Queenstown, New Zealand, is a travellers dream come true: the beautiful mountain scenery, multitudes of fun and adventurous activities (as well as relaxing ones!), and a fantastic food scene.
We usually visit Queenstown in the winter for skiing, and while we are there we usually try to check out a number of new places to eat and drink. To save you the time searching, here are our favourites as of August 2016.
The best food in Queenstown and Arrowtown
We’ve broken the list down into Breakfast/brunch, Lunch, Dinner, Dessert, Takeout, and Drinks, and we’ve also included places in Arrowtown, which is close to Queenstown. A map at the bottom of this post shows the location of each place.
9 Isle St, Queenstown
Fantastic for brunch and a kick-ass Allpress coffee. Bespoke was 2015 NZ Cafe of the Year, and it lives up to its reputation. I had black rice porridge with coconut and delicious fruit – so fresh and healthy! Their cabinet food looks amazing too. Get there early because it gets really busy!
65 Buckingham St, Arrowtown
Go here for the sticky buns (sweet flaky pastry with caramel sauce, currants and almonds). Seriously, they are amazing! Their breakfast and coffee is pretty damn good too, although the cabinet food sweet treats are definitely the highlight!
16 Rees St, Queenstown
Vudu is one of the best cafes in central Queenstown – their coffee is awesome and their food is so delicious. There is limited seating inside in winter though, so get there early or be prepared to wait! In summer, you can sit outside beside the lake boardwalk which is beautiful.
The Chop Shop Food Merchants
Arrow Lane, Arrowtown
Holy ****. The Chop Shop was the food highlight of our 2016 trip to Queenstown. We had been recommended to go there by a few different people, so on a non-ski day decided to stop for lunch. And WOW it was fantastic! They serve Asian fusion food and the quality is so damn good. We were seriously impressed. Chop Shop, can you please open in Auckland?
10 Arrowtown-Lake Hayes Road, Lake Hayes
For a luxurious wine and food experience, you can’t do better than the Trust the Chef menu at Amisfield Bistro. Yes, it’s pricey, but it’s also amazing – it’s totally worth it. Amisfield makes epic wine too, so you can easily spend a whole afternoon eating and drinking in this beautiful bistro.
46-50 Buckingham St, Arrowtown
Slow Cuts serves (you got it) delicious slow-cooked cuts of meat. Their burgers and sandwiches are to die for! We got a takeaway jerk chicken sandwich from Slow Cuts, but you can also eat in (probably easier as the takeout version was quite messy, but delicious!).
5 The Mall, Lower Ballarat St, Queenstown
The hawker roll is the best thing on the menu at this Chinese/Malaysian street food inspired restaurant. Although to be fair, most of their dishes are mouth-wateringly good! Madam Woo is a really fun restaurant with an innovative cocktail list and a vibrant buzz.
Tanoshi Teppan Sake Bar
Cow Lane, Queenstown
Tanoshi, a tiny Japanese restaurant hidden down a lane in Queenstown, was such a great find. Squeeze into a booth and order to your heart’s content. Tanoshi mainly serves tapas-style dishes, which is awesome because it means you can try lots of different things! We especially liked the gyoza (fried dumplings) and gyu tataki (seared rib eye steak).
6 Brecon St, Queenstown
Bella Cucina is an old favourite – I remember visiting when I first went to Queenstown about 15 years ago! Their rustic Italian menu changes daily (how’s that for eating seasonally!) and boy is it good. Their pizza and pasta is to die for, and I absolutely can’t go past their tiramisu.
Rees St, Queenstown
Patagonia has multiple cafes in Queenstown and Arrowtown, and the Ice Creamery and Chocolaterie on Rees St is their newest and best. Their selection of gelato is second-to-none, but their dessert menu is amazing. Massive sundaes, churros, hot chocolates and more – you’ll need to go for a hike the next day to burn it off!
3 Searle Lane, Queenstown
For a quick and easy bite, Taco Medic is the best. Their tasty tacos served out of a food truck are so good – but watch out for the hot sauce, it really is hot! Our favourite tacos are The Fisherman (fish) and The Bushman (pork belly). Yum!
40 Shotover St, Queenstown
Yes, I’m sure you know about Fergbaker’s sister establishment (Fergburger) next door, and if you feel like lining up for 45 minutes to get a burger, be my guest. We prefer the quick service at Fergbaker, where their sandwiches and meat pies are the perfect lunch time snack. Try the beef cheek pie or any of their other unusual flavours!
No5 Church Lane
Queenstown has a ton of bars but No5 Church Lane serves some of the best cocktails, we think. Sit by the fire with a drink in hand – you could end up staying there all night if you wanted! We like to have a drink at No5 before dinner.
Smiths Craft Beer House
53 Shotover St, Queenstown
For the fans of craft beer out there, this is the place to go. There’s a massive selection of craftys, the bartenders are super knowledgable about the brews on tap, and you can try before you buy. The burgers at Smiths are pretty good too!
We’ve probably overwhelmed you with choices for where to eat and drink in Queenstown and Arrowtown, haven’t we? Hopefully you’ll find somewhere you like on the list. Let us know what you think of our suggestions, and check out this post for what to do in Queenstown when you aren’t eating!