The Marlborough region enjoys the best of everything fresh thanks to the bountiful offerings from the waters of the Marlborough Sounds and the lush farmland of the plains. This is where you can choose to sample fresh Sounds oysters with the world’s best Sauvignon Blanc, perhaps enjoy an espresso in the sun, dine on local lamb or wild game, or enjoy a scenic cruise while the on-board chef prepares Greenshell mussels and scallops taken straight from the waters of the Marlborough Sounds.
Picton surprisingly has a large selection of eateries for a rather small township, and offers a range of menus to suit your tastes and budget, from hearty, delicious cafe meals, to organic fare, homemade style deli foods, fast-food takeaways, family dining, pub meals and fine dining.
Visitors to Picton will appreciate the close proximity of cafes, restaurants and bars in the township, most within easy walking distance, while the number of cafes located in the heart of the village is impressive to say the least! This is where you can get yourself a delicious breakfast, brunch, lunch or cafe style evening meal. Of course, a bracing short black espresso and homemade muffin sitting outside in the sun with the local newspaper is just as good!
Of course, one of the highlights of dining in Picton is that sometimes the best doesn’t have to cost the earth. Grab some freshly cooked fish ‘n chips from the takeaway shop, a bottle of L&P and find a bench on the Picton foreshore and enjoy the stunning harbour views while you dine on a Kiwi classic!
Casual daytime cafes are great in Picton, especially on a sunny day when you can dine outside; soaking in the character of the area and watching the world go by. Le Café Restaurant & Bar boasts to offering the best dining views in Picton and is well known for their great coffee. Le Cafe pride themselves on using seasonal produce locally made, farmed, grown or caught, they also try and source sprayfree, free range organic food for their menu. Other local cafes offering good, honest fare include Dog & Frog Cafe, Cafe Cortado, Toad ‘n Turtle Cafe and Expresso House Courtyard Cafe.
The Marlborough Sounds offers the opportunity for visitors to enjoy fine food and wine in a magical setting. Along with charter boats, there are water taxi’s that operate from Picton and provide a unique way to travel for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Raetihi Lodge is located on the water’s edge in the Marlborough Sounds and offers informal, yet elegant dining using the freshest of New Zealand cuisine. Fully licensed, the restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Guests can enjoy a long lazy lunch dining on the deck overlooking the waters or an elegant three course evening meal. Another great restaurant in the Sounds can be found at the Bay of Many Coves Resort. Offering a continuous choice of excellent dining for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The Kumatage and Bright Cafe offer a fabulous waterfront location for enjoying local cuisine including delicious fresh local seafood, while evening dining at the resort is in the Foredeck Restaurant, boasting world class views of the Queen Charlotte Sound and combines the best of Marlborough award winning wines with fresh local produce such as green shell mussels, succulent salmon, fresh cherries, stone fruits, olives and grapes.
Evening dining is also of good quality in Picton with most restaurants and pubs easily located via foot. The Chartroom Restaurant is located in The Yacht Club hotel and provides unique features such as scanned copies of Captain James Cook’s original charts of the Marlborough Sounds. The restaurant specialises in alfresco dining using local produce, combined with spectacular views. Oxleys Restaurant is one of the newer restaurants and serves up a good choice of fresh seafood, including crayfish. If you prefer your evening dining to be a bit lively then check out Le Cafe, as well as fresh, delicious fare, they have a great wine and cigar list, plus you’ll find plenty of great live gigs for national and international musicians.
Waikawa Marina is just a very short drive from the Picton township. The most well known restaurant in the marina is the Spinnaker Restaurant, which is located on the second floor and offers lovely views overlooking the marina. Casual, informal dining is à la Carte and they offer the typical Kiwi roast every Sunday evening.
If you are on a tight budget or timeframe there are some good fast food options, including good old fashioned New Zealand fish and chips and Subway.