By the Lake

Lake view dining is a Queenstown experience not to miss. Here are a few waterfront restaurants with sensational outlooks and flavours to match.

The Boat Shed Café & Bistro. Right on the edge of the lake in the restored, historic New Zealand Railways Shipping Office, The Boat Shed has a delicious brunch and lunch menu, and equally delicious views over the Frankton arm of the lake. Choose from delights like poached Cromwell peach and nectarine compote or chorizo scrambled eggs on crispy potatoes.

The Grille at Eichardts. You’ll have one of the best views in Queenstown from the floor-to-ceiling windows of the restaurant in this luxurious historic hotel. Their classic French bistro menu showcases local meats, salmon and oysters from Southland, Gibbston Valley cheeses, all matched with a wine list of Central Otago vintages.

Boardwalk. Right on Steamer Wharf with the historic steamship TSS Earnslaw docking outside, Boardwalk is heavy on seafood, with an oyster bar, chowder, ceviche, and crayfish. There’s plenty for non-fish lovers too, with steaks, lamb, and venison. Leave room for pudding, as their dessert menu is full of treats, not to mention a dessert cocktail menu to drool over.

Kinloch Wilderness Retreat. The crew at Kinloch talk about dining with a side of nature and they’re not wrong. They serve up hearty homecooked goodness with delicious local ingredients near Glenorchy on the shores of Lake Whakatipu. Think homemade bread, greens grown in their garden, plenty of vegetarian options, and that amazing lake view.

People dining outside next to the lake with the Remarkables mountain range in the background at The Boat ShedThe Boat Shed Café & Bistro

Dine amongst the vines

Head into the heart of Central Otago wine country for some memorable rural dining experiences with views of the vines.

Gibbston Valley Winery Restaurant. Dine well at the winery that started the whole Central Otago wine movement. Chef Anthony Gradiska keeps it simple and local, with a menu showcasing Central Otago flavours paired with their excellent wine. On a sunny day, sit out in the restaurant courtyard and bask in the stunning surrounds of Gibbston, the valley of the vines.

Amisfield. You’re in safe hands at Amisfield, where celebrated chef Vaughan Mabee works culinary wonders by the shores of Lake Hayes. Tuck into seasonal dishes and spectacular organic pinot noir or choose the iconic seven-course degustation menu. Conservatory dining in an outdoor glasshouse with a fireplace immerses you entirely in your majestic surrounds.

Kinross Bistro Restaurant. A delightful bistro with an outdoor courtyard overlooking their surrounding vineyard. Located in Gibbston, their sharing menu stars local game, New Zealand seafood, and Central Otago produce. Sourdough woodfired pizzas and sharing platters suit a more casual bite to eat.  The star in the Kinross crown is their wine list, with vintages from five award-winning Central Otago wineries – Coal Pit, Hawkshead, Kinross, Valli and Wild Irishman.

KinrossKinross Bistro Restaurant, Gibbston

Down by the river

When it comes to dining al fresco, there’s little nicer than a restaurant with a view of the river, and Queenstown has some beauties.

Canyon Brewing. Grab a local craft brew and enjoy the views at this microbrewery overlooking the Shotover River. The outdoor area often hosts live music and there’s a play area for the kids. The menu has sliders, hearty mains, and woodfired pizza. Try a tasting paddle of their idiosyncratic brews, we’re big fans of the Cardrona Hazy IPA.

The Dishery. Next to the Arrow River Reserve in Arrowtown, The Dishery has a garden and indoor seating. Open for breakfast and lunch, they use a woodfired grill to slow cook their beef and chicken, with succulent smoky results. Perfect for a bite to eat after a stroll along the river, or a hike up Sawpit Gully.

Awa at Nugget Point Hotel. Overlooking the Shotover River, Awa at Nugget Point is open for breakfast, high tea, and dinner. If you don’t fill up on sandwiches, scones and macrons at high tea (and we don’t blame you if you do), their dinner menu has treats like a regional tasting platter, high country salmon, and merino lamb.

People relaxing in outdoor beer garden at Canyon BrewingCanyon Brewing, Arthurs Point

Under the mountains

You can’t go anywhere in Queenstown without being wowed by the jaw-dropping views of The Remarkables mountain range. But these restaurants and bars take spectacular to the next level. 

Nest Kitchen & Bar at Kamana Lakehouse. Queenstown’s highest alfresco dining option, with panoramic views of the lake and the mountains. If you can tear your eyes away from the view you’ll find a Mediterranean inspired menu of sharing plates, including a street food section. Their cocktail list heroes New Zealand’s exciting craft gin scene.

Stratosfare. This restaurant promises a dining experience that’s out of this world, and you can excuse them for the hyperbole because the views really are otherworldly. Head up the Gondola and tuck into a memorable all-you-can-eat dining experience, with everything from wild game to seasonal vegetarian dishes and their decadent dessert bar for afters.

Attiqa. A rooftop amphitheatre surrounded by the Remarkables. The Sundeck offers cocktails, live music and DJs, while The Med Kitchen serves up tapas and antipasti. Head down for sunset, pull up a pew and prepare to be wowed by the 360 degree views.

People dining outside with snow capped mountains in the backgroundThe Nest Kitchen and Bar

So, there you have it. Thirteen tasty options for truly spectacular dining. Share your favourite Queenstown restaurants with a view with us on Instagram and #QueenstownLive.