advertisement

The dining scene is slowly improving, but there's still room for innovation and snappier service. Just remember that if you come here out of the main tourist season, several eateries close for the winter months. Apart from the listings below, try La Toscana, 108 Town Centre (tel. 03/249-7756; www.latoscana.co.nz), one of the town's better culinary bets. It's open from 5:30pm. The terms laid-back, casual, and friendly were invented for The Fat Duck Café & Restaurant, 124 Town Centre, Te Anau (tel. 03/249-8480), where they cater to everyone, including the kids. Don't expect anything fancy, but big servings of blue cod, beef filet, or salmon will certainly fortify you after a hard day in the national parks. Good for breakfast, too. Open daily in summer (10am-late); Wednesday to Sunday winter (10am-late). The Redcliff Café, 12 Mokonui St. (tel. 03/249-7431), set in a cute old cottage refitted with a contemporary bar and moody little dining rooms, offers a lively atmosphere and great eats, ranging from Fiordland venison to orange roughy grilled with a chili-and-coriander-herb crust. Vegetarians and vegans are well taken care of. Open daily in summer (3pm-3am); call for winter hours. Sandfly Café, 9 The Lane (tel. 03/249-9529), is my favorite Te Anau cafe - quirky, charming, and friendly. People of all ages and walks of life congregate here for the excellent coffee, tasty salads, soups, and hot panini. Open daily 8am to 6pm with reduced hours in winter.

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.