a restaurant with a sign
Photograph ©2024 by Brian Cohen.

The Olive Tree Cafe in Te Anau. Restaurant Review.

Dine here in this town on the South Island in New Zealand.

Few dining options were available during the last time I was in Te Anau in New Zealand years ago. Today. more dining options exist — but the choices were not much better during my most recent visit. Fortunately, The Olive Tree Cafe in Te Anau was a good choice in terms of a place to eat a good meal.

The Olive Tree Cafe in Te Anau. Restaurant Review.

a sign on a pole
Photograph ©2024 by Brian Cohen.

The Olive Tree Cafe is not easy to find while driving a motor vehicle. Its narrow entrance is recessed, with only a sign alerting pedestrians of its existence.

a wooden post with tables and chairs outside
Photograph ©2024 by Brian Cohen.

Beyond the aforementioned sign is a small courtyard with a couple of tables and four chairs to each table. The actual entrance to the eatery is beyond a large shrub underneath an overhead sign.

a coffee shop with a wood floor and a wood floor
Photograph ©2024 by Brian Cohen.

Beyond the entrance is a quaint counter where diners can place orders to take away. Wait service is also offered. I opted to sit at a table near the entrance and a window.

a room with tables and chairs
Photograph ©2024 by Brian Cohen.

The dining area is nothing fancy. Ice cold water is available for no charge or cost in one corner, which is welcomed on a warm day — and I was rather thirsty.

a room with tables and chairs
Photograph ©2024 by Brian Cohen.

To access the toilets, one must exit through the glass doors in the back through a small courtyard — which contained tables, chairs, and even an umbrella — to a different part of the building.

a bowl of shrimp and vegetables
Photograph ©2024 by Brian Cohen.

Garlic Prawn is prawns sautéed in garlic served over rice and accompanied by salad greens. Sweet chilli sauce was chosen instead of the white wine with cream sauce. $22.00 in New Zealand dollars

a plate of food with sauces
Photograph ©2024 by Brian Cohen.

Battered blue cod was served with Asian slaw and French fries. In this case, double the amount of slaw replaced the fries. $28.00 in New Zealand dollars

a plate of food on a table
Photograph ©2024 by Brian Cohen.

The lamb burger was also ordered because I was in New Zealand. I expected a hamburger comprised of ground lamb. I was rather surprised that instead,  thick, succulent slices of lamb were served on a bun with garlic aioli, mesclun, tomato, and mint jelly. French fries came with the sandwich. This dish was the sleeper hit of what was already a good meal. I truly enjoyed it. $25.00 in New Zealand dollars

a coffee shop with people behind the counter
Photograph ©2024 by Brian Cohen.

Final Boarding Call

If you find yourself in Te Anau, dine at The Olive Tree Cafe. I highly recommend eating here, as this is definitely one of the best restaurants in town. The dining experience was quite good overall, with delicious food and very good attentive service. Strangely, a large bee came through the front door and landed on the Asian slaw. It was captured in a glass until a member of the staff came to see what was going on. The dish was replaced with an additional fresh strip of battered blue cod with more Asian slaw — no questions asked.

Although the ambiance was rather plain and ordinary, it was also nice and quiet. The prices were rather reasonable, as the entire meal cost $81.00 New Zealand dollars or $49.57 United States dollars — including the surcharge for using a credit card, which is accepted as a form of payment.

As noted earlier in this article, seating is available either indoors or outdoors.

The Olive Tree Cafe
52 Town Centre
Te Anau 9600
New Zealand

Operating Hours
Wednesday through Sunday: 8:00 in the morning through 8:00 in the evening
Closed Mondays and Tuesdays

Free parking is available nearby on the street.

All photographs ©2024 by Brian Cohen.

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