Where to eat in Queenstown, New Zealand
So, you’ve booked a trip to Queenstown… you’re probably going to want to eat! Some food for thought…
Lombardi Restaurant is located at Hotel St Moritz which is where we stayed while in Queenstown. We dined at this restaurant for dinner on two separate occasions, as well as breakfast here each morning. We can easily say it was, by far, the best meal we had whist in Queenstown.
1st Dinner: There were three of us, and our waiter, Lisa let us know about their 2 course dinner special for $59 (NZD) which included a glass of Pinot. For the main, I ordered the Duo of Central Otago Lamb which consisted of grilled cutlets, slow cooked pulled lamb, chargrilled pumpkin, lemon & mint Israeli cous cous, pumpkin puree, pinot & rosemary jus.
Both Jenna and Luke ordered the traditional wood fired lasagna. We couldn’t fault the main dish, the food was cooked to perfection and as Luke said “this could be the best lasagna I’ve ever had”.
As for my lamb, it looked beautiful on the plate and tasted even better.
It was time to move on to dessert. I ordered the organic honeycomb with a selection of seasoned fruits and both Jenna and Luke ordered the apple tarte tatin with house-made vanilla bean ice cream and crème anglaise. Again, the presentation was perfect and the dessert was exactly what we needed!
2nd Dinner: The second evening was just the two of us. We enjoyed a 3 course meal in front of the beautiful fire place with giant naughts and crosses on the side table!
The three course meal at the restaurant was $69 (NZD) per person and we couldn’t wait to order, given how great our first experience was. The waiter we had Matthieu, was a fantastic French waiter and we could not fault his service or attention. He was able to describe each of the dishes, how filling these may be, the presentation and recommendations to move from entrée to the main, to the desert, and most importantly which wines and digestives he would recommend.
For the entrée, I ordered the house-made cold smoked salmon with crispy garlic & onions, squid ink mayonnaise and salmon caviar and Jenna ordered the free range crumbed pork belly with cider apple puree, radish & fennel salad, picked apple and crackling. Again, the food was perfectly presented and nearly looked too pretty to eat! We found to entrée serving size to be quite generous which is nice to see in a restaurant.
For the main, I ordered the house-made beetroot ravioli filled with goats cheese & manuka honey, broccoflower cream sauce, beetroot chips and parmesan crisp. I wasn’t expecting to fall in love with this dish, but this was my favourite and given we had a three course meal, the portion was perfect. The ravioli was cooked perfectly and the beetroot chips on the top gave it a nice crunch!
Jenna ordered the Lasagne again (it was that good the first time!). I should mention at this point the serving size for the lasagna is massive! It is certainly a hearty dish and it tastes delicious.
With both us extremely full… it was time to look at the dessert menu…
For dessert, I ordered the ice cream hemispheres which is white chocolate dipped cookies & cream ice cream, dark chocolate dipped vanilla bean ice cream with cornet & toasted almond crumb. Jenna again ordered the apple tart tatin with house-made vanilla bean ice cream and crème anglaise. Definitely a creature of habit.
I didn’t think anything of the ice cream dish.. but I was shocked when it came it, it was nothing like I expected! It was again, served beautifully and it was just what I needed to finish off a lovely meal.
Matthieu, our waiter was always professional and you can tell he takes pride in his work. Although he was the only waiter in the dining room (which was quite busy) our glasses were always full and he continuously checked in with us to see what we thought of his recommendations, we had a great night! Even when things were a little quiet for him, he was setting up the other room for breakfast! St Moritz are lucky to have him working at their restaurant!
Overall – the food we had on both occasions was perfect and we all agreed (all three of us) that the best meals we had in Queenstown was at Lombardi.
Public Kitchen & Bar
We dined at Public Kitchen & Bar on our first evening in Queenstown. It was cold outside and this place looked super cosy. So, we went in (through the interesting red phone box entrance) and managed to get a table. The service was really good, and the staff took their time explaining the menu and how it works.
The menu is designed to share, which worked well given there were three of us. Between us, we ordered the duck fat potatoes with sage and roasted shallots, venison osso bucco with roast pumpkin puree, thick cut ribbons of pasta in a rich lamb stew and fried chicken with hot sauce.
There was more than enough food, to be fair each of the dishes were meat based and very filling. Everything was cooked well, the lamb pasta however, was definitely the winning dish of the evening!
For dessert, we ordered the chocolate cheesecake and the pavlova with fresh fruit and cream. Let’s just say the serving size for the dessert was massive. One dessert could easily have served the three of us. Delicious.
It’s located right on the wharf, making it a great location and I’m sure during the day the views would be amazing. We’d definitely recommend dining here if you’re in Queenstown.
We dined here after receiving a recommendation from friends who had visited. Botswana Butchery is located on the lake in the historic precinct. Upon arrival we noticed the log fire outside for guests to enjoy, and when we walked inside, noticed another!
It was a warm cosy restaurant. Between us, we ordered the Turkey Bastilla, two eye fillets and some duck fat potatoes. The food was cooked beautifully and the service was good as well. It does have that fine dining restaurant feel, so depending on what you’re after this might not be for you.
Given it seems to be the most popular place to eat in Queenstown, we had to visit Fergburger. When you walk past Fergburger, at any time of the day or night the line up is down the street.
Thankfully we went on a Tuesday night, the line didn’t seem as long as other days, and only took us around 10 minutes to get to the front of the queue. I ordered the double Fergburger with blue cheese, Jenna ordered the Fergburger with cheddar cheese and extra beetroot and Luke ordered the Mr Big Stuff and we got some chips with aioli as well.
The burgers are massive, we felt like we were just eating and eating! The beef on the burgers was cooked well (i.e medium, not over cooked) and it seemed to cover the whole of the burger bun which never happens these days when you order a burger! We enjoyed our burgers and we would eat there again when looking for a casual bite to eat.
Getting a table can be tricky, although there are always people leaving so you just need to be patient. You might want to scout for a table while in the line and have one of you sit at the table while the other orders – these aren’t burgers you can eat while walking!
You’re probably thinking steak? Nope! The Cow is a pizza and spaghetti house!
This place looked adorable from the outside so we wanted to come back and check it out one evening.
We walked in and the place is pretty small so we thought we’d never get a table as we didn’t make a reservation… The good news is, they don’t take reservations! They have a small bar in the corner of the restaurant where you can grab a drink and wait for a table.
A special mention needs to go to their very cool, and extremely heavy chairs!
You can watch the kitchen while you’re waiting for your table as well!
The interesting thing about this restaurant is that they put groups together.. so we were a group of three, and they put us with another couple to fill up one table. Thankfully we were put with another couple who enjoyed good company and the conversation was easy!
We were told that the home made bread with garlic is a winner so we ordered one of those to start. It was huge and delicious and came out warm.
For mains, I ordered the Bolognese pizza with extra jalapeños and Jenna and Luke both ordered the Spaghetti Bolognese. Not sure why, but those two always seemed to order the same food.
The food was really nice and came out really quick. Actually, that’s our only criticism of the restaurant, our mains came out not long after we received our bread… meaning we didn’t get time to really enjoy the bread! It’s a shame because it was so delicious and we didn’t want to leave any behind…
That aside, the food was good and the atmosphere was also really good. Definitely worth checking this place out if you’re in Queenstown.
Pub on Wharf
Our last evening in Queenstown, we thought we’d dine at the Pub on Wharf. It always looked busy and their fireplace was so inviting! We managed to grab a table towards the back (next to the fireplace!) and ordered a few drinks while we watched the food come out of the kitchen…
To start, we got a garlic loaf which was good (not as good as the Cow though)…
and for main, we ordered the Pork Belly stuffed with apricot, sage and onion & slow roasted, served on potato mash and roast vegetables with a warm apple sauce. A chicken parmigiana with potato wedges and pub slaw and lastly a lasagne with pub slaw and wedges.
The pork belly was the largest we’ve seen served at any restaurant! The chicken parm was a pretty think piece of chicken and cooked really well and the lasagne was a massive serving as well and tasty. I think the slaw could have been left out, or something done differently to make it a little nicer. Other than that, the food was pretty good for pub food.
Our taxi driver recommended The Bunker to us on our way from the airport to our hotel. It looked quite cosy so we wandered up. We arrived shortly after they opened for the afternoon and were the first ones in the bar. We had the fire place and lounges to ourselves! It was so cosy and warm inside and we ordered mulled wine and relaxed by the fire. Once we warmed up a little, we sat at the outdoor area, in front of the gas fire watching an old James Bond film. It’s a pretty cool place, definitely a favourite.
There is a restaurant here as well, although we didn’t eat here.
Fat Badgers Pizza Bar
This small pizza bar has an awesome vibe. We were only looking for a snack, but wish we had more time to have a proper meal!
The service was great and the Poutine was delicious (which you can see from the picture below!)
We were recommended to visit Joe’s Garage for some coffee.
The place was jammed packed inside and out! We managed to get a table pretty quickly and ordered some hot drinks and some traditional New Zealand cheese bread which is basically cheese and red onion rolled in a piece of bread and warmed up! So simply but exactly what I needed.
Jenna ordered a home made sausage roll with rocket and garlic aioli.
It was good service, a cosy restaurant and looking around at the breakfasts that were coming out, they looked massive!
We stopped in at The London for a quiet drink before we went on our Shotover Jet adventure.
There is often someone standing at the entrance offering $4 (NZD) beer vouchers to entice you in, clearly this worked on us. When you head downstairs, it is a Pizza restaurant and bar and has a pool table free for use as well. It was a nice place to spend a bit of time just relaxing and if you feel like pizza, it sure smelled good!
Habana Rum Bar
We spent some time at the Habana Rum Bar and got a few drinks, old fashioned, dark and stormy and plenty more was on offer. It’s a super cosy bar and has a huge range of rum drinks and cocktails.
Mrs Ferg Gelateria
We stopped by Mrs Ferg for some dessert one evening. Let’s just say, if you’ve had Messina in Sydney and think that’s good… Mrs Ferg was better!!
Between us, we had choc mint, chocolate, coconut and chocolate and we sampled a few including our new favourite hokey pokey! All gelato is made on site and if you’re getting the apple pie gelato, then there is actual apple pie mixed in to the mixture from the bakery next door, the same goes with the chocolate brownie gelato… Yum.
Our taxi driver recommended us to go to Cookie Time as well. We stopped in, grabbed a cookie each to see what the fuss was about. The cookies were good, but nothing to write home about (maybe just a quick mention on this post).
The Remarkables Sweet Shop
Another place our taxi drive recommended was The Remarkables Sweet Shop. You can get free samples of fudge to try (there are plenty to choose from!!) and we also tried their famous sour lemon lolly… I should have put the video on Jenna while she ate hers.. sour doesn’t quite cut it!
Fantastic range of their famous sweets and worth stopping in to.
“In wine there is wisdom, in beer there is strength, in water there is bacteria.” -David Auerbach