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15 Best Restaurants in Queenstown

15 Best Restaurants in Queenstown

Whether you’re planning a vacation in Queenstown or are lucky enough to call it home, there are loads of awesome restaurants in Queenstown that you really need to check out. In fact, going out for a bite to eat is one of the best things to do in Queenstown!

Good food and Queenstown are two of my favorite things so I’m excited to share this list of the best restaurants in Queenstown with you! I myself get to eat at the restaurants in Queenstown any day I want and I’ve tried more than I can even remember. Seriously, I’m tempted into a relaxing dinner at least a couple of times per week!

There are over 100 restaurants in Queenstown so for visitors and locals alike, it can be overwhelming to choose. Luckily, I’ll list the 15 best restaurants in Queenstown from a variety of cuisines. That way, you can take the guesswork out of finding the best place to eat out in Queenstown!

1. Jervois Steak House

Two steaks at Jervois Steak House in Queenstown, New Zealand
Cooked perfectly!
  • Location: 8 Duke Street
  • Price range: $34 – $75 NZD for a main
  • Come here for: the steak
  • Takes reservations: yes

Located conveniently underneath the Sofitel Hotel (one of the best places to stay in Queenstown) and just steps away from the Skyline Gondola – this authentic steak restaurant is super-popular. In fact, it is consistently ranked among the best restaurants in the Queenstown area. It’s a luxury dining experience with excellent service and booking in advance is definitely recommended.

All of the meat served at Jervois Steak House is of the best quality and sourced (where possible) in the local area. On the varied menu here are dishes like the Signature Prime Rib, 150-day grain-fed Black Angus, and the Jervois cut eye fillet on the bone. Once you choose your meat you then must decide, which amazing sauce/s should accompany your meal.

Of course if you’re not a red meat fan there’s some other great options on the menu like red king crab, calamari, chicken, and much more!

If you want to experience the very best Jervois has to offer you can opt for the 6-course degustation menu which is priced at $120 per person. The Steaks here range in price from $39 up to $75 per 100g for the Zen-Noh sirloin from Japan. Non-steak dishes range from $34 – $39.

Jervois Steak House is not the cheapest place to eat in Queenstown but for a good quality steak, you should expect to pay a little more. This is certainly a bucket list restaurant in Queenstown for meat lovers!

Note: Tipping in New Zealand is not common, however, if you do receive exceptional service a tip is always appreciated!

2. Blue Kanu

Food at the Blue Kanu in queenstown
  • Location: 16 Church Street
  • Price range: $15 to $50 NZD
  • Come here for: the Seafood and unique cuisine
  • Takes reservations: yes
  • Blue Kanu is a restaurant I take all my friends and family who visit me. When people visit Queenstown I want them to taste something unique and Blue Kanu, in my opinion, is the most unique restaurant in Queenstown.

Blue Kanu specializes in Polynesian/Asian food with lots of seafood. Some of my favorites include the golden shrimp and whole fish. Both are delicious! For those who are not a fan of seafood, they have plenty more including ribs (these are so good!) and my favorite dish on the entire menu is the duck nachos. Seriously, all the food here is good and it comes with its own unique twist so don’t expect anything boring!

Blue Kanu is a laid-back restaurant and the staff wear floral shirts for that cool Polynesian vibe. It’s the perfect relaxing thing to do in Queenstown.

The menu is set up so a group can order mutable dishes and share kind of like tapas except the portions are larger. I like to come and order around 6 to 7 dishes between four people and try a bit of everything. Each share dish is around $20 but they also have mains for around $30. They also have a “trust the wok” set menu for $65 a person and they’ll cook you a range of dishes so you can try it all.

Overall, I’d say Blue Kanu is my top choice for those who don’t mind trying food with a fancy twist.

3. The Cow

Pizza at The Cow in Queenstown
Yes I like pineapple on pizza!
  • Location: Cow Lane, Queenstown
  • Price range: starting from $24.90 NZD for a pasta dish to $23.90 NZD for a pizza
  • Come here for: the pizza
  • Takes reservations: no

A family-friendly restaurant, The Cow has been serving up delicious pizza and pasta dishes since 1977. In fact, this is Queenstown’s oldest restaurant still in operation! It got his name because it was once a milking barn for cows. The interior still stays true to its historic roots with stone walls and floors. You can expect a cozy, friendly atmosphere at all times!

As I mentioned, this is a very popular restaurant with families and large groups. It is a Queenstown institution after all. However, they do not take reservations so you may need to wait for a table. If you don’t want to wait long I suggest going at around 6 pm. By 7-7:30 there’s almost always a decent wait for a table. In fact, it’s one reason I don’t go very often.

A specialty at The Cow is the spaghetti bolognese, just beware the portions are HUGE. As for pizza, you can’t go wrong with anything on the menu. A small is around $25 and a large $35, but the large will easily feed two people and I often have leftovers (even with my hungry boyfriend whom I often compare to a bottomless pit!)

They also have a restaurant in Wanaka at 33 Ardmore Street. It is considered by many as one of the best restaurants in Wanaka.

4. Pedro’s by the Lake

The Paella from Pedro’s by the Lake
On a summer day this is a great spot! Photo credit: Pedro’s by the Lake
  • Location: 50 Beach Street
  • Price range: $12 – $25 NZD for a tapas dish
  • Come here for: the best lamb dishes in New Zealand
  • Takes reservations: yes

This newly opened restaurant is in fact the second Pedro’s restaurant in New Zealand. The first restaurant was unfortunately devastated by the Christchurch earthquakes of 2011. Pedros by the Lake serves up authentic Spanish fare with an emphasis on lamb dishes (the meat so beloved by New Zealanders).

Seeing as it’s a Spanish restaurant, the tapas dishes and paella are very popular. If you want to truly get a feel of the Spanish cuisine here, you may wish to order a Spanish Degustation of tapas for $49 per person. Otherwise, individual tapas dishes range in price from $12 – $25. Popular main dishes like the Pulled Lamb ($34) or the amazing Lamb Shoulder which must be shared between 2 – 3 people ($80).

The views from their location on Beach Street are truly stunning and look across to Lake Wakatipu and Cecil Peak. The best time to visit Queenstown is in the summer if you want to sit out on the patio here. This place is the perfect place to visit on beautiful summer’s day and the location alone should be enough to get you seated there!

Their sister takeaway restaurant, Pedro’s House of Lamb on Gorge Road, is a Queenstown staple. If you want a lamb dinner to-go then this is your place.

5. Fergs Bar

A breakfast at Fergs Bar
They serve some interesting breakfasts! Photo credit: Fergs Bar
  • Location: 44 Shotover Street
  • Price range: $9.50 – $29 NZD for a share dish
  • Come here for: share dishes & oysters
  • Takes reservations: no

Ferg Bar is the newest restaurant from the famous Ferg brand. You are likely already familiar with the name from the famed Fergburger (which is right next door).

Ferg Bar is a great spot for breakfast in Queenstown and you can choose from a continental breakfast (including pastries, charcuterie meats, cheese, seasonal fruits, and freshly squeezed OJ) for $22.50. Also, a popular option from the breakfast menu is the Smoked Bacon Hash or my personal favorite Huevos Rancheros.

Available from 11.30 am is a selection of share plates such as Lamb Shoulder Sliders, Duck & Ginger Dumplings, and Pacific Oysters. These share plates start from $9.50. If there are two of you I recommend choosing 3 dishes between you.

It’s a great spot too for pre-dinner drinks with a great selection of cocktails on offer. I love the Garden Party which has smoked rosemary gin, mango mezcal, and pineapple juice. I come here a lot when it’s raining in Queenstown to lighten the mood with a delicious cocktail.

The interior is small with a kind of industrial-chic vibe. The best seats are the high stools facing onto Shotover Street where you can watch the world go by and count the people queuing for its famous big brother Fergurger next door.

Fergs Bar is open 7am – 2am every day – yep, you read that right – it’s only closed for 5 hours every day!

6. The Stratosfare Restaurant

Enjoying a glass of wine at the Stratosfare Restaurant Queenstown with a beautiful view
Not a bad place to enjoy a meal!
  • Location: Skyline building at the top of the gondola
  • Price range: $79 to $119 NZD for buffet dinner including the gondola
  • Come here for: the huge buffet
  • Takes reservations: yes

One of the most romantic things to do in Queenstown is to have dinner at the Stratosfare Restaurant overlooking Queenstown. Not only are the views from the restaurant some of the best in Queenstown, but the huge buffet is about quality and not quantity (although you can eat as much as you like.)

The Stratosfare serves a lunch and dinner menu which are both buffets. Tickets are booked in advance and include your gondola ride up (and down) to the restaurant. The lunch buffet is cheaper than dinner but in my opinion, it’s that beautiful sunset over Queenstown that makes this restaurant so special. I myself have only done the dinner buffet.

Now I must be honest, I am normally against buffets. I simply would rather eat a small high-quality meal, however, the Stratosfare serves amazing food including plenty of roast meats (cut off the bone in front of you), seafood, sushi, soups, desserts and so much more. It’s one buffet that I can personally recommend.

On top of that, eating at the Stratosfare is about the views and experience as well as the food. Before eating you could head out to try the Luge. This cool gravity-fed go-kart track is one of the best adventure activities in Queenstown. The excitement is sure to work up your appetite!

7. Nest Kitchen and Bar

Nest Kitchen and Bar
Those views! Photo Credit: Nest Kictchen and Bar
  • Location: 139 Fernhill Road
  • Price range: $36 – $40 NZD for a main course
  • Come here for: the views
  • Takes reservations: yes

High up above Queenstown in the neighborhood of Fernhill – Nest Kitchen and Bar at Kamana Lakehouse (one of the best hotels in Queenstown) boasts some of the best views in Queenstown. From its prime location, you can see Lake Wakatipu, Cecil Peak, and Walter Peak. If you don’t fancy walking up the steep hill to get here you can catch the number 1 bus from the center of town.

The inside is like something from an interior design magazine with floor-to-ceiling windows and an art-deco vibe. In fact, they often host weddings so eating here is easily one of the most romantic things to do in Queenstown.

The menu at Nest Kitchen and Bar uses mostly local ingredients and popular items on their dinner menu include the slow-cooked lamb as well as the scotch fillet. Good value-for-money is the 3 Course Tasting Menu for $65 per person which includes a starter, main course, and dessert of your choice. Start the day with the spectacular views and have breakfast here and choose a continental or hot food breakfast.

Fancy a cocktail or three? Their daily drink specials run from 5 – 6 pm. In fact, Nest is a great place for drinks and has a large bar seating area. If you’re enjoying a romantic getaway in Queenstown then The Nest should be on your list of places to visit.

8. Finz Seafood & Grill

Two meals at Finz Seafood & Grill
Seafood by the lake? Yes please! Photo credit: Finz Seafood & Grill
  • Location: Steamer Wharf
  • Price range: $30 – $40 NZD for a seafood main
  • Come here for: fresh seafood
  • Takes reservations: yes

Finz Seafood & Grill is in a prime location on Steamer Wharf overlooking Lake Wakatipu – you may even spot the famous TSS Earnslaw (the famous cruise in Queenstown) from your table. Finz Seafood & Grill has been serving fresh seafood for the past 15 years. In fact, it is one of the most popular seafood restaurants in Queenstown.

Finz has a relaxed vibe and a light and airy interior. Ask for a table by the window so that you can admire the gorgeous scenery outside.

From the main menu, you must try the Green-lipped mussels or the seared tuna loin served with soba noodles is exquisite too. If you’re not a seafood fan then there’s a variety of options available such as lamb chops and beef short ribs. There are vegetarian options available too.

Top tip – if you really want to try the best of seafood, the Seafood Platter for Two priced at $135 is a great option. It includes mussels, prawns, clams, oysters as well as Southland blue cod and squid.

9. White and Wong’s

Dumplings at White and Wong's
This is Asian food at its best! Photo credit: White and Wong’s
  • Location: 59 Beach Street
  • Price range: $18 to $50 NZD
  • Come here for: the Asian cuisine
  • Takes reservations: yes

White and Wong’s is a relatively new restaurant in Queenstown and it actually took me a while to try this place. After I finally did I thought to myself “what a waste”! All this time some of the best Asian food I’d found in New Zealand was minutes from my house and I had never been!

Luckily for you, I’ve tried and tested White and Wong’s and love it! The food here is the perfect mix of Asian cuisines. I love all the meals from the wok, especially the Shaking Beef. Or, if I’m feeling like something light the Thia Beef Salad is amazing! For a starter, it’s dumplings of course and there are lots of delicious flavors to choose from. My partner loves the Char siu pork bun too!

What I love about the food at Wong’s is that it’s not heavy or greasy. It’s fresh, full of flavor, and colorful.

The restaurant is located in the heart of Queenstown and the inside is really modern and full of life. It really takes me back to Asia where food is enjoyed in large groups and the restaurant filled with laughter.

10. Fogo Brazilian BBQ Experience

A range of meats at Fogo Brazilian BBQ Experience
Doesn’t that look amazing! Photo credit: Fogo Brazilian BBQ Experience
  • Location: 28 Ballarat Street
  • Price range: $62.95 NZD for the all-you-can-eat-experience; $29.95 – $32.95 NZD for a main course
  • Come here for: all you can eat meat
  • Takes reservations: yes

Fogo Brazilian BBQ Experience is the place to come for meat, and lots of it, in Queenstown! Fogo is especially popular with locals and you may not know it but Queenstown has a large Brazilian community. I’ve actually been to Brazil and love the food, culture, and atmosphere, and coming to Fogo gives me a small taste of that.

Without a doubt, the most popular option on the menu at Fogo Brazilian BBQ is the all-you-can-eat barbecue experience which includes unlimited helpings of steaks, chicken, sausage, lamb leg, and more! Also included are some Brazilian sides like Brazilian rice, beans (my favorite!), and potato salad. Seriously, you’ll leave stuffed after this!

If you want something lighter then the pan-friend salmon or the Fogo vegetarian pasta is a great option for you. If you have room for dessert after their large portions then there are daily dessert specials – just ask your server.

The restaurant is large and spacious and there’s a small selection of tables on the balcony to watch the hustle and bustle on Ballarat Street below.

11. Tanoshi Teppan and Sake Bar

Food at Tanoshi Teppan and Sake Bar in Queenstown, New Zealand
Tapas has never looked so good. Photo credit: Tanoshi Teppan and Sake Bar
  • Location: Cow Lane
  • Price range: $11 – $16 NZD for a tapas dish
  • Come here for: the sushi
  • Takes reservations: yes

Tanoshi Teppan and Sake Bar are easily one of the best options for sushi in Queenstown and even the South Island. They specialize in tapas style, shared Japanese dishes. Sit at the Teppan Grill and watch head Chef Sasakura in action. The restaurant is small, cozy, and welcoming and is one of my favorite Japanese restaurants in Queenstown.

At Tanoshi Teppan and Sake Bar ramen noodle dishes like the one with pork belly is a popular option on the lunch menu. As well as the Don Buri options – traditional rice dishes served with miso soup. For dinner, the Japanese Tapas dishes are a great way to try a variety of things. I suggest the Salmon Tuna Scallop Mixed Sashimi and the Crispy Fried Pork. If there are a few of you I recommend getting a few of these tapas-style dishes for the table. The prices for the Japanese tapas range from $12 – $16.

In a hurry? Then their sister restaurant Tanoshi Iko between Searle Lane and Church Street. Here you’ll find takeaway dishes including ramen noodles, dumplings, and bento boxes.

12. Yonder

Meals at Yonder in Queenstown
No boring vegan food here! Photo credit: Yonder
  • Location: 14 Church Street
  • Price range: $23 – $35 NZD for a main dish
  • Come here for: vegan and vegetarian dishes
  • Takes reservations: yes

Offering brunch, dinner, and drinks Yonder is one of the trendiest places to eat in Queenstown. The menu is inspired by food from across the world. The inside is bright and spacious and there’s a large outdoor seating area that’s especially busy on a sunny day. There’s good vibes all around here – fresh food and good tunes!

Catering to most dietary requirements, Yonder specializes in vegan and vegetarian dishes. The vegan Blueberry and Lemon Pancakes are amazing as well as the dairy-free Summer Hash with kumara, capsicum (bell pepper), and crispy potatoes. For dinner the main dishes range from $23 – $35 and the Pork Belly Burger or the Beef Brisket are both excellent options.

Yonder was voted in the top 10 brunch spots in all of New Zealand by Culture Trip and is considered one of the best cafes in Queenstown by many. The coffee is great here and a lot of locals will tell you it’s the best coffee in all of Queenstown. From the dinner menu, I love their homemade bao buns.

Most evenings they have live music acts playing so be sure to check out their Facebook page for more information. Yonder also has the best happy hour in Queenstown which runs from 3-6 pm and 9-11 pm every night of the week – the specials change daily.

13. Farelli’s Trattoria

Gnocchi at Farelli's Trattoria
The gnocchi is so good!
  • Location: 88 Beach Street
  • Price range: $320 – $26 NZD
  • Come here for: fresh pasta
  • Takes reservations: yes

I’m a sucker for good pasta and Farelli’s Trattoria in Queenstown is my go-to place! The pasta here is fresh and homemade giving it a beautiful texture. On top of that, the sauces that accompany the pasta are to die for and I can never get enough.

My two favorite dishes are the Prawn Linguine and Gnocchi Carbonara. Both are delicious and lucky for me they are also my partner’s favorites so we share them both every time we go. Pizza lovers can also rejoice and enjoy a slice with the Mediterranean being my favorite (minus the anchovies of course!) However, there are more to choose from.

The menu at Farelli’s Trattoria is relatively small but what they do, they do well! In my opinion, I’d rather that than a huge menu that doesn’t specialize in any particular cuisine.

14. Bespoke Kitchen

Meals at Bespoke Kitchen, Queenstown
So colorful! Photo credit: Bespoke Kitchen
  • Location: 9 Isle Street
  • Price range: $9 – $21 NZD
  • Come here for: breakfast and vegan options
  • Takes reservations: no

A few steps away from the Skyline Gondola, Bespoke Kitchen is popular at all times of the day thanks to its yummy freshly baked goods and excellent coffee. In fact, it’s one of my favorite places to grab a coffee in Queenstown. Bespoke prides itself on using fresh and local produce where possible.

From the menu, the Eggs Benedict is well worth a try. The all-day menu is served from 7:30 am – 3 pm and includes some more interesting options like the Beef & Parsley Burger and the Strawberry Floss Pancakes which are vegan. Bespoke specializes in catering to dietaries and has 4 vegan options as well as dairy-free and gluten-free options.

The interior is bright and sunny and there’s a large outdoor area which is a bit of a suntrap on a sunny day.

Bespoke is a local favorite and its location means many visitors miss it. However, if you should listen to anyone, it’s the locals so head here for a local treat!

Related read: For more great coffee, head over to Arrowtown. There are many great cafes in Arrowtown.

15. Fergburger

A burger from Fergburger
  • Location: 42 Shotover Street
  • Price range: $12 to $20 NZD
  • Come here for: the burgers
  • Takes reservations: no

Last but certainly not least is a small burger joint that’s more famous than Queenstown itself. Fergburger is the “it place” to visit if you want to eat Queenstown’s best burger. In fact, it’s one of the best cheap things to do in Queenstown, and every visitor should try one of their delicious burgers.

I personally love the Classic Fergburger with blue cheese. It’s my go-to bedtime snack after a night out (partly because late at night is the only time you can get Fergburger without having to wait in line for ages!)

Fergburger is open from 8 am to 4:30 am so you can pretty much get a burger at any time of the day. There is almost no seating at the restaurant so take your burger down to the waterfront or Queenstown Gardens and enjoy it in the sun!

Thanks for reading!

Bailey from My Queenstown Diary at the Queenstown Winter festival in Queentown
Thanks for reading!

As you can see from the list of restaurants above, you’re spoiled for choice in Queenstown. There are so many amazing places to get a bite to eat that the hardest thing to do is narrow it down to the favorites you want to try. Good luck and I really hope you enjoy the restaurants you pick off this list!

Thanks so much for reading! I really hope you loved this blog! If you did, be sure to browse around some more. Seriously, I have so many great articles to help plan your upcoming visit to Queenstown and even New Zealand!