Best Café

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Monday11:30 am – 2:00 pm, 5:00 – 8:00 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.

Sunday11:30 am – 2:00 pm, 5:00 – 8:00 pm.

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

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30 Stuart Street, Central Dunedin, Dunedin

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