One of the most amazing things about Queenstown (aside from the view), is that everything seems to be only 10 minutes away. Whether it’s the wineries, the restaurants or the activities, it takes next to no time to arrive on their doorstep. After spending a few days in Queenstown, we only managed to squeeze in a few of our “must do” list however, we have every intention of heading back, so please check back here before your next trip for updated information.
HEALTHY WHOLE FOODS & FARM TO TABLE FEASTS…
Delicious breakfast, lunch and coffee options close to the base of the Gondola, but again, I was drawn to the cabinet of freshly prepared wraps, cakes, frittatas, salads, chia puddings and more. Sticky Black Rice Pudding/Porridge was a favourite amongst our group. I also grabbed a few items from here for the plane ride back to Australia. GF, DF, Vegan options available. Get in quick as they are ALWAYS busy!
Vudu Cafe & Larder
One of the must visits in Queenstown for a delicious breakfast, lunch and/or great coffee. The menu is extensive and catered for everyone (GF, DF, Vegan, Paleo options available). If for some reason, someone was not satisfied, the glass cabinet at the front of house showcased some of the most beautiful cakes, frittatas, salads, wraps and more. Get there early for a table inside or wear your winter woolies for a table outside overlooking the lake.
For some quick and healthy options, try Rehab on Camp Street. They have a great range of health salads, chia puddings, bliss balls, rice paper rolls, soups and smoothies. The team at Rehab always use seasonal veggies and organic wherever possible, they’re all about minimising waste and whatever doesn’t sell from the take-away counter, is donated to the local charity Happiness House. Recommended to me by a client of mine, this will always be a favourite of mine in QT!
Venture 10 minutes out of town to one of the most beautiful wineries in the area. There is no menu as such; it’s a selection of courses that enable you to taste the best of the region and season. There are a number of courses, entrée, soup and mains, all prepared to perfection – you won’t go hungry. If you love wine glasses as much as I do, this place is definitely a favourite. Rug up and take your wine outside and sit in the sunshine post meal – the view is spectacular. If you’ve missed out on a lunch sitting, enjoy a cheese board outside with a glass of wine in the winter sun.
These guys are run out of a food van (check their Facebook page for their current location), so it’s easy to mistake their food as “fast food”, but please don’t judge a book by it’s cover. Menu is fresh, the staff are amazing, all of the tacos are gluten-free and are prepared with the freshest, locally sourced ingredients. If you’re lucky to find them down Searle Lane, the bar across the laneway allows you to bring drinks into the alley to have with your taco fiesta. My favourite: The Chicken or the Grilled Fish taco.
A cosy, upmarket pub setting with views overlooking Lake Wakatipu. The team specialises in fresh, seasonal, soul food harvested from their own kitchen gardens, orchards and surrounding farms – while the bar team curates an ever-changing selection of independent craft beers and fine natural wine. They are also one of the only places in town who offer Supreme Coffee – something a little different to the infamous All Press Coffee bean (which can be found literally everywhere in Queenstown).
FOR A LITTLE FUN…
FergburgerVisiting Queenstown without stopping by Fergburger is sacrilege (or so I hear). I’m not one for visiting the tourist hot spots but the gluten free burger buns are perfection and meat is free range. Whilst it’s not the most amazing burger I’ve ever had, it was good and something all QT visitors will talk about!
Light and fresh Japanese food in the centre of town. Staff are lovely and it’s always busy.
We didn’t get to eat here, but we heard so many amazing things. Fun modern Asian food.
Whilst the staff are amazing, it’s a little on the expensive side. Definitely not a spot for vegans or vegetarians but a nice experience nonetheless. I recommend stopping by after dinner and heading upstairs to the bar for a cocktail in front of the fire. Botswana’s signature Negroni (you can read all about Negroni’s here) was one of my favourites all trip; try a “Money Shot” for something unusual, yet delicious.
Rata is one of Queenstown’s most infamous fine-dining restaurants run by chef Josh Emmett. If you’re interested in attending, definitely book well in advance. Full menu is available on their website. In terms of prices, dinner mains are roughly $40, where as for lunch, 2 courses are $28, 3 courses are $38.
Mt Difficulty Kitchen
On a fine day the outdoor terrace is the perfect spot for lunch where the views of Central Otago are spectacular. The team at Mt Difficulty Kitchen offer mains, but specialise in local and seasonal platters, paired with a glass (or two) of wine.
You can’t beat the view from any of the houses situated on the lake, so we took the time to eat at home one night and take it all in. We stopped in town for some vegetables, cheese and nibbles. The largest supermarket we found was Fresh Choice however, Raeward Fresh is known for it’s quality of fresh produce, bakery, delicatessen and variety of organic ingredients.
If you’re in town from end of October – March, the Remarkables Markets have been recommended.
Have you been to Queenstown? I’d love to know your whole-foodie favourites!