Best Café

Restaurants key icon.
Restaurants key icon.

Monday11:30 am – 2:00 pm.

Tuesday11:30 am – 2:00 pm, 5:00 – 8:00 pm.

Wednesday11:30 am – 2:00 pm, 5:00 – 8:00 pm.

Thursday11:30 am – 2:00 pm, 5:00 – 8:00 pm.

Friday11:30 am – 2:00 pm, 5:00 – 8:00 pm.

Saturday11:30 am – 2:00 pm, 5:00 – 8:00 pm.

SundayClosed.

30 Stuart Street, Central Dunedin, Dunedin

03 477 8059

While suggestions of a BYO venue might send alarm bells ringing for some in Dunedin, Best Café is a Dunedin institution that has been on the scene since 1932 and is well worth a visit (and perhaps a return to your student days).

Best Café has undeniably stood the test of time. It exemplifies the old saying that simple food done well is the best food, serving some of the tastiest, freshest seafood in the country. It’s essentially a fish and chip restaurant straight out of the 1970s. Maybe even the 1950s. It doesn’t pretend to be anything else and it’s completely comfortable with the fact that it is kitsch. It’s all Formica tablecloths, vinegar in glass bottles, blackboard menus and coloured chairs that you wouldn't be surprised to find gathering dust in an old country town hall.

There are shrimp cocktails, whitebait fritters and ice cream sundaes with pink wafer biscuits and chocolate fish. It’s an ode to childhood for many. But the fish and chips are the real winner: the fish is fresh, the chips are hand-cut Agrias, and there’s free white bread and curled butter to get you going.

The drink selection is well thought out, but many opt to bring their own – corkage is only $6 for a bottle of wine and $2 per bottle of beer. The lineup of empties from BYOs over the years is surely a testament to the venue’s popularity.

Everything about the place is nostalgic and that’s what’s so charming about it.

Words by Abigail Egden & Photography by Naomi Haussmann

Information not correct? Report an error

Location

30 Stuart Street, Central Dunedin, Dunedin

Nearby Places

The Swan

The exterior of the building.
Place Dunedin
Bars key icon. Cafes key icon.

An eatery and taproom with great vibes, local flavours, live gigs, fresh coffee, cosy nooks and a sunshine-laden outdoor seating area.

Prohibition Smokehouse

Bar and kitchen area at Prohibition Smokehouse, Dunedin.
Place Dunedin
Restaurants key icon.

Prohibition Smokehouse in Dunedin has earned a reputation as the pièce de résistance for some of the best steak in the city.

Toitū Otago Settlers Museum

Portraits on a wall.
Place Dunedin
Galleries and museum key icon.

Whether you’ve just arrived in Otago for the first time or have lived here for years, Toitū Otago Settlers Museum will give you a new appreciation for the region and how it’s come to be what we know today.

Otago Farmers Market

Vegetables hanging from a bag.
Place Dunedin
Markets key icon.

Whether you are five or 95, the Otago Farmers Market has something for everyone.

Similar Places

The Perc

Cake and coffee on a table.
Place Dunedin
Cafes key icon.

Whatever the weather and whatever your mood, The Perc is bound to satisfy.

Mamma Mia Pizza

Hands reaching for slices of a pizza in the middle of the table at Mamma Mia.
Place Dunedin
Restaurants key icon.

Serving up authentic Italian pizza from a traditional wood-fired oven, here you can expect fresh, hot pizza, ‘just like mamma used to make.’

The Swan

The exterior of the building.
Place Dunedin
Bars key icon. Cafes key icon.

An eatery and taproom with great vibes, local flavours, live gigs, fresh coffee, cosy nooks and a sunshine-laden outdoor seating area.

Heritage Coffee

A customer ordering at the counter.
Place Dunedin
Cafes key icon.

For a café experience that is local in every sense of the word.