The Best Restaurants in Queenstown

the best restaurants in queenstown

There are so many restaurants in Queenstown that it is hard to know where to go. Well, we have visited many of the top rated restaurants and these are what we think are the best restaurants in Queenstown. 

Best Restaurants in Queenstown

Having lived in Queenstown for 6 months and eating out at restaurants quite frequently, we felt it was time to finally write about our favourite places to eat! Now, of course we haven’t tried every restaurant in Queenstown, but we have tried a lot and many of the ones with the best ratings or those that are considered local secrets. So, we feel that we have a good grasp of some of the best restaurants in Queenstown.

Of course, this blog is based entirely on Dan and I’s opinions of what makes an excellent restaurant. We love a good meal, but we also love the whole experience, so besides the food quality we also appreciate places of good value. The atmosphere is also very important to us so we tend to favour restaurants that have a unique ambience or incredible views.

Here are what Dan and I think are the best restaurants in Queenstown (in no particular order) including an all-you-can-eat option, Indian, Italian, Polynesian fusion, and a rooftop pizzeria!

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Bazaar

Type of Food: International, all you can eat Buffet
Location: Beach Street 5-10 minutes from Queenstown town centre
Price: $80 per person
Website: https://www.qthotelsandresorts.com/queenstown/eat-drink/bazaar/bazaar interactive marketplace is one of the best restaurants in queenstown

Set in the 5 star Rydges hotel Bazaar offers a fine dining experience. However, it is different than most “fancy” restaurants being that it is an all-you-can-eat buffet. Normally buffets are not my thing, I usually find them full of “filler food” or food that is cheap to make and will quickly make you full, and that the food is not of great quality. But this is not the case at Bazaar.

The food on offer for all-you-can-eat changes every night but it most often includes fresh prawns from Australia, a huge cheese board complete with parmesan from Italy as well as prosciutto and salami, homemade Asian dumplings, and made to order steaks! The great food available combined with the fact that it is all-you-can-eat makes Bazaar one of the best restaurants in Queenstown!

eating dinner out in queenstown
Daniel enjoying dinner and a view at Bazaar.

The buffet is described as an “interactive marketplace” because all of the chefs are at their stations and are available to answer any questions. The buffet is broken into a few different stations. There is the salad bar and fresh seafood station (they often have crab), the Asian station where there is often a noodle dish the dumplings as well as sushi, and then the meat station where there are a variety of meat and side dishes. Expect to find at least one pasta dish, a potato dish, various types of roast veggies and more!

I need to take a moment to tell you about the made to order steaks. You must ask your waiter or waitress for a steak, but at no extra cost, they will bring you a steak cooked perfectly, exactly how you want it!

There is an entire wall of desserts including an ice cream machine! There is always a huge selection of desserts, but the sad thing is that by the time you are ready for dessert you will likely already be very full.

desserts at bazaar restaurant
My dessert plate! So many options!

Although it isn’t the most affordable place to eat at $80 per person it is very good value considering the amount of high quality of food on offer! If you really want to go to Bazaar but find it too pricey, check their website for special promotions or check out the website First Table to book in advance and get 50% off!

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Miss Lucy’s

Type of Food: Woodfired Pizza and bar-style nibbles
Location: Rooftop location on Camp Street in Queenstown central
Price: $6.50-$28
Website: https://www.misslucys.co.nz/

miss lucy's roof top pizzeria

 

Miss Lucy’s is the perfect place to go for an excellent meal at any time of the day. They serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner in their trendy rooftop pizzeria. With the views of the mountains surrounding you, it is the perfect place to unwind.

Miss Lucy’s woodfired pizza is to die for! They have an incredibly versatile menu that is suitable even for vegans or those who are gluten intolerant. We had the opportunity to try their new summer menu the other day and they have some really special things in store! Some of my personal favourite dishes at Miss Lucy’s would be their lamb pizza; the mushroom pizza complete with truffle oil, goat’s cheese, and spinach; the prosciutto and poached pear salad, and definitely the woodfired cookies for dessert (that’s right, gooey cookies cooked in the woodfired oven served with ice cream!)

wood fired pizza at miss lucy's

One thing I really appreciate about Miss Lucy’s is that they source their ingredients locally! Not only do I know that I am helping out local businesses when I eat there, but I also know that the ingredients are fresh!

The atmosphere at Miss Lucy’s also makes it a very special place to go. They have various events on in the evenings to create a fun social setting, lots of different places to hang out, super friendly staff, and mountain views that are of course only possible in Queenstown. Miss Lucy’s aims to be a spot where locals and tourists can mingle! I especially appreciate their Thursday night “Beats and Bingo” which adds a musical twist to traditional bingo!

bartender making cocktails at miss lucy's
The bartender serving up my favourite cocktail, the Lucy Spritz, which is essentially summer in a glass!

Prices are extremely affordable and they even offer special discounts to Queenstown Localcard holders! If you are just a little peckish there are tons of snacky type items available such as a slice of pizza or Jalapeno Poppers, but if you are after an actual meal you can get a whole pizza for around $20!

Find out more at misslucys.co.nz and follow them on social media @misslucys_nz and facebook.com/misslucys.bar

 

Boliwood

Type of Food: Indian
Location: Shotover Street right in the middle of Queenstown
Price: $14-25 per main dish
Website: https://www.boliwood.nz/selection of curries at boliwood

Boliwood is a fairly new restaurant in Queenstown and one of many different Indian places to choose from in town. If you walk along Shotover Street you will see a few different Indian restaurants, so knowing where to choose can be difficult. We stumbled into Boliwood one day simply because of their early bird dinner deal of any veggie, chicken, lamb, or beef curry for only $14. We didn’t expect such huge portions or tasty food and we were pleasantly surprised!

One thing I particularly like about Boliwod is that the kitchen is all out in the open right in front of you. While waiting for your food you can actually see the chefs at work.

Another thing I really like about boliwood is the huge portions. The curries are quite large and come with lots of rice. If you order Naan bread, the serving is also huge!

starters at boliwood indian restaurant

Boliwood offers early-bird deals of $14 main curries every night before 7 pm (double check with them as this can change depending on the season.) I recommend going during this time not only for the awesome price but also to make sure you get a table. The restaurant is quite small and is often completely full!

My favourite dishes are the Butter Chicken and Lamb Korma! Believe me, you can’t go wrong ordering either of them.

Boliwood also does takeaway which is a great option for a relaxing night in.

 

The Cow

Type of Food: Italian 
Location: Cow Lane in Queenstown central
Price: $25-35 per main (but they are huge!)
Website: http://www.thecowpizza.co.nz/the cox venue

The Cow is Queenstown’s oldest restaurant. It first opened in 1977 and has been successfully operating since. They also haven’t changed their menu since, meaning the menu is full of classic, hearty, Italian pizza and pasta dishes.

The building is charming. With a fireplace and wooden table and chairs, The Cow has a rustic décor to it adding to the overall experience of dining in such a historic place.

Locals and tourists alike love eating at The Cow, and therefore, it is often very busy. Get there early or be prepared to wait for a table as this place is small and books out nightly. They also don’t take reservations for this reason!

the cow pizza in queenstown

The price on the menu seems a little expensive at first glance but don’t be fooled as the potions are huge! A large pizza will easily feed two people! Overall, eating at The Cow is good value and we always end up with leftovers to take home with us!

I highly recommend ordering there homemade garlic bread (it’s no ordinary garlic bread!) to start with and trying the “Her Majesty” pizza. You won’t be disappointed!

 

Blue Kanu

Type of food: A mix of Polynesian and Asian
Location: Church Street in central Queenstown
Price: $20-$50 per dish
Website: http://www.bluekanu.co.nz/

Blue Kanu is a unique restaurant serving a mix of Polynesian and Asian cuisine, what they call “polynasia”. The dishes are well thought out and unique and, most importantly, tasty!

I love the ambience at Blue Kanu as well. The servers are always friendly and have a ton of knowledge about the food on the menu. They dress in floral shirts and while the restaurant is fancy, it feels casual and relaxed as well.

blue kanu is one of the best restaurants in queenstown
The duck nachos are incredible! You need to try them!

The hardest part about going to Blue Kanu is deciding what to order! I have tried most of the items on the menu and to be honest, I love them all! However, some of my personal favourites are the duck nachos, peanut ribs, and golden shrimp! The idea is to share the dishes between everyone at your table which is great because that way you get to taste even more items!

Expect to pay more than $20 for a “starter size” share plate. These dishes are quite large though and you only have to order about 3 to feed two people. They also serve mains for about $30 and up, and these are also meant to share but are just much larger portions. For such incredible tasting food, I am always impressed with the large portion sizes!

Be sure to leave room for dessert too as it is fantastic!

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dessert at blue kanu
Dessert is also great! This is the coconut and mascarpone panna cotta and it is delicious!
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And there you have it, our top choice for the best restaurants in Queenstown! The choice of awesome restaurants in Queenstown is endless! Do you have a favourite place that isn’t included here? Let us know in the comments, we are always looking for new restaurants to check out!

Queenstown is a magical place to explore. If you want more advice on things to do and see around Queenstown, check out all of our “Queenstown blogs” here!

-Bailey

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