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

    $$$$

    Indulge with a modern fine French meal at this trendy bistro with lake and mountain views on the outskirts of Wanaka. The menu changes regularly,...Read More

  • 2. Jervois Steak House

    $$$$

    Dine here and find out why New Zealand is so proud of its beef and lamb: you could take it to the next level with...Read More

  • 3. La Rumbla

    $$$

    With the owners either cooking in the kitchen or out front making sure this is the best experience it can be, this is one of...Read More

  • 4. Redcliff Café & Bar

    $$$$

    Don't let the modest, homey exterior and laid-back attitude of the staff fool you: this restaurant produces the best meals in Te Anau (it was...Read More

  • 5. Discover Milford Information Centre & Cafe

    $$

    Situated at the main public car park, the Discover Milford Information Centre offers coffee, snacks, and counter food. The view out the front window, across...Read More

  • 6. Fergburger

    $$

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

  • 7. Ivy & Lola's Kitchen & Bar

    $$$$

    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

  • 8. Kai Whakapai

    $$$

    Just across the road from the lake, this is a great place to sit shoulder to shoulder with the locals for breakfast outside on a...Read More

  • 9. Kohan Japanese Restaurant

    $$$ | Village Center

    For nearly 30 years, Masato Itoh has run the only Japanese restaurant in town, combining fresh local ingredients with imported spices and seasoning to produce...Read More

  • 10. Patagonia Chocolates

    $

    Owned by a local Argentine couple who missed the desserts of their homeland, Patagonia is the best place around to buy ice cream, chocolates, cakes,...Read More

  • 11. 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

  • 12. Poppies Cafe

    $$$$

    Set in an extensive garden, Poppies has for years been a great place to eat, drink, socialize, and bask in the sun. Meat, seafood, pizza,...Read More

  • 13. Provisions of Arrowtown

    $$$

    Set in a historic miner's cottage, Provisions gets its name from the range of gourmet preserves they make. The welcoming atmosphere and lovely garden make...Read More

  • 14. Relishes Café

    $$$$

    You could hit this lakeside spot for every meal of the day, starting with the bacon or salmon eggs Benedict or something house-made and delicious...Read More

  • 15. Sandfly Cafe

    $$

    This is the perfect place to load up on coffee and a hearty breakfast before hitting the road to Milford Sound or Queenstown. It's a...Read More

  • 16. The Bathhouse

    $$$

    Built to commemorate the coronation of King George V, this early 1900s bathhouse on the beach now turns out breakfast, lunch, fresh scones, tapas, and...Read More

  • 17. The Bunker

    $$$$

    A loungey vibe with log fires, leather armchairs, and an impressive wine list make the Bunker a particularly cozy dining location. Dinner is an all-night...Read More

  • 18. The Chop Shop Food Merchants

    $$$

    The Chop Shop is tucked away in a back alley, and locals don't want you to know about it for fear they won't get a...Read More

  • 19. The Old Mountaineers Cafe, Bar & Restaurant

    $$$

    This cozy, very personable café–restaurant has big picture windows for grand views of the Alps and all sorts of interesting mountaineering memorabilia and photos to...Read More

  • 20. Vudu Cafe

    $$

    You'll be fighting the locals for a breakfast seat at this Queenstown institution, thanks to its lakefront seating and delicious array of counter food. Eggs...Read More

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