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“14 People”
Review of Nicola's Cantina

Nicola's Cantina
Ranked #23 of 175 Restaurants in Nelson
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: US$5 - US$14
Cuisines: Mexican, Latin, Spanish
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Child-friendly, Groups, Kids
Dining options: Lunch, Dinner, 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. Fresh ingredients, delicious food for reasonable prices. All available to take away.
Nelson, New Zealand
1 review
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“14 People”
Reviewed 28 June 2014 via mobile

A group of 14 people stuck around a table just big enough for 8 and little inclination from staff to find a solution.  Should be easy to work out why it has been rated as such. Food was average. It's about the whole package and it just didn't meet expectations.

1 Thank CellotapePanda
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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146 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Japanese first
  • Korean first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
Nelson-Tasman Region, New Zealand
Level Contributor
77 reviews
41 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
“Buzzing place on a Thursday night”
Reviewed 26 June 2014 via mobile

Very warm and inviting atmosphere. Good Spanish red wine and comprehensive Mexican menu. Generous, tasty portions. The guacamole wasn't as tasty as I had expected but the sizzling fajita was very.

Visited June 2014
Thank DeeDeeArusha
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Nelson, New Zealand
Level Contributor
9 reviews
7 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Great vibe good food”
Reviewed 1 June 2014

1st visit to Nicola's Cantina. Very tasty food and lovely owner. Had the Nachos as a starter and Burrito's as a main. Very reasonable prices and no doubt will get a lot of repeat business, due to the fact alot of Nelson restaurants are pricing themselves out of the market. Also happy to see Craft beer on tap Golden bear IPA. Service excellent. Will def be back to this hidden gem with a great vibe.

  • Visited June 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank azi007
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Nelson, New Zealand
Level Contributor
28 reviews
15 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Tasty and fast”
Reviewed 29 May 2014 via mobile

Didn't even know this place existed. Friendly people nice atmosphere. You order at the counter and pay as you go but that makes for efficient service so was great for a girls night out.

Visited May 2014
Thank Yorkiekiwi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Nelson, New Zealand
Level Contributor
153 reviews
97 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 74 helpful votes
“Execellent food”
Reviewed 13 May 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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