The nation’s best café is in Nelson. The Jester House Café between Richmond and Motueka on Aporo Road has taken out the top title of New Zealand’s Café of the Year 2013.
Runner up is Black Cottage Café in Coatesville north of Auckland.
Jester House and the Black Cottage Café were up against the 16 other People’s Choice finalists judged by a panel headed by Kerry Tyack. Jester’s winning dish was a Moroccan inspired tagine of tomato and goat.
Jester House owners Steve Richards and Judy van den Yssel-Richards have not only scooped the esteemed best café title – they’re also driving home in a brand new Fiat 500S.
The winning café also receives $2,500 worth of Wattie’s and Goodman Fielder products for their kitchen as does the runner-up.
Head judge Kerry Tyack says the race for top honours was extremely close.
“Although offering very different experiences, both impressed across the board and the special dishes they prepared were of equal quality,” Tyack says.
“The Jesters dish had a very small advantage on innovation offering a spiced hot pot over the more common con-carne style dish from Black Cottage Café. Jester House Café also delivers a unique experience, fantastic alfresco dining and atmosphere and outstanding service.
“Black Cottage is more modern, offers a more ‘on-trend’ menu, is very service oriented and more urban with great coffee.
“Jester House Café really is a little gem in a beautiful part of the country and somewhere we would recommend without hesitation.”
The competition is now in its second year and 45,000 café lovers across six regions voted for the 669 eateries that had entered. Last year’s overall winner was Paper Moon in Mairangi Bay Auckland which was again a finalist in 2013.
The other regional winners were:
· Auckland – Bambina Ponsonby, Ponsonby
· Lower North Island – Ten O’Clock Cookie Bakery Café, Masterton
· Wellington – Greta Point Café, Evans Bay
· Christchurch – Station One, Papanui
The award is organised by The Image Centre Group and judged by the The Restaurant Association of New Zealand and proudly supported by Wattie’s and Meadow Fresh.
For more information go to: http://www.nzcafeoftheyear.co.nz/