Niagara Falls Café

Monday10:00 am – 7:00 pm.

Tuesday10:00 am – 7:00 pm.

Wednesday10:00 am – 7:00 pm.

Thursday10:00 am – 7:00 pm.

Friday10:00 am – 7:00 pm.

Saturday10:00 am – 7:00 pm.

Sunday10:00 am – 4:00 pm.

256 Niagara-Waikawa Road, Niagara

03-246 8577

Niagara Falls township was named tongue-in-cheek for its picturesque waterfall, a hidden gem amongst the Catlin’s rolling green hills. The Niagara Falls Café is a sunny haven for locals, an oasis for weary travellers and a place where everything is homemade, no one goes hungry and everyone is made to feel welcome.

Laura Thompson, a tandem bicycle pilot and gold medalist in the 2012 Para-Olympics, was training in Southland when she discovered the warm sunny valley of Niagara Falls. She knew that it was a special spot, and Laura, her mother Sue and brother Dale moved from Christchurch ten years ago to run the cafe and enjoy the sweet and slow pace of life. The family lives next door to the cafe which is housed in the Niagara Falls one room schoolhouse constructed in 1893.

The open dining area is sunny and warm with views of the café’s lush lawn. Gardens, both indoors and out, are brimming with colour and variety and many of the café’s ingredients are grown on site. Parents can enjoy a meal and a tipple on the porch, while the kids romp around in the grass and play with the various lawn games that are always available. The lawn, Laura says, has to be mowed year round.

Niagara Falls Café is all about natural and simple food. Sue handles the baking and gardening, Laura is a chef and Dale is front of house, and together they create and serve tasty dishes. The house smoked salmon salad is made with crisp veggies and the freshest salmon possible (served in summer), the carrot cake is a top seller and the brownies and sticky date pudding are delicious too. New Zealand brews are always on tap, local honey, art and other products are for sale and a bluegrass festival takes place here every Waitangi weekend.

Sundays are for roasts at Niagara Falls Café and three generations of locals often pop in to enjoy lunch together. This is the ultimate family friendly spot tucked away in the Catlins, so don’t miss it.

Words by Olivia Sisson & Photography by Nancy Zhou

256 Niagara-Waikawa Road, Niagara

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