Federal Diner

Cafes key icon.
Cafes key icon.

Monday7:00 am – 3:00 pm.

Tuesday7:00 am – 3:00 pm.

Wednesday7:00 am – 3:00 pm.

Thursday7:00 am – 3:00 pm.

Friday7:00 am – 3:00 pm.

Saturday7:00 am – 3:00 pm.

Sunday7:00 am – 3:00 pm.

47 Helwick Street, Wānaka

03 443 5152

A well-loved Wānaka institution, Federal Diner is where the locals eat, and once there you’ll see why. Tucked down an alley off Helwick Street next to its little sibling Fedeli, it's a hidden gem worth hunting out.

A spacious outdoor courtyard has sun umbrellas for the scorcher days and one wall shows off some darn neat graffiti that has clearly been inspired by the impressive landscape in the distance. Tins of cutlery add rustic charm to a place that is laid back and not fussed on fancy. With the self-proclaimed ‘world famous in Wānaka’ cheese scones, you’ll need to be in quick to try one for yourself. The cabinet crumbs are the only sign that you’ve arrived too late.

Free-range meats and organic eggs make the menu even more appealing, with variations of breakfast bowls, eggs benedict and eggs on toast all cheekily named according to their ingredients. Lunch sees a similar level of goodness with inventive sandwiches, salads and daily blackboard specials. Last but not least, the dinner menu (available five nights a week) caters for sharing, big meals and desserts.

Emporio coffee is cranking behind the counter and served up beautifully in bright blue cups – a colour now synonymous with the brand. The open-plan kitchen shows the place has nothing to be scared of when it comes to freshness and quality, and booze lined up on a high shelf above the till can easily tempt diners into a mid-afternoon or evening brew. Paired with great food and service, the relaxed atmosphere at Federal means it's not long before you'll be feeling like a local yourself.

Words by Rosie Morrison & Photography by Anna Briggs

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Location

47 Helwick Street, Wānaka

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