Where to eat and drink in Queenstown: Recommendations for every type of holiday


Little Aosta. Credit: Sam Stewart
Little Aosta. Credit: Sam Stewart
An escape to Queenstown isn’t simply a chance to experience the plethora of activities on offer. Making the most of the town’s excellent food and drink options is a must – here are our picks for every type of trip.

During a fun-filled getaway with friends, be sure to have a meal at Margo’s. This vibrant Mexican restaurant in the heart of town is a great place to get together with mates. With a range of delicious margaritas on the menu, it’s the perfect location to start a night on the town. Definitely check out the very popular coconut prawns and the cola-marinated BBQ pork ribs, and a taco or two is also recommended. If heading to Arrowtown, seek out La Rumbla – its tucked-away location makes it inconspicuous but it’s home to amazing tapas, fabulous cocktails and a buzzy ambience. And make sure you order the ceviche! 


When in Queenstown for a ski adventure, finding a spot for an après-ski tipple is a must. You can enjoy stunning scenery while basking in the warmth of an open fire pit at Smithy’s Smoke House, one of many food and drink options at Millbrook Resort. The bar offers a range of craft beers, wines and whisky, as well as delicious pizzas which are called for after a long day on the slopes. 

If you’re in town for a solo trip, you’ll appreciate places to eat and drink that are known for their friendly service. Should you be in or near Arrowtown, we recommend getting a coffee from hotspot Goldie Café, where it’s easy to strike up a conversation with the locals and the friendly staff – plus, the locally roasted coffee is top notch. Another excellent café in the area is The Dishery. Here you’ll find unconventional but highly tasty brunch options and more service with a smile. If you have a sweet tooth, do yourself a favour – you need to try the Nutella cheesecake waffle. 

Sherwood Queenstown. Credit: Sam Stewart

Queenstown is a great destination for those keen on a foodie escape – in this case, you’ll want to make time for the town’s famous fine-dining establishments. Same goes for a honeymoon or couple’s holiday – these top restaurants are ideal for a romantic meal. Aosta is Ben Bayly’s baby in Arrowtown, serving up high-end Italian food. Can’t get in there? Try Little Aosta, the sister restaurant around the corner. It’s a more relaxed atmosphere but still worth a visit if it’s authentic Italian you’re craving. Naturally, Amisfield should be high on your list – the seven- course degustation is an unforgettable experience. In town, Josh Emett’s Rātā is Kiwi cuisine at its finest, with the seasons on show in an ever-changing menu of innovative dishes. The restaurant at Sherwood Queenstown is serving up fare created with a sustainable mindset, with many of the ingredients coming from the property’s vegetable garden. The pickled Stewart Island mussels and the Brussels sprouts with caper raisin vinaigrette, ricotta salt and mint are not to be missed. 

Perhaps you made the trip to Queenstown to embark on a winery tour – it’s no secret there are numerous incredible vineyards worth a visit in the area. Make sure you spend a day hopping between the wineries of Gibbston, home to some of the best vineyards in the region. Mt Rosa Wines opened its new woolshed-style cellar door last year and it’s perfect for when you feel like sipping on fantastic wine within a calm, cosy and friendly environment. Down the road you’ll find Kinross with its charming wine garden. Here you can taste fantastic food for breakfast, lunch and dinner as well as their amazing wine. Gibbston Valley Winery promises a fully immersive wine journey, whether you feel like a tasting at the Cellar Door, sipping on wine during a lovely lunch at the Winery Restaurant, or learning about cheese and wine pairings at the Cheesery & Deli. 

Even if you’re heading to Queenstown specifically for regional wines, don’t dismiss the local spirits – Broken Heart Spirits recently opened a gin garden in Arthurs Point, the first boutique gin tasting room in Queenstown. Be sure to taste the quince gin during your visit, and you should probably give the vodka a go as it recently claimed the prize for World’s Best Vodka at the World Drinks Awards. 


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