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. 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

  • 2. Cafe Mondo

    $$ | Café

    Tucked into a sheltered courtyard off the main street, this is the place for refreshing, eclectic cold drinks like the Mondo Combo, a blend...Read More

  • 3. Discover Milford Information Centre

    $$ | Café

    Formerly the only pub in town, the Discover Milford Information Centre is the only place in Milford Sound to buy a coffee, snacks, and counter...Read More

  • 4. 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

  • 5. 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

  • 6. Provisions

    $$ | Café

    With a welcoming atmosphere and lovely garden Provisions is a delightful place to have breakfast or lunch. The blackboard menu is enticing and...Read More

  • 7. 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

  • 8. 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

  • 9. 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

  • 10. 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

  • 11. Pesto

    $$ | Italian

    This casual eatery makes great pizza and pasta. If you want a drink in a really nice, comfortable bar, duck across the alley and poke your nose...Read More

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