As my Uber ride from the airport arrived in downtown Queenstown my eyes opened wide seeing myriads of interesting looking places to eat. I already knew I would have trouble choosing and never be able to sample enough of them. Even less than a block from my hostel there were more places to eat than I could manage. I quickly checked into my room and darted out to check out the town.
I headed straight for the lake and wanted to eat somewhere with a view of the lake. I checked menu to menu of places along the dock area and finally decided on Happy Hour at the Boardwalk. I found a comfortable corner with the best view to have some champagne, olives, and fries. The champagne was $12 NZ ($8 USD).
I frequented Patagonia Chocolates for deserts and mostly the ice cream. I had the Tramontana several times which is vanilla, dulce de Leche, caramel and tiny chocolate covered biscuits. This place has some decent WiFi and upstairs has a nice view of the lake.
This place has been famous for the best burgers but is often packed. The best time to go is between 3 and 6pm. There will still be a line but it moves quickly. I don’t think I was in line for more than 15 min before getting my order in and grabbing some seating. I had a burger with Brie and aioli and this was quite the good burger. They have a bakery too so the burger bun is special and fresh. This place is a must-do!
This place is right next to my hostel and I decided to try the pizza with pepperoni, mushrooms and red onion (very good) and ended up ordering 3 glasses of wine. First a Pinot Gris, Soho Marlborough with Tasting notes of white peach, pear and lifted floral notes leading on to a crisp palate of orange zest, cardamom and baked apple. Second a Sauvignon Blanc, The Ned- Marlborough with tasting notes of exuberant lemon-lime citrus and wet stone minerality underpinned by layers of crunchy green capsicum and woody hedgerows. Lastly a Rose, Soho- Marlborough with tasing notes of vibrant aromas of raspberry, florals, and watermelon. In all I spent $36 USD and after 3 glasses of wine I only had to walk around the corner to get back to my hostel.
New Zealand summertime is the time to visit to take advantage of the great weather for Perky’s boat. Perky’s is a floating bar boat permanently moored on a most popular corner of the Lake Wakatipu in the heart of Queenstown. There’s all sorts of activities going on around this boat. You’ll see Jet Boats, the Shark Hydro Jets, a Steamship, Jet Ski’s, Kayakers on the lake. Around land you’ll see some live entertainment, in the sky you’ll see the Skyline gondola stop with paragliders circling.
This is a BYOF (bring your own food) boat. You can purchase some food nearby such as one of the food carts nearby, then purchase some Perky’s house wine or beer for $8 NZ ($5.30 USD) then sit, relax and watch!
The Devil Burger is comparable to Fergburger in hamburger patty, perhaps not the bun though.. This place is not crowded and has more room to sit so it’s a great alternative plus they have some good variations of burgers like fish, venison, chicken etc. It’s right next to the Nomads Hostel. I enjoyed my burger with some local beer with some comfortable seating. During my river-boarding trip we were actually discussing with the locals about this and they said they preferred Devil Burger for the same reasons.
There are two Ice Bars in Queenstown one is Below Zero and one is Minus 5deg. The Below Zero is just below the Nomads Hostel. I’m told that the Below Zero Ice Bar is at -12deg. I had a coupon for free entry which comes with a purchase of a tour in town. The entry is $20 NZ, and you must buy at least one drink for $16 NZ alcoholic or $10 non-alcoholic. I ended up purchasing the two alcoholic drink for $20 NZ.
You don a parka before entering and they give you gloves to wear which you’ll need for the drinks which are served in a cup made entirely of ice. I had the Below Zero which is raspberry vodka, triple sec, cranberry and orange juice with lemon-yum! My second drink was the Off-Piste Passion which is Vodka, passionfruit liquor, mango juice with lime. Seems more like a Caribbean drink than a winter drink. I think I liked this one even more that the first one!
I explore the Ice Bar that is filled with ice furniture covered with deer skins and blue, red lighting which varies. this gives the room a nice surreal effect. There’s some ice sculptures and even an ice hockey table. I’m chatting with the bartender a bit, then after about 30min I’m starting to really feel cold so I wondered what is was like to be the bartender there. They have to exit once in awhile to warm-up.
In all I spent about $13.5 USD for this experience and two drinks. I definitely recommend asking for an Ice Bar coupon available when you book an excursion/tour in town.
This place is located in a pedestrian street one block from the Nomads Hostel. I spotted a Fish-n-Chips special for $15 NZ and decided to have that for lunch. That was the least expensive Fish-n-Chips I’ve seen in town. It was ranging from $18 to $30 NZ in other restaurants, but some of those did have a closer view of the lake.
The Fish-n-Chips was quite good and I had it with a local ale that was slightly hoppy, it went well with the fish, along with some people watching!
This place is directly across from the Nomads Hostel. I finally decided to try it out since their prices weren’t too high and the environment was pleasant. I was in the mood for some pub-like food and ordered the large nachos with pulled brisket, guacamole, sour cream beans etc. along with a local beer for about $19 USD.
This is a fabulous donut shop just one block from the Nomads Hostel and next to the Devil Burger. My attention was immediately caught by the donuts with syringes of caramel or chocolate that you inject yourself into the donut. How novel!
I need to mention the corner Starbucks in central Queenstown. This was a good place for me to frequent for a quick breakfast, afternoon or evening tea and catch some good WiFi.
These places barely touch the surface of the eating places in Queenstown all within a few blocks.
Here’s to good eating!