One of the (many) great things about Queenstown is the next-level food and wine scene. It’s a foodie nirvana with over 150 bars and restaurants and multi-cultural, cosmopolitan dining offerings that rival much bigger cities.

For wine lovers, Queenstown is the gateway to the vineyards of Central Otago, with Gibbston, the valley of the vines, just 20 minutes away. Make sure you factor a wine experience into your stay, whether it’s a bike tour of the wineries, or simply a stop off in one of the region’s welcoming cellar doors to sample a tasting flight shaped by our distinct alpine seasons and dramatic terroir.

While you’re here, don’t miss the chance to explore the growing craft beer scene, and sip a glass or two of gin imbued with local botanicals and fruit.

Check out this rundown of recent new restaurant openings in Queenstown.



1 Ayr Avenue, Arrowtown

The Ayrburn dining precinct opened at the end of 2023. A historic farm homestead and outbuildings have been converted into a rustic-luxe dining hub where the restored Mill Creek runs through grounds with mature trees, veggie gardens, meticulously tended flower beds and a vineyard. It’s very much a destination to linger a while.

The Woolshed restaurant offers classic bistro fare. Executive Chef, Richard Highnam, from local stalwart Botswana Butchery, designed the menus with the Ayrburn team. The Manure Room serves tapas, platters, and the chance to try Ayrburn’s own wines while the Burr Bar mixes garden-themed cocktails. Or, grab a freshly made gelato at the Dairy and sit outdoors. A second wave of openings is planned for late 2024.

Ayrburn makes getting there easy, with affordable buses from Queenstown or Arrowtown or a door-to-door shuttle. The dining hub is connected to the major cycle trail that runs between Queenstown and Arrowtown, and there are also EV charging stations on site.

People dining at The Woolshed AyrburnThe Woolshed, Aryburn


2 Rees Street, Queenstown

Soda is a collab between the owners of La Rumbla and Slow Cuts in Arrowtown and Republic Hospitality, the crew behind Ballarat Trading Co and the Sundeck in Queenstown. The name conjures up the effervescent fun Soda aims to offer its guests, and based on enthusiastic reviews, it’s succeeding.

Mediterranean flavours inspire the menu, which is made for sharing and described as a love letter to the Med. Crowd favourites include the delicious anti-pasti, paella, and wood-fired meats sourced locally from Walter Peak, Royalburn, and Savannah in Southland. The stylish space has lake views with a balcony for people watching, while a courtyard dining area is ideal for sunny, summer days.

Dining al fresco at Soda BarSoda Bar


Country Lane, 26 Hansen Road, Frankton, Queenstown

Set in an old 1930s church, Sundays’ fit-out sets off the original wood floors and wall panelling with vintage lighting, mirrors, and eclectic second-hand furniture finds. A patio and lawn area host live music on summer weekends, while in winter an outdoor fireplace and covered pergola means the party doesn’t have to head indoors.

The wood-fired menu designed by head chef Ludovic Paris features Neapolitan-style pizzas with puffy sourdough bases just the right amount of chewy and deliciously charred. Share plates include buffalo stracciatella with fresh local tomatoes, pecorino churros, and lamb ribs. Sangria is a specialty. Finish off with gelato or a Sicilian burnt lemon pie.

Once your appetite is sated, wander the Country Lane Village and explore the local boutiques for pre-loved clothes, homewares, books, and honey. Kids will love the horses, sheep, goats, and rabbits and the play area with playhouse, sandpit, and trampoline.

People dining on the outside patio of SundaysSundays Eatery. Credit Amee Freeman Photography. 

Baja Mexico

61 Beach Street, Queenstown

Baja California comes to Beach Street Queenstown with this laid-back slice of Mexican cuisine at Baja Mexico. Sunny vibes are created from the minute you walk in, with golden light cast by woven lampshades and sculptural stands of cacti giving a classy nod to the Bajan theme.

The owners’ vision is for a fun, relaxed eatery where the flavours of Mexico use local produce like blue cod and crab. Sharing plates are stacked with generous portions. Highlights include tequila-glazed pork ribs, chilli lime prawn tacos, and the tequila and lime cheesecake. The creativity extends to the drinks with treats like a cucumber and elderflower margarita, and the friendly service goes the extra mile.

Top down shot of colourful mexican food on a table Baja Mexico

Cave Arrowtown

40 Buckingham Street, Arrowtown

This chill little Japanese sake and tapas bar in the middle of Arrowtown is getting rave reviews. From the elegant brushstrokes of Cave Arrowtown's logo to the exquisite contrast of delicate rose pink sashimi with earthenware plates, their attention to detail is clear.

Owners Kei and Sawa Sakashita were the team behind the popular Chop Shop Food Merchants, which fuelled hungry brunch seekers for six years. Cave is their new project, a stylish space fitted out with warm wood and low lighting. The menu is split into sushi, seafood, meat, and vegetables, with plenty of vegetarian options. Guest favourites include karaage chicken, char siu pork ramen, and the green tea tiramisu. Be sure to book.


Miss Rita's Cantina

35 Brecon Street, Queenstown

Miss Rita's Cantina is in the new hospitality precinct below the Skyline Gondola. The bright, colourful space has seats indoors and out and features zingy red and yellow design accents and a mural by Wānaka artist Shane Walker. Brought to you by the experienced crew behind Margo's, Little Blackwood, and Little Mez, you know you’re in safe hands.

Chef Matt Tobin has put together a menu packed with big portions of popular Tex-Mex dishes, perfect for sharing. Choose from tacos stuffed with battered market fish, beef brisket, or charcoal cauliflower, along with sizzling fajitas, popcorn prawns, and loaded nachos. Fun-themed evenings include Nacho Average Monday, Taco Tuesday, and Fried Chicken Wednesday. They also pour Queenstown’s biggest selection of frozen margaritas.

Person serving a table in a colourful Mexican themed restaurantMiss Rita's Cantina

Odd Saint

1 Earl Street, Queenstown

Sister restaurant to Miss Rita’s, brunch restaurant odd saint aims to feel like your neighbourhood local, with global soul food and a warm community feel. The restaurant takes its name from the neighbouring church, and the sunny space brings together American diner kitsch with European bistro chic in a quirky, cool mix with a courtyard and garden.

Executive chef, Matt Tobin is from the Midwest and you can see that influence on the food, but no one country dominates. The global fusion menu suits Queenstown’s cosmopolitan vibe. The owner’s vision is to showcase great local ingredients in a fresh way with offerings like corned beef carnitas hash, tuna poke bowl, and hot wok-fried rice.

Waitress serving customers in a pretty outdoor autumn settingOdd Saint

Eat Space at O’Connell’s

30 Camp Street, O'Connells Building, Queenstown

A new dining precinct in Queenstown, Eat Space serves up a mix of international flavours with six casual dining options and a bar. The space is open from brunch through dinner.

Cassetta Trattoria makes Neapolitan pizzas and pasta. The Sushi Platter interprets Japanese classics with seasonal local ingredients. Bronze Elephant offers that inimitable Thai mix of sweet and fiery flavours. Monster Chicken serves moreish Korean fried chicken. Souvla is fresh Greek street food and Lemon & Salt is all about seafood cooked simply. Urban Botanica has you covered for a drink, with coffee, cocktails, and craft ales.

Group of friends cheers wine glasses while dining at Eatspace in QueenstownSouvla, Eat Space

Share Your Favourite Queenstown Food Experiences

Enjoy eating your way around these new Queenstown restaurants. We love to hear from contented foodies, so share your Queenstown food adventures with us on social.