Queenstown is famous for having some of the most breathtaking scenery in New Zealand. Not just that, but it is scenery that you can enjoy from the comfort of one of the many incredible bars or restaurants around the city. Here’s our guide to the best beer gardens in the city.
Pog Mahones Irish Bar & Restaurant
Bar, Pub, Restaurant, Irish, Pub Grub, Wine, Beer, $$$
Pog Mahones | missbossy / Flickr
Well, Pog Mahones is definitely an Irish bar that doesn’t take itself too seriously – the name means ‘Kiss My Arse’ in Gaelic. The aim of the game here, is that they want all their customers to have a good time, whether they’re there with their families to eat a traditional Sunday roast, or imbibe Guinness until they’re rascally drunk. The patio has a great view of the mountains, which is the one thing that you end up coming to expect from any bar or restaurant you walk into in Queenstown. It’s a lovely place to sit in the summer or winter. When it’s cold you can sit out, enjoy a whisky and then head inside for a warming plate of Irish stew.
Pub on Wharf, the name says it all. Overlooking the water, this dependable spot is one of those safe bets that you can rely on to see you’re furnished with a hearty gastropub meal, and a choice of excellent beers. It ticks along fairly regularly all day every day, and if you find yourself with a half hour to kill, or are feeling a little weary after a big day sight-seeing then pop in here for a bit of a pick me up. The staff are friendly and helpful, and they’ll tell you all about the great range of beers that they have on tap.
Frankton Arm Tavern has one of the best winter-friendly beer gardens in Queenstown, hands down. In fact, it’s probably the place to go for some perfect apres drinks and nibbles after you’ve spent a day ripping it up on the slopes. The outdoor courtyard is open-sided but covered, so you’re not going to get snowed on, but also has a roaring fireplace to gather round! It really is perfection. The food is undeniably fantastic too, and the beer is, well, great beeralicious, but it’s the setting that you should experience. Looking out on the mountains, sat outside and all rugged up, next to a roaring fire, will stick on the old memory banks for sure.
Atlas Beer Cafe is another great spot in central Queenstown where you can sit out and have a nice beer, be it winter or summer. It’s only a small area but they have an awning you can gather under in the colder months and sip some mulled cider, as well as bar heaters casting their warming glow down. You’ll find a scrumptious array of snacks, lunches and dinners (try the kumera hash with the smoked salmon,) but if you decide to just settle in for a bit of a session then the illustrious Fergburger is just down the road.
Restaurant, Bar, European, American, Healthy, Gluten-free, Vegetarian, $$$
The World Bar is a bar that people who have never even been to Queenstown have heard of. Its reputation precedes it. Perhaps you’ve heard of its funky multi-level layout? Or maybe it’s the craft beer, wholesome bar snacks or teapot cocktails? It’s become a feature of the Queenstown main street, and a place that deserves at least one visit. Why not put a spin on the traditional afternoon tea idea, and naughty it up with a teapot full of something a little more zippy than Earl Grey. Sit out in the simple yet perfect seating area outside and watch the sun go down over the peaks. It’ll make you realise that life isn’t too bad.
Bar, Pub, European, British, Beer, Wine, Cocktails, Pub Grub, $$$
The Pig & Whistle Pub is an English pub without the frills. They serve cheap beer, cheap, hearty food that will fill a hungry skier up after a day on the mountain, and they have a deck that looks over the water and the majestic mountains. It’s cheap and rowdy and full of character, so if you feel like painting the tiles one evening you’ll probably end up on the deck, eating a scotch egg and trying to remember where your hotel is.
A big cold glass of Emerson’s beer, an arancini ball or two, and then a giant gourmet burger. Followed by another large beer to wash it all down. That’s basically what your standard operating procedure should be parked up outside at 1876. It takes it’s name from the year the courthouse that its based in was built. Watch out, later on when the sun has been down for a good few hours things can get a little wild.