Impress Your Tastebuds with Wānaka's Most Delicious Dishes

A staff member holding three plates of food at Kika in Wānaka.

It’s important to get a taste of whatever town you’re visiting, and the best way to do that is to simply get out and about and sit yourself down at some of the neatest restaurants in town.

If you’re short on time in Wānaka or you’re just eager to go straight to the best, we’ve done our share of taste testing to bring you Eat Wānaka – a foodies' guide to what to order where.

Hot Mac Burger, Red Star Burgers

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26 Ardmore Street, Wānaka

If the rave reviews of most of the town are anything to go by, then you best buy your next burger from Red Star. Most of the burger ingredients come from The Mediterranean Market next door, while the team craft the rest of their sauces, chutneys and patties in-house each day.

For something to really quell the hunger pains, go for the Hot Mac Burger (beef, Swiss cheese and jalapeños in the freshest of buns), but don’t kid yourself with a knife and fork - this beast needs taming by serious eaters only.

Roti ‘n Roll, Federal

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47 Helwick Street, Wānaka

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, so the saying goes, and hence why Federal Diner’s most popular lunch time dish ain’t going anywhere.

Braised pork shoulder with hoisin sauce, coriander, Vietnamese mint, QP mayonnaise and pickled chilli all packaged onto a roti wrap - lunchtime feasting at its best, and a hearty meal that won’t leave you hungry. Beware wandering forks from your lunch partners though, as this one is hard to resist a taste of.

Vegan Pie, Fedeli

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47 Helwick Street, Wānaka

When your devout meat-eating customers also start buying your vegan pies, you know they must be really darn good. A satay mix made with coconut cream, carrots, beans and other veges, the whole pie mix is encased in fresh crunchy olive-oil pastry.

A pie like no other, it’s no wonder if you arrive after lunchtime, there will be only crumbs in the cabinet.

Bao Buns, Cardona Hotel

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Cardrona Valley Road, Cardrona, Wānaka

A lunchtime excursion out to Cardrona Hotel is more than likely to give you an appetite, so once you’ve finished fawning over the most beautiful historic building in the region, park up at a table and set your eyes on the excellent menu.

You can’t go past the bao buns here — the kitchen has got creative with slow-braised beef brisket rendang, pairing it with crispy shallots, cucumber, pickled chilli and coriander. Wrapped in soft and fluffy bao buns, these morsels are a sight (and taste) to make the trip well worth it.

Fish Tacos, Burrito Craft

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42 Brownston Street, Wānaka

Ask the team at Burrito Craft why fish tacos are their best seller, and they’ll tell you simply ‘it’s coz they’re delicious’. There’s no real arguing with that, and when you’ve tried one yourself you’ll be inclined to agree.

The fish is battered in polenta and cornflour (making this a gluten free treat too), while the cabbage has been pickled in lime to give it a real zing of flavour. All packed into the perfect little taco pouch, it’s best to order three at once coz they’ll be gone snap quick.

Homemade Ice Cream, Kika

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2 Dunmore Street, Wānaka

Perhaps not the first thing you think of when it comes to fine dining, the dessert menu at Kika is just as stunning as the main menu. Proud to push the boundaries when it comes to flavour and presentation, Kika has pulled out all the stops to make the humble ice cream on a stick into something special.

Served on locally made rimu blocks and coming in flavours like lavender and shortbread, the desserts are then sprinkled with extra ingredient adornments.

Neat Wānaka Places

The Camp

A small cabin nestled in bushes.
Place Wānaka
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Aotearoa, land of the great outdoors, is unsurprisingly a land of a long list of incredibly scenic sites to spend a night, too.

Red Star Burgers

Two tall burgers, a plate of salad and basket of hot chips on the table at Red Star, Wānaka.
Place Wānaka
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A Wānaka institution, Red Star has been filling hungry bellies with burgers since 2004.

47 Frocks

Yu Mei handbags sit on a shelf above a rack of hanging clothes.
Place Wānaka Editor's Pick
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Wānaka is no sleepy town when it comes to being on trend with the latest fashion. Thanks to the friendly team at 47 Frocks, you can wander the lakeside dressed to impress with the latest styles and accessories from NZ designers.

Pembroke Pâtisserie

Female staff member behind the counter at Pembroke Pâtisserie, Wānaka.
Place Wānaka Editor's Pick
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Pembroke Pâtisserie offers hot pastries for your picnic, sweet pastries galore, or for those who like the finer things in life there’s artistically prepared macarons and tiny tarts.