From epic white-water rafting and bungee jumping to awesome snowboarding and killer skiing, Queenstown has it all. But all that adventuring that comes with an adrenaline-packed Queenstown adventure weekend will work up an appetite. Luckily, Queenstown also delivers on the dining front with an incredible (and affordable) array of places to grab some good food. The following are five of the best all in vicinity of Queenstown’s accommodation precinct!
The Cow Restaurant
The quirky Cow Restaurant is located in Cow Lane — right in the heart of Queenstown’s CBD. It’s a pizza and pasta restaurant that serves affordable, home-cooked style meals since it opened in 1976. The name comes from the 1860s when Queenstown was a booming gold-mining town. At that time, cows were herded down “Cow Lane” on a daily basis to provide milk for the numerous restaurants and eateries around the Beach Street area. The restaurant menu is complete with hearty, carbohydrate-laden delights, including hand-rolled pizzas and house-made pasta. Try the spaghetti with chicken livers or the seafood supreme pizza.
Pig and Whistle Pub
We all know that some places around Queenstown are on the expensive side of the tracks. That’s not so true for this pub, which rivals even the best of traditional English pubs. The Pig and Whistle has been a staple of Queenstown nightlife and a favourite haunt of tourists and locals since it opened its doors. There are over 17 beers to choose from on tap, including several top New Zealand brews: Speights Summit Lager, Monteith’s Golden, Tui East India Pale Ale, Steinlager and Export Gold. Pig and Whistle also brew their own beer. To go with your drink, a huge list of hearty pub fare is on offer with house specials including beef & reef, chicken quarto (quarter chicken), fettuccini Bolognese and Jamaican pork belly. The best bit of all — after you eat, you don’t need to go any further in search of good nightlife.
Flame Bar & Grill
Flame Restaurant pairs South African cooking with quality, organic New Zealand meat, resulting in a mouth-watering menu that will have barbecue fans screaming out for more. The décor is casual-chic, the atmosphere friendly, and the service is exceptional. Must-try dishes include the grass-fed, locally sourced, aged beef and the famous full rack of flaming good pork ribs. There is also a range of salads and vegetarian options for the less carnivorous amongst us. Pair it with a bottle of red from their wine list and you’ll be well on your way to a happier place.
Frankton Ale House Bar and Family Restaurant
Frankton Ale House Bar and Family Restaurant is one of the best family restaurants in Queenstown, offering hearty Kiwi fare for a fraction of the price of other eateries. For the adults, the arrow ribs are awesome, as is the vegetarian samba wrap. For the little ones, there is a special kids menu with kid-sized portions for kid-sized prices. Also being a (well-stocked) bar, it’s a great place to catch a footy game on the big screen if you happen to be there on a weekend with the boys.
Prime Waterfront Restaurant and Dance Bar
A newbie on the Queenstown dining scene, Prime Waterfront Restaurant and Dance Bar only opened its doors this year, but has enjoyed amazing reviews and incredible feedback since the beginning. It’s situated in a beautiful lakeside spot, providing diners with panoramic views of Queenstown’s mountain ranges. Targeting the over-30 demographic, it’s a sophisticated dining environment and offers some of the best examples of fine New Zealand produce, including Fiordland venison, Stewart Island salmon, New Zealand scallops and Southland lamb. The wine list is particularly good and showcases the best of the New Zealand wine industry, featuring Marlborough sav, Central Otago pinot noir, Waiheke rosé and Hawkes Bay cab sav. Following the dinner service, it turns into a dance club and plays the top hits from the `70s, `80s, `90s and today right through closing time. So, if you feel like taking your dining and dancing upmarket, Prime is the place to be!