Otago, Invercargill, and Stewart Island Restaurants

Dunedin has the area's highest concentration of good restaurants. Seafood is a big player, in part because of Dunedin's coastal location but also because of its proximity to Bluff, the home of New Zealand's great delicacy, the Bluff oysters. Many of the least-expensive options are café-like Asian restaurants; these tend to close early, around 9 pm. Locals don't usually dress up or make reservations for anything other than the most exclusive establishments.

Invercargill has a more limited selection of mostly moderately priced restaurants. Stewart Island has a reasonable selection considering its location, but in winter some places limit their hours or close.

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  • 1. Salt Bar & Restaurant

    $$$

    In an iconic art deco building, this is the place to dine in St. Clair's, a leafy seaside neighborhood along a spectacular beach. Sate yourself...Read More

  • 2. 1908 Café & Bar

    $$$

    There are good views of the harbor from this converted post office "where the high road meets the low road." The interior still feels Edwardian,...Read More

  • 3. Bay Café

    $$$

    Located in the first settlement you reach on the peninsula, this well-known café has fine views across the harbor. Scallops, prawns, blue cod, and mussels...Read More

  • 4. Cabbage Tree

    $$$$

    A spacious dining room done in wood and brick offers a supersize menu with more than 100 dishes. Popular choices are Stewart Island blue cod,...Read More

  • 5. Church Hill Boutique Lodge and Restaurant

    $$$$

    At the heart of the menu is food of the sea, or kai moana. Stewart Island blue cod, salmon, mussels, oysters, crayfish, and paua (abalone)...Read More

  • 6. Just Cafe

    $

    Britt Moore runs this little, bright yellow establishment offering a nice selection of sweet and savory scones (try their cheeses ones), slices and cakes, along...Read More

  • 7. Kai Kart

    $

    Come here for good old-fashioned fish-and-chips wrapped in a newspaper. There isn't an ounce of pretense in this cheerful little place, which is little more...Read More

  • 8. Little India Dunedin

    $$$

    Influenced by the flavors of northern India (and the kitchen of founder Sukhi's grandmother), this family business began in Dunedin and has become a chain...Read More

  • 9. Little India Invercargill

    $$$

    Influenced by the flavors of northern India (and the kitchen of founder Sukhi's grandmother) this family business began in Dunedin and now has restaurants spanning...Read More

  • 10. Plato

    $$$$

    A favorite among locals, this waterfront eatery that was once a seafarers hostel provides great food and excellent service. Everything is delicious, from the bread...Read More

  • 11. Riverstone Kitchen

    $$$

    The mouthwatering menu focuses on organic, locally grown, seasonal produce, offering regional New Zealand cuisine with a few Asian accents (a Thai duck salad, for...Read More

  • 12. Sampan Dunedin

    $

    This no-frills noodle bar is crowded with students and serves yummy, filling, and inexpensive soups. Menu highlights include spicy satay chicken burgers, fried rice, bong-bong...Read More

  • 13. South Sea Hotel Restaurant

    $$$

    You can have a relaxed meal in the seaside restaurant or an even more relaxed meal in the bar at this popular local spot. Local...Read More

  • 14. Thai Hanoi

    $$$

    This Thai-Vietnamese fusion spot offers options like green or red Thai curries and a yellow or jungle (hot) Vietnamese curry. The Rialto Cinema is across...Read More

  • 15. The Kitchen Table Cafe & Bake

    $$

    At this centrally located café and bakery, artisan bakers craft delicious wholesome food. You can choose from, pancakes, French toast, or good old eggs Benedict...Read More

  • 16. The Rocks Restaurant Bar

    $$$$

    You could easily walk past this stylish place, tucked inside a shopping courtyard. The kitchen employs bounty from the nearby bush and sea paired with...Read More

  • 17. The Speight's Ale House

    $$$

    Authentic and quirky, the Ale House serves as a lively bar in a brewery–restaurant setting. The menu includes a "drunken" steak (steak marinated in dark,...Read More

  • 18. Ziff's Café and Bar

    $$$$

    This enormously popular restaurant on the way to Oreti Beach (past the airport) is a local favorite. Ziff's does steak, blue cod, chicken, and pasta,...Read More

  • 19. Anarkali

    $

    Once named Ananda, Anarkali has retained the same chef and still serves the authentic Indian vegetarian thalis (meals made up of several small individual servings)...Read More

  • 20. Apsara

    $

    The Asian community in Dunedin includes a Cambodian enclave, which has spawned a few noodle shops. Inexpensive filling soups are available for lunch and dinner...Read More

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