Punakaiki Restaurants: Places to Eat Near Pancake Rocks

If you’re looking for recommendations on where to eat in Punakaiki, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve personally dined at all the Punakaiki restaurants and cafes and are happy to share our favourites with you. Keep reading for a rundown on Punakaiki places to eat and what you can expect at each one.

View of outdoor seating overlooking the ocean at one of the best Punakaiki restaurants.
Oceanview Restaurant & Bar, Punakaiki.

This article reviews the four best restaurants in Punakaiki, what you can order, & how to get there.

Punakaiki Restaurants & Cafes

To begin with, Punakaiki is a small village located along the beautiful West Coast of New Zealand’s South Island. The village is famous for its Pancake Rocks and Blowholes.

As the village is small, Punakaiki food options are limited, and no grocery shop is available. Therefore, if you haven’t stocked up on groceries, you will need to eat out.

In this case, there are only four options available. We have visited each of the four options several times. Keep reading for the information you need to help you choose where to eat in Punakaiki.

Pancake Rocks Cafe Punakaiki

View of the entry to Pancake Rocks Cafe with people seating on outside table and chairs.

The oldest of the Punakaiki restaurants, Pancake Rocks Cafe, has served food to locals and travellers for over 70 years. 

The historic “Punakaiki Tearooms” have since been rebuilt, sold to new owners and renamed, but the same concept remains. It is a much-needed stop after a long drive between stops. 

Whether you want a quick coffee and snack or a hearty meal, Pancake Rocks Cafe is a great place to eat. 

What do we love about Pancake Rocks Cafe?

We absolutely adore the coffee at this Punakaiki cafe. Actually, we have been there over 100 times!

Food includes hearty Kiwi fare. From seafood to pork belly sandwiches to homemade stone oven pizzas, every dish is prepared using fresh produce.

The highlight is the Pancake Stack! If you love bacon, get the Streaky Bacon Stack served with caramelised banana and maple syrup! Pure decadence! However, our favourite is the Berry and Cream Stack.

They also serve to-go food such as pies, cakes, muffins and sandwiches you can pick from their cabinet. 

capuccion with a pretty fern leaf pattern

New Zealand South Island Travel Insider tip:
It can get very busy during certain parts of the day, especially between 10 am and 1 pm when tour buses stop and during summer months. You may need to wait for a seat or consider visiting outside these busier times.

If it’s busy, why not go on your Pancake Rocks & Blowholes walk first, or take the short walk to the cool Punakaiki Cavern? We always enjoy our meals more after walks.

How to get to Pancake Rocks Cafe

This Punakaiki cafe is steps from the famous Pancake Rocks and Blowholes and in the Punakaiki shops area. Shops include the cafe, the Global Culture clothes store, the craft shop and the Paparoa National Park Visitor Centre.

If you are coming by bus, the buses stop just metres from the door. 

If you arrive by car, it is a 35-minute drive from Greymouth or 45 minutes from Westport. There is a huge car park next to the cafe. 

Pancake Rocks Cafe
4300 Coast Road, Punakaiki.
Open daily for brunch, lunch and snacks.

Punakaiki Rocks Hotel & Garden Bar (Formerly Punakaiki Tavern NZ) 

The rustic timber exterior of Punakaiki Rocks Hotel and Garden Bar.

This rustic establishment offers more than just a meal; it provides an authentic Kiwi experience. Out of all the Punakaiki restaurants and cafes, this is the only pub. 

Picture yourself savouring tasty fried seafood in their Kiwi beer garden surrounded by towering limestone cliffs. 

With a laid-back atmosphere and friendly locals, the tavern embodies the essence of Punakaiki’s relaxed vibe. So much so that should you choose to stay awhile, the hotel offers rooms just metres from the restaurant. 

What do we love about Punakaiki Rocks Hotel & Garden Bar?

We love having a beer in the garden! Also, the Punakaiki Tavern menu includes some of the delicious pub grub one expects, such as fish and chips, steak, burgers, and chicken parmigiana. They also have cabinet food for those in a rush such as pies, sandwiches and cakes.

However, if you prefer takeaways, the Punakaiki pub serves takeaway roast chicken and sides such as potato salad and coleslaw. You can enjoy your food at the beach or Punakaiki River, but remember to order online at least one day in advance before 6 pm.

Fish,chips and salad in the garden bar overlooking Punakaiki's towering limestone cliffs

How to get to Punakaiki Rocks Hotel & Garden Bar

The Punakaiki Rocks Hotel is 1.1 km from the Paparoa National Park Visitor Centre and the Pancake Rocks & Blowholes.

They have parking and are located 150 metres from Punakaiki Beach.

Punakaiki Rocks Hotel & Garden Bar
Corner Of State Highway 6 & Owen Street, Punakaiki.
Open from 8 am daily for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Oceanview Restaurant & Bar

2 big cream lounge chairs in a bar with glass windows overlooking the ocean

The Scenic Hotel Punakaiki’s restaurant offers a culinary journey for those seeking a more refined dining experience. 

Indulge in gourmet creations crafted from the finest local ingredients, paired perfectly with New Zealand’s renowned wines. 

This elegant waterfront Punakaiki restaurant offers seating with a view of the ocean, where you can watch the rolling waves. 

In our opinion, Oceanview Restaurant & Bar is the No. 1 West Coast restaurant with water views and the best Punakaiki food offering views.

What do we love about Oceanview Restaurant & Bar?

We love that you can sit in comfortable lounge chairs in the bar for pre-dinner drinks. The ocean views are spectacular.

As the sun sets over the rugged coastline, dining in this Punakaiki resort hotel becomes not just a meal but an experience. 

We’ve had Pan-fried Prawns with coconut rice, Smoked Salmon with pasta, Slow Braised Lamb Shank, Mediterranean Style Tomato and Saffron Soup with mussels, smoked salmon and prawn, and Oven Baked Salmon. And we can tell you the food is divine, especially washed down with sparkling wine.

Oceanview Restaurant Punakaiki meal of homegrown specials- cauliflower entree.

New Zealand South Island Travel Insider Tip:
Make sure to book ahead, especially if it is high season.
Additionally, if you want a luxury room with a view, this is the place to stay!

How to get to Oceanview Restaurant & Bar

This Punakaiki restaurant is located at Scenic Hotel Punakaiki, just 400 meters from the Paparoa National Park Visitor Centre.

Ocean View Restaurant and Bar
Scenic Hotel Punakaiki
4237 State Highway 6, Punakaiki.
Open for Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.

Pete’s Pattie Palace

Food cart in Punakaiki beach camp selling whitebait patties

OK, Pete’s Pattie Palace isn’t quite a cafe or restaurant; it’s a seasonal food cart. However, it is where you find the elusive whitebait patty. New Zealanders adore this iconic dish, and when you get it at Pete’s Patties, you’re buying from the source. Pete himself catches the whitebait from the pristine rivers of the West Coast.

It’s all about the whitebait, but they also serve cheese rolls and frankfurts for those who prefer an alternative option. Additionally, they serve coffee, iced coffee or caramel, and ice cream.

What do we love about Pete’s Pattie Palace?

We love that you can get the opportunity to savour the flavours of the West Coast.

Also, Pete’s Pattie Palace is just a minute’s walk from the beach, and we couldn’t think of a better spot to indulge in seafood with a sea view. 

How to get to Pete’s Pattie Palace

This gourmet food cart is located within the Punakaiki Beach Camp, which is 1.2 km from Paparoa National Park Visitor Centre and the Pancake Rocks & Blowholes.

You will find Pete’s Pattie Palace if you walk through the camp towards the kitchen and shower block. 

In fact, while you’re there, why not stay awhile? We recently ranked Punakaiki Beach Camp as one of the best campgrounds on the South Island.

Pete’s Pattie Palace
5 Owen Street, Punakaiki.
Open Daily from 2 pm to 8 pm. (In season, which is usually from Christmas to Easter.) 

Other Punakaiki Food Options

From seaside taverns to charming cafes, each of these Punakaiki restaurants promises a taste of paradise in this picturesque corner of the world. 

However, if you need more options, take a drive along the Great Coast Road to Greymouth or head to Charleston or Westport.

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