Queenstown is filled with an ever-changing array of good cafes and restaurants. The Skyline Queenstown Restaurant (tel. 03/441-0101; www.skyline.co.nz) is as much an experience as a meal. Enjoy lavish lunch and evening buffets accompanied by spectacular views. A buffet dinner including gondola ride is NZ$76 for adults (NZ$36 children 5-14) and lunch is NZ$51 (NZ$26 for children). The restaurant is huge and tour groups are seated in a separate area. You can include a haka performance for NZ$110 for adults, NZ$54 children ages 5 to 14, and NZ$282 for a family. Bookings are essential.
Gantley’s Restaurant, 172 Arthur’s Point Rd., Arthur’s Point (tel. 03/442-8999; www.gantleys.co.nz), has an extensive wine list with over 250 selections, showcasing some of the most outstanding wines produced in New Zealand. One of only a few New Zealand restaurants to win an Award of Excellence from Wine Spectator magazine for "having one of the most outstanding restaurant wine lists in the world," Gantley’s is favored for its romantic interior and superior wine selections. Main courses range from NZ$35 to NZ$45, and they’re open daily from 6pm; they offer courtesy transport from Queenstown.
Every city has them—those luscious little culinary secrets that locals like to keep for themselves. The Bunker, Cow Lane (tel. 03/441-8030; www.thebunker.co.nz), is a sublime dining experience but don’t think that just because I’ve given you the address, you’re going to be able to find it easily. It hides behind a very unassuming door and just assumes that people who are hungry and passionate enough will find it. You won’t regret the hunt. It’s a tiny restaurant with a huge reputation for classy haute cuisine, an intimate atmosphere, and an impressive collection of single malt whiskeys. Venison, lamb, scampi, quail, and duck all take their place on an innovative menu that most definitely will make a hole in your wallet. It’s open from 5pm until 5am, by which time you’ll probably be bankrupt but hugely satisfied. Reservations are essential, and main courses range from NZ$44 to NZ$50.
The best place for delicious treats, picnic food, and fabulous tastes to take home is Mediterranean Market, 53 Robins Rd., Queenstown (tel. 03/442-4161; www.mediterranean.co.nz). Head out on Gorge Road, turn down the hill beside the supermarket, and then hard left into the lower carpark. It’s also home to Squisito Kitchen Café, and if you come out empty-handed, I’ll be surprised. Open Monday to Saturday 8am to 6:30pm, Sunday 10am to 6pm.
For Chocolate Lovers
Patagonia Chocolates, Lakeside, 50 Beach St., Queenstown (tel. 03/442-9066), and also at Ramshaw Lane, Arrowtown (tel. 03/409-8584; www.patagoniachocolates.com), are must- stop/must-eat destinations. They’re open daily from 8am to 10pm.
In Nearby Glenorchy
Glenorchy is a bit lean on dining options, but you won’t starve. Glenorchy Hotel (tel. 03/442-9902) has a terrace cafe and restaurant with a la carte, stone grill, and bistro dining; and Glenorchy Café (tel. 03/442-9958) can fill the gaps with snacks and light meals in a casual atmosphere. Kinloch Lodge (tel. 03/442-4900) has the best menu, with the likes of Mediterranean baked lamb, seared grouper, or homemade meatballs.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.