Come Hungry, Here's Exactly What You Need to Devour in and Around Dunedin

Close up of a burger.

Otago is spoiled for choice when it comes to food.

Words by: Olivia Sisson
Photos by: Nancy Zhou

Dunedin's lush green landscape is home to countless farms and foraging opportunities, while the coastline hosts diverse flora, fauna and bountiful fisheries. The city, meanwhile, is brimming with cafes and restaurants that showcase the best of it all. The following dishes are not only delicious but also represent some of the region’s finest when it comes to farmers, fishers, growers, bakers, cheesemongers, butchers, chocolate makers, chefs and all the rest.

Esplanade

Restaurants key icon.

250 Forbury Road, Saint Clair, Dunedin

Pizza by the beach is a winning combination and no one does it better than Esplanade.

Their salsiccia pizza features Havoc pork and fennel sausage, mushroom, truffle oil and mozzarella. A white base pizza, this is one decadent, creamy and totally delicious pie. The fresh oyster mushrooms on top not only present beautifully but hold a mountain of savoury flavour. The truffle oil adds an aromatic element and fresh basil leaves punch it all up even further.

Dig in and watch the waves from the comfort of Esplanade – their cosy fit out is a local favourite, rain or shine.

Moiety

Restaurants key icon.

42 Queens Gardens, Central Dunedin, Dunedin

With multiple Cuisine Good Food Award hats under their belts (the first after just two years of operation), Moiety is certainly doing something right. And that something lies in their approach.

Chef Sam designs the five-course dinner menu with the best of Otago’s produce, game and seafood, and the front-of-house team explains each dish as it comes out, with care and detail. Flavourful, colourful, delicious representations of the region and the stories that accompany them go out with every plate. 

The menu changes often to match the seasons. Past dishes have included beetroot with mandarin, curd, walnut and onion, and popcorn with parsnip and honey – eats here are experimental, supremely tasty and downright special.

Beam Me Up Bagels

Cafes key icon. Goods key icon.

104 Great King Street North, CBD, Dunedin

What started as a stall at the Otago Farmers Market quickly became something of a carb cult here in Ōtepoti Dunedin.

Beam Me Up Bagels now trade at Central City and North Road locations and still sling some of the best bagels in the south. Each bagel starts with a slow fermentation process before being hand-rolled and boiled in-house. To order, you'll first need to choose your bagel flavour – they range from jalapeño and cheddar to cinnamon and raisin – then top it with any of the delicious spreads, or opt for a more substantial sandwich option.

The Men in Black bagel sandwich features either halloumi or Cajun chicken, with pickled red onion, 'yoda' pesto, aioli and lettuce – it’s got zingy flavour, a crispy bite and protein to fuel you for hours. Or satisfy your sweet tooth with the Obi Wan, constructed with local Bay Road peanut butter, chia, fair-trade bananas and real maple syrup.

tītī

Restaurants key icon.

24 Esplanade, Saint Clair, Dunedin

Head to tītī for a dining experience that showcases all that Otago has to offer in the way of produce, game and seafood.

Situated on the St. Clair waterfront, the spacious dining room has sweeping views of the Pacific. Dishes here are made with ingredients sourced almost exclusively from within the region. All you have to do is decide on a three or five course meal and select a protein or vegetable focused menu, then sit back and prepare to be wowed by curious flavour combinations, unusual ingredients and a ‘Trust the Chef’ experience that nails both taste and value.

Dishes have included the likes of Otago octopus and fish with paprika, fennel and Meyer lemon, as well as Havoc pork served with Agria potatoes, Brussels sprouts, raisins and Jerusalem artichokes.

Desserts such as the beetroot sorbet with chocolate, passionfruit and Voatsiperiferi are done expertly here as well. The menu changes weekly to offer diners authentic flavours of Otago year round.

Good Good

Bars key icon. Restaurants key icon.

22 Vogel Street, Central Dunedin, Dunedin

Good Good is a burger food truck unlike all others. Housed within a Vogel Street warehouse, Good Good is complete with a bar, ample seating and frequent live music gigs.

Opt for any of their juicy, generously portioned burgers for a feed you’re not likely to forget anytime soon. Their take on the classic cheeseburger is constructed with a grass-fed beef patty, American cheddar, iceberg lettuce, red onion, pickles, ketchup and mustard. The burgers here are simple, but bursting with flavour and deliver on value every time. Add crispy fries, truffle tots or buttermilk chicken bites and a tipple or two and you'll be well on your way to a top-notch meal.

Jizo Japanese Restaurant

Restaurants key icon.

56 Princes Street, Central Dunedin, Dunedin

Jizo's salmon platter wows from the ground up with uber-fresh slices of fish, a smoky centrepiece, pops of floral colour and hand-crafted garnishes.

With eight pieces of sashimi, six nigiri pieces, a salmon maki roll and smoked salmon, this is a feast fit for royalty – or rather, anyone who appreciates high-quality sushi. Enough to fill at least two very hungry bellies, it's a dish that will transport you from Aotearoa to Japan in just a few bites. (We’re still dreaming about it.) If you’re extra ravenous or have a larger group, don’t miss the Karaage chicken which features a light, golden fry and Kewpie or chilli mayo.

Whatever you choose, enjoy it in Jizo’s dimly lit, relaxed and cosy space and experience all of the goodness that has kept this spot around since 1997.

Neat Dunedin Places

Quadrant Gallery

Jewellery in display cabinets.
Place Dunedin

Quadrant Gallery exhibits and sells contemporary and classic jewellery, ceramics and glass, and each item is chosen not merely for its aesthetic pleasure but also for the statement it expresses.

Dead Souls Bookshop

Books on shelves.
Place Dunedin Editor's Pick

Dead Souls offers every visitor a bit of that magic that only the best bookstores have.

PLATO

A plate of food.
Place Dunedin
Bars key icon. Restaurants key icon.

Hidden under the Otago Peninsula Road overpass you will find PLATO, an eatery that is retro both inside and out.

Marbecks Foodstore

Glass cabinet with black lights hanging overhead.
Place Dunedin
Goods key icon.

At Marbecks Foodstore the shelves are stocked with a huge variety of nationally and internationally sourced specialty food products.