and vegan-friendly restaurants in your location.  It's worldwide but has extensive and accurate results.

    The website also features good vegetarian restaurants and other animal-friendly products.  Let's eat less animals and support Happy Cow!

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  • Penguino Gelato Cafe - Nelson

    Penguinos is a Nelson institution and has a reputation for great ice cream and gelato.  They continually create and refine wonderful new flavours, providing superb gelatos for regular customers as well as the many tourists who flock to Nelson in the summer months.  Creative and exuberant, you will have fun trying extraordinary flavours not normally associated with ice creams. 

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  • Jester House - Motueka region

    A country café, serving breakfast, lunch and ‘inbetweens’. Once you walk over the trip trop bridge past the tame eels you enter another world. The funtastic café garden is full of art and surprises. You can play chess on the giant wooden chess board or tell the kids to "get lost" in the maze. Let them enjoy the playground while you take some time to smell the roses. Take a wander and enjoy the various sculptures that you discover and be surprised by what you find. Meanwhile the tame eels live in the creek below the bridge waiting to be fed. Eel food is available from the café, $5 for the real eel deal.

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  • Smugglers Pub and Cafe

    The Smugglers Pub and Cafe is famous for its hearty meals, foaming craft ales and great wines all served up in a unique old world atmosphere with a 'Pirate atmosphere' the kids will love. Located within easy walking distance from Nelson’s Tahunanui Beach. Food is available all day and into the evening with extensive snack, lunch and dinner menus including gluten free and children’s menus for young smugglers. Open seven days a week including most holidays and absolutely no surcharges ever.

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  • Lonestar - Nelson

    "Wow" you really need to try this one! Lone Star's legendary meals, outstanding service, and famous atmosphere are now part of accepted folklore in 16 New Zealand cities. Our new menu has made it’s delectable debut with new stars such as the Ravishing Rib-eye and Hooked On A Feeling, nestling comfortably amongst old favourites, Lassoo of Hog and Dixie Chicken, to name just a few that are available for your gastronomic delight. Children are exceptionally well looked after with their own Kiwi Kids’ menu, with choices such as Barney’s Ribs, Chief Mini Drums, Chicken or Lamb Wrap, Little Big Steak, Nipper’s Fish ‘n’ Chips and heaps more!

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  • Park Cafe - Marahau

    Our Park Café restaurant is situated at the entrance to Abel Tasman National Park so you can visit us before or after your walk in the park. We overlook the start of the Abel Tasman track and the restaurant has a casual ambiance, in keeping with its natural surroundings. The Café offers breakfast, lunch and dinner menu plus scrumptious snacks. Leave room for their delicious chocolate brownie slice – one of the best we’ve tasted! Dinner menu includes fresh fish, seafood pasta, lamb shanks, steak, chicken and vegetarian dishes. Small portions for children can be ordered.

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  • The Smoking Barrel - Motueka

    Legendary donuts & coffee, housebaked bagels, Low & Slow BBQ, in house smoked meats & the freshest seafood in town! If you love food, you'll love us!

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  • The Mussel Inn - Onekaka

    The Mussel Inn is a family friendly quirky cafe / bar / music venue with of course as the name points to - the best Mussels in town.  located in the heart of Golden Bay, North West Nelson region of the South Island of New Zealand. A two hour drive from Nelson, over the Takaka hill, through the township of Takaka and on another 17 kms towards Collingwood you will find yourself in Onekaka. We have a great outside area, under shady trees complete with large swing. Open from 11am till late, seven days a week except for for Christmas day. No bookings, no byo - take us as you find us.

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Map of New Zealand
  • Central Otago
  • Bay of Plenty
  • Coromandel
  • Dunedin
  • Gisborne
  • Fiordland
  • Hawkes Bay
  • North Canterbury
  • Manawatu
  • Nelson & Golden Bay
  • Northland
  • Marlborough Sounds
  • Rotorua
  • Queenstown
  • Taranaki
  • South Canterbury
  • Taupo
  • Southland
  • Waikato
  • Wanaka
  • West Coast
  • Whangarei
  • Bay of Islands
  • Tauranga
  • Gisborne
  • Hamilton
  • Napier
  • Kapiti
  • Palmerston North
  • Whanganui
  • New Plymouth
  • Arrowtown
  • Te Anau
  • Akaroa
  • Ashburton
  • Hanmer
  • Kaikoura
  • Methven
  • Mt Cook
  • Oamaru
  • Tekapo
  • Timaru
  • Abel Tasman
  • Motueka
  • Nelson Lakes
  • Blenheim
  • Picton
  • Catlins
  • Gore
  • Stewart Island
  • Central Plateau
  • Invercargill
  • Cromwell
  • Greymouth
  • Hokitika
  • Westport
  • Glenorchy

Our favourite destinations…

Auckland destination2

Auckland

New Zealand’s economic heart and biggest city is also an exciting family visitor destination, situated on a sunny harbour with city beaches just minutes away from the CBD. Orientate yourself by heading down to Viaduct Harbour, wandering the waterfront, checking out the super yachts or enjoying the waterfront restaurants. Nearby is the must-visit Sky Tower along with excellent and kid-friendly museums and tons of exciting activities!

Wellington

Wellington is New Zealand’s capital. Here you will find New Zealand's parliament buildings, including the 'Executive Wing', more well-known as 'The Beehive' due to its distinctive shape. Another icon to look out for is the Wellington Tram, which was the main means of public transport between 1878 and 1964.

Christchurch

With a population of around 400,000 Christchurch, in Canterbury, is the South Island ’s largest city, yet much of it has the feel of a small town. Perhaps that’s why it’s known as the Garden City but with the expansive Hagley Park, Botanic Gardens, Port Hills, River Avon and numerous beaches the city certainly has an open, relaxed feel that’s hard to beat.

Queenstown

With its well-deserved reputation as New Zealand’s activity adventure capital you’ll never run out of activities and things to do in Queenstown, but you may run out of time! With breathtaking scenery, activities and festivals, cafes and restaurants, skiing and snowboarding, shopping and wineries, this lakeside alpine resort rates as one of the world’s top vacation destinations for all ages and seasons.

Rotorua

Rotorua sits on the shore of Lake Rotorua, one of sixteen lakes in the area formed by hundreds of thousands of years of eruptions from the Taupo Volcanic Zone. The area is renowned for its geothermal activity and top of any activity list is to see the bubbling mud pools that are around the region for yourself. The Waimangu Volcanic Valley offers a first hand insight into the devastation caused by the 1886 eruption of Mount Tarawera and is a great place to discover steaming volcanic craters and bubbling, spitting  pools of mud!

Nelson and Golden Bay

The Nelson and Golden Bay regions, at the top of the South Island, boast enviable sunshine hours, glorious sandy beaches, safe swimming spots, lots of wildlife to look out for, and Abel Tasman National Park - an absolute must to explore, on foot, by kayak, your own craft or watertaxi.  Nelson is home to a vibrant arts and crafts community with a fabulous Saturday market, and is close to award-winning wineries and family-friendly bike tracks to take you around the coast.

Hawkes Bay

Napier was rebuilt after the 1931 earthquake and is now known as NZ's Art Deco City.  The Art Deco influence has created a unique city – nowhere else can you see such a varied concentration of art deco style. With over 2,200 sunshine hours a year, Napier is a year-round holiday destination with countless activities to entertain the kids – there's days of entertainment on Marine Parade alone, plus numerous other family-friendly trips and activities.  Add to that the beaches, walks and flat cycle paths, outdoor cafes and entertainment, and you have a perfect holiday destination!

Northland

Beautiful, unspoiled beaches, fishing, historic gum fields, kauri forests – the Far North has it all. With subtropical temperatures, it's often known as ‘the Winterless north', with warm, humid summers and mild winters.
Gateway to the Bay of Islands, Paihia is a pretty, lively beachside town and a perfect base for your family holiday. It’s your start point for Bay of Island adventures including day cruises, sailing, kayaking, swimming with dolphins and reef or wreck diving.