Pequeño Lounge Bar

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Wednesday5:00 pm – 1:00 am.

Thursday5:00 pm – 2:00 am.

Friday5:00 pm – 2:00 am.

Saturday5:00 pm – 2:00 am.


50 Princes Street, Central Dunedin, Dunedin

03 477 7830

Spanish for small, Pequeño lives up to its name. This compact cocktail lounge is incredibly central but you wouldn’t know it. Tucked away behind other Dunedin favourites Etrusco and Jizo, this venue has one of the most expansive cocktail lists in the city, and the kind of character that can’t be built or bought. It’s a solidly classic, European-style bar.

Enter from Princes Street, head downstairs, open the door and be enveloped by Pequeño's cosy space that feels like an escape from the busyness of Dunedin’s heart. At one time Pequeño was a stable, then a butcher that supplied the Savoy Building restaurants above. For the last seventeen years it's been a bar, and we sure hope it stays that way. Exposed brick, leather couches, a classic bar and wood burning fire create an atmosphere that’ll alone make you want to come back.

Pick up a cocktail menu or chat with the bartender to decide on one of their handcrafted cocktails. Two highlights include: ‘Lemon Meringue,’ which is constructed with Absolut vanilla vodka and then shaken with limoncello, lemon curd, fresh lemon and egg white. It’s the kind of drop that’s sweet yet tart, satisfying your sweet tooth in an understated way. The 'Classic Negroni' involves a bit of bartending theatre with a lit orange rind, one large ice cube and all of the tangy, zesty flavours that come with the perfect ratio of Tanqueray, Campari, and sweet Vermouth.

If cocktails aren’t your thing, have a look at the wine list which is similarly stacked and offers pours from all over Aotearoa as well as Spain and other European wine producers. The beer menu, again, is robust and exciting. On tap, you’ll find pours from Emersons (who also call Dunedin home). A guest tap plays host to new and experimental beers too. Canned beers in the fridge include an assembly of pale ales, lagers, sours, stouts and ciders.

Check out the tapas board for a selection of tasty small plates that pair well with just about any drink you might order. The cheese board and antipasto platter, for example, provide a bit of salty, savoury crunch to round out the experience.

With frequent live music events, a bit of outdoor seating for summer months and so many tipples to try, Pequeño is one Dunedin bar you can’t go past. Enter from Princes Street or the alley opposite Rialto Theatre on Moray Place.

Words by Olivia Sisson & Photography by Nancy Zhou

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50 Princes Street, Central Dunedin, Dunedin

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