Looking for the best restaurants in Queenstown? You’re in the right place. Queenstown is a small town with big charm. With an excellent selection of eateries to choose from, you’ll never be left wanting for something delicious to munch on!
I recently spent four months living in Queenstown and as a serious foodie, it’s safe to say that I ate my way through the town. From budget burgers to high end fare, the places on this list have been enjoyed by my tastebuds and vetted for quality.
Here are the 15 best restaurants in Queenstown that offer a variety of cuisines and price ranges the next time you’re looking for an awesome place to chow down!
- 1 Best Restaurants in Queenstown on a Budget (>$15)
- 2 Best Mid-Range Eateries in Queenstown ($20 – $50)
- 3 Fine Dining in Queenstown ($50+)
- 4 Tips for Visiting Queenstown
Best Restaurants in Queenstown on a Budget (>$15)
Budget bites are a Queenstown specialty. Even if you don’t have much to spend, you can still get a banging meal for less than $15 NZD and not have to eat for the rest of the day!
I pretty much lived at these five spots, so you can take my word for it when I say that they’re definitely among the best restaurants in Queenstown.
Ask anyone who has ever been to Queenstown and they will tell you that Fergburger reigns supreme. This round the clock burger joint is world famous and pretty much open 24/7, serving up a huge range of delectable sandwiches.
A classic cheeseburger will only set you back about $12, but you can’t miss out on the fries and aioli. Be warned, though, the lines can be absolutely insane!
Just next door, you’ll find Ferg Baker, which is where all the true locals hit for grab and go food. Aside from the wide range of pastries and breads, Ferg Baker also has lots of sandwiches, pies, and even pizza for a quick lunch ($7 – $12). If you know what’s good for you, you’ll try one of their famous Boston cream doughnuts ($5) topped off with their extra thick hot chocolate.
Saigon is another local favorite and my all time favorite restaurant in Queenstown. Here you’ll find the most authentic Vietnamese food in Otago, with the friendliest staff you could ever imagine.
The classic beef pho is a must-try for only $14, but don’t forget to ask for a side of herbs and fresh chili! You’ll also find rice plates, stir-fry, seafood, salads and more on the menu – all of which are very reasonably priced!
Don’t miss out on their lunch specials and combos, which will have you feasting for less than $15!
Caribe Latin Kitchen
Caribe Latin Kitchen is a “local secret” tucked away on Ballarat Street. There are only a few tables but it’s one of the rare places that’s open all day, and serves up pretty quick takeaway.
This is definitely the best restaurant in Queenstown if you’re looking for a burrito fix. You can’t go wrong with the chicken burrito (around $12), which you can enjoy along the waterfront. They also serve up fresh arepas, tacos and small plates that will round out a meal if you’re feeling extra hungry.
Red Rock Bar Cafe
Red Rock is a local watering hole and the place to be if you’re looking to rub elbows with Queenstown’s finest (it’s the town’s oldest bar!). With cold beer, cheap eats, and a spacious patio, you can find it all at this little corner staple.
Most days they offer a different deal, like Slider Tuesday ($20 for 6 sliders), Wednesday Wings ($12 for a dozen & a bottle of Heineken), and Parmy Thursday ($20 for a massive chicken parm with fries and a pint).
If all else fails, don’t miss out on their $10 all day breakfast!
Halo Forbidden Bite
If you don’t mind a simple breakfast, Halo Forbidden Bite is the place to be. With a huge outdoor patio and cozy indoor seating, this sweet little spot serves up delicious brunch bites for under $15.
Try the eggs on toast, breakfast bun, or toasted muesli (all under $15)… If you have a little more to spend, the breakfast burrito is to die for! The cabinet selection is also top notch. Coming here is one of my favorite things to do in Queenstown!
Best Mid-Range Eateries in Queenstown ($20 – $50)
If you have a little more to spend, the world of the best restaurants in Queenstown really opens up.
While you may have to spend a little more at these restaurants, they’re still super reasonably priced and offer exceptionally high quality food.
Check ‘em out, there’s something for everyone!
Tanoshi Teppan and Sake Bar
In terms of the best restaurant in Queenstown overall, Tanoishi gets top marks. This quaint Japanese spot, tucked away in an alley, serves up some of the highest quality food in town without totally breaking the bank.
It’s all small plates, with lots to choose from. The menu changes, but items to look out for are the seared ribeye , mixed sashimi, yaki udon (all about $16), and a side of chili cucumber salad. But honestly, you can’t go wrong with anything they serve, especially when paired with one of their sakes.
Tanoshi also has a “little sister” takeout restaurant called Tanoshi Iko down the block that serves up a range of unbelievably delicious bento boxes and ramen that won’t run you more than $20 a pop.
Surreal Bar & Restaurant
By night, Surreal is a poppin’ party place with a lively rooftop, DJs, and the friendliest bar staff around (hi Johnny!). But during the day, this restaurant / bar duo serves up pub fare that simply cannot be beaten.
Surreal undoubtedly has the best chicken Caesar salad in Queenstown, and potentially all of New Zealand, loaded with tons of bacon, croutons and topped with a poached egg, for just shy of $25.
They also have a wide selection of burgers, tacos and small plates (like mac n cheese balls, yum!). Be sure to eat on the rooftop when the weather’s good, or by the fireplace après ski.
Hiding on a side street near the Skyline Gondola, you’ll find Bespoke, another one of the best restaurants in Queenstown.
Though unassuming from the outside (it practically blends in with the medical center next door), Bespoke is lively as soon as you walk inside, with staff busily doling out plates of goodness and locals chatting over their morning coffee.
On the menu, you’ll find classics like eggs benedict, smoothie bowls, and eggs how you like them, but also creative seasonal fare like rhubarb & berry bircher, vegan strawberry floss pancakes and a breakfast board with a shot of kombucha, avocado, eggs, chia pudding and all the fixings. For two, you can expect brunch to ring up a tab of about $50 (delicious coffee included!).
Ivy & Lola’s
If you want to eat along the water without draining your entire bank account, Ivy & Lola’s is certainly one of the best restaurants in Queenstown.
Serving breakfast, lunch and dinner, this easy going menu has something for everyone. What’s more, you get those glorious Queenstown views while dining al fresco!
Fan favorites are the chicken n waffles with jalapeno chutney, mussel pots at lunch, and peri peri chicken for dinner.
It’s hard to resist Yonder’s trendy atmosphere and inviting menu. With brunch and dinner options, you’ll find plenty to fit your fancy either inside or on their sunny patio.
Breakfast brings on the likes of over the top entrees like blueberry & lemon pancakes or raspberry & pistachio french toast for just over twenty bucks, but also an Asian flair with kimcheese on toast and a pork benny with hollandaise and sriracha.
Later in the day you can expect some more Asian fusion with bao buns, Japanese fried chicken and miso baked eggplant. If you’re looking for something more Western, veg out on grilled shrimp tacos, beef brisket and chips or cheesey pull apart bread.
Fine Dining in Queenstown ($50+)
Got money to blow in Queenstown, or looking for a prime time spot for a special occasion? These are the best restaurants in Queenstown when it comes to fine dining, with world class chefs and menus that will have you drooling as soon as you sit down.
Without any exaggeration, one of the best meals of my life was at Rata. This is world class dining at its finest and is absolutely among the best restaurants in Queenstown.
Though it’s on the pricier side, it’s worth every single cent as you’ll be treated to the most enchanting and thoughtful meal imaginable.
The menu changes daily but you can always expect fresh and local ingredients in the form of small plates ranging from around $18 – $30. If they’re serving crudo, you cannot miss out on this! Or if you’re feeling extra fancy, splurge for the feast for two people with an entire slow braise merino lamb shoulder ($52 per person).
Rata also serves lunch Friday through Sunday, with two courses for $38 and three courses for $48, aka the perfect way to enjoy fine dining without the crazy price tag.
If you ask any local what the best restaurant in Queenstown is, they’re likely to mention Botswana Butchery. It’s the definition of fine dining and the chef’s dishes are not only delicious, but beautiful too!
Whether you’re looking for a light bite or a three course meal, this meat and seafood restaurant has it all.
Try a specialty cut from the butcher’s block, which is served either pan seared or grilled, or opt for a range of starters like wild Fiordland Red Deer tartare, asparagus & Cloudy Bay clam risotto, Fijian Yellowfin Tuna tataki, or glazed free range NZ pork cheek with soft polenta and grilled corn.
Honestly, no matter what you order here, you will not be disappointed… That’s a guarantee, but your wallet may feel a bit lighter with main dishes running anywhere between $25 – $100, depending on the cut of meat you choose.
If you talk to the partiers of Queenstown, they’ve likely frequented Bunker after hours, but what few know is that this is actually a lavish restaurant during dinner service, before turning into a dark cocktail bar bumping house music.
Bunker serves up fresh New Zealand fare that sets it apart as one of the best restaurants in Queenstown. The menu features the likes of Fiordland venison, Wakanui beef, Central Otago Provenance lamb, and West Coast pork, along with local fish and a range of starters and sides. I mean, you know it’s going to be fancy if they tell you where each dish is from!
Paired with one of their craft cocktails, you’ll truly be able to get into the spirit of fine dining in Queenstown.
Plain and simple, if you’re looking for a steakhouse in Queenstown, Jervois is the spot. A premium and authentic restaurant, you’ll find the finest cuts of meat here, along with a wide range of sauces and sides to enjoy.
Choose between Hawke’s Bay scotch filets ($70/300 grams), Japanese A5 sirloins ($75/100 grams), or tender Australian beef, or settle for a more simple cut like a Taupo T-bone smothered in bearnaise ($12/100 grams).
If you’re a meat eater, you’re going to enjoy a meal at Jervois, there’s no question. And if you’re bringing along diners interested in more than beef, they’ll have options like zucchini risotto, roast duck breast or salmon filet.
FOGO Brazilian BBQ Experience
And just for fun, the last of the best restaurants in Queenstown has to be FOGO, the well loved Brazilian BBQ hub sitting high over Ballarat Street.
If you’ve never had Brazilian BBQ, you’re in for a treat as this is a true experience, along with being an outstanding meal.
You can choose to order either a la cart with meat and fish plates full of different cuts to sample. But everyone knows that if you’re going to go to Brazilian BBQ, you get the all you can eat option ($63 per person).
Servers will come around and cut different slices of grilled meats and veggies onto your plate until you’re so full you can’t walk anymore. Don’t leave without at least one slice of the pineapple!
Tips for Visiting Queenstown
After living in Queenstown, here are my top tips for making the most of your trip!
Stay at an Airbnb
If you’re visiting Queenstown, staying at an Airbnb is a must. If you don’t want to eat out every single meal, Airbnb allows you to find stays with a kitchen so you can hit the store and eat in. This means way more money to spend on activities, with a little room in the budget to try out the restaurants on this list.
Here are some of our favorite Airbnbs in Queenstown, or use the map below to explore more nearby stays!
Rent a Car
There’s so much to see in and around Queenstown that you’ll definitely need a car to explore it all. Head out to the Remarks or Coronet Peak for some of the best views, or have a leisurely cruise to Cardrona or Wanaka for a day trip.
No matter what your plans are in Queenstown, you’ll be kicking yourself if you forgo a car.
Click here to check out car rental prices… You’ll be surprised at how affordable it is!
Plan Your Trip Carefully
While everyone thinks of Queenstown as a winter destination (which it is, there’s no denying), it’s equally as fun in the summer.
Nothing beats days lounging by the lake under the hot New Zealand sun, or dining on patios throughout town. Plus, summer means way less crowds, as it’s technically the off season.
If you’re not big into skiing or snowboarding, I’d recommend planning your trip to Queenstown outside of ski season, where you’ll see more affordable accommodation, less waits at restaurants and overall a more pleasant and crowd-free experience.
Planning a trip to the South Island? Check out these articles:
- Hiking in Queenstown: 20 Trails for Fresh Air & Epic Views
- Things to Do in New Zealand South Island
- Best Ways to Travel Around New Zealand
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