The Smugglers Pub and Cafe Nelson Guide

The Smugglers Pub and Cafe is one of the most highly rated restaurants, bars and craft beer pubs in Nelson, New Zealand having won awards from the Supreme Food, Beverage, Hospitality category in 2005 and 2014. The pub is located at 8, Muritai street in the Tahunanui area of Nelson, which is close to the Tahunanui Beach.

The pub is located in the motel district of Nelson, close to the Golf Road, Princes Drive, beach Roach, Stansell Avenue, Rui Road. The pub has a bus stop located in the front, so people can conveniently reach it by bus. It also offers street parking and has a parking lot.

About Smugglers Pub and Cafe Nelson

The pub was opened more than 8 years ago, and is open from 11 am in the morning to 11.30 pm at night on wall days of the week. The owners have taken a lot of effort to ensure that it has an authentic and unique look similar to that of a ship. Wooden beams and riveted brackets used for construction have been obtained from the bridges in South Island.

Ships cannons are installed at the entrance, there are fishing nets, a boat and skeleton playing a piano inside. There are also replica seagulls, smugglers and a large rat in the pub. Paintings, signs and tapestries are used to recreate the ship like atmosphere in the pub. There is also an aquarium with an amazing tropical fish display.

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The Menu and Eats

To cater to customers of all ages, the pub has a very extensive menu with lunch, dinner, children, desert, Christmas menu and accepts reservations. Groups of all sizes, small and big, are welcome and up to 24 customers can be seated at a time at a table. The Captain’s table is the largest table, with a stone banquet slab and fireplace.

Some of the popular dishes are chicken wings, house smoked brisket, BBQ Bourbon Pulled Pork, Beef Short ribs (best in the area), house slaw, toasted ciabatta, plank lamb shank. It offers smoked hot meals and has a gourmet style menu. Gluten free meals are available on request and make sure you check out the bounty burger, best in the Nelson area.

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This pub has some great meal deal set course offers for seniors at just $20.00 with a desert included.

The kids have their own special menu at great prices.

Lunch Menu Sample 

Best Burger in Nelson

Let’s Have a Drink

The beer taps are designed in the form of treasure chests to conform with the pubs marine theme. Some of the New Zealand tap beers available at Mac Gold, three wolves, mid Via, Emersons. Some of  the international beers at the pub are Becks, Guinness, Stella Artois, Leffe Blonde and Hoegarden. The ciders are Mac’s Cloudy Apple, Thomas & Rose, Mac’Isaacs pear cider. The Bottled beers offered are Corona, Steinlager’s Pure, classic and mid, Panhead Pilsner, Oat Stoat, Mac’s hack. The summer cocktail is called the Hannah special and is a combination of Vodka, Malibu, Lemonade, Cranberry juice over ice in a long glass.

Guests can also choose from a wide range of wines to complement their meals. Some of the wines are Lindauer, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Red wine, Merlot, Pinot Noir, Shiraz, Pinot Rose and Pinot Gris. Non-alcoholic beverages include soft drinks like Coke, Sugar free coke, Lemonade, Soda, ginger ale. The popular energy drink Red Bull is also available if that’s you drink.

Best Ribs in Nelson

Pokies and Gaming at Smugglers Pub and Cafe Nelson

We do not note any pokies or gaming at this venue.

Summary Notes

Large portions of the food are offered to customers at great prices so go hungry. The pub is extremely popular as a local hangout because of its delicious food and affordable beverages. The staff is friendly and offers good customer service to all.

Opening hours

7 Days from 11am to late


Phone 3-546 4084


Map and address

Smugglers Pub & Cafe
8 Muritai St, Tahunanui, Nelson 7011, New Zealand

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