Queensland is a tourist destination, so prices can tend to be rather high. With a bit of planning, however, it's possible to enjoy a meal without breaking the bank. Here are some cafes and restaurants where you can eat well within your budget.
One tip for saving extra money is to look for places that are BYOB, so you can take your own wine and skip the markup. You will pay a corkage fee (usually between $5 and $10), but the wine will still work out a lot cheaper. Wine Tastes at 14 Beach Street is an exceptional store with a very good selection, knowledgeable staff, and more than 80 wines available for tasting for a small cost. Take the opportunity to try a New Zealand wine, like a good bottle from Central Otago.
Gourmet burgers that are some of the most innovative and tasty you'll find anywhere. Fergburger is one of Queenstown's most popular eating spots and it's centrally located. It is essentially a takeaway joint although there are tables for eating in. This place always seems very busy and is open from 8 a.m. until 5 a.m. every day (that's 21 hours a day!).
This restaurant is also called At Thai. It is a little hard to find; it's on the third floor of the Air New Zealand building in Church Street, just a short distance from the lakefront. The food is very good and extremely well priced. The wine list, although limited, is quite good value too. Takeaways are also available.
This is a BYOB pizza and pasta restaurant with a fantastic atmosphere, housed in a cozy stone building (complete with open fire) down a back alley in the center of town. The menu is a bit limited (it really is only pizza and pasta) and the food is rather basic, but it's filling and reasonably priced. It is also very popular so bookings are recommended.
Vudu Cafe and Larder
In a world of bland cafes all doing the same thing, Vudu Cafe and Larder is a joy. The menu is innovative, with such goodies as mini goats cheese, corn and zucchini fritters, and panko crumbed harrisa chicken. The coffee is exceptional too. Open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, this is definitely one of the best cafes in Queenstown.
Sombrero's Mexican Cantina
This BYOB Mexican institution has been in Queenstown for more that 30 years. It's a cheerful place with a good variety of Mexican dishes. You can take your own wine, but they do have a reasonable wine list and of course a good selection of margaritas, cocktails, and other alcoholic beverages.
Pig and Whistle Pub
As Queenstown's original English-style pub, this is a popular place amongst the locals and is a great place to enjoy a pint and a meal. The food menu is extensive and several notches above your average pub fare. There are the usual English pub favorites such as bangers and mash and beef roast as well as numerous other choices including several vegetarian options. There's even a children's menu.