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Where to eat in Queenstown – a culinary guide to the city

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Amidst the tight-knit streets of downtown Queenstown, where the untameable energy of the city’s thrill-seeking adventure demographic seeps unceasingly into the nightlife party venues, there’s also a real variety of culinary gems to discover. Serving everything from home-grown New Zealand traditionals to Mediterranean fusion and east-coast surf and turf, there’s something on the menu for everyone, while those coming specifically to unravel the culinary delights of South Island are sure to leave with a grin.

Mike Watt

My Destination local expert on

Queenstown (NZ)

Creativity and innovation have long been the hallmark of Queenstown’s chefs, with restaurants offering the traditional New Zealand meat dishes and seafood platters in altogether different ways.

 

Shotover Street

 

Queenstown’s main drag is a hodgepodge of various eateries. Nestled between the ubiquitous pizzerias, Mexican kitchens and Indian takeaways, the unassuming surf-shack style entranceway to Fergburger marks the site of a local favorite serving a range of home-reared burgers with a twist. Complete with a selection of tapas bars and a sushi restaurant, Shotover Street also plays host to a number of cuisines to suite the more niche-palate.

 

Brecon Street

 

On this compact side-street, the undisputed culinary king is the Jervois Steakhouse. Operated by New Zealand’s own Masterchef judge, Simon Gault, Jervois is an unashamed carnivore delight, while the bar underneath and the cowboy-themed saloons on Brecon Street are a great place to grab a drink or something a little more casual to eat. Soaring high above the town, The Skyline Gondola Restaurant offers a buffet option. However, the real pull here is the breath-taking panoramas that sweep 360 degrees across the horizon.

 

Steamer Wharf

 

Outside of the centre, fine-dining and refined eating takes centre stage. The restaurants on Steamer Wharf enjoy lake-side views to boot, while a number of the establishments here are frequently listed as the town’s best. The Public Kitchen and Bar is a quality casual dining experience right on the lake’s edge, while Finz Seafood and Grill has attracted seriously positive reviews amongst food critics, famed for its fresh seafood and traditional New Zealand cutlets.

 

Beach Street

 

Overlooking Earnslaw Park, the collection of second floor restaurants take advantage of their views of Lake Wakatipu. The South African influenced Flame Bar and Grill is a popular hang-out that’s renowned for its generous rib and burger portions. My Thai brings good value Thai dishes with a sleek and modern interior along with great value lunch deals.

 

Church Street

 

The de facto centre of Queenstown’s Mediterranean culinary scene, Church Street is home to the city’s only French restaurant, Les Alpes, which serves up a variety of continental food; from the ubiquitous croissant breakfast, to the French fondue at night. Also on Church Street, Sasso is a fine-dining Italian restaurant that continues the European theme and serves a variety of top-quality traditional pizza and pasta dishes.

 

Ballarat Street

 

In the heart of Queenstown’s retail district, Ballarat Street is a prime place to go in search of cheap eats from lunchtime onwards. The atmosphere here is bustling and pleasantly packed out with shoppers enjoying al fresco food in one of the many cafés and bars that line the street. What’s more, Ballarat Street is known for its selection of oriental and Asian foods that are often available at a great price.

 

Arrowtown

 

The culinary offering of Arrowtown centres on the range of fine-dining bistros and more casual eateries lining Buckingham Street and Ranshaw Lane. For a traditional gastro pub option The Fork and Tap serves a hearty menu, while those looking for something more up-market can head to The Stables, Mantra or Saffron that are all located in and around Buckingham Street.

 

Fergburger, 42 Shotover Street. +64 3 441 1232• Finz Seafood and Grill, Steamer Wharf Ground/Beach Street. +64 3-442 7405• Jervois Steakhouse Queenstown, Brecon Street, Lower Steps. +64 3 442 6263• Les Alpes Restaurant, 16 Church Street. +64 3 442 6060• Flame Bar and Grill, 61 Beach Street. +64 3 409 2342• My Thai, 69 Beach Street. +64 3 441 8380• The Public Kitchen and Bar, Steamer Wharf, Beach Street. +64 3 442 5969• SASSO, 14/16 Church Street, Queenstown, Queenstown-Lakes• Stables Restaurant Limited, 28 Buckingham St, Arrowtown. +64 3-442 1818• Mantra Restaurant, 50 Buckingham St, Arrowtown. +64 3 442 0880• Saffron Restaurant, 18 Buckingham Street. +64 3 442 0131• Skyline Gondola, Brecon Street. +64 3-441 0101