Kai Whaka Pai

Bars key icon.
Bars key icon.

Monday7:00 am – 10:00 pm.

Tuesday7:00 am – 10:00 pm.

Wednesday7:00 am – 10:00 pm.

Thursday7:00 am – 10:00 pm.

Friday7:00 am – 10:00 pm.

Saturday7:00 am – 10:00 pm.

Sunday7:00 am – 10:00 pm.

121 Ardmore Street, Wānaka

03 443 7795

Have you really been to Wānaka if you haven’t been to Kai Whaka Pai? An absolute town institution, this place is humming with people Monday to Sunday, winter to summer. Open early till late and offering breakfast, lunch and dinner, it keeps a firm customer base thanks to its credible reputation for quick, friendly service and flexible attitude to dining.
Kai is on a million-dollar strip of land when it comes to choosing a spot to enjoy that afternoon beverage. Kick back with a glass of something cold on the wooden tables street-side as you look out to the lake and recline amongst the steady bustle of the main drag, or if it’s a slightly more secluded spot you’re after, then the sunny upstairs area generally remains a bit quieter. As the dudes behind the bar will tell you, once one keg runs dry, they generally replace it with another type of beer, and with happy drinkers making this their go-to spot, a keg change usually happens daily. Proud to support their local brewers, most of the beers on tap are Wānaka-made, with some guest appearances from other New Zealand crafters (pair a glass with one of the town's famous pizzas for the full experience).
Saturated with the coolest kids in town, Kai oozes laidback charm and come happy hour (5–6pm), you’ll be lucky to find a spare table. Don’t let that scare you off, though, as Kai Whaka Pai is notorious for bringing lovely people together, so squeeze up with some strangers and clink a glass to Wānaka life while you’re there.

Words by Rosie Morrison & Photography by Anna Briggs

Information not correct? Report an error


121 Ardmore Street, Wānaka

Nearby Places

Untouched World

Inside Untouched World, Wānaka.
Place Wānaka
Fashion key icon.

In true Untouched World style, the Wānaka branch of the fashion brand with a non-negotiable stance on sustainability and ethics is nothing short of spectacular.

Revology Concept Store

Wide angle view of Revology Wanaka.
Place Wānaka Editor's Pick
Fashion key icon.

French composite and materials specialist, Alex, and New Zealand human rights lawyer, Monique, are the heart and soul behind Wānaka’s concept store and tea house centred around conscious living.


A milky coffee, pastries and savoury dish on the table at Scroggin, Wānaka.
Place Wānaka Editor's Pick
Cafes key icon.

With a Scandinavian-inspired fit-out to match the mountains and adventures to be had in Wānaka, you'll quickly understand why this coffee and eatery’s tagline is ‘Gather, feast, stay for a while.’

Inside Tattoo

Close up of tattooist drawing design at Inside Tattoo, Wānaka.
Place Wānaka
Services key icon.

Far from your average tattoo parlour, Inside Tattoo is a place to marvel at the artwork, ask questions and have your curiosity sparked.

Similar Places

The Precinct

People walking down the alleyway.
Place Wānaka
Cafes key icon. Fashion key icon. Services key icon.

A stylish, shared complex in Wānaka with a range of alluring retail and hospitality stores.


Four plates of Mexican food from Paloma Wanaka on a wooden table.
Place Wānaka
Bars key icon. Restaurants key icon.

Creators of authentic Mexican fare, Paloma has a simple (but by no means easy) mission: to make the best possible tacos in Wānaka using New Zealand ingredients.

Pembroke Pâtisserie

Female staff member behind the counter at Pembroke Pâtisserie, Wānaka.
Place Wānaka Editor's Pick
Cafes key icon. Goods key icon.

Pembroke Pâtisserie offers hot pastries for your picnic, sweet pastries galore, or for those who like the finer things in life there are artistically prepared macarons and tiny tarts.

Hāwea Hotel

Inside the restaurant where people are dining and looking out the windows over the lake.
Place Wānaka
Accommodation key icon. Bars key icon. Restaurants key icon.

How do you like the idea of enjoying your morning coffee from a private balcony, with uninterrupted views of mountains encircling one of the country’s largest lakes?