The Queenstown Food Guide
Queenstown might be the “Adventure Capital”, but it could well be the “Foodie Capital” too. Surrounded by gorgeous vineyards and home to talented artisans, brewers, winemakers, local and international chefs, Queenstown offers a great deal of food-related experiences for travellers. Whether you’re looking to indulge in a cruise with gourmet cuisine as the destination or simply try out the town’s street eats, there’s plenty of options to suit foodies with all budgets. We go through the food activities, the restaurants, the self-catering accommodation and hotels with fantastic restaurants in this complete foodie guide to Queenstown!
Foodie Activities in Queenstown
Queenstown is not just about the restaurants (which we’ll get onto that later), it’s about experiencing the food through hands-on experiences. Here are some of our top foodie picks in Queenstown…
Meals with a View
Combine food, a cruise, history and Kiwi farming life on the Walter Peak Gourmet BBQ Lunch experience. Depart from Queenstown on the historic steamship, the TSS Earnslaw on a scenic cruise across Lake Wakatipu. You’ll arrive at Walter Peak High Country Farm to dig into a barbecue lunch of Central Otago cuisine at the homestead. Day-trippers also get treated to a sheep shearing demonstration or a sheepdog demonstration.
Get unbeatable views of Queenstown, Lake Wakatipu and The Remarkables mountain ranges from atop the Skyline Gondola. Dine at the Stratosphere Restaurant for an all-you-can-eat four-course buffet lunch or a six-course buffet dinner of local specialities, like prime meat and seafood, and a range of crowd-pleasers. The tiered seating arrangement ensures every diner gets a good view.
Winery & Brewery Tours
Did you know that Queenstown is part of a wine region? Explore the Gibbston Valley wineries that follow the scenic Kawarau River on one of the many tours offered in the region. Ride to the wineries yourself on a self-guided tour with Around the Basin Bike Tours or join a small-group tour with Queenstown Wine Trail, which also includes a traditional New Zealand-style lunch and cheese tastings. Learn more about the wineries and vineyards in the 10 Wonderful Wineries in Queenstown.
As well as wine, Queenstown is also home to a small craft beer community. Visit some of the local craft breweries and microbreweries with free beer tastings with Hop On Beer Tours. The tour takes you through the scenic Gibbston Valley and includes lunch with specially-matched beer. You’ll also get a behind-the-scenes tour at some breweries to learn how they make the good stuff.
Best Restaurants in Queenstown
The restaurant scene is almost as buzzing as the tourist activities available in Queenstown. In fact, choosing a place to eat is almost overwhelming. We’ll make things a little easier with some fine dining and cheap eat recommendations!
Fine Dining in Queenstown
For a more “upmarket” foodie experience, check out some of the fine dining establishments scattered across Queenstown and the surrounding area. For town centre fine dining, enjoy the rustic ambience and Kiwi cuisine of The Bunker. This back-alley restaurant offers intimate dining beside a crackling log fire. Try The Bunker’s game meats, red meats and local specialities, as well as wine or a cocktail off their extensive drinks menu. Later into the evening, the bar transforms into a late-night venue playing house music.
For those wanting to escape the hustle and bustle of town, make a special trip to the Amisfield Winery & Bistro. The winery specialises in all things Otago, from its award-winning Central Otago wines to food made with only local and seasonal ingredients. We recommend the surprises in store on the “Trust the Chef” degustation menu… And that’s really just the beginning. See our 10 Best Fine Dining Restaurants in Queenstown for more recommendations.
Cheap Eats in Queenstown
Queenstown might have a reputation for being expensive, but it doesn’t have to be thanks to the array of the more affordable eateries and street eats available. Head to the food trucks, such as Eriks Fish & Chips on Earl Street for NZ$10 Kiwi fish, chips and soft drink meal deal. The Empanada Kitchen on Beach Street is also well worth trying for their gourmet empanadas for around NZ$5.50 each! The grill restaurant, Flame on Beach Street, also has a NZ$10 lunch deal, while New Zealand-style savoury pies are available at Fergbaker on Shotover Street.
Check out much more recommendations in the Cheap Eats in Queenstown.
Alternative Things to Do in Queenstown
There’s more to do in Queenstown than just eating! Be sure to complement your stay with some of the non-foodie experiences. Here are a few suggestions!
Other Things to Do in Queenstown
- Do a bungy jump
- Do a skydive
- Go skiing or snowboarding in winter
- Go on a jet boat ride
- Go white water rafting
- Visit the Lord of the Rings filming locations
- See native wildlife at the Kiwi Birdlife Park
- Party at the bars and clubs
- Do a canyon swing
- Cruise around Lake Wakatipu with Southern Discoveries
- Indulge in a massage at the Body Sanctum Day Spa
- Do a guided hike of the Routeburn Track with Nomad Safaris
- Play golf
And the list seriously goes on and on… Get more information in our 10 Queenstown Must-Dos.