Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, especially when you’re in action-packed Queenstown. Whether you’re into a healthy acai bowl, classic eggs benedict or something more decadent like French toast, Queenstown is serving up a whole host of delicious options. There’s a lot to choose from, so we’ve covered all the best places to satisfy those morning cravings. These are the best breakfasts in Queenstown.
When we found out Akarua did breakfast, we were ecstatic. The Arrowtown institution is known for its handcrafted cuisine, with every dish made from scratch. The beautiful garden setting and historic cottage have been lovingly restored and it’s a must-visit for breakfast. On the short but sharp breakfast menu, you’ll find sustainably sourced ingredients from around New Zealand’s four coasts. Choose from their savoury smoked salmon and spinach waffle or opt for the divine French toast with grilled plums, maple bacon, shaved coconut, mascarpone and walnut praline. There’s also a selection of breakfast cocktails that are perfect for hair of the dog, but the coffee’s also excellent.
Everyone’s go-to for the best breakfasts in Queenstown, Bespoke Kitchen is a specialty cafe overlooking the bay and the Remarkables. It’s a relaxing place to tuck into your first meal of the day, with a decidedly summer camp feel to it. There are wood features and plenty of forest green accents. On a sunny day, you’ll want to grab a seat outside amongst the pine trees and peruse the extensive menu. You’ll find options that change with the seasons from the pure gold smoothie bowl with banana, mango, pineapple, turmeric base topped with coconut, blackberries, pepita seeds, maca and passionfruit gel to the standard eggs benedict. Made with either bacon, salmon or mushrooms, it’s a staple for a reason.
Vudu Cafe & Larder
Located in the heart of Queenstown with seating overlooking the picturesque Lake Wakatipu, Vudu Larder has a cult following and is probably already on your radar. The breakfast options are extensive, so order an Allpress coffee while perusing the menu. Whether you’re after something nutritious or decadent, you won’t be disappointed. If you’re craving something sweet, the chai spiced pancakes are delicious as is the custard brioche French toast. Savoury staples include the creamy vegan mushrooms and the agria and brussel hash.
The Chop Shop Merchants
Start your day off in historic Arrowtown for breakfast and to explore its main drag. One of the best places for breaking your fast is The Chop Shop Merchants hidden down Arrow Lane. Set amongst the stone cottages, just behind the historic main street, Chop Shop is filled with vintage and industrial decor. Settle in for a decadent breakfast of huevos rancheros, ricotta hotcakes (served with tamarillo) or the newest menu item, purple kumara waffles. The coffee here is brewed to perfection and they also do an excellent espresso martini, if you prefer your brunch with a kick. Chop Shop is a must-visit destination for both locals and visitors, so be sure to stop in when you're next in Arrowtown.
For lovingly made breakfast and quality coffee, head to Big Fig. The contemporary cafe is a go-to breakfast spot for locals and visitors. Served deli-stye, breakfast is a breeze and ideal for those looking for a grab and go option. Choose from gozleme, chia or bircher breakfast pots, Middle Eastern granola with stewed fruit and sweet labneh, ricotta buckwheat pancakes, shakshuka, veggie and herb frittata, and spiced fruit sourdough with homemade jam.
A Queenstown favourite for breakfast and brunch, The Exchange is a bit of a local institution. The small, minimalist cafe is a wonderful place for your morning meal. The menu is stocked with all the classics, from buttermilk pancakes to eggs benedict served on rosti, plus an enticing-looking cabinet with plenty of options. Coffee at The Exchange is consistently good as are the Bloody Mary’s, if you’re wanting a morning tipple.
If you’re looking for the best vegetarian breakfast options in Queenstown, you’ll want to pay Yonder a visit. With plenty of seating both inside and out of the cafe, we suggest hitting the patio. The menu is extensive and caters to all diets. We suggest tucking into the braised pork belly, the panna cotta passion fruit granola or the vegan Mexican scramble. Pro tip: if you’re cutting back on caffeine, they also do excellent turmeric, beetroot, black sesame and matcha lattes alongside a long list of teas.
Odelay is a breakfast go-to for Frankton locals for its quality menu and delicious Allpress coffee. Conveniently located close to Queenstown airport, it’s a great breakfast stop if you’re catching an early morning flight. The space is bare bones, but the menu (and panoramic views) are spectacular. You’ll find fresh dishes made with locally sourced ingredients. If you’re hungry, try the standout brunch platter with wilted greens, poached free range eggs, toast, vegan kale pesto, napoli sauce and potato croquettes.The breakfast bun with bacon, free range egg, relish, spinach, hollandaise and potato croquettes is the stuff of dreams!
The Boat Shed Cafe
Now that you're fortified by a hearty meal, check out everything there is to do in Queenstown.
Image credit: Bespoke Kitchen, Vudu, The Exchange