Tuatara Café & Bar

Cafes key icon. Restaurants key icon.
Cafes key icon. Restaurants key icon.

Monday7:00 am – 8:00 pm.

Tuesday7:00 am – 8:00 pm.

Wednesday7:00 am – 8:00 pm.

Thursday7:00 am – 11:00 pm.

Friday7:00 am – 11:00 pm.

Saturday7:00 am – 11:00 pm.

Sunday7:00 am – 8:00 pm.

30-32 Dee Street, Invercargill

03 214 0954

Nicola McGilvray and Chris Ellenden are the powerhouse couple behind Tuatara Café, a downtown Invercargill craft beer bar, brewery and arty pizzeria.

When the 30-32 block of Dee Street was scheduled for demolition, the couple knew they couldn’t stand by while a historic Invercargill building was laid to waste. They bought it. Chris strengthened the building himself and the two then set out to turn the café and bar area into a venue that would provide value for locals and tourists alike. Both Nicola and Chris are creative, dynamic individuals and their array of interesting projects all seem to link back to Tuatara.

Nicola, a talented painter, has made use of the vaulted ceilings and exposed brick walls to showcase local artists’ work as well as her own. Chris, on the other hand, has used his experience as a brewing tank manufacturer to build a gravity-fed brewery out the back of the café. This is in addition to the cider label ‘Gadoochi’ that the couple have developed over the last few years using spray free apples from heritage fruit trees in central Otago. Gadoochi is on tap at Tuatara and lives somewhere far outside the scope of the cider you find at the supermarket. The ‘Mad Granny’ is the absolute driest cider you’ll find, while ‘Old Henry’s’ has a bit of a Pilsner taste with apple undertones. Snag a tasting tray and try them all.

After a few ciders, or any of the South Island craft beers that are on tap here, you’ll be ready for a snack. Tuatara’s robust pizzas, prepared by chef Cesare Pudda, are hot, wholesome and filling and come heaped with generous portions of whatever toppings you choose. And if it’s nice out, you can sit in the sunny back courtyard.

Words by Olivia Sisson & Photography by Nancy Zhou

Information not correct? Report an error


30-32 Dee Street, Invercargill

Nearby Places

Yours Faithfully

Leather bags hanging up at Liz Thomas.
Place Southland
Fashion key icon.

Come revel in the Liz Thomas's old timey glamour while exploring the very best of NZ fashion.

Georgetown Barbers

Man getting his hair cut.
Place Southland
Services key icon.

There’s no need to rush in and out here, the team at Georgetown Barbers aspire to make getting a haircut less of an errand and more of an experience.

He Waka Tuia

He Waka Tuia sign.
Place Southland
Galleries and museum key icon.

In the heart of Invercargill you’ll find art and museum space He Waka Tuia, a joint initiative between the Invercargill Public Art Gallery and the Southland Museum and Art Gallery.

Alley Cat Tattoo

Alley Cat Exterior view.
Place Southland Editor's Pick
Services key icon.

A unique tattoo studio that’s quirky and welcoming enough to tempt even the most strait-laced person to get inked.

Similar Places


Barista standing by steaming coffee machine.
Place Southland
Cafes key icon.

Ago-to café whether you’re stopping by to see the classic motorcycle collection at Mecca, or just looking for a satisfying meal in the heart of the city.

The Batch

A flatlay of meals on a table.
Place Southland Editor's Pick
Cafes key icon.

Enjoy epic brunch items like avocado toast with beetroot and mint hummus, sourdough, dukkah and free range egg while relaxing in one of Southland’s most well designed cafés.

Seriously Good Chocolate Company

Close up of chocolate production at Seriously Good Chocolate Company.
Place Southland Editor's Pick
Cafes key icon. Goods key icon.

A tiny store using chocolate as a medium with which to promote Southland to the world.

The Auction House

The cafe interior of The Auction House cafe.
Place Southland
Bars key icon. Cafes key icon.

Open for breakfast through to dinner, expect tasty tapas, a wide range of mains, funky cocktails, an expansive NZ wine list and frequent live music events in the spacious, modern courtyard that often play into the night.