Queenstown has cemented itself as a top destination for foodie travellers. It is literally a paradise for the taste buds, with its fresh, local produce and trendy eateries. Whether you’re in town for skiing and need a hearty, winter’s meal to keep you energised for the slopes, this Queenstown restaurant guide will help decide where to eat in Queenstown to ensure you have a satisfying stay.
Sophia Lazarides | Updated in May 2023 by Skye Gilkeson
Where to Eat in Queenstown
Where to Find the Best Coffee in Queenstown
While these Queenstown cafes serve up a moreish morning brew, many also serve some of the best food in Queenstown too.
Planning a foodie adventure in Queenstown? Get your tastebuds charged and work your way down our list.
There are actually two Vudu Cafes, the original one in the centre of town and the other overlooking Lake Wakatipu.
The coffee is fantastic (we had two each) and they open early if you are on a morning walk.
The food is also perfectly fitting for a cold winter’s morning. We tried the Eggs Benedict and ‘Gibbston Agria Hash with Chilli Fried Eggs’.
The sibling to Fergburger, Fergbaker bakery serves up great, early-morning coffee, as well as pastries and pies perfect for on-the-go if you’re keen to get up onto the ski slopes quickly.
The breakfast burrito is pretty darn good too.
Marmolada is a warm, spacious cafe with a Scandinavian feel. Chances are, if you’re joining the morning ski bus queue wrapping around the corner from the Man Street Carpark, you’ll walk straight passed this cute Queenstown cafe.
Start here for breakfast or pick up a pastry and coffee to keep you warm during your wait to go up the mountain.
While their ice creams and desserts cannot be missed, Patagonia Chocolates make delicious coffee and hot chocolate too.
Patagonia roasts their own coffee on site too so you can take home some fresh Queenstown coffee beans to brew your own back at your hotel.
The Boat Shed
We consider the Boat Shed is one of the best cafes in Queenstown for a few reasons.
The historic former New Zealand Railways Shipping Office is positioned right on the lake (you can even arrive by boat). It has some of the best coffee in Queenstown and a delicious farm-to-table menu.
Cosy up inside or venture out onto the deck for a closer view over the lake.
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Casual Queenstown Restaurants
Dining in Queenstown ranges from fresh fast-food favourites to white-tablecloth award-winning restaurants.
These are a few of our favourite casual Queenstown cafes and restaurants, perfect for dinner in Queenstown with the kids.
If you asked anyone who has visited this gorgeous town where to eat in Queenstown during your stay, Fergburger will most likely always be one of the first places they’ll recommend.
When you see the line outside this joint you will definitely think to yourself, “Nah, I’ll give it a miss this time”.
Let me tell you, it’s worth the wait. The burgers here are world-renowned and very worthy of all the praise and you’ll see why it’s one of the must-do activities to do in Queenstown.
All the patties are made from 100 per cent, prime New Zealand beef, plus there are scrumptious chicken, tofu, falafel and even venison options.
The Cow Restaurant
The Cow is a Queenstown institution and the long wait for a table proves it. As soon as you enter the restaurant, your nose will be completely overwhelmed by the delicious scent of wood-fired pizza.
They haven’t changed their menu since they opened nearly 40 years ago. It’s not just pizza on the menu, they are well-known for their spaghetti too.
They don’t take bookings at The Cow so we got there right on opening and scored a table next to the fire.
Be warned; it’s a tiny place, so be prepared to get to know your eating neighbours very well.
They also have a sister restaurant in Wanaka.
Fat Badgers Pizza
Fat Badgers Pizza is all about pizza and cocktails.
Open for lunch from 12 pm, grab a spot on the long tables outside and share a couple of pizzas, salads and even poutine, perfect to meet those post-skiing appetites.
Fat Badgers also has a huge range of vegan pizza options for those looking for vegan cafes in Queenstown.
Cargo at Gantley’s
We loved Cargo at Gantley’s so much on our first visit, we returned a couple of days later.
Set in a gorgeous historic building in Arthur’s Point Queenstown, Cargo is the ideal spot for lunch after coming down from Coronet Peak.
But, it’s also well worth driving around from Queenstown village for dinner or drinks in the afternoon or evening too.
Grab a spot near the fire in winter or if you are travelling to Queenstown in summer enjoy their vast outdoor beer garden.
Order from their menu filled with comfort food and delicious farm-to-table options. They have a Sunday roast on Sundays.
White and Wong’s
White and Wong’s Asian restaurant Queenstown serves up elevated street food with influences from all over Asia.
The food was delicious and our kids even loved everything we tried – from dumplings to Peking duck pancakes.
If you are travelling to Queenstown with a bigger group this Queenstown restaurant also has rooms to book for functions and private dining.
Winnie’s Gourmet Pizza Bar
Another of the most iconic Queenstown eateries, Winnie’s Gourmet Pizza Bar has a fun, vibrant atmosphere and lots of beer.
There are some unique pizza options on the menu, such as the ‘Mexican Fiesta’ including corn chips.
They can open the roof if it gets a little stuffy inside, and it’s also a great place to go if you want to kick on dancing and drinking after dinner.
Lone Star Cafe & Restaurant
The heading for this section might as well be, “BEST RIBS IN TOWN” because the ribs at Lone Star are to die for. Not to mention they are huge.
This is one of the best restaurants Queenstown has on offer for family-friendly or group dining. The pub-style menu has lots of variety, from burgers to delicious garlic prawns and burritos.
Plus, there’s a really decent kids’ menu and in true Queenstown fashion, the produce is high quality.
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The Best Fine-Dining Restaurants in Queenstown
There are so many date-night or fancy night-out options when it comes to where to eat in Queenstown.
Jervois Steak House
I enjoyed the best steak I have ever eaten at Jervois Steak House, probably the fanciest of the Queenstown steak restaurants
The epitome of fine dining Queenstown style, the focus is on using super fresh local ingredients, and the meat is the hero without too much fussy fusion of flavours.
It’s one of those steak high-end restaurants where you can examine the marbling before you choose your cut.
Spoil yourself and get the Wagyu Sirloin.
Botswana Butchery has long been considered one of the best Queenstown restaurants (that has now made its way from Queenstown to Sydney), so be sure to book a table well in advance.
It sits right on the picturesque Lake Wakatipu, giving it a beautiful ambience.
The menu is changed seasonally and focuses on strong flavours with fine-cut meats and locally-sourced produce.
We found The Bunker was one of the best places to eat in Queenstown during our stay.
One of the features that surely help its ranking as one of the best Queenstown restaurants is the fact that it is so intimate.
Hidden in a secret alleyway and behind a rustic, old, wooden door, with log fires and dim lighting adding a beautiful ambience.
The perfect setting for a date night, we got comfortable with a cute table across from the fire in the softly lit space and worked our way through one of the Bunker’s tasting menus with matching wines.
When I asked a local where to eat in Queenstown her immediate response was Blue Kanu.
While we couldn’t get a booking during our visit, it’s on our list for next time, the Polynasian (Pacifica and Asian fusion) fare looks like it would make your taste buds dance.
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Our Favourite Bars in Queenstown
We couldn’t simply cover where to eat in Queenstown without mentioning a few of our favourite central Queenstown bar finds too.
Eichardt’s Bar was recommended to me as her favourite Queenstown Bar. As soon as we walked into the luxurious Alpine-chic apres space, it immediately became mine too.
As you’d expect from a high-end cocktail lounge, there is a very impressive curated cocktail list.
We couldn’t settle on one visit to Eichardt’s and found it our favourite pre and post-dinner aperitif venue.
The Bunker Cocktail Bar
We popped up to the Bunker Cocktail Bar after our delightful degustation at Bunker Restaurant downstairs.
In the short time we were there, it became clear Bunker would be a late-night favourite for partygoers for sure.
When we first sat down, we easily found seats and enjoyed ample elbow room. A short while later we were contending with the DJ and buzzing bar space.
The Lodge Bar
The designer interiors invite guests into the warm space at The Lodge Bar, right on the Queenstown lakefront.
We happened upon the Lodge Bar when looking for an early dinner at the last minute.
Sitting alfresco complete with blankets and heaters, we shared some plates from the food menu paired with an incredible glass of Otago red, recommended by our very lovely waiter.
While I wouldn’t recommend this to others dining with very young children (it’s a bit fancy), the staff was so kind and inviting to our kids.
I will absolutely return again with friends or for a date night bite.
We also thought it was some of the best food Queenstown has to offer.
Seemingly a world away from the chaotic burger rush next door, Ferg’s Bar was a Queenstown dining delight.
We wandered into Ferg’s initially for a quick drink while we worked out where to have lunch. And, by chance, the food menu was delivered and it was a dream.
So, we sat in the window, perched at the benchtop quietly tucked away from the masses but close enough for a really good serving of people-watching with our perfectly palatable share plates.
More New Zealand Travel Tips:
An Epic Guide to Things to Do in Queenstown
5 of the Best Hikes Near Wanaka
Skye is the founder and editor-in-chief of The Fit Traveller.
She is a journalist, writer, photographer, intrepid traveller and a former personal trainer with a passion for helping others reach optimal health.
As a TV journalist and producer, Skye has worked for household names such as 60 Minutes, Sunrise, TODAY and Nine News. She has also written for Women’s Health, Fodor’s Travel and Yahoo7 Travel, among many others.
Equally comfortable in a 5-star resort or hiking a far-off mountain, Skye loves the unexpected and enriching life experiences that each trip brings and can often be found in a backstreet chatting to locals with her camera in hand.
Skye is based in Sydney, working to master the balance between motherhood and her appetite for adventure.
Read more about Skye’s story here.