If you haven’t noticed by now or are new to our blog we have a severe love affair with New Zealand. It’s just a beautiful, friendly, and illustrious place that has something for everyone, much like our homeland of Canada! Whether you like hiking (also known as tramping), architecture, watersports, winter sports, camping, or eating – there is something in New Zealand for you. We love to eat, especially when we travel, it gives us a chance to try new foods or taste the unique twists on old classics that various places have. Queenstown New Zealand very much fits into the idea that the country has something for everyone, this is especially true in the world of food too.
While we are travelling we try out as many restaurants as we can, but we still travel on a budget like many of you so sometimes high-end restaurants are out of the question. But while we were in Queenstown we were celebrating our anniversary, so we thought we would try something a bit more high end for dinner. So this list will give you a good range of food options in Queenstown that suit every budget. But if you have more questions about perhaps cheaper options or different kinds of foods, send us a message! With that being said, Queenstown is not a cheap place in the first place. So when we say ‘cheap’ or on the ‘lower-end’ of a budget, it could still be roughly $40 for two people for a meal. Keep this in mind!
Of all the things to do in Queenstown, eating and finding new restaurants was arguably one of our favourite. Why? Because there are SO MANY options in Queenstown. It’s a huge tourist hub which allows for a lot of restaurants to thrive for a long time. So let’s dive into this list and get to the main course!
Ivy & Lola’s
This was most definitely our preferred place to get breakfast. Ivy & Lola’s puts an emphasis on seasonal ingredients (which means their menu can change often) and uses locally-sourced produce. And, not only was the food out of this world, but the views are epic (and people watching was on point)! Ivy & Lola’s Kitchen and Bar is located right on the main pier in Queenstown and offers patio seating right on the boardwalk. With an amazing view of the water and the Remarkables, it’s the perfect place to start your day the right way. One of our favourite things to do in Queenstown (and many other peoples too) is to just take in the scenery and enjoy the beauty of the area, Ivy & Lola’s is a great place to do that while enjoying a great meal. The antique decor adds to the cozy and friendly appeal of the restaurant with a funky twist.
I love my carbs so wherever we go for breakfast I tend to stick to pancakes or waffles, so when I saw on the menu the pancakes with fruit compote, lemon creme and maple syrup, I immediately knew what I wanted. Not to mention being a Canadian, anything with maple syrup is worth taking a double look at. Andy traditionally sticks to eggs benedict or big breakfasts that feature your entire gambit of breakfast items like eggs, bacon and hashbrowns. While enjoying our time at Ivy & Lola’s he decided to order the eggs benedict on sourdough with streaky bacon. Both of our meals came in a timely manner and were plated beautifully! The service, food, location and coffee were all excellent quality, which is exactly why it appears on this list!
We only tried breakfast at Ivy & Lola’s so we can’t comment on how great their dinner dishes and service are but if it is anything like their breakfast and lunch, you are in for a treat! The pricing is a little bit high, but like we mentioned, nearly everything in Queenstown New Zealand is a bit inflated. It’s arguably one of the densest areas for tourists, so naturally, prices will reflect that. In the end, we paid somewhere around $50NZD ($44.50CAD) for two meals and two lattes. Which is pretty comparable to huge tourist areas back home like Banff.
Joe’s Garage is a unique little place tucked away in Queenstown New Zealand and is our next favourite place for breakfast, one that we actually ran into by accident. As we were wandering around looking for places to try we meandered down a back alley and wandered right into Joe’s Garage, and thank goodness we did! The restaurant began operating in 2000 and prides itself on being born in Queenstown and adopts a very laidback approach to dining. Their extremely laidback atmosphere is very welcoming and they even allow you to bring your beloved dog along with you. The restaurant started in an old post office sorting room in downtown Queenstown and aimed to become a place where anyone could come any time of the day and enjoy themselves, catch up with friends and family and just eat good food. They may have started in Queenstown but they quickly spread around the country now have multiple locations, but there’s nothing quite like the original.
Joe’s Garage is known for a great cup of coffee, and because of the grand plethora of things to do in Queenstown, you’re going to want a little pick me up with some caffeine. For breakfast, we highly recommend the pikelets (aka pancakes) with lemon and vanilla sugar! They are pretty sweet (so get ready for a sugar high on top of that caffeine kick) but they are delicious and offer a unique flavour. For a more hearty breakfast go with the Gorgeous George, a meal filled with smashed potatoes, bacon, eggs and topped with hollandaise!
At Joe’s Garage you can expect to pay similar prices to Ivy & Lola’s.
Vudu Cafe in Queenstown New Zealand is one of the most hyped up breakfast places in town, and so it should be! We got lucky when we visited this epic cafe because it wasn’t busy at all, but a lot of people have said getting into this hot spot can be quite difficult. Their funky decor and outside patio with beautiful greenery take breakfast from normal to out of this world, add on their delicious lattes and meals and you have a winning combination. Did we mention the incredible food display filled with the best looking (and tasting) pastries?
Vudu is much like Ivy & Lola’s in the sense that they harvest local and seasonal produce to create their delicious menu items, they also use free-range eggs, chicken and free-farmed bacon and pork.
Again, if you are a carb lover like me then you should get the brioche french toast. The meal featured roasted rhubarb, raspberry chia jam, lemon cream cheese and is topped with pistachio crunch, maple and mint. The combination sounds like a lot, but oh. my. god. it is a pairing made in heaven. Andy stuck with a more traditional egg breakfast with toast and sunny side up eggs accompanied by some hashbrowns.
For the two of us with two breakfasts and two lattes, we paid around $50NZD.
Of all the things to do in Queenstown New Zealand you won’t regret, it’s eating at Fergburger. We literally still dream about eating one of these amazing burgers again. If someone asked us what restaurant in New Zealand they absolutely cannot miss we would without hesitation recommend Fergburger. Is it hyped up? Yes. But is it worth it? 100% yes.
This little hole in the wall restaurant is hard to miss (mainly because of the long line that forms outside no matter what time of day). They are also open 21 hours of the day so there is literally no excuses not to get one. We tried two different kinds of Fergburgers, the classic ‘The Fergburger’ and ‘Southern Swine.’ The classic burger is simple with prime New Zealand beef, lettuce, tomato, red onion, aioli (the sauce of the gods) and tomato relish (aka ketchup). While the Southern Swine features Prime beef, streaky bacon, avocado, lettuce, tomato, red onion, aioli and tomato relish.
We also highly recommend getting some fries with aioli as a side. Now if you are wondering what aioli is, it’s essentially a garlic mayo. If you don’t normally like mayo don’t be turned away by it! You should still give it a try and it’s easy to find all over the country, it’s one of the main things we miss about New Zealand. We actually recently found it here at home in Canada and were beyond excited!
For two burgers and fries (we shared one order of fries, two orders and two burgers is a lot for one person), we paid approximately $30NZD.
The next burger joint in Queenstown that is well worth a visit is Devil Burger. While it technically is direct competition with Fergburger, there is no denying that Devil Burger is delicious in its own right. Not to mention, just like Fergburger, they put aioli on basically everything and in our opinion…that makes everything that much more delicious. Devil Burger is located right near the waterfront and offers some beautiful views of the famous Lake Wakatipu. Opened in 2012 this burger joint has quickly become a local favourite and continues to rise on the list of things to do in Queenstown that will tickle your taste buds.
I decided to opt for a chicken burger this time, more specifically the Devil’s BBQ Chicken – the burger features grilled chicken tenderloins, streaky bacon, BBQ sauce, lettuce, tomato, red onion and aioli. Andy went for the regular Devil Burger with prime NZ beef, lettuce, tomato, red onion, aioli and Devil relish, he also added edam cheese and bacon. Again, we decided to share a side (burgers in Queenstown are HUGE) and opted for the garlic cheese chips. The fries came smothered in creamy garlic aioli and were topped with grated cheese. Both the burgers and the fries were delicious and our stomach were basically exploding.
To feed both of us it cost us around $32NZD.
There are barely any words to describe how much we love Hell Pizza. It was our regular go to across the entire country. While it is not a strictly Queenstown restaurant like all the others on this list, it still makes it on the list because it is that good. Queenstown was also the first place we tried Hell, which is another reason it made it to this list. Why did we go in here in the first place? Because of the name and because of the dedication the franchise has to stick to a very hellish theme. Nearly everything in the restaurant is themed, from their item names to their wall decor to their marketing. They do such a good job of ensuring everything revolves around the hellish theme and to ensuring quality and taste across every single franchise in the country. And their pizzas will blow your taste-buds away.
Hell Pizza started in 1996 in Wellington and has kept their headquarters in New Zealand even though they have expanded across the country and into other countries like Ireland, Korea, and Canada (even though the location in Canada is no longer open, which was extremely disappointing for us). They still pride themselves on their New Zealand heritage and even state on their website that they are ‘666% New Zealand owned and committed to giving you the best-damned pizza in this life or the next.’
Being a huge Lord of the Rings fan the moment I looked at their menu and saw a pizza with the name ‘Mordor’ I was sold. To this day it is still the best pizza I have ever had (besides pizza in Rome, because common…Italy right?). Mordor features smokey BBQ sauce with chicken, pepperoni, onions, peppers and bacon. Andy’s constant go to was Purgatory, which has onions, garlic, mushrooms, sundried tomatoes, spinach and feta. As far as sides go we highly recommend the cajun wedges and garlic bread. While this section of our Queenstown New Zealand food guide is about lunch, Hell also features some pretty delicious desserts like the unholy doughnut, a white chocolate cheesecake and the unearthly dessert pizza.
Every time we ordered pizza from Hell we both got the original snack sizes and it was more than enough for each of us plus some leftovers (hello pizza for breakfast!). It would cost us anywhere from $20-$35 for both of us (depending on if we got wedges and dessert).
Don’t be fooled by the basic signs and quaint decor of Queenies Dumplings, this place is worth the visit while in Queenstown. The menu at this little mom and pop looking shop is seasonally based and is displayed on a trendy blackboard. So the availability of certain types of dumplings may be limited or sell out really quickly. But try naming even one thing to do in Queenstown that is really popular that won’t sell out or require you to wait in a long line-up? I mean after all – popularity goes hand in hand with demand. You can visit Queenies and either fill yourself full of just dumplings or use it as a snack to fuel you through your later activities, either or we promise it to be delicious.
We personally recommend the pork and prawn and beef dumplings! For both of us to eat we got two orders which came out to be 18 dumplings in total, it cost around $24NZD. Honestly, after those two servings, we were both pretty satisfied for the rest of the afternoon.
Flame was the one restaurant in Queenstown that we splurged on and it was worth every penny. Located near the pier, Flame has an amazing view of the lake and the mountain backdrop and combines that view with a beautiful open kitchen and an intimate, rustic ambiance. The South African BBQ flavours that Flame channels in their dishes make the visit all the more worthwhile. Andy ate so much food while we were there he nearly exploded, quite literally.
On our visit Andy decided to go with the Flame Mixed Grill, essentially a huge platter of various meats like a combination of ribs, steak, peri-peri chicken and boerewors (an African style sausage), oh and like four little potatoes. It was literally all meat! Surprinsgly, he ate it all. I opted for a leaner meal and order the Stewart Island Salmon with creamy dill sauce and vegetables. Just like many of the other restaurants on our list, Flame prides itself on getting local product from the Otago region. If you’re willing to spend a little extra money on some fancy things to do in Queenstown, this is one you should opt into!
For both of our meals and drinks, we paid around $100NZD.
This small Japanese restaurant seats a mere 36 people and literally changed my perception on sushi. Before travelling to Queenstown I wasn’t the biggest fan of sushi, but after our visit to Kappa, I cannot get enough. The restaurant was pretty quiet when we got there around 7pm mid-week, but during the weekends and at prime times this little place gets full and the wait list fills. From the street you will see their little red sign hanging, the actual restaurant is located upstairs on the second level.
Dining at Kappa is an Izakaya (a snacking style way of eating while enjoying a drink) experience where you can order a variety of different rolls, tempura, and seafood. We also highly recommend getting yourself a glass of plum wine! It is a little piece of Japan in the heart of Queenstown!
Sushi is normally pretty expensive, so expect to pay a decent amount but you are in control of your budget and can order according to what you need/want.
If you like ice cream or chocolate, Patagonia Chocolates has got you covered. Located along the pier, Patagonia is the perfect place to get a mid-afternoon sweet treat or a late night snack to walk down the pier with. Their ice creams and sorbets have won multiple awards over the years and they offer 20 different flavours, so they always have something for everyone. Their ice cream merges together Italian and South American flavours to create unique and delicious combinations like Mascarpone Cheese & Fruits of the Forest (our personal favourite) and basic flavours like raspberry sorbet. If you want to try a flavour that is a beloved New Zealand favourite, try hokey pokey! Hokey Pokey is vanilla ice cream with honeycomb toffee mixed into it to create a sweet yet simple treat.
Patagonia is also well known for their chocolate treats. Honestly, every single chocolate we tried from Patagonia was incredibly delicious so as far as recommendations go…all of them. But we do HIGHLY recommend getting a hot chocolate, these hot beverages taste like actual melted chocolate (because they basically are) and you can add special flavour drops like lavender and chilli.
Again prices at Patagonia range depending on what you get, but 1 scoop of ice cream in a cup will cost around $5.50NZD.
Cup & Cake
I am a legit cupcake fiend, and luckily Andy is supportive of this addiction. This addiction is what led us to find Cup & Cake. Tucked away on a back street in the middle of Queenstown, this little cupcake shop is worth the effort to find. Their selection of cupcakes and cakes are made from locally sourced ingredients and they try to keep them as organic as possible, which is a huge added bonus! With over 20 flavours there is something for everyone, from traditional flavours like peanut butter to red velvet to unique ones like pink lemonade and Mexican hot chocolate. If you’re looking for things to do in Queenstown, or more importantly, things to eat in Queenstown that are sweet and portable, these should be your go-to!
Cup & Cake also offers cake pops and cookies.
Being a huge tourist destination, Queenstown is a hub for delicious food and sweet treats, and we couldn’t have been more happy about it! These were some of the places we ate that we still crave years later and can’t wait to return to in the future. Of all the things to do in Queenstown that we absolutely loved, it was eating, but do you blame us? With such a variety of options in Queenstown, there is no doubt that your soul will be happy and your stomach will be full!
Have you been to any of these places? Or is there one that sticks out to you that you think you’d like to try?
Let us know in the comments!