Queenstown is famous for many reasons. You may know it for its jaw-dropping scenery, epic snow sports environments or outrageous nightlife. It’s all of these things and more, but it’s also home to some of the best brunch spots in the country. Explore our guide to find out the top 10.
Bistro, Cafe, European, Oceanian, Gluten-free, Vegetarian, $$$
Located in a historic building that dates back to colonial times, The Boatshed Cafe & Bistro is a place to savour rich marina views and classic breakfast offerings. If you’re in before 9:30am, make sure to try the Early Bird Special: two eggs in any style, accompanied by toasted ciabatta and a complimentary cup of coffee (with an upsize option for an extra dollar). Whether you’re a meat lover, dedicated vegan, gluten-free or dairy-free foodie, there’s always something on the menu worth sinking your teeth into at brunch time.
Cafe, Contemporary, Gluten-free, Vegetarian, Vegan, $$$
Nestled on a hillside location, at the quieter end of the bustling town centre, Bespoke Kitchen quickly earned a reputation in the local coffee shop scene. The venue was even crowned New Zealand’s Cafe of the Year in 2015. Organic and raw ingredients take precedence in their food selections, from their pancakes to their fresh salad options and home-made pastries. It has all your brunch needs catered for and in such a way that there’s no way you’ll be leaving here without many a contented sigh and probably a loosening of the belt.
Restaurant, Fast Food, North American, Oceanian, Vegetarian, Gluten-free, $$$
Over the years, Fergburger has become as much of a Queenstown must-do as the area’s primary attractions. Its reputation stemmed from the value of their meals, offering burgers that are filling and reasonably priced. If you’re backpacking through the South Island, you may even find a few discount coupons offered in hostels. Order online if you don’t want to brave those queues – popular options include the Codfather, the Chief Wiggum and, for vegetarians, the Bun Laden.
Bakery, Cafe, Contemporary, European, Oceanian, $$$
A sweet spin-off of the iconic Fergburger, Fergbaker is a great place to drop by for some baked goodies and ice cream. Classic meat pies, a large assortment of pastries, doughnuts, toasted sandwiches, pretzels – if you’re looking for a quick treat and cup of coffee while in town, this is the place you’ll find it. Sometimes a big, meaty burger just isn’t what the doctor ordered for brunch and you might feel the need for something a little more European in vibe – especially surrounded by those poetic Southern Alps. It’s nice to know that the good people at Ferg have all your bases covered.
Cafe, Contemporary, European, Oceanian, Gluten-free, $$$
The Exchange is a brilliant spot for breakfast or brunch. There are plenty of gluten-free options, a daily soup selection, and ample cabinet offerings to sink your teeth into. The have all the classics that you’d ever want or need and it feels, importantly, like they’ve taken the thinking out of brunch. Who wants to use their brains during brunch after all? As long as you can communicate that you’d like a Bloody Mary with your meal then that’s the main thing. Breakfast favourites include the house-made baked beans, the buttermilk pancakes, and The Exchange eggs benedict. Make sure to keep an eye out for their ever-changing daily specials too.
Ivy & Lola's Kitchen & Bar
Bistro, Cafe, Restaurant, Australian, Contemporary, $$$
If you’re looking for a brunch spot that is going to satisfy your eyeballs as well as your stomach then Ivy & Lola’s Kitchen & Bar could very well be the spot. With fantastic views that bathe in the panorama of the Remarkables, this bistro is one of those establishments where the food is in danger of being overshadowed by the environment. Almost. With seasonal ingredients and locally-sourced produce including green-lipped mussels and Cecil Peak Station’s renowned lamb you can expect to sample a medley of fine New Zealand fare throughout the day.
Cafe, Restaurant, Australian, Fusion, Asian, Contemporary, Middle Eastern, $$$
When was the last time you enjoyed some dippy eggs? You know what we mean, boiled eggs with the runny yolks that are just made for the dipping of toast soldiers. Well, now could be the time to get back in touch with your childhood at Yonder. This great brunch spot has more of your favourites and also some great eclectic combos. Check out the Dukka Avocado, Bacon Buttie and Tuna Poke Bowl to name a few of the selection. There are flavours from all over the world on this menu.
Restaurant, Mexican, Fast Food, $$$
Another popular location for a quick, budget-friendly bite to eat, Taco Medic uses local seafood and produce to create its hearty Mexican staples. If you’ve worked up an appetite after a day of adventurous expeditions, there are plenty of freshly-made treats to try; including The Fisherman tacos, the quintessentially-Kiwi Runnyman Breakfast and the traditionally-Mexican Stockman beef dish. It’s open from 11am so you can get a quick pre-lunch taco to get the digestive juices started.
Vudu Cafe & Larder
Cafe, European, Contemporary, Oceanian, Vegetarian, Gluten-free, $$$
Set in a lovely lakefront location, Vudu Cafe & Larder is an extension to a well-established local favourite, the Vudu Cafe on Beach Street. A massive 1950s image of Queenstown makes the rustic interiors look as scenic as its outer setting. Mouth-watering vegan sweets are a house speciality, with bespoke cakes being the pick of the crop. There are plenty of options for meat eaters too, as well as an array of gluten and dairy-free treats for those who have allergies. This is counter food with a difference, so if brunch for you is more about grabbing something that tingles the tastebuds and then finding your own spot to eat it then visit Vudu and load up.
Restaurant, Cafe, European, Oceanian, Contemporary, Seafood, Vegetarian, Gluten-free, $$$
Pier is most famous for its seafood mains – but the restaurant’s breakfast and all-day dessert menu is guaranteed to please brunch-goers of all kinds. Whether you’re in the mood for a classic or vegetarian ‘big breakfast’, some whitebait omelette, crème brûlée, or artisan breads and cheeses, there are more than enough options to satisfy anyone who visits this iconic Steamers Wharf venue.