Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, especially when you’re in action-packed Queenstown. Serving up a whole host of delicious options, this town has everything when it comes to satisfying those morning cravings… from classic big brekkies to decadent waffles and healthy hunger-busters AKA smoothies and poke.
There’s a lot to choose from, but don’t stress, we’ve done all the groundwork for you. These are the best breakfasts in Queenstown.
The Boat Shed
If you like to enjoy your morning coffee with a view (who doesn’t?) head straight to The Boat Shed Cafe at the Frankton Marina. Set in the restored New Zealand Railways Shipping Office, this quirky yet cosy building is filled with character and dates all the way back to 1869.
With relaxed beach house vibes and a delightful menu including blueberry French toast, chorizo scramble, wild mushrooms on sourdough and a GREAT cheese scone, this kid-friendly cafe will tempt you to stay well past breakfast…
It’s all in the name… odd saint, is well, a little odd, and we’re 1000% here for it. You won’t find many of your traditional breakfast staples at the newest kid on the Queenstown block, but what you will find is a culinary adventure filled with flavour, fun and thoughtful hospitality. Co-owner and executive chef, Matt Tobin (of sister restaurant, Margo’s) and head chef Anton Walden are killing the brunch game with plenty of dishes we’d happily have as our death row meal—bacon okonomiyaki (Japanese pancake), BBQ duck fried rice and aloha style salmon (or tofu) poke to name drop a few.
There’s also a vegan menu and delicious daily pastries, say no more! Pull up a seat inside the light and bright bistro or enjoy the fresh air in the garden courtyard, order an eighthirty coffee (or a cheeky cocktail) and get your morning grooving.
11th Avenue By Frank's
Let’s be frank, 11th Avenue by Frank's is the epitome of a good cafe—great food, great coffee and great service. And being family run, they know a thing or two about creating a space that is ideal for littlies—with a covered courtyard in winter and a pristine lawn area to lounge around in summer. Now, let’s get to the food.
Using free-range, local produce the team at Frank’s has created a pretty wholesome breakfast menu including Good Gut Eggs with a tasty range of veges, basil pesto and balsamic reduction, Cheat Day Toast AKA French toast with roast fruit, butterscotch and coconut yoghurt and two delicious smoothie bowls for the health food fanatics. Team with fair trade, organic coffee, a speciality latte (our fave is the charcoal), kombucha or a cocktail and sit back and enjoy this little slice of paradise.
Mora Wines & Artisan Kitchen
Formerly known as Akarua, Mora Wines & Artisan Kitchen may have had a name change but this Arrowtown institution is just as darn good as ever. If you’re after a destination breakfast venue, this historic weatherboard cottage and cobblestone courtyard awaits.
Get amongst the seared halloumi with dukkah and poached eggs (an absolute crowd favourite) or the slow-cooked beef shin with poached eggs and chilli hollandaise is one word, epic! Licensed from 10am, you can order a mimosa to accompany your first meal of the day or sample award-winning wines at the boutique cellar door just across the courtyard.
No trip to Queenstown is complete without breakfast at Bespoke Kitchen. Nestled on the hill, overlooking the bay and the Remarkables, Bespoke Kitchen feels worlds away from the hustle and bustle of central Queenstown. This cafe has a relaxed summer camp feel to it, with its wood features and forest green accents—grab a seat outside amongst the pine trees or step inside to a buzzing atmosphere.
The seasonal menu is filled with plenty of healthy and fresh breakfast options that sit amongst your classic can’t-go-wrongs, enter eggs bene. For a yummy and light option, we can’t resist the strawberries and cream bircher with strawberry, rhubarb pomegranate chia jam and coconut yoghurt whip (bonus, it’s vegan) or for something a little more indulgent try the trifle pancakes... Merry Christmas. Team your breakfast with a fresh juice, smoothie or a speciality latte—but first, coffee!
Vudu Cafe & Larder
Located in the heart of Queenstown with seating overlooking the picturesque Lake Wakatipu, Vudu Larder has a cult following and is no doubt already on your breakfast radar. The food options are extensive, so order an Allpress coffee while you peruse the menu.
Get your five plus a day with the ancient grains salad with avocado foam and your choice of tofu, chicken or hot smoked salmon or indulge in the orchard fruit crumble with whipped mascarpone and apricot gel. Believe us when we say you’ll also be seriously tempted by the cabinet food, which features decadent cakes, epic sandwiches and vegan delights. Everyone needs a sweet treat to round off a good breakfast, right?
Casual, warm and friendly, The Exchange is an excellent choice for breakfast—a local institution may we add! Formerly a post office and telephone exchange, this cafe provides all the goods, from free-range eggs any style to toasted crumpets and a can’t-go-wrong big brekkie, plus a couple of standout dishes we’d eat over and over again like the ANZAC porridge with poached fruit and hazelnut praline and the huevos rancheros (fried eggs, crunchy tortillas and black beans with charred corn and avo).
If you’re simply after a coffee and a quick bite, there are plenty of salads, sandwiches and treats in the cabinet to fuel your day.
If you’re looking for some of the best vegetarian and vegan breakfast options in Queenstown, you’ll want to pay Yonder a visit. A delicious place to start your day, the menu includes an epic vegan butty with mushrooms, crispy pumpkin and onion jam, Turkish eggs with garlic dill yoghurt and chilli harissa butter and raspberry pistachio French toast… the name says it all #drool.
This joint has plenty of space inside and out, but if it’s a sunny morning the sundrenched patio is the spot to be (if you can score a table that is!). With the self-proclaimed best coffee in Queenstown, irresistible baked goods and a long list of coffee alternatives, think turmeric, beetroot and matcha lattes you’ll no doubt stay awhile.
Tuck into your first meal of the day at The Bathhouse! Celebrity chef, Ben Bayly and executive chef Steven Sepsy (of Arrowtown’s famed Aosta and Little Aosta) have breathed new life into the iconic Bathhouse Lakefront Restaurant and we’re certainly not mad about it. With incredible architecture, amazing floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the lake, and a menu inspired by old-school British cuisine, it truly is a royal breakfast destination.
The menu screams nostalgia with a refined twist… perfectly smoked salmon, capers and elderberry on rye, a classic British bacon butty and mince on toast. For something sweet, get knees deep in the ‘God save the cream and jam doughnut’ or the soon-to-be-on-the-menu chocolate brownie with caramel, vanilla bean ice cream and mint… perfection. With cold-pressed juices and local coffee and to wash it down, why not order a drink and cheers to the beautiful age that brought us the Bathhouse?
Odelay is a breakfast go-to for Frankton locals for its well-stocked menu, delicious fresh-squeezed juices and great Allpress coffee. Conveniently located close to Queenstown airport, and open from 7:30am, it’s a great place to stop for breakfast if you’re catching an early morning flight to the adventure capital.
The space is light, bright and always busy—pro tip: nab a seat while your mates order at the counter. If you’re hungry, you’re most certainly in luck, the menu is full to the brim with all your much-loved breakfast classics—bircher muesli, buttermilk pancakes, big breakfast, French toast and the list goes on. The cabinet is also bursting with vegan treats, wraps, salads and cheese rolls… need we say more!
Now that you're fortified by a hearty meal, check out everything there is to do in Queenstown.
Image credit: The Boat Shed, odd saint, 11th Avenue By Frank's, Mora Wines & Artisan Kitchen, Bespoke Kitchen, Vudu Cafe & Larder, The Exchange, Yonder, The Bathhouse, Odelay.