Where to Eat in Pohara: The Best Restaurants and Bars

April 4, 2018 Leonardo Torrence

Discover the best restaurant in Pohara, New Zealand including Awaroa Lodge and Cafe, The Wholemeal Cafe, Ratanui Lodge Restaurant, The Penguin Cafe & Bar Pohara, The Brigand, Totally Roasted Cafe, Plan B Cafe & Bar, Roots Bar, Dangerous Kitchen, Takaka Infusion

1. Awaroa Lodge and Cafe

Awaroa Inlet Abel Tasman National Park, Takaka 7172, New Zealand Outdoor Seating, Seating, Serves Alcohol New Zealand, Cafe, Gluten Free Options Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner +64 3-528 8758
Excellent
38%
Good
32%
Satisfactory
10%
Poor
10%
Terrible
10%
Overall Ratings

3.5 based on 55 reviews

Awaroa Lodge and Cafe

Reviewed By kitsune87 - London, United Kingdom

This review is just of the café and bar as I was staying at Awaroa Hut.
This place is amazing! Can't believe it is in the middle of Abel Tasman NP! If you are passing by or staying at Awaroa Hut, make sure you pop by for a drink or a snack or even dinner!
The lodge bar is extremely cosy, with a nice area outside to sit down and have a drink, a lounge area with a fireplace and a great selection of books and a dining area. Makes you want to stay there in one of their comfy sofas and read their entire book collection by the fireplace.
I was not able to have dinner here as if you want to dine in, you need to book in advance. However, they offer sandwiches and sweet treats beside drinks at all times. The selection of wines by glass is splendid! The largest I've seen in NZ. I had a great gewurst. Prices are very reasonable, NZ standard. Coffee 4.50NZD, Brownie 5NZD, Wrap 8NZD and glasses of wine from 9NZD. What put me off is that they serve the brownie and wraps wrapped in transparent paper. Come in guys, you can take them out of the plastic and serve it on a plate! The food quality was acceptable.
In terms of going back to Awaroa Hut in the evening, I went back 5h after low tide (so almost high tide) and had no issue crossing the inland sea. Got wet only till mid shin. Even if it is too high, you can always go back via the forest track instead of the sand. It will just take you longer.
I would definitely recommend you stopping by if you are in the area and to stay for a night if your budget allows you to.

2. The Wholemeal Cafe

60 Commercial Street, Takaka 7110, New Zealand Takeout, Outdoor Seating, Seating, Waitstaff, Highchairs Available, Wheelchair Accessible, Free Wifi, Serves Alcohol European, Cafe, New Zealand, Vegetarian Friendly, Vegan Options, Gluten Free Options Breakfast, Lunch, Brunch +64 3-525 9426
Excellent
56%
Good
32%
Satisfactory
8%
Poor
3%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 308 reviews

The Wholemeal Cafe

Reviewed By Foodape - Wellington, New Zealand

We had a lunch here and enjoyed a home made beef pie and vegetarian croissant which was crammed full of veggies, hummus and cheese. The coffee was fine but not quite as good as the food.

3. Ratanui Lodge Restaurant

818 Abel Tasman Drive | Golden Bay, Pohara 7183, New Zealand Reservations, Seating, Waitstaff, Serves Alcohol, Parking Available, Validated Parking, Wheelchair Accessible, Full Bar New Zealand, European, Gluten Free Options, Vegetarian Friendly Dinner, Breakfast, Late Night HK$314 - HK$314 +64 3-525 7998
Excellent
88%
Good
9%
Satisfactory
2%
Poor
1%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 111 reviews

Ratanui Lodge Restaurant

The Dining Room at Ratanui Lodge serves set 3 course meals nightly for $55 (subject to change). Menu changes daily. Sourcing fresh local produce, the best cuts of meats, and fresh local fish, with a substantial wine list featuring New Zealand wines. Relax in the cocktail lounge, outside on the quiet patio, or in front of the wood fire before dinner. Reservations Essential by 12pm.Sample Menu: Italian onion soup with fresh wholemeal bread. Venison tenderloin with blackberry jus and wasabi mashed potatoes. Brazil nut and almond torte. Wines focus on the Nelson region, including Neudorf, Brightwater, Waimea, Kina Beach, Rimu Grove, and Kina Cliffs.

Reviewed By Okiwa_Bay_Lodge - Anakiwa, New Zealand

It was lovely to eat in house and not have to worry about driving. Thoroughly enjoyed the cocktails. The atmosphere was friendly and very pleasant. Superb food. Definitely a must.

4. The Penguin Cafe & Bar Pohara

822 Abel Tasman Drive, Pohara, New Zealand Takeout, Outdoor Seating, Seating, Waitstaff, Television, Highchairs Available, Serves Alcohol, Full Bar, Reservations, Wheelchair Accessible Bar, Pizza, Cafe, Pub, New Zealand, International, Gluten Free Options, Vegetarian Friendly Lunch, Dinner, Brunch, Late Night +64 3-525 6126
Excellent
27%
Good
41%
Satisfactory
16%
Poor
9%
Terrible
7%
Overall Ratings

3.5 based on 237 reviews

The Penguin Cafe & Bar Pohara

Sunny courtyard dining amongst native bush or on our decks with sea views. Cosy open fire in the winter. Open for brunch, lunch and dinner, delicious local Tuatara coffee. Outdoor bar. New Boundary Road craft beer range plus regional wines. Menus to suit all tastes, steaks, NZ lamb, delicious seafood chowder and local Golden Bay crab cakes. Range of gourmet pizzas and Friday night burger specials. Sky TV, Happy Hour Thursdays 4 - 6pm complimentary nibbles.

Reviewed By Ralph777051 - Wellington

Firstly the upside, the Penguin is well situated at the end of Pohara Beach. The cafe is of a reasonable size and has good indoor and outdoor dining areas. Well equipped and clean rest rooms were available.
I was part of a group, after placing orders we took our seats outside and waited, and waited. Finally our orders began to arrive, the waitperson seemed to be somewhat laid back and slightly unfocused on the task in hand.
I had a warmish flat white and a serving of fish and chips ($30) the food came as quite greasy and unappetizing. Others attempted slabs of bread covered with melted Cheddar and sweet chilly sauce.
Downside - poor food, poor service and over priced
Upside - great location
Will I be back - I don't think so

5. The Brigand

90 Commercial St, Takaka 7110, New Zealand Reservations, Outdoor Seating, Seating, Waitstaff, Highchairs Available, Wheelchair Accessible, Serves Alcohol, Full Bar New Zealand, Contemporary, Vegetarian Friendly, Gluten Free Options Lunch, Dinner, Late Night +64 3-525 9636
Excellent
51%
Good
32%
Satisfactory
10%
Poor
3%
Terrible
4%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 227 reviews

The Brigand

Reviewed By KiwiSchnitzel

We really liked the beautifully designed location and the friendly service. But especially continental European visitors be aware that the spare ribs are incredibly sugary sweet. They're literally drowning in a typical NZ sweet honey sauce which is not to everyone's liking, especially if you expect sauce-less barbecued crispy ribs as known in Europe. Better go for the fish, even if it's quite expensive.

6. Totally Roasted Cafe

Abel Tasman Drive, Pohara, New Zealand Takeout, Outdoor Seating, Seating, Parking Available, Free Off-Street Parking, Wheelchair Accessible, Free Wifi Cafe, New Zealand, Vegetarian Friendly Breakfast, Lunch +64 3-525 9396
Excellent
44%
Good
18%
Satisfactory
10%
Poor
15%
Terrible
13%
Overall Ratings

3.5 based on 58 reviews

Totally Roasted Cafe

Reviewed By Harrison_F_Carter

A really lovely and friendly lady served us... the vegan/vegetarian choices were good. The coffee was perhaps the best we've ever had. Really like the outdoor space. Sheltered from the sun, lovely lavender growing all over the place giving off wonderful scent. Loved our couple of visits here.

7. Plan B Cafe & Bar

800 Abel Tasman Drive | Pohara, Pohara 7183, New Zealand Parking Available, Reservations, Outdoor Seating, Seating, Waitstaff, Free Off-Street Parking, Highchairs Available, Wheelchair Accessible, Serves Alcohol, Full Bar, Accepts Mastercard, Accepts Visa, Free Wifi, Accepts Credit Cards Steakhouse, Bar, New Zealand, Seafood, Gluten Free Options, Vegetarian Friendly Drinks, Dinner HK$94 - HK$243 +64 3-525 7678
Excellent
53%
Good
32%
Satisfactory
11%
Poor
3%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 161 reviews

Plan B Cafe & Bar

About Us Plan B Cafe & Bar is a relaxing, cafe, bar and restaurant set in the popular beach village of Pohara. The Cafe is fenced for privacy and comfort and boasts ample outside dining in the garden area and restaurant courtyard for those warm summer days. We are open every day in summer from 11 am. GF and vegetarian options are readily available.

Reviewed By JMcK57 - Furstenfeldbruck, Germany

ok weather was perfect but the Plan B was too the perfect place for a tasty evening bite to finish the day.....great food ....good selection of drinks.....good, service too! Young French lad who took care of us was super and he too was responsible for an excellent soundtrack running in background of classic 70‘s hits ....the good ones....and such taste in a 26 year old has to be saluted! Can only recommend ! ; )

8. Roots Bar

1 Commercial Street, Takaka 7110, New Zealand Outdoor Seating, Seating, Waitstaff, Serves Alcohol Bar, Pub, New Zealand, Vegetarian Friendly, Vegan Options, Gluten Free Options Lunch, Dinner +64 3-525 9592
Excellent
63%
Good
33%
Satisfactory
1%
Poor
2%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 72 reviews

Roots Bar

Relaxed, cosy dining

Reviewed By Tara M

The chef is a meat genius! We ordered a well done steak and it was cooked right through and yet still tender and moist. We also ordered the lamb shank and it was falling off the bone. 10/10!!!Thanks for your awesomely descriptive and positive review!! :) Glad we rocked it for you!

9. Dangerous Kitchen

46A Commercial Street | Golden Bay, Takaka 7110, New Zealand Takeout, Reservations, Outdoor Seating, Seating, Waitstaff, Highchairs Available, Wheelchair Accessible, Serves Alcohol, Full Bar Italian, Pizza, Cafe, European, New Zealand, Vegetarian Friendly, Vegan Options, Gluten Free Options Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Brunch, Late Night HK$47 - HK$173 +64 3-525 8686
Excellent
53%
Good
35%
Satisfactory
9%
Poor
1%
Terrible
2%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 402 reviews

Dangerous Kitchen

Reviewed By Car0le88 - Manchester, United Kingdom

Called in for a coffee and a snack, but only had one savoury muffin left. Ordered that and two coffees. Coffees came quite quickly but we thought they had forgotten about the muffin it took so long. Only seemed to be one girl doing all the work and it was quite busy as it was just after the busy lunch rush. Was a bit disappointed as the place itself looked very interesting and quirky.

10. Takaka Infusion

30 Commercial Street, Takaka 7110, New Zealand Takeout, Outdoor Seating, Seating, Wheelchair Accessible Cafe, European, Vegetarian Friendly, Vegan Options, Gluten Free Options Breakfast, Lunch, Brunch +64 3-525 7294
Excellent
76%
Good
17%
Satisfactory
6%
Poor
0%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 99 reviews

Takaka Infusion

Reviewed By mekydro - Chertsey, United Kingdom

We stopped here for a tasty lunch whilst shopping in Takaka. The outdoor Seating at the back is quiet and away from the road, and we greatly enjoyed our tasty quiche meals. The Earl Grey Tea that I ordered came with a 3-minute egg-timer - a 'first' for me - to ensure that the tea had the correct infusion time!
Friendly service and great vegetarian/vegan food.
At the time of our visit, the German owners had put this cafe on the market for sale, so it may be changing hands soon.

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