Hardy St Eatery

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Cafes icon Restaurants icon


Tuesday8:00 am – 2:30 pm.

Wednesday8:00 am – 2:30 pm.

Thursday8:00 am – 2:30 pm.

Friday8:00 am – 2:30 pm.

Saturday8:00 am – 2:30 pm.


136 Hardy Street, Nelson

03-391 0077

Celebrating honest food in all its glory is what Hardy St Eatery in Nelson is about. Nearly everything that comes out of the kitchen has been hand-crafted on-site – from sourdough bread to preserves and smoked fish to various condiments.

Chef and restaurant owner James Rutherford worked around the world before settling in Nelson with his family and opening the doors to Hardy St Eatery. His vision is simple: to introduce people to new experiences and showcase the craft of cheffing with simple, tasty dishes.

The aesthetics inside Hardy St Eatery complement its philosophy on food perfectly. The space has been architecturally designed and nods towards handcrafted mid-century modern in the use of light wood, an open fireplace and white brick walls. The kitchen and plating station is housed in a purpose-built plywood box, which allows guests to view the chef in action and invites engagement between the kitchen and diners.

Above the view to the kitchen, a bookshelf houses an impressive collection of cookbooks and dotted around open shelves sit beautiful Hanmer Pottery pieces that James (who was brought up in the mountain town) has gathered from his grandmother’s collection. At the back of the restaurant behind timber screens, lies a semi-private space perfect for meetings.

Predominantly a daytime restaurant, Hardy St Eatery opens for dinner two nights a week. It is advised to book ahead to secure an evening table at this unique Nelson eatery; during the day there is usually space for walk-ins. 

Photography by Nancy Zhou

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136 Hardy Street, Nelson

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