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Kaikoura Seafood BBQ

The Maori translation for Kaikōura literally means ‘to eat crayfish’, the word ‘Kai’ means food and ‘Koura’ means crayfish. Hence why travelers visit Kaikōura from all over the globe to feast on our kaimoana (seafood). With freshly caught seafood from that day’s catch sourced directly from the ocean you’re looking at – you can’t beat a seafood experience in Kaikōura.


Sitting on the beach devouring crayfish cooked with garlic and butter and looking out to the Pacific Ocean is a special kind of kiwi bliss and one we want to share with you. Here are some of the locals’ top picks for getting their kaimoana fix, that’s when they’re not out there diving for it themselves of course.

Nins Bin Kaikoura

Nin’s Bin

This third-generation family food truck has been serving crayfish along the rugged South Island coastline since 1977. You may recognise the little blue and white food truck from Instagram as it’s one of the most photographed spots in Kaikōura. This must-do authentic experience ranks 7th in Lonely Planet’s top 10 food experiences around the world.

Pair these fresh crays drizzled in butter, parsley and a squeeze of lemon with a bottle of Marlborough sauvignon blanc you picked up along the route and unbelievable views - you'll want to stop for more than just lunch.

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Kaikōura Seafood BBQ

The Kaikōura Seafood BBQ offers you outdoor dining in its simplest form with a beach BBQ. It’s the perfect place to grab a quick sandwich with the kids whilst swimming at Jimmy Armers Beach or to drop in during your walk to the Point Kean Seal Colony. Our go-to’s are the whitebait fritters and the scallop sandwich – yum!


Coopers Catch

Fish and chips are a kiwi past time and entrenched deep in our culture. Like most New Zealand towns, many fish and chip shops dot the streets of Kaikōura and one of our favourites is Coopers Catch, located right in the main street of town.

A piece of fresh battered fish and a scoop of chips enjoyed on Kaikōura’s pebbled beaches just a minute walk from the shop, you can’t go wrong – just don’t forget the Watties!



The Pier Hotel

The Pier Restaurant

The Pier Hotel has served local fisherman since 1885, so their restaurant knows a thing or two on how to cook Kaikōura’s kaimoana to perfection. The bar is full of historical photographs and memorabilia of the past whaling era.

With an extensive seafood menu, we recommend the crayfish chowder and seafood platter. The views that overlook the ocean and the seaward mountain ranges from here make it one of the best spots to catch the last of the evening rays.


Karaka Lobster Cafe

Karaka Lobster

Drop in to Karaka Lobster on your east coast travels to sample a true Kiwi delicacy, crayfish in its simplest form. The Reader family have been fishing Kaikōura waters for generations and sustainably catch their produce daily for the store.

The team know how important it is to maintain the simplicity and authenticity of nature's finest foods. All their crays are served alongside a fresh bed of salad, homegrown lemon and a bread roll, the perfect complement to one of the ocean's most delicate gifts.

While you’re here, take your time to venture out and explore New Zealand’s newest coastline created from the coastal uplift of Kaikōura’s 2016 7.8 magnitude earthquake.