Best Cafe

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

30 Stuart Street, Dunedin Central

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

30 Stuart Street, Dunedin Central

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