In Franz Josef
If you've decided to do your own cooking, head for Fern Grove Food Centre, Main Road (tel. 03/752-0177), especially for fresh bread and Mrs. Mac's famous meat pies; it's open daily, 7:45am until late. My choice for the best coffee, though, goes to Full of Beans Café, Main Road (tel. 03/752-0139). It's open daily from 7am, and in addition to home-baked cabinet food, they'll also serve you home-style roast meals. Don't expect anything posh, but if you like good organic, free-trade coffee, this is the place. Another good coffee stop is Aviators Café, Alpine Adventure Centre, Main Road (tel. 03/752-0134), which has the best breakfast in town, and serves beef hot pot, braised lamb shanks, and fish of the day among other menu offerings from 7:30am to 8:30pm daily in summer (until 4pm in winter).
The Blue Ice Restaurant & Bar, Main Road (tel. 03/752-0707), serves pizza, is fully licensed, and gets raves for the best cafe atmosphere in glacier country. It turns into a party venue as the night wears on. Beeches Café & Bar, Main Road (tel. 03/752-0721), is a more expensive option with reasonably good food, a big wine list, and all-day service. The Landing, Main Road (tel. 03/752-0229), is a popular sports bar serving pizza, snacks, and platters. It's nothing fancy, but service is good (mostly) and it's a good value-for-money option; it's open daily in summer 10am till late, and in winter 4 to 10pm.
In Fox Glacier
The Fox Glacier General Store, Main Road (tel. 03/751-0829), sells everything from foodstuffs and hot meat pies to camping supplies, hardware, and boots. It's open daily from 8am till late. Hobnail Café, Main Road (tel. 03/751-0005), right next to the Alpine Guides booking office, has a constant traffic of eager adventurers. It's open for breakfast, lunch, and all-day snacks, and the simple timber-tabled interior is always bustling and sunny. It's open daily from 7:30am to 4pm.
Café Neve, Main Road (tel. 03/751-0110), has a terrific range of pizzas along with delicious counter food and dinner dishes such as venison osso buco served on a Kumara (sweet potato) mash with steamed vegetables. Another choice is the traditional West Coast whitebait omelet with fresh herbs. It's open from 8am till late and is definitely one of the nicest options. Matheson Cafe, Lake Matheson Road (tel. 03/751-0878), has a fabulous aspect beside the lake, a nice "woody" interior, and great-value light meals. Take a walk around the lake first to work up an appetite. They're open daily from 7:30am until late in summer (from 8am with reduced hours in winter).
Cook Saddle Café and Saloon, Main Road (tel. 03/751-0700), is a Tex-Mex favorite with backpackers. It has good ambience in true eclectic West Coast style - a trophy head here, an animal skin there. Venison burgers, Boss Hogg ribs, and Texas T-bone all speak of a slightly displaced sense of geography, but if a full stomach and a good night are your intention, then you've come to the right place. The Plateau Café & Bar, corner of Sullivan Street and State Highway 6 (tel. 03/751-0058), is a nice spot in the Glowworm Forest Building, open for lunch and dinner daily with homemade baking all day.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.