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“Execellent food”
Review of Nicola's Cantina

Nicola's Cantina
Ranked #22 of 179 Restaurants in Nelson
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $5 - $15
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Reservations, Takeout
Description: Mexican Cantina that offers coffee, modern and traditional Mexican meals and Mexican inspired cakes and deserts. Fresh ingredients, delicious food for reasonable prices. All available to take away.
Nelson, New Zealand
Level 6 Contributor
153 reviews
97 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 75 helpful votes
“Execellent food”
Reviewed May 12, 2014

I'll just start by saying this isn't the typical Mexican food as you would expect if travelling in the southern US or northern Mexico. More like Baja kiwi. I'll follow by saying this style of food is very different for NZ. I've been here 8 years and only a couple other places have attempted this style of food (Golden Bear Brewery in Mapua does a fantastic burrito in similar style). I won't even mention the attempt kiwis made a nachos when I first arrived (yikes).

So I would say give it a go - at least have a glance at the menu. If you don't like it, it's not because the food isn't done well, it's because you don't like the style. And if you still hesitant on what to get, go with the burrito (always a solid and safe choice when it comes to mexican food).

I had a chicken burrito (grilled) that was very good. fresh ingredients and decent size - i typically leave a place still hungry on just a main and sharing an appetizer but not after this. Plus plenty of options for some hot, hot sauce (again, something most kiwis stay way away from). The home-made guacamole was the best i've had in NZ outside of my own.

It does get busy so book early (I had no issues for Sat lunch just walking in). They've done a decent job turning this place into something that feels a bit authentic (new location has helped). Downside was looking out a side window into an pretty average alleyway - guess that could be part of the authenticity.

I will definitely go back and have been recommending to other to try just once at least. I'm convinced that if you like the style, you'll enjoy the offerings.

  • Visited May 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Trav11er
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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153 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Japanese first
  • Korean first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
nelson new zealand
Level 4 Contributor
27 reviews
19 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“Nothing out of the ordanary.”
Reviewed January 10, 2014

What a shame ! go once but not twice .Looking for some food that isn't Pie's & cakes hum. Nicola needs to step up her game or she will go under.

Visited December 2013
1 Thank kathNelsonNewZealand
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nelson, New Zealand
Level 5 Contributor
89 reviews
56 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
“Great place to grab a quick lunch”
Reviewed December 4, 2013 via mobile

Had lunch there twice. Both times super delicious. May not be the place to have a long relaxed weekend lunch but its brilliant for a quick mid week lunch feed. Plus, you can browse the furniture at edito out the back while you wait for your food. We will be back for sure.

  • Visited November 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank nAndyn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
“Great place for a light meal or lunch”
Reviewed August 18, 2013

We have been to Nicolas' Cantina about 10 times now since it opened. They have a great range of very tasty foods, many great Mexican classics and some very interesting own mixes and ideas.
Some great soups and some great blended juices.
Parking directly outside has always been easy.

The prices are very reasonable

  • Visited August 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank LivethedayNelson
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nelson, New Zealand
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
7 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Can't wait to go back for more!!”
Reviewed June 25, 2013 via mobile

Called in to grab a takeaway quesadilla and it was the tastiest thing I've eaten for months... Looking forward to trying more of the fresh Mexican fare. Loved the decor and art on the walls. The only issue was that the cafe seemed cold which wasn't really a problem as I wasnt eating in. Saw a heatpump on the wall so temp could be easily remedied.

  • Visited June 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Applemum19
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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