A buzzing nightlife with something for every kind of traveller is among Queenstown’s biggest draw cards. New Zealand’s popular resort town enjoys a varied mix of bars and restaurants, some of which have fantastic outdoor seating areas with even better views. If you’re yearning for the al fresco vibes, check out these great venues.
Bar, Mediterranean, $$$
Attiqa is a beauty for all seasons. Whether you’re in Queenstown during summer or winter, the bar’s rooftop sundeck will greet you with the town’s best vistas. The experience is nicely complemented by live DJ performances, plus a stunning selection of cocktails, an extensive wine list, a rich offering of tapas as well as a seasonal Mediterranean menu that’s set to keep you satisfied right until the crack of dawn.
Public Kitchen & Bar
Bar, Restaurant, Oceanian, European, Contemporary, $$$
Public Kitchen & Bar has an enviable location on Steamer Wharf that allows its patrons to drink and dine right in the midst of Queenstown’s lovely waterfront views. Cocktails, shared sangria pitchers as well as a comprehensive curation of New Zealand beers and wines are among the many offerings for those coming by for a drink. Food is very much a Kiwi fanfare: classics like lamb, pavlova and Southland cheese rolls make an appearance alongside contemporary dishes that embrace some of the best locally sourced ingredients available.
The Ballarat Trading Co
Bar, Gastropub, European, Steakhouse, Pub Grub, Contemporary, $$$
Inspired by an 1850’s trading emporium, The Ballarat exudes a vintage charm from the inside and out. The gastropub is right in the midst of Queenstown Mall, and it has plenty of sunny courtyard seating to accommodate its patrons. Its drinks list is effortlessly refined, focusing largely on the Sauvignon and Pinot noir wines that make New Zealand’s viticulture so widely adored. If you’re keen for some al fresco dining, the venue offers a range of classically familiar options like steak, pan-seared salmon, burgers and blue cod and chips.
Surreal Bar & Restaurant
Bar, Restaurant, Contemporary, European, Oceanian, $$$
Since opening its doors in 1997, Surreal Bar & Restaurant has set the tone for a well-rounded nightly experience. An intimate rooftop terrace is the highlight for many: here you’ll be able to chill out with a couple of drinks before dancing to the beats of an ever-changing lineup of local and international DJs. In fact, an array of different live music and entertainment acts have made their mark in this venue; it’s fair to expect that every night will have something unique on offer.
Pub on Wharf
Bar, Pub, European, Contemporary, Oceanian, $$$
The Pub on Wharf is one of the best places in Queenstown to sip on some Mac’s Beers, listen to live music and feast on a hearty meal that won’t ever break the bank. A spacious outdoor seating area with modern furnishings and beautiful lakefront panoramas adds to the venue’s welcoming atmosphere. The pub, located on Steamer Wharf, doesn’t take any bookings, and live gigs are held every night of the week. This establishment is also known for being quite family friendly, offering a kids’ menu and colouring material to keep the little ones happy and entertained.
Speights Ale House
Bar, Craft Ale Bar, Pub Grub, European, Contemporary, $$$
The Speights Ale House transformed the former Queenstown Council Chamber building into a hub for traditional beers and ales. Speights itself has a long history to share: its flagship brewery opened its doors in 1876 and it has long established itself as a South Island icon. Given the house speciality, beer matches are always an option — whether you’re popping in for an outdoorsy lunch or some casual drinks over dinner.
The World Bar & Restaurant
Bar, Restaurant, Pub Grub, Contemporary, European, Oceanian, $$$
Teapot cocktails, a rustic inner setting and an outdoor seating area that will make you revel in Queenstown’s dynamic atmosphere. Those are just some of the assets that make The World Bar & Restaurant the ultimate go-to for some late-afternoon drinks and an unpretentious pub meal. Local DJs will be spinning their records most nights of the week; Friday and Sunday are a special treat for those looking for some rocking live music sessions.