The Southern Alps and Fiordland Restaurants

Queenstown, as the main regional resort, has the widest range of restaurants. Throughout the area, menus focus on local produce, seafood, lamb, and venison. Wine lists often highlight South Island wines, especially those from Central Otago and Gibbston Valley. Cafés and restaurants driven by the summer tourist trade shorten their hours in winter. Dress standards are generally relaxed, with jeans or khakis acceptable almost everywhere. At high-end places, particularly in Queenstown, you'll need to reserve a table at least a day in advance.

Outside of Queenstown and Wanaka dining options can be limited. In summer, meals of some sort are available almost everywhere, but outside the high season, there are fewer options in the smaller settlements and they don’t tend to stay open late.

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  • 1. Jervois Steak House

    $$$$ | Steakhouse

    Dine here and find out why New Zealand is so proud of its beef and lamb. This is how it should taste. You could take it to the next level with...Read More

  • 2. Fergburger

    $ | Burger

    A Queenstown institution, the famous Fergburger gets mentioned in media around the world. It began life as a burger bar serving from a hole...Read More

  • 3. Gantleys Restaurant

    $$$$ | New Zealand

    Built in 1863 as an inn for gold miners, this beautifully renovated old stone building, set in 2 acres of garden, is a nostalgic and romantic...Read More

  • 4. Ivy & Lola's Kitchen & Bar

    $$$ | Eclectic

    Feast your eyes on a collection of relics from the 1940s to '60s, right down to the mismatched crockery and enjoy good food, great service,...Read More

  • 5. Joe's Garage

    $$ | Café

    There are now 10 outposts around New Zealand, but Queenstown is where the Joe's Garage concept began—good coffee in a laid-back, friendly spot...Read More

  • 6. Pier 19 Restaurant

    $$$$ | New Zealand

    This bright and breezy eatery beside the lake on Steamer Wharf has picture-postcard views. In summer, if you don't mind being on display, sit...Read More

  • 7. Sasso

    $$$$ | Italian

    Authentic Italian meets fresh New Zealand produce, topped off with fine local and Italian wines. If you have the time and appetite, go for the...Read More

  • 8. The Bathhouse

    $$$ | Eclectic

    In the early 1900s this space was a Victorian bathhouse, right on the beach, built to commemorate the coronation of Britain's King George V...Read More

  • 9. The Boat Shed Cafe & Bistro

    $$ | Café

    This charming historic wooden building in the Frankton Marina used to be the New Zealand Railways Shipping Office and is right beside the lake...Read More

  • 10. The Bunker

    $$$$ | Eclectic

    Log fires, leather armchairs, and a clubby vibe make the Bunker especially cozy. Whet your appetite with an aperitif at the bar before heading...Read More

  • 11. Vudu Cafe

    $$ | Café

    This Queenstown institution is so popular it's opened a second venue, so if you can't get in to the main café try its "mini-me" version (Vudu...Read More

  • 12. Winnie's

    $$$ | Pizza

    A long-serving local favorite restaurant and bar with the winning combination of excellent pizza, pool tables, and a roof that opens to sunshine...Read More

  • 13. Golden Elephant

    $ | Thai

    There are several Thai places in Queenstown, but the Golden Elephant is the best. Overlooking the lake, this BYOB eatery has authentic Thai...Read More

  • 14. Luciano's

    $$ | New Zealand

    This Italian restaurant's gangster theme might strike you as a bit absurd, but the cuisine, presentation, and service are outstanding here....Read More

  • 15. Naff Caff

    $ | Café

    If all the adventure activities here have you racing, you can get a delicious breakfast egg-and-bacon panini to go here, along with some great...Read More

  • 16. The Grind

    $ | Café

    The Grind, on the outskirts of Queenstown in the Frankton Industrial Park, is a lovely place to enjoy views, brews, and fresh-baked goodies. ...Read More

  • 17. Wai

    $$$ | New Zealand

    Occupying a corner spot on Steamer Wharf, Wai has one of the best views, and reputations, in town. The fillet of grouper, oven roasted and wrapped...Read More

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