Best Café

Restaurants icon
Restaurants icon

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.


30 Stuart Street, Central Dunedin

03 477 8059

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

Best Café has stood the test of time, and while it may not do anything especially out of the ordinary, what it does exemplifies that old saying that simple food done well is the best food. 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 table cloths, vinegar in glass bottles, blackboard menus and coloured chairs you would expect to be now gathering dust in an old country town hall.

There are shrimp cocktails and whitebait fritters and ice cream sundaes with pink wafer biscuits and chocolate fish. It’s really an ode to your childhood. 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 drinks are cheap, but clearly bringing your own is the way to go – corkage is $5 for a bottle of wine and $1 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, even if it is nothing flash.

Words by Abigail Egden & Photography by Naomi Haussmann

Information not correct? Report an error


30 Stuart Street, Central Dunedin

Nearby Places

The Regent Theatre

The staircase.
Place Dunedin

Re-inspire the romantic side of your brain and pay a visit to the Regent.

Otago Farmers Market

Vegetables hanging from a bag.
Place Dunedin

Whether you are five or 50, the Otago Farmers Market has something for everyone.


Interior view of Albar, Dunedin.
Place Dunedin
Bars icon

A local favourite and the social hub of many.

Beam Me Up Bagels

A bagel being wrapped.
Place Dunedin
Cafes icon

A cult classic here in Dunedin.

Similar Places

Mamma Mia Pizza

Hands reaching for a pizza.
Place Dunedin
Restaurants icon

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

Common Ground Espresso

Staff working.
Place Dunedin
Cafes icon

Pop in for a coffee, a look and leave with a bag of your favourite beans for home brewing.

Steamer Basin Brewery & Taproom

Sign on the window for Steamer Basin, Dunedin.
Place Dunedin
Bars icon

Steamer Basin is hidden, yes. Secret, no. The journey may begin to feel like a wild goose chase but persevere and you’ll be rewarded with micro-brewing gold.


A staff member standing behind the counter.
Place Dunedin
Cafes icon

Visit ADJØ for comforting Scandinavian dishes, barista coffee, housemade schnapps, NZ wines and local art.