Top Tastes is designed to help you find the best food and beverage venues and products; whether you want delicious fish chips, beautiful café food in a winery setting, finely crafted formal dining, food ideas, wine reviews or cocktail recipes this is your guide to the best New Zealand has to offer.

Top Tastes was created by Neil Hodgson and managed by him, he has invited other writers to contribute to the site, this means more regional information will be added as time goes by. You will find a range of opinions, reviews and recipes from people who know their stuff when it comes to food and beverage.

Only reviews written by this select group will be published on the site (you are welcome to leave comments of course) so you will be able to trust the review – no fake reviews, no ranting, just good information to help you choose great things to eat and drink as well as the best places to eat out.


Lighthouse Brewery

I first met Dick Tout from Lighthouse Brewery in the late 1970s when he owned RE Tout & Son, a service station on Collingwood St where the 132 Medical Centre is now. During the time he owned the service station he also bought a couple of properties that had been part of the original block […]

The Baker’s Coffee Shop

As published in the Nelson Mail – 03.03.15 One of the things I love about Nelson is the diversity brought to the region by immigrants, they don’t just add numbers to the population, but they bring their culture with them too. We have a large number of ethnic restaurants in Nelson that all make delicious […]

Lighthouse Brewery

I first met Dick Tout from Lighthouse Brewery in the late 1970s…

The Baker's Coffee Shop

As published in the Nelson Mail - 03.03.15 One of the things…


Under the Hood BBQ Sauce

Early last year I wrote about Dave King who started Under the…


The Nelson Farmers Market is alive and well in its new location…

ViaVio Cheese

Flavio Donati and Flavia Spena set up ViaVio Cheese at the end…

Little Dove Café

In recent weeks we have been talking a lot about supporting local…

Foxy Boxy - the ultimate gift boxes

there are lots of local options, be it wine or gourmet treats to enjoy over a few days I think a food and beverage gift is a lot better than a trinket that will never be used.


Red16 is a little haven in New Street, originally set up as Japanese style sushi restaurant, Sachi Sushi was designed as a calm relaxing space to enjoy beautiful seafood sashimi and sushi. When the owners sold it became Rhythm & Brown, a cool little cocktail lounge and now that it’s Red 16 the relaxed ambiance of the Japanese restaurant is still front and centre. They serve a range of craft beers, real ales, local & international wines and cocktails with delicious tacos and


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We’ve put together a team of experts who have a passion for writing about food and beverages.