7 Great Spots to Eat and Drink in Queenstown

Queenstown competes with the best when it comes to sitting down at the table for some southern hospitality.

Table of delicious food from Sherwood in Queenstown.

Words by: Ashlyn Oswalt

Photography by: Supplied

Queenstown’s fun doesn’t stop once you set foot inside. With an abundant hospitality scene featuring adventurous food, wine, beer, and cocktails, you’ll be hard-pressed to find boring dining in the adrenaline-junkie town. From chefs who value sustainability and no-waste measures to lively eateries delivering new corners of the globe to the Southern Hemisphere, you’ll find yourself trading time outside for another meal. Trust us, you won’t be disappointed.

Exterior of Amisfield Building in Queenstown.

Amisfield

10 Lake Hayes Road, RD 1, Queenstown

A must-stop on any wine tour of New Zealand is Amisfield Winery. You’d be remiss, however, to just stop in for a flight, as the restaurant is a true gem. With a massive brick fireplace drawing guests in and plenty of large leather armchairs to sink into, you’ll take one look at the menu and be glad you settled in. The degustation menu offers a true taste of Central Otago, taking your tastebuds back to childhood and telling many stories of the land in New Zealand. If you’re after something lighter, the Wine Bar offers smaller plates that perfectly pair with Amisfield’s award-winning wines, all in a refined, cosy setting.

Photo credit: Amisfield

Man making cocktails at Rata in Queenstown.

Rātā

Te Nuku, 43 Ballarat St, Queenstown

Tucked in the centre of Queenstown’s bustling downtown, Rātā offers a classic kiwi experience. The modern, light-filled eatery offers New Zealand classics from the South Island, showcasing the bounty that comes from both the land and sea. Expertly plated and paired with a number of local wines, Rātā offers an experience you soon won’t forget.

Photo credit: Rātā

Group of people dining at Sherwood in Queenstown.

Sherwood

554 Frankton Road, Queenstown

If you’re looking for the heart and soul of Queenstown, you’ll find it at Sherwood. The three-acre section houses the refined beauty of Sherwood’s hotel, a hyper-local restaurant and bar, and an events space, all acting as a community hub. With a strong focus on the environment, Sherwood’s efforts are the real deal — they are ranked as one of the top ten most sustainable hotels in the world by Expedia Travellers. 

As for the restaurant, raw timber and earthy tones greet you, offering private dining with communal tables. The central bar is the focal point of the space, perfect for ordering your next glass of local red. Wind down the night by experiencing the warmth and magic of their communal outdoor fire pit as well, soaking in the magic of Queenstown and Sherwood’s deep commitment to the community.

Photo credit: Sherwood

Selection of brunch meals on the table at Goldie.

Goldie

8/50 Buckingham Street, Arrowtown

Goldie is the new kid on the block, serving breakfast and brunch from Arrowtown coffee roasters, Wolf Coffee Roasters. The modern space and approach is a nice addition to Arrowotown’s strong hospitality scene. If expresso isn’t your thing, or you need to linger a little longer after your breakfast burrito, try their bottomless batch — the perfect way to fuel your time in the adventure capital of the world.

Photo credit: Goldie

Head chef at Lil Red cutting meat.

Lil Red

30 Brunswick Street, Queenstown

Lil Red is the new spot by famed Otago chef Ryan Henley, located on Level 6 inside of QT Queenstown. Combining cheeky chalet chic with sustainable, local foods and zero waste goals, you can have your cake and eat it too here. In true apres-ski style, you can sit by the fire with a glass of red, indulging in Wagyu beef or confit salmon. According to their website, Lil Red is here for a good time, not a long time, so get in quick to enjoy this delightful new spot with incredible views. 

Just a note that at the time of publishing, Lil Red is temporarily closed due to the impact of alert level changes. However, once they reopen they’ll launch an exciting new spring menu and change from pop-up restaurant to a permanent fixture with a seasonal menu change — how fun!

Photo credit: Lil Red 

Person holding a glass of beer.

Altitude Brewery and Taproom

827 Frankton Arm Walk, Queenstown

Located on the shores of Lake Whakatipu, Altitude Brewery and Taproom is a funky little spot that packs a punch. The old garage space welcomes all with open arms, first through their outdoor space rife with picnic tables, a food truck, and lawn games, and then through their lofted indoor warehouse. You can tell the action happens here, and there’s plenty of beers on tap to prove that the team behind Altitude keeps busy. With interesting flavours for every palette, there’s an afternoon to be had here, nursing sore ski legs.

Plate of mexican inspired food from Margo's in Queenstown.

Margo's

26 Ballarat Street, Queenstown

Rooted in Mexican soul food, Margo’s serves up a delicious feast in this high-energy, colourful spot. It’ll be hard to choose just one thing on the menu, so we suggest going with friends so you can split the whole lot. From the mana goat barbacoa empanadas to the salt and cumin cauliflower fajita, you’ll find something for everyone. It wouldn’t be right to wash all those tacos down with water, so be sure to sample their range of margaritas — from frozen to spicy — or toast a celebration with a shot of tequila.

Photo credit: Margo's

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