Whether you’re looking for a cheap place to eat or a fine dining establishment, Queenstown’s restaurant scene will always step up to the challenge. New Zealand’s adventure hub consists of various places for all tastes, budgets and crowd sizes. Take some time off your jam-packed itinerary to check out 10 of the town’s best restaurants.
The Bunker Restaurant & Bar
Bar, Restaurant, European, Contemporary, Oceanian, Vegetarian, Gluten-free, $$$
A rustic fine dining venue that steers clear of all pretentiousness. The Bunker is tucked away in a discreet alleyway in the town centre. An intimate atmosphere is greatly complemented by a roaring fireplace and impressive food and drinks menu. The Bunker’s lower level houses the restaurant, which specialises in game meats and local seafood delicacies. Upstairs, you’ll find a cozy cocktail bar and an elegant rooftop deck.
An ideal place for groups, the sleek No5 Church Lane specialises in versatile mezze platters that always make the most of local flavours. The restaurant’s bar is renowned for its cocktails, extensive wine list and a diverse offering of New Zealand craft beers. Food is primarily Mediterranean with a localised twist – think stonebaked chorizo pizzas, tomato & saffron gnocchi and roast beetroot falafel.
Queenstown’s iconic hotel is also home to one of the area’s top restaurants. It has been around since 1867, serving hotel patrons and anyone else who drops by for breakfast, tapas, or timeless cocktails. If you’re looking for a special night time treat, Eichardt’s Bar is also the only place in Queenstown to serve Champagne Bollinger by the glass.
Rata is owned and operated by Michelin-starred chef Josh Emett. Since opening, the restaurant has earned a strong reputation for embracing local flavours with a elegantly contemporary twist. The wine list emphasises the best wines to come out of the Central Otago region, while the impeccable menu consists of locally-sourced seafood and various meat and cheese-based delicacies.
Situated on Queenstown’s Steamers Wharf, Ivy & Lola’s is an interesting hybrid establishment that brings together all-purpose dining and a dynamic bar scene to its lovely waterfront location. All meals from brunch til dinner are accounted for and seafood is the house speciality. The three-hour slow-roast beef is another unique menu item that has become a local favourite.
No Queenstown restaurant list is complete without mentioning the iconic Fergburger. Cheap and filling meals have made this bustling establishment a hit among locals and tourists alike. In fact, one could even go as far as saying it is a tourist attraction in its own right. Online ordering is highly recommended as queues can get quite long during peak mealtimes.
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.
A casual restaurant set in a literal cow shed on Queenstown’s Cow Lane. Legend has it that dairy farmers used to walk the lane to get to the milking shed some 100 years ago. These days, The Cow Restaurant is accessed via a classic stable door. The menu has remained the same since the 1970s and the crowds go absolutely wild for their pizzas.
Madam Woo is another of Josh Emett’s pet projects. This time, he collaborated with Malaysian-born Jane Leong, who worked alongside Emett at Gordon Ramsay’s Maze Restaurant. They developed a special, Asian-inspired menu that blends traditional staples with contemporary flavours. Hawker rolls are incredibly popular and the cocktail bar is highly commended too.
Restaurant, Restaurant with Rooms, Oceanian, Seafood
This fine dining establishment has somewhat of a misleading name. Indeed, meats of all cuts and variations are the prime attraction, but Botswana Butchery’s menu is also packed with seafood delicacies and vegetarian-friendly options. As an added bonus, the charming cottage-style restaurant also has a remarkably comprehensive wine list that aptly complements its diversified food offerings.