We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
The latest reviews. The lowest prices. The perfect place to shop for hotels.

“Seems a little chaotic - but excellent food and cocktails” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Nicola's Cantina

Nicola's Cantina
Ranked #27 of 170 Restaurants in Nelson
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $5 - $14
Cuisines: Mexican, Latin, Spanish
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Kids, Large groups, Dining on a budget, Families with children
Dining options: Dinner, Lunch, Accepts Mastercard, Accepts Visa, Full Bar, Highchairs Available, Outdoor Seating, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Takeout, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible, Wine and Beer
Description: Mexican Cantina that offers Coffee, modern and traditional Mexican meals and Mexican inspired cakes and deserts. All available to take away. We have moved to our new restaurant on church street!
Level Contributor
105 reviews
57 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
“Seems a little chaotic - but excellent food and cocktails”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 7, 2014

Went for dinner at around 20hr one evening. The small restaurant was busy and we didn't have a reservation but they accommodated us on the basis that only tacos were available at that time as all other food had run out! (don't understand why a restaurant serving dinner would run out of food so early but that's another story). The good news is that we did get our tacos and also margaritas. Both were excellent. Our holiday is almost over so we wont get chance to return, however we certainly would like to have tasted a wider range of dishes if we could get there early enough! You get the impression that Nicola's strengths are based on providing a genuine welcome and excellent food and drink, and maybe not so much on the organizational stuff, like not running out!

Visited August 2014
Helpful?
Thank JoDubaiUae
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

132 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    62
    51
    10
    6
    3
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Japanese first
  • Korean first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
Nelson
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
“Affordable good food”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 6, 2014

Impressed with food, only downside they had run out of beer at 7pm on a Friday night!?? Would definitely be back.

  • Visited April 2014
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank Macpac5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nelson-Tasman Region, New Zealand
Level Contributor
31 reviews
20 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“Great food! Great service!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 6, 2014

Recently discovered Nicola's cantina and now lunched there twice, both experiences have been excellent!! Food is freshly cooked with fresh ingredients and served in large but healthy servings by cheerful and helpful staff. Good selection of beverages, including excellent fresh (chilli hot!) juices.
Enjoyable experience from start to finish, a feeling obviously shared by others as there always seems to be a good crowd of patrons seated and enjoying meals.
Highly recommended!
Nelson has long needed a good Mexican restaurant, now we have one!

  • Visited August 2014
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank Jim K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
88 reviews
52 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
“Superb Mexican food in gorgeous Nelson”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 5, 2014

This restaurant was a bit hard to find but certainly well worth it. It already has loads of good reviews and I'll just add mine to all the others. We were just so pleased to find this place, it was down a little road called Church Street, and is a proper restaurant even though some of the reviews make it out to be a take away only. The atmosphere of the restaurant was actually quite pleasant. It had a lovely feel to it.
We had excellent service from an American waitress who was very attentive and we started off with some drinks. My son had a very strong craft beer which he wasn't too keen on but I had an incredible drink, non-alcoholic, called horchata I think, which was so good that I had to order another one.
The menu was unique; it did have the usual Mexican fare, but also some really special dishes such as the seafood quesadilla which was chock full of delectable seafood, nice & spicy, cooked to perfection. There were so many dishes I would've liked to try so I'd very much like to go back there again.
The dessert was nothing special in the sense that the offerings were quite limited, but we did have the churros which were huge in this case and very satisfying with yummy chocolate sauce. Probably the best part of everything was the price. Having just paid $139 for the two of us the night before at another Nelson restaurant, this meal only costed $59 and we were at least as satisfied with the quality, service, etc. This restaurant comes highly recommended by me.

  • Visited July 2014
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank Janieworth
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
11 reviews
8 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Best Mexican in Nelson”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 24, 2014

Having searched high & low for good Mexican food in New Zealand, this would be the best I've come across.

  • Visited June 2014
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Patrick S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed Nicola's Cantina also viewed

Nelson, Nelson-Tasman Region
Nelson, Nelson-Tasman Region
 
Nelson, Nelson-Tasman Region
Nelson, Nelson-Tasman Region
 

Been to Nicola's Cantina? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing