The Takaka and Golden Bay Food Guide
Who would have thought that over the hill in the remote region of Golden Bay there would be so much for foodies to enjoy?! The town of Takaka and its surrounding community is home to talented artisans, brewers and distillers, as well as locals who are passionate about living the eco-friendly and organic lifestyle. As a result, staying in a B&B where most of the breakfast is sourced from its own garden is not uncommon. So check out the food tours, the accommodations and the restaurants with this complete foodie guide to Takaka and Golden Bay.
Food Activities in Takaka and Golden Bay
- Take a tour of Dancing Sands Distillery
- Check out the Village Market
- Dine on your fresh catch at Anatoki Salmon
- Indulge in artisan chocolates at Choco Loco
- Do a tasting at the Kiwi Spirit Distillery
- Try award-winning craft beer at Mussel Inn
- Experience Golden Bay’s restaurants and cafes.
For more details on each experience, see the 8 Things to Do in Takaka for Foodies.
Food Tours and Experiences
While Takaka might be more known for the arts, it has an up-and-coming artisan scene with some food and drink-producers opening their doors for tours and tastings. One such venue is Dancing Sands Distillery, who not only offers free tastings of their gins at their cellar door but can take you on a private tour of their distillery. Learn about the five-step distilling process, explore the unique botanicals they use, and how they develop each gin. The tour concludes with a guided tasting experience. Learn more about the tour on Viator and Tripadvisor.
Try the freshest chinook salmon that you can catch yourself at Anatoki Salmon. The salmon farm and cafe offers free fishing around its lake where you pay per the weight of your catch! After you’re successful, bring it to the cafe where they’ll either hot-smoke it in your chosen flavour, prepare it for you sashimi style, or have it vacuum-packed to takeaway. Your catch can be enjoyed alongside steaming ciabatta bread, coleslaw, fries, salad or whatever you prefer off the menu.
For a taste of fresh produce and artisan goodness from around the bay, head to the Village Market Takaka on Saturday mornings between 9am and 1.30pm. Browse, taste and buy local organic produce, cheese, honey, meat, mushrooms and eat street food cooked on-site including pizza, Asian food, dumplings and pulled pork. There are usually buskers at the market to further enhance this fun community event.
For more food experiences, check out the 8 Things to Do in Takaka for Foodies.
The Best Restaurants in Takaka and Golden Bay
From artisan chocolate cafes to brew-pubs and more, Golden Bay offers an exciting array of restaurants, cafes and takeaways.
Famous across New Zealand is Mussel Inn (1259 Takaka Collingwood Highway), boasting award-winning craft beer from its very own brewery as well as leading the way in environmental initiatives. The restaurant has a rustic laidback feel and serves up local and European-style cuisine with the likes of Anatoki salmon, pavlova, Choco Loco chocolates and, of course, mussels.
Speaking of Choco Loco (47b Commercial Street), pop in for a tasty pastry, cake or biscuit with a coffee in a mug that you get to choose from the “cup library”. Taste and make up your own chocolate gift box to take home.
Golden Bay’s cafes are also worth sitting down, such as The Courthouse Cafe (11 Elizabeth Street, Collingwood) set in a charming historic building and serving homemade Kiwi pies, a range of wraps and paninis, quiches and more. They are also disposable cup free!
Finally, back in Takaka, The Wholemeal Cafe (7110/60 Commercial Street) is an iconic stop in town, pouring specially chosen coffee with beans sourced from Timor off the coast of Australia and serving meals with local ingredients wherever possible. Just walk in and enjoy the cosy ambience and smell of freshly baked muffins!
For more recommendations on where to eat, see fine dining in The Luxury Guide to Takaka, romantic restaurants in The Honeymoon Guide to Takaka, family-friendly cafes in The Guide to Takaka for Families, and cheap eats in The Guide to Takaka on a Budget.
Alternative Things to Do in Takaka
While it’s easy to get caught up in the tastes of Takaka, there’s actually some non-food activities that are pretty darn good. Some of those include:
- Walking to the clear waters of Te Waikoropupu Springs
- Roaming around Labyrinth Rocks
- Doing a horse trek or hike at Wharariki Beach
- Taking a tour of Farewell Spit
- Enjoying the views of Golden Bay on a scenic flight
- Kayaking in the quiet northern waters of the Abel Tasman National Park
- Doing the Heaphy Track Great Walk
- Hiking to Rawhiti Cave
- Doing a cave tour of Ngarua Cave