If you're visiting Queenstown, eating out can be an expensive exercise. Here are some cafes and restaurants where you can eat well yet relatively cheaply.
Remember, this is a tourist town 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.
Where marked BYO, you can also take your own wine. This is another way to save a significant amount of money as markups on wine at restaurants can be extremely high. You will pay a corkage fee (usually between $5 and $10) but the wine will still work out a lot cheaper. Purchase a good bottle of Central Otago wine from the Wine Tastes at 14 Beach Street; this exceptional store has a very good selection, knowledgeable staff and more than 80 wines available for tasting for a small cost.
Gourmet burgers that are some of the most innovative and tasty you'll find anywhere. This 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 am until 5 am every day (that's 21 hours a day!).
Fernburger Contact Info:
- Address: 42 Shotover Street, Queenstown
- Website: www.fergburger.co.nz
Also called At Thai. This restaurant 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.
@Thai Contact Info:
- Address: Level 3, Air New Zealand Building, Church Street, Queenstown.
- Open 7 days, midday-10 pm
The Cow (BYO)
This is a 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 bland, but it's filling and reasonably priced. It is also very popular so bookings are recommended.
The Cow Contact Info:
- Address: 16 Cow Lane, Queenstown
- Open 7 days, midday to midnight
Vudu Cafe and Larder
In a world of bland cafes all doing the same thing, this place is a joy to find. 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.
@Vudu Cafe and Larder Contact Info:
- Address: 16 Rees Street, Queenstown
- Website: www.vudu.co.nz
Sombrero's Mexican Cantina (BYO)
This 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.
Sombrero's Mexican Cantina Contact Info:
- 11 Beach Street, Queenstown
- website: www.sombreros.co.nz
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 but numerous other choices including several vegetarian options. There's even a children's menu.
Pig and Whistle Pub Contact Info:
- Address: 41 Ballarat Street, Queenstown
- Website: www.pigandwhistlepub.co.nz