Cafes

The 10 Best Cafes In Queenstown For 2023

By Annabel Herbison

Someone tucks into hearty fare at odd saint, one of the best cafes in Queenstown.

For a small place, Queenstown is blessed with the best when it comes to delicious cafes and we’re not the slightest bit embarrassed to say we’ve tried them all. Whether you’re after a healthy meal, a culinary cure after exploring Queenstown’s best bars, or to just keep the good vibes going, there’s something for every brunch or lunch occasion.

Without further ado, here are the best cafes in Queenstown.

The Boat Shed Cafe & Bistro

Frankton

Chorizo scrambled eggs at The Boat Shed Cafe & BistroIf 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 awhile. Luckily, it’s open from 8am to 4pm every day of the week.

odd saint 

Earl Street 

Someone tucks into a hearty breakfast at odd saint, one of the best cafes in Queenstown.

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 brunch 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. P.s. stay tuned, an odd little birdie told us this joint will soon be open in the evenings…

11th Avenue By Frank's

Lower ShotoverFeast on 11th Avenue by Frank's Souvlaki

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 wholesome breakfast, lunch and dinner menu and TBH we’re pretty stoked you can dine here at any hour of the day. Some staples worth the spotlight on the breakfast menu are the Good Gut Eggs with a tasty range of veges, basil pesto and balsamic reduction and the Cheat Day Toast AKA French toast with roast fruit, butterscotch and coconut yoghurt. At lunch enjoy ceviche or a range of buddha bowls and souvlaki. 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

Arrowtown 

A delicious looking spread of food from Mora Wines.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 or a long-lunch location, this historic weatherboard cottage and cobblestone courtyard awaits. For breakfast, the seared halloumi with dukkah and poached eggs is an absolute crowd favourite and 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 brunch or sample award-winning wines at the boutique cellar door just across the courtyard. The lunch menu is designed to share with beautiful cuts of meat like the fall-off-the-bone Royal Burn lamb shoulder, fresh seafood like the Mt Cook alpine salmon and so many delicious starters and sides—it’s the warm bread with porcini and truffle butter and the scallop ceviche for us. 

Bathhouse Lakefront Restaurant 

Marine Parade, Queenstown

The Bathhouse Lakefront Restaurant is seen from the outside.

Oops, they’ve done it again! 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. First, let’s take a moment to appreciate the unique setting of this all-day venue—originally constructed way back in 1911 to commemorate the coronation of King George V, it’s a stunning heritage building in all its glory. With incredible architecture, amazing floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the lake, and an à la carte menu inspired by old-school British cuisine, it truly is a royal destination. The menu screams nostalgia with a refined twist… perfectly smoked salmon, capers and elderberry on rye, a classic British bacon butty, mince on toast and their take on the coronation chicken sandwich designed for the coronation of Queen Elizabeth. 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, local coffee and plenty of French and local wines to wash it down, why not order a flute of Perrier Jouet Belle Epoque and cheers to the beautiful age that brought us the Bathhouse?

Bespoke Kitchen

Isle Street

Bespoke Kitchen's beautiful vegan trifle pancakes to tuck into while looking out at The RemarkablesNo 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 all-day 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! 

The Chop Shop Food Merchants 

Arrowtown

The Chop Shop Food Merchant's Turkish Eggs are to-die-for: brown butter sauce, dill, chilli, garlic yogurt served with grilled ciabatta.Chop, chop! You may be staying in Queenstown, but no doubt you’re planning a little mission across to Arrowtown at some point to explore the old mining settlement. While you’re there, we recommended making The Chop Shop Food Merchants your first pitstop. Hidden down Arrow Lane just behind the historic main street, Chop Shop is a cute little hideaway filled with vintage and industrial decor and plenty of mouthwatering brunch options. You won’t find many of your classics here, but trust us and take the opportunity to try something new, like the spicy nasi goreng (fried rice), okonomiyaki with crispy prawns or the potato and jalapeno hash. Trust us again and order a roti doughnut to finish. The coffee here is brewed to perfection and they also make an excellent bloody mary… if you're that way inclined. 

Yonder

Church Street


Friends enjoying lunch on Yonder's sunny patio- a Queenstown must-do Buzzing from sunrise to sunset, Yonder is a cool, colourful (just check out their ‘Gram) and delicious place to start your day. With the self-proclaimed best coffee in Queenstown, irresistible baked goods and an epic menu full of brunchy favourites, you really can’t go wrong. We suggest tucking into the pork benny, Turkish eggs or the vegan butty with mushrooms, crispy pumpkin and onion jam—plus, all of their bread, pastries, sauces and marinades are made in-house #onlythebest. 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!). Head to the home of good times from 8am daily. 

Vudu Cafe & Larder

Rees Street

Located in the heart of Queenstown, Vudu Cafe & Larder are masters at lakeside lunching.

Located in the heart of Queenstown with seating overlooking the picturesque Lake Wakatipu, Vudu Cafe & Larder is favoured by locals and visitors alike. Order an Allpress espresso and peruse the menu while being seriously tempted by the cabinet, which features decadent cakes, epic sandwiches and vegan delights. The menu ranges from nutritious to not-so-nutritious but delicious—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 (it’s fruit so it’s healthy, right?). Absolutely teeming from morning until night, you’ll need to get there early to grab a seat.

The Exchange

Ballarat Street

Local enjoying a cozy brunch and coffee at The Exchange in Queenstown

Casual, warm and friendly, The Exchange is an excellent choice for breakfast or brunch in the centre of town. Formerly a post office and telephone exchange, this cafe is somewhat of a local institution. The menu is stocked with all the enjoyable classics, 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. 

Already thinking about dinner? Here are Queenstown and Arrowtown's best restaurants.

Image credit: odd saint, The Boat Shed Cafe & Bistro, odd saint, 11th Avenue by Frank's, Mora Wines & Artisan Kitchen, Bathhouse Lakefront Restaurant by Sam Stewart Photography, Bespoke Kitchen, The Chop Shop Food Merchants, Yonder, Vudu Cafe & Larder, The Exchange. 

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