Dining in Queenstown

Queenstown is a foodie’s delight.

In our week long stay we were able to try some delicious food so I thought it would be fun to do a post on some of the memorable (and not so memorable) places we tried during our stay.

One thing I noticed was how well vegetarians and vegans are catered for here. Don’t get me wrong, New Zealand certainly does cater to these dietary requirements, but the choice in Queenstown was far greater than what I am used to at home.

Mulled Wine. On a cool winter’s day, whats better than a hot, steaming wine to warm you up. I tried mulled wine from a couple of places but my favorite was hands down, the mulled wine from Pier Restaurant & Bar down by the lake front. Their mulled wine is beautifully spiced but it was the whole experience that made this so enjoyable. Sitting outside, next to the gas heater, people watching and taking in the view of the stunning Remarkable Ranges. It doesn’t get much better than this. Their Baileys hot chocolate is also great.

Craft Beer Bar. Now I am not a beer drinker, but Smith’s Craft Beer House was recommended to us by some friends. After an exhilarating but rather freezing afternoon spent jet boating, this was the perfect place to warm up, wait for the feelings to return to my toes and watch the world go by. Their mulled ginger beer and deep fried pickles were the perfect accompaniment to my defrosting. There is a great range of beers on tap and the place has a relaxed, chilled vibe.

A sweet treat. If you are feeling a little peckish after dinner (or have an hour to wait for the bus like we did) and wanting a little something sweet to finish off with, you can’t go wrong with the S’mores from the Cookie Time Cookiebar. I don’t think it is even on their menu but I spotted someone else having one and had to try it. Warm, gooey, sweet and sticky it’s the perfect little bite to warm you from the inside out.

Vineyard Lunch. If you get the opportunity to dine at Akarua Winery you wont be disappointed. The setting is beautiful, the food is scrumptious and you’re in a vineyard, with excellent wine on hand. Win win. We came here as part of a wine tasting tour and were served a selection of food to share among the table. Fresh bread, olives, salmon, super crispy potatoes, a freshly baked lamb pie and a gorgeous haloumi salad for me. This place seems to be well known amongst the locals which is always a good sign.

To Ferg or not to Ferg. That is the question. If you have even been to Queenstown or even just planning your visit, I am sure you have heard about the famous Ferg Burger. With it’s queues of people lining the streets, waiting to get their hands on one of these burgers, I must admit that I was a bit skeptical. Surely it can’t be THAT good. So, on every tour we went on, I asked the other tourists and the locals – have you had Ferg burger? Is it really that good? The tourists told me, call ahead to make your order so you don’t wait ages in the queue.

However, the word from the locals was that Devil Burger was just as good and didn’t have the long wait. So after doing my research, on our last night, we went to Devil Burger. And I have to say, we were wildly underwhelmed. There was nothing wrong with the burger, it was made with fresh ingredients, but there was no wow factor. So I still can’t tell you if Ferg Burger is really as good as everyone says, but if it really is like Devil Burger, then I have to say, our local burger joint, Dirty Burger in Petone is so much better. Next time I will try Ferg Burger & settle this debate!

Steak. So as you may already know, I am a vegetarian. My husband is a big meat eater. And somehow, on our 10 year wedding anniversary, I found myself having dinner at a Jervois Steak House. If you are a lover of fine dining and steak, you will love this place. Its busy, but the staff are attentive and friendly. Their steak menu is extensive and you could easily spend a small fortune here. If you have ever wondered what a $70 piece of steak looks like, here it is:

Daniel did say it was excellent and really enjoyed the experience. My meal was fine, I had a salad and a side of kumera. While there are some vegetarian options, this place really is for meat lovers.

Best dining experience. Not just in Queenstown. This has to be one of my favourite dining experiences.


We are relatively new to the concept of ‘Trust the Chef’ dining but it is something we are really enjoying and No5 Church Lane was exceptional. Daniel of course insisted on the special ‘7 course option’ that wasn’t advertised on the menu but I am so glad he did. The presentation was beautiful and we tried so many new things; like deep fried banana flower that they called the vegetarian version of fried chicken, even Daniel was a fan and that’s saying something!

The most ‘out there’ dish though was Daniel’s main course. Lamb bacon, topped with a purple maori potato. On top of that was a scoop of black pudding ice cream, yes you read that correctly, garnished with a rosemary crisp. He described it as wild and out of his comfort zone, but in a really good way.

Our waiter then brought out a waffle cone with ice cream (not black pudding flavour), telling us that’s it’s the first dessert! I have never been anywhere before were you are served 2 desserts!

Every dish was outstanding, creative and left me excited to see what would follow next. If you get the chance to dine here, I can’t recommend this place enough.

Wherever your culinary journey in Queenstown takes you, I have no doubt that you will find plenty of flavours to delight your taste buds with.

3 thoughts on “Dining in Queenstown

  1. Pingback: Reflecting on 2020 – Exploring the Long White Cloud

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