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Akaroa Restaurants and Cafes: Best Places to Eat

Are you looking for recommendations on the best places to eat in Akaroa? We’re here to help! We’ve personally dined at many Akaroa restaurants and cafes and are happy to share our experiences with you to help you decide where to eat. Read on to find the best Akaroa New Zealand restaurants and what to expect from each of them.

A seafood platter with ocean views at one of the best places to eat in Akaroa, New Zealand

This article reviews the best restaurants in Akaroa, including recommendations for dishes to order and directions to the restaurant.

Akaroa, a historic French settlement, is a picturesque village located 80 km away from Christchurch in New Zealand’s South Island. Its stunning harbour views and colonial architecture make it a must-visit destination for weekenders from Christchurch and tourists arriving on cruise ships.

You will find a charming choice of eateries, many known for their romantic atmosphere and stunning water views. The cuisine is diverse; you can choose from a variety of French-inspired cuisine or indulge in the popular New Zealand seafood that you will find on menus across the town’s restaurants.

Keep reading for information to help you choose where to eat in Akaroa. We love dining out with water views; most of our favourite selections include them. 

The Best Akaroa Restaurants and Cafes

Tini Gin Bar & Eatery (formerly Harbar Beachbar & Kitchen)

Tini Gin Bar & Eatery is our favourite waterfront restaurant in Akaroa. Boasting the most majestic location of any eatery in New Zealand, it is located directly on the waterfront. 

The dazzling views of Akaroa Harbour are one of the main reasons it is our favourite spot. Whenever we visit Tini Gin Bar, we feel like we are on a tropical holiday in an exotic location.

What do we love about Tini Gin Bar & Eatery?

Beer with a tranquil waterview at HarBar overlooking Akaroa, New Zealand

We adore the water views! We have travelled all over New Zealand and haven’t had better views than this!

Compared to other Akaroa restaurants, the menu is simple. Yet the delicious options include mussels, chips and pizza, with a pizza base that is exceptionally moreish.

Additionally, the drink menu is a standout. The establishment is named a gin bar, and for good reason: it serves over 50 different gins from all over New Zealand. Even if you’re not usually a gin drinker, the craft cocktails they offer provide a fun gin tasting Akaroa experience with a view. 

Craft beers and wines are also available.

How to get to Tini Gin Bar & Eatery

The bar is located just behind the Akaroa War Memorial garden. Make sure to check out the memorial, as it’s claimed to be one of the most arresting war memorials in the country and a great example of Gothic architecture. The small garden surrounded by striking palm trees and beautiful rose bushes is a worthy stop.

Tini Gin Bar & Eatery

83 Rue Jolie, Akaroa, New Zealand

Open daily from noon to late.

New Zealand South Island Travel Insider Tip:

The sunset over the harbour is stunning; this bar is where to watch it. However, it can get busy at this time, so plan to get there early if you want to get a good seat. 

The Common Cafe & Garden Bar

We are self-proclaimed coffee snobs. It’s not often we fall in love with a particular coffee, but the coffee at The Common was love at first sip. Now, every time we visit, we always drop in for a coffee and croissant.

This Akaroa cafe on the main street offers a range of breakfast, brunch and lunch options, including paninis, Thai rice and noodle dishes, burgers, pancakes, and a butcher’s breakfast.

Additionally, you can order craft beer or Akaroa wine with your meal.

The cafe, located within a historical building, offers a chilled atmosphere and is popular among locals. Visitors can also browse the art gallery, bookshop, and cake room on the premises.

What do we love about The Common?

We adore the garden setting outdoors; it has a charming and rustic feel. 

Besides their excellent coffee, we love that they also offer a mouthwatering selection of cakes and pastries. 

How to get to The Common

The Common is on the main street of Akaroa. It is across the road from Pot Pourri, the Akaroa Fudge & Gift shop, so make sure you pop in there to sample some fudge and get some treats.

The Common Cafe & Garden Bar

65 Rue Lavaud, Akaroa 

Open daily from 8 am to 3 pm for breakfast and lunch,

and from Thursday to Sunday until 8 pm for dinner.

Bully Hayes Restaurant & Bar

A huge wooden board with various grilled meat, chicken wings, sauces and chips at one of the best Akaroa restaurants, Bully Hayes.

Bully Hayes is one of those Akaroa restaurants that always seems to have people in it, even in low season.

Offering sea views and a diverse food and drink menu, this premier Akaroa restaurant is where to go if you want good food with great views.

We went there just to sample their seafood platter. And let us tell you, the platters are decadent! On the platter was salmon three ways, ceviche mussels, scallops, calamari, prawns, clams, mussels, fish, ceviche, and delicious sauces. What we loved best about the platter was its combination of fried, steamed, and smoked cooking methods.

Our friends had the meat platter called the Beast Board, and wow, talk about a feast! The grilled platter included an assortment of grilled meats, including aged ribeye, ribs, pork belly bites, smoked sausage, crispy chicken wings, sliders, braised beef cheek, Yorkshire puddings, salads, and fries. Two of them struggled to eat it all! 

We’ve eaten there a few times and have had pizza, pasta, burgers and oysters. The food does not disappoint. 

What do we love about Bully Hayes?

We love that you can sit outside with a view of the water, have some drinks from the massive drink menu, and then have a feast.

We love the sunsets at this spot and watching the changing colour of the sky and harbour.

Most of all, when it comes to the food, we rate this restaurant as the best restaurant in Akaroa.

New Zealand South Island Travel Insider tip:

It can get swamped during certain parts of the day, especially from 6 pm to 8 pm. However, there should be enough seats inside even if you don’t get a view.

How to get to Bully Hayes

Bully Hayes is on Beach Road adjacent to the waterfront.

Bully Hayes Restaurant Akaroa

57 Beach Road, Akaroa

Open daily for Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.

Ma Maison Restauarant & Bar

View of the exterior of Akaroa restaurant and terrace are with umbrellas- Ma Maison.

One of the Top 3 restaurants in Akaroa, according to TripAdvisor, this fine dining restaurant specialises in seafood and the finest New Zealand meat selections.

Ma Maison is the go-to place for special occasions such as weddings, but we love visiting for happy hour, which they have daily, and an early dinner.

They have indoor seating with a fireplace and an outdoor terrace with sea views.

What do we love about Ma Maison?

We love the opportunity to savour the flavours of New Zealand seafood and meat.

During our visit, we ordered the seafood platter, which included tuna, scallops, salmon, mussels, prawns, oysters and calamari. The dishes look like works of art and taste even better. We agree with TripAdvisor reviews; as far as good food goes, it really is one of the best restaurants Akaroa offers.

But the highlight of our visits is the lovely terrace outside with harbour views. Experiencing delicious food while enjoying a sea view is one of those experiences we strive for.

How to get to Ma Maison

To get to Ma Maison, stroll along the waterfront from Beach Road to Daly’s Wharf. Make sure to stop at the wharf for stunning Instagram-worthy photos of the harbour.

Ma Maison

6 Rue Balguerie Akaroa, Banks Peninsula

Open Monday to Friday from 10 am to 10 pm. (Weekends from 8 am.)

Daily Happy Hour is from 3 pm to 5 pm.

Other Akaroa Food Options

From seaside restaurants lining Beach Road to charming cafes on Rue Lavaud, take a walk through the charming historic village and pick a place to eat that calls out to you. There are many good places to eat in Akaroa, offering a diverse range of international cuisines, including Indian and Thai food, and even fish and chips shops with views!

Have you heard that Akaroa has a cheese factory and wineries? One of our favourite Akaroa dining activities is putting together a picnic hamper and enjoying it by the water. To discover what to do in Akaroa, including visiting the cheese factory to get some local cheese for your hamper and scenic drives to the wineries, check out romantic activities in Akaroa.

Romantic picnic spread with waterviews overlooking calm water at Akaroa Harbour, NZ

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3 Comments

  1. Fabulous views and wonderful food – I’m sold! I am so going to try these eateries out. Seafood is my absolute favourite so it looks like I will be well served. 50 gins from across New Zealand? I had no idea that gin was so popular in NZ! Always up for sampling new varieties though!

  2. The views from the places to eat in Akaroa look amazing. All these offerings with seafood are quite tempting for me.

  3. What a great variety of spots for tasty eats in Akaroa. Good way to fuel up when we finally get to New Zealand’s South Island. Pizza and a view will always be a good choice for us. We too are coffee snobs so good to get a great recommendation. We would definitely eat our way around town.

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