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. Bistro Gentil

    $$$$ | French

    Indulge with a modern fine French meal in a quiet setting with lake and mountain views on the outskirts of Wanaka. Each meal begins with a...Read More

  • 2. 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

  • 3. Redcliff Café & Bar

    $$$$ | New Zealand

    If you want to try some of the good food that's produced in this area, Redcliff is the place to go. Even the atmosphere is true South at this...Read More

  • 4. Agave

    $$$ | Mexican

    Hidden down a small alleyway, Agave keeps the menu basic, with a focus on execution. The blue cod tacos nicely incorporate New Zealand seafood...Read More

  • 5. Burt.Ritos

    $$ | Mexican

    Burt.Ritos offers a local twist on food cart culture, with an American chef who quit a restaurant to operate out of a vintage trailer in the...Read More

  • 6. 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

  • 7. 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

  • 8. 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

  • 9. Kai Whakapai

    $$ | Eclectic

    This is a good place to sit shoulder to shoulder with the locals for breakfast on a crisp sunny morning with tables outside. It's just across...Read More

  • 10. Kohan Japanese Restaurant

    $$$ | Village Center | Japanese

    For more than 20 years, Masato Itoh has run only Japanese restaurant in town, combining fresh local ingredients with imported spices and seasoning...Read More

  • 11. La Rumbla

    $$$ | Spanish

    This is one of those rare places that's got all the elements right: food, service, and atmosphere. Put it down to the passion and interest of...Read More

  • 12. 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

  • 13. Poppies Cafe

    $$$$ | Café

    For years Poppies has been turning out good food in Twizel. Meat, seafood, pizza, and pasta are complemented by organic produce from the garden...Read More

  • 14. Reflections Cafe and Restaurant

    $$$ | New Zealand

    Great views of the lake are visible from almost every table at this rather rustically decorated restaurant. The menu is hearty, if not a little...Read More

  • 15. Sasanoki Japanese Kitchen

    $$ | Japanese

    It's cheating to say this is the best Japanese place in Wanaka as it's the only one ... but this take-out eatery really is a big hit among the...Read More

  • 16. 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

  • 17. 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

  • 18. 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

  • 19. The Old Mountaineers Cafe, Bar & Restaurant

    $$$ | Café

    This cozy, very personable café/restaurant has big picture windows for grand views of the outside and all sorts of interesting mountaineering...Read More

  • 20. 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

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