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Our History

1908 Café is situated in Portobello village, the heart of the Otago Peninsula and gateway to all the peninsula’s scenic and wildlife attractions. These include the Royal Albatross Colony, Yellow-Eyed Penguins, Hooker Sea Lions, and Larnach castle, to name but a few. All within 30 minutes of Dunedin.

Built in 1901, the building first opened as Wainui Tea Rooms in 1908. The tea rooms catered to people catching the ferry to Port Chalmers and the city.

When roading improved in the area, the ferries stopped and two elderly spinsters took over lodging in the building, to take care of sick sailors. It also served as the local mortuary at this time. In more recent history, the building served as the local post office.

After being lovingly restored to its former glory, it is now the 1908 Café Restaurant and Bar.

Using only fresh New Zealand produce, the head chef has over the last 18 months developed the appetising menu incorporating something for everyone. Offering quality, imaginative, contemporary fare with traditional New Zealand flavours.

It has been said “this is the working man’s fine dining”.

In summer, dine in our garden area in the shade of an umbrella, or in winter soak up the heat from the open fire and restored coal range.

Open Wednesday to Sunday for lunch and seven days a week for evening dining (winter hours may apply). To ensure we have a table for you reservations are recommended. Pauline and her friendly staff look forward to welcoming you to the 1908 Café.

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Where we are

7 Harington Point Road
Portobello, Otago Peninsula

Open 7 Days

Closed on Monday & Tuesday during winter
Lunch & Dinner
Bookings Recommended