The 10 Best Brunch Spots in Dunedin, New Zealand
Dunedin from the air | © Phillip Capper / Flickr
Nestled deep down near the very bottom of the South Island, Dunedin is famed for its university culture and pumping nightlife. In a city full of broke students you would expect there to be some pretty innovative and exciting places in which to catch a late breakfast, and you’d be right. Here are our top 10 brunch spots in this city.
Potpourri Vegetarian Cafe
Cafe, Restaurant, Australian, Vegetarian, Vegan, $$$
This is a great little place to stop when you’re in Dunedin town, as it’s situated right next to the Octagon. What’s more, it’s also only a five-minute walk to the train station, which makes it the perfect contender for a bite to eat to restore the energy after a bit of a journey. The speed of the service is also what makes this cafe particularly excellent. If you happen to be catching a train out of the city you won’t have to sit biting your nails until your food arrives. The staff consistently have their veggie delights out of the kitchen in good time. Whip in and try one of their famous jacket potatoes with three fillings.
Starfish Cafe & Bar
Bar, Cafe, Restaurant, European, Contemporary, Oceanian, $$$
Starfish Cafe and Bar is set in Dunedin’s picturesque St Clair Esplanade. The cafe, bar and restaurant boasts some great alfresco dining facilities which include a stunning upstairs deck with plentiful seaside views. Food is fresh and seasonal, and the menu is regularly updated to make sure the finest local ingredients are being used. Make sure to keep an eye on the venue’s Facebook page so you can time your visit to coincide with some cool evening tunes.
Cafe, Australian, $$$
Firstly, let us say that clarity, in a university town, is key. There are a lot of sore heads wandering about most days, and the fact that this great little establishment has the same hours every day of the week means that those sore heads can spend less time wondering if Capers will be open when they arrive and more time wondering what they are going to eat from the excellent menu. With that in mind, one should really select the gourmet pancakes on a first visit. They are exactly as you’d expect – decadent and made from the best ingredients. Wash it all down with one of their great coffees and juices and you’ll be ready to party all over again.
Ironic Cafe and Bar
Bar, Restaurant, Cafe, European, Contemporary, $$$
Ironic Cafe and Bar is located right next to Dunedin’s iconic railway station. People often pop by for a weekend lunch or brunch after browsing the Otago Farmers Market; at night, patrons might visit for a lovely sit-down dinner amid the stylish interiors or for some casual drinks at the spacious outdoor seating area. For those wanting to wet their whistle, wine and beers are the house speciality: you’ll find an extensive offering of local and international drops to savour.
The Perc Cafe
Cafe, Australian, $$$
The Perc Cafe is one of those lovely dependable places that is open basically all year come rain, shine or snow. The only day that these guys are shut is on Christmas Day. How’s that for dedication to keeping Dunedin fed? It’s a sure sign of success when you walk into a place more than once and it’s consistently bustling and busy. Grab the much-lauded Breakfast Stack if you’re feeling famished or fortify yourself with their delish bacon sandwich.
No. 7 Balmac
Restaurant, Contemporary, $$$
Nestled in Dunedin’s suburb of Maori Hill, No. 7 Balmac is a fantastic neighborhood restaurant that specialises in modern New Zealand cuisine. Attracting the city’s locals and visitors alike, the restaurant sports its own kitchen garden that supplies the chefs with the freshest herbs and vegetables. Indulge in breakfast options such as the buttermilk pancakes with berries and honey-vanilla syrup or traditional eggs benedict, complete with Ashby’s streaky bacon and warm toasted ciabatta. For a brunch that is more like lunch, simple fare such as wood-grilled chicken with red quinoa, the No. 7 Balmac burger or the grilled Greek halloumi are all satisfying options. If you’re feeling devilish why not wash it down with one of their high-quality Otago pinot noirs.
Glenfalloch Gardens and Restaurant
Restaurant, European, Australian, Fusion, $$$
If you’re after a thoroughly soul-soothing brunch experience in the Dunedin region, you’re not going to be able to get better than Glenfalloch. To build up an appetite or thirst we recommend taking a constitutional around the gardens that are replete with native shrubs and plants, flowers and some of the most iconic and recognisable trees from around the country. Then park up and enjoy some of the scintillating food and drink that Dunedin has to offer.
Beam Me Up Bagels
Cafe, American, $$$
This little shop has certainly been making some serious waves since it opened not too long ago. The bagels here are out of this world, so you can see how the place got its name. Our favourite is the District 9 with its decadent hot-smoked salmon and sharp little pickled onions. Really though, you can’t go wrong here. It’s not just the fantastic, fresh local ingredients that they use here, but the bagels themselves. They are left to rise for 18 hours, simmered in honey and malt, before being baked in a hot oven. You’ll find yourself going back here again and again.
Carey's Bay Historic Hotel
Bar, Pub, Pub Grub, European, Contemporary, $$$
Carey’s Bay Historic Hotel was originally established in 1894 as a hotel with its own public bar and restaurant. The accommodation side of operations has long been abandoned, but the Victorian-style pub experience has stood the test of time. This venue enjoys a picturesque seaside location that’s ideal for an alfresco brunch or some casual drinks as the sun goes down. Craft beers on tap, bottled cider and a varied selection of New Zealand wines are the main items on the drinks menu. Perfect for that lazy Sunday brunch.
The Good Earth Cafe
Cafe, Restaurant, Australian, Contemporary, $$$
Bio-degradable takeaway cups? Innovative food made from scratch everyday, using fresh, mostly free-range, wholesome ingredients? Gluten-free, dairy-free and vegan options galore? No wonder The Good Earth Cafe has found a place in so many hearts around Dunedin and beyond. The Steak Fillet Sandwich with Organic Slaw, Mustard Relish & Balsamic Onions is an assured favourite for the carnivores out there (especially because it costs less than 20 bucks), whilst the Banana, Kombucha & Spirulina Smoothie is perfect for those with less of an appetite.