Best cafes in the South Island

posted in: Food and drink 0

With thousands of excellent cafes in New Zealand, it’s always difficult to work out which are the best to try, especially if you are new to a place.

Thankfully, the annual New Zealand Cafe of the Year awards help sort out the best through objective judging and public feedback.

The best cafes in the South Island

National – NZ Café of the Year 2016 (Supreme Winner)

The Bespoke Kitchen 

9 Isle St, Queenstown

National – Best Suburban

The Bespoke Kitchen 

9 Isle St, Queenstown

South Island cafes shortlisted by judges for the national awards:

Best Metro/CBD

Columbus Coffee Riccarton 

K14 Riccarton Mall, Riccarton Road, Riccarton, Christchurch

Café Kudos

225 Annex Road, Middleton, Christchurch

Café Metro Merivale 

121 Papanui Road, Merivale, Christchurch

Kiki Beware, Refreshment Room

344 George Street, Dunedin

Nova Dunedin 

29 The Octagon, Dunedin

Vudu Café & Larder 

16 Rees Street, Queenstown

Best Suburban

Red Post Café 

2 Highfield Street, Culverden, Hurunui

Thyme Café 

597 Springs Road, Prebbleton

White House Black 

265 Halswell Road, Halswell, Christchurch


1 Onslow Road, Queenstown

The Bespoke Kitchen 

9 Isle Street, Queenstown

Vanilla Bean Café 

355 Lower Queen Street, Richmond, Nelson

Best Rural

Arabica Licensed Café 

36 McMillan Street, Methven

Legends Café 

15 Afghan Street, Pleasant Point, South Canterbury

Waipara Springs Winery & Café

409 Omihi Road, Waipara

Kai Whakapai Café / Bar Wanaka 

Corner Helwick & Ardmore Streets, Wanaka

Melrose House Café

26 Brougham Street, Nelson

Penguin Café/ Bar

822 Abel Tasman Drive, Pohara, RD1, Takaka, Golden Bay

Classic Kiwi

Little River Café

4237 Christchurch Akaroa Highway, Main Road, Little River, Banks Peninsula

Meshino Espresso 

1 Stark Drive, Wigram, Christchurch


224 Stafford Street, Timaru

Chantilly Café

77 Queen Street, Blenheim

Maggie’s Kitchen

65 Mackay Street, Greymouth

Vogel Street Kitchen 

76 Vogel Street, City Rise, Dunedin

2016 People’s Choice regional winners

Christchurch region

Pukeko Junction Café & Deli 

458 Ashworths Rd, Leithfield Beach, Leithfield, North Canterbury

South Island region

Jester House

320 Aporo Road, Tasman, Nelson

Source: New Zealand Cafe of the Year Awards 2016, run by the Restaurant Association of New Zealand.  Factors considered by the judges including atmosphere and appearance, menu and coffee, service, staff interaction and overall impression.

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