Muttonbird

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Bars key icon. Restaurants key icon.

MondayClosed.

Tuesday5:30 – 10:00 pm.

Wednesday5:30 – 10:00 pm.

Thursday5:30 – 10:00 pm.

Friday5:30 – 10:00 pm.

Saturday5:30 – 10:00 pm.

SundayClosed.

33 Ardmore Street, Wānaka

03 428 4223

It’s a seabird you can eat that smells like fish and tastes like mutton. This quirky and tasty combo somewhat represents Wānaka’s Muttonbird, a casual bar and eatery tucked down an alley on the resort town’s main Ardmore Street.

Walking through the double doors and up the stairs of Muttonbird takes you to a friendly and funky space (decked out with thoughtful quirks, including retro cutlery tins, fly fishing rods and old-school snow skis). This could be any top restaurant in the world - if not for the snow-capped mountains seen through the windows.

With seasonal treats from farmers and producers across Otago and New Zealand, the menu is refined and creative but accessible. Focusing on simple food done well, Muttonbird's dishes allow food to be the star. Regularly changing smaller and larger plates encourages sharing and relaxed dining (think blooming onion with bay leaf salt and vinegar and pork hock with lettuce cups). Drinks include whistle-wetters such as local craft beer, wine and elderflower negronis.

The energy is lively, welcoming and unpretentious. Tunes pumping from the sound system feature hits from the 60s and 70s, reminiscent of the good old days and perhaps evoking a bit of nostalgia for one’s record collection. Take a seat under hanging lights at the marble bar and enjoy a bit of banter with the attentive staff or make yourself comfy outside before tucking into the Muttonbird Mix – a tastebud surprise of menu favourites.

So whether you’re a local or in town to get your Central Otago fix, make sure Muttonbird is on your list.

Words by Sophie Morris & Photography by Anna Briggs

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Location

33 Ardmore Street, Wānaka

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