Dunedin has an outstanding range of eateries, cafés and bars from the heights of epicurean excellence through to cheap and cheerful takeaways. A selection of some of the new, notable or perfect for winter are below
It’s not all about the beer at Emersons, but they do a pretty good line in fresh, intriguing brews in addition to the tried and tested favourites. The restaurant is a destination in its own right, especially for lovers of big, bold flavours that match perfectly with beer and possibly the best hot chips in the Southern Hemisphere.
With cold water currents and an endless expanse of ocean on the doorstep, Dunedin has ready access to an abundance of fresh seafood. Plato is the place for seafood lovers to indulge in bounty from the deep but also features a good range of menu items for those that prefer other options.
A nod to the strong Scottish roots of Dunedin, Scotia is a bespoke whiskey bar and restaurant with a cosy interior from which to sample an impressive array of over 200 single malts. For those that aren’t partial to the amber gold, there is an excellent range of other tipples and a hearty menu of traditional Scottish and contemporary New Zealand cuisine.
A popular Asian fusion restaurant and bar set within a former heritage bank building, hence the name. With excellent crowd watching, heated marble seating and a wide selection of signature cocktails, it’s a great stop for lunch or dinner any day of the week. For pursuers of culinary surprises make sure to order the deep-fried locusts.
Tucked down Bath Street just near the Octagon, Laneway is a place for people in the know. A hugely popular coffee haunt for the locals, Laneways doubles as a tapas bar in the evenings and has the all-important open fire for added warmth and ambience. Catch a glimpse of Dunedin’s fantastic street art which flanks this café on all sides.
A standard favourite for Dunedinites, The Good Oil serves up the goods in the form of flavoursome selection of counter food and made to order dishes that look as beautiful as they taste. Recommended as a brunch spot to enjoy with friends or a mid-shopping stop-off for coffee.
Renowned for its excellent wholesome food and friendly service the Good Earth Café is a great place to fuel up whilst exploring the Northern part of the city. Sitting alongside the University of Otago campus and close by to the Otago Museum, this relaxed eatery has an outstanding range of menu items catering for all manner of dietary requirements.
A hidden gem of Italian and French decadence, perfect steaks and other tempting morsels, Gaslight serves up generous portions of deliciousness in a rustic brick dining room complete with fully stocked bar. The ideal dining hideaway on dark winter evenings over a glass or two.
Set in the gorgeous grounds of Glenfalloch Gardens on the Otago Peninsula, Glenfalloch restaurant is a destination in itself. Currently ranked #1 on TripAdvisor, dining here is multi-sensory experience of fascinating flavours, textures and visual presentation. A regularly changing menu of seasonal and locally sourced cuisine paired with a light airy dining room make for an excellent winter dining experience.
Purveyors of all things superlative, Larnach Castle is not only a fascinating visitor attraction and accommodation option. The Ballroom Café serves up style in the form of elegant Victorian high teas mounted on tiered platters and for lucky in-house guests, dinner is served within the castle dining room for an authentic and luxurious experience.
Positioned for full ocean views along the St Clair Beach waterfront, The Esplanade lays on the charm with delicious Italian-inspired food and impressive bar selection. This busy restaurant is a go-to brunch and dinner spot for locals but also ideal for casual coffee or glass of vino whilst watching the sun setting over the waves.
A much-lauded eatery nestled in the hill suburb of Maori Hill, there is much to love about No. 7 Balmac. A relaxed vibe paired with sophisticated bistro cuisine and goodies cooked over applewood in the Texan wood grill. Throw in fresh picked herbs from the organic kitchen garden and you’ve got the makings of an exceptional dining adventure.
This historic hotel which is set in a picturesque harbourside hamlet has the perfect combo of exceptional food with a strong accent on seafood, a relaxed pub vibe and unbeatable location overlooking the serene expanse of the Otago Harbour. Well worth visiting in its own right, but also makes an ideal stop off during a scenic drive around the many spectacular bays and beaches in the area.
For those venturing out into the glorious Dunedin hinterlands, The Kissing Gate in Middlemarch makes a great refreshment stop. This cute cottage café is popular with Otago Central Rail Trail cyclists and serves up excellent home-style cooking.
For more ideas on where to eat, drink and be merry in Dunedin click here