One of the many delights of Arrowtown is what a fantastic destination it is for foodies. From a sticky bun in the sunny garden of a historic miner’s cottage to a three-hat feast served under the stars by one of New Zealand’s most celebrated chefs.

While you're here, take time to sit and savour Arrowtown's vibrant food and wine scene by sampling local produce, learning the stories of growers, brewers and bakers and taking the time to really savour this place.

Here’s your in-depth guide to planning your Arrowtown culinary adventure.

Favourite Arrowtown cafés

Run on coffee? Think brunch is the finest meal of the day? You’ll love Arrowtown cafés. We may be biased, but it’s possible Arrowtown has the cutest cafés in New Zealand. You can’t go past this delightful trio of local favourites.

Provisions of Arrowtown. An adorable café set in a historic miner's cottage in the heart of the village. If it’s sunny, head through to the garden where you can sit under fruit trees. Open for breakfast and lunch, their all-day menu combines brunch classics like eggs benedict and brioche French toast with salads, fried rice and flatbreads. The sticky buns are iconic.

The Dishery. Next to the Arrow River Reserve in Arrowtown, The Dishery has a garden and indoor seating. Open for all-day breakfast, brunch and lunch, they use a woodfired grill to slow cook their beef and chicken, with succulent smoky results and their brunch cocktails aren’t to miss. The bistro restaurant prides itself in sourcing locally produced and sustainable ingredients – like pasture-raised Royalburn eggs and wild-caught South Island seafood. It's the perfect place for a bite to eat after a stroll along the river or a hike up Sawpit Gully.

Postmaster’s Kitchen + Bar. Another charming eatery in one of Arrowtown’s picturesque historic cottages complete with a horse-hitching post, white picket fence, log fire, and wisteria looping around the veranda. Owners Sam Laycock and Maria Kealy are passionate about creating a rewarding and nurturing environment for both their staff and guests and love sharing their passion for local quality produce. The all-day menu ranges from fry-ups and french toast for brunch to burgers and seafood chowder.

Friends dining outside in courtyard of The Dishery, ArrowtownThe Dishery

Top Arrowtown restaurants

If you’re in town for dinner you’re in for a treat. Arrowtown punches way above its size when it comes to dining, with a lineup of restaurants any capital city would be proud to claim, and a strong international influence. We recommend booking in advance.

Aosta's Chef Bayly takes his inspiration from the cooking techniques of Northern Italy and pairs this with ingredients and wine local to the Arrowtown/Central Otago region. This bustling space serves up superb Northern Italian food, small plates, impeccable pastas, hearty mains, and some exquisite dolci (locals all agree the tiramisu is a must-try). With ingredients like Bannockburn olive oil, Stewart Island pāua, and Fiordland venison, here Italian flair meets South Island flavour.

Next door, family-friendly Little Aosta offers sourdough wood-fired pizzette, woodfired meatballs and salsicce, along with hearty mains, and carafes of red wine.

La Rumbla. Tapas and cocktails on the main street of Arrowtown = a whole lot of fun. The owners returned from living in Spain, missed the buzz of Mediterranean nightlife, and decided to open their own little corner of Catalonia right here. Expect big flavours with Latin American and Mediterranean influences and the freshest local ingredients.  

Mantra. Creative Indian cuisine in a stylish setting. The menu is a different beast to your local takeaway with delights like beetroot tikka, goat biryani, coconut poached prawns, and saffron fish tikka. Service is delightful, and it’s a firm favourite with locals, who tell us it’s one of the best Indian restaurants in the Queenstown region.

Pizza going into a wood fired ovenLittle Aosta, Arrowtown

Wineries with great food near Arrowtown

When it comes to food and wine pairing, you can’t go past a winery restaurant. Arrowtown is only a 15-minute drive from local wine regions, Gibbston Valley. But before you head off on a wine-tasting adventure, there are two local cellar doors with spectacular restaurants just a five-minute drive from Arrowtown and known for their incredible food offering.

Amisfield Winery & Bistro. With a kitchen captained by celebrated chef Vaughan Mabee, Amisfield is undoubtedly one of New Zealand’s finest winery restaurants. Explore their degustation menu, a bar menu for wine tasting, along with takeaway options to enjoy Amisfield at home. Book their outdoor conservatory for a private dining experience to remember.

Mora Wines & Artisan Kitchen. A restaurant and cellar door in a historic cottage. Mora (Latin) means to linger, to take pause. The team at Mora serve what they like to call ‘honest, comforting and social’ food, giving guests the opportunity to take time, slow down and enjoy good food and wine with family and friends. Enjoy an alfresco wine tasting accompanied by small plates in the beautiful gardens or book a table for breakfast or lunch.

People dining at Mora Wines & Artisan KitchenMora Wines and Artisan Kitchen

Arrowtown’s best pubs & bars

After a day exploring Arrowtown or hiking the surrounding hills, a well-earned drink is in order. Arrowtown has no shortage of excellent gastro pubs where you can sip Central Otago wines and local craft ales and order plates of delicious food to keep them company.

The Fork & Tap. A great place to taste NZ craft beers with 19 beers and ciders on tap. Delightful at any time of the year with a large sunny garden and a cosy historic interior with a roaring fire and regular live music. It lives up to its gastropub reputation with sharing platters, seasonal mains, and pizzas, all with a focus on wild locally foraged meats and ingredients.

Bendix Stables. These 1873 stables are now a welcoming gastropub with a beer garden and an open fire. Share small plates like baked Whitestone camembert and fennel and fig salad, tuck into a pork belly burger, or order up from the grill, with delectable duck fat potatoes on the side.

Smithy’s Smoke House. Located in nearby Millbrook Resort, this bar in an 1800s smokehouse and blacksmith’s shop offers pizzas, burgers, craft beers, wines, and whisky. Pull up a chair around the open fire pits set by the old mill pond and enjoy a nightcap gazing up at the stars.

MTB Apres at the Fork & Tap, ArrowtownThe Fork & Tap, Arrowtown

Getting to Arrowtown

If you plan to enjoy a few drinks in Arrowtown, hop on the regular Orbus service from Queenstown. Take the blue route from Arthurs Point to Arrowtown for only $2 with an Orbus Go Card. Check the Orbus schedule here. If you drive, there’s parking by the river reserve.

Make a day or two of it and enjoy Arrowtown’s sophisticated shopping scene, and the many heritage activities, or take to the hills and explore Arrowtown on foot.

Buckingham Street, ArrowtownBuckingham Street, Arrowtown

More ways to get a taste of local flavour in Queenstown

Delve even deeper with these Six Immersive Food and Beverage Experiences – extraordinary gourmet experiences that speak to our breathtaking surroundings and the fascinating people who make Queenstown truly special.

As you explore Queenstown, share your food and wine experiences with us on Instagram by tagging #QueenstownLive.