I’ve always found Wanaka to be one of the best places for straight-up good eating when in South Island. That’s not astonishing, mind you – resort towns like this tend to have more than their fair share of good dining establishments.
In fact, Wanaka has so many good places to grab food and drinks that you’re more likely to have trouble choosing where to go than finding something decent. To help you out with that, let’s dive into some of the best restaurants that Wanaka has to offer.
1. Bistro Gentil
Address: 76A Golf Course Road, Wānaka 9305, New Zealand
Hours: Tuesday to Friday – 6 PM to 9 PM
Bistro Gentil is the kind of place you’ll find yourself coming back to time and time again. The aged beef fillet tartare is a must-try—it will leave your taste buds dancing. The beef is fresh, and you’ll have a range of sides to choose from.
If you dare to get fish, get the whole roasted flounder. The flounder has crispy skin and tender, flaky flesh that practically melts in your mouth.
Don’t forget the dessert! Order the strawberry malva pudding for dessert. It’s sweet, slightly tangy, and packed full of strawberry flavor. And their house-made ice cream is a burst of smooth, rich flavour that will have you scraping the bottom of the bowl.
Address: 2 Dunmore Street, Wānaka 9305, New Zealand
- Sunday to Thursday – 5:30 PM to 8:30 PM
- Friday & Saturday – 5:30 PM to 9 PM
This place knows how to cook up some serious flavor! Their fried chicken is a local legend. Crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside It will have you licking your fingers and begging for more.
The cloudy bay clams are also a popular choice. Pair them with a glass of white wine, and you’ve got yourself a taste of the ocean like no other.
You can’t leave Kika without trying the hazelnut frangipane. The sweet and nutty frangipane is perfectly complemented by a scoop of creamy ice cream.
3. The Spice Room
Address: 43 Helwick Street, Wānaka 9305, New Zealand
Hours: Tuesday to Sunday – 5 PM to 9 PM
The Spice Room is a must-visit for anyone who appreciates authentic Indian cuisine.Their diverse menu is a celebration of flavours, but there are a few dishes that stand out.
The korma, a creamy, aromatic curry, is a crowd-pleaser. The mango chicken, a perfect blend of sweet and spicy, is like a party in your mouth. The malai kofta, a dish of soft cheese balls in a rich, creamy gravy, is pure comfort food.
If you want something with vegetables, get their jalfarezi, a spicy curry with a mix of vegetables that leaves a tingling sensation on your tongue. And you can’t forget their naan bread—both the chilli, cheese, and garlic, and the peshawari naan are good choices.
The Spice Room is particularly known for its generous use of spices, so if you’re not a fan of heat, be sure to ask for your dish to be mild.
4. Francesca’s Italian Kitchen
Address: 93 Ardmore Street, Wānaka 9305, New Zealand
Hours: Monday to Sunday – 12 PM to 3 PM & 5 PM to 8 PM
Francesca’s Italian Kitchen has authentic Italian dishes, each one a testament to the simple beauty of fresh ingredients cooked with love and passion.
Their zucchini fritta is perfect as a starter. They are crispy, and wonderfully addictive. Each bite will have you reaching for more, making it a delightful way to whet your appetite for the main course.
And speaking of the main course, the beef gnocchi is recommended. Soft and pillowy, this iis comfort food at its best, warming your stomach and your heart with its hearty goodness.
No visit to Francesca’s Italian Kitchen is complete without trying their cannoli. This classic Italian dessert is a sweet delight, with a crunchy shell giving way to a creamy, rich filling. It’s the perfect end to a perfect meal, so be sure to save some room for it.
5. Big Fig Wanaka
Address: 105 Ardmore Street, Wānaka 9305, New Zealand
Hours: Monday to Sunday – 8 AM to 8:30 PM
Most come here for breakfast—their lemon ricotta pancakes are a classic. The tartness of the lemon perfectly balances the richness of the ricotta.
Gozleme is another breakfast favorite. This traditional Turkish flatbread is stuffed with a savoury filling that’s sure to start your day off right.
If you come here for lunch though, the Moroccan pumpkin tagine and the beef cheeks slow-cooked in pomegranate and red pepper paste is a showstopper. It’s a hearty dish full of bold, exotic flavours that will transport you straight to the bustling markets of Marrakech.
Big Fig is known for its generous portions, so if you’re not too hungry, consider sharing a dish. Or, you can take the leftovers home—they taste just as good the next day!
6. Federal Diner
Address: 47 Helwick Street, Wānaka 9305, New Zealand
Hours: Monday to Sunday – 7 AM to 3 PM
Federal Diner is a place where you can feel right at home while indulging in some truly delicious food.
For breakfast, the comfort kedgeree is a standout. The smoked trevally and mild Indian-spiced rice is brought together with a creamy poached egg for a luxurious touch.
Come lunchtime, their roti roll with braised pork shoulder and hoisin. The pork is tender and succulent, falling apart at the touch of your fork while the hoisin adds a sweet and savoury taste.
Federal Diner is a popular spot, especially during the weekends. So if you’re planning a visit, it’s a good idea to go early to secure a table.
7. Red Star Burger Bar
Address: 26 Ardmore Street, Wānaka 9305, New Zealand
Hours: Monday to Sunday – 12 PM to 8:30 PM
Red Star Burger Bar is known for its creative, mouth-watering burgers. A classic favourite is the hangover burger.
The beef patty is juicy and full of flavour, complemented by the creamy Swiss cheese and crispy bacon. But what takes this burger to the next level is the addition of an egg and hashbrown, topped off with a dollop of aioli and BBQ sauce.
And let’s not forget about the Kumara wedges. They’re the kind of side dish that you can’t help but reach for again and again, making them a must-try.
If you’re looking for a lighter option, Red Star Burger Bar offers a burger bowl option, which gives you all the flavours of their delicious burgers but without the bun. It’s a great way to enjoy their burgers if you’re keeping an eye on your carb intake.
8. Titea Steak House
Address: 123 Ardmore Street, Wānaka 9305, New Zealand
Hours: Tuesday to Sunday – 5:30 PM to 9:30 PM
Titea Steak House serves up some of the best steaks in town. Each bite of the eye-fillet steak is a testament to Titea’s dedication to quality ingredients and excellent cooking techniques.
The steak is a carnivore’s dream come true and an absolute must-try for anyone visiting Wanaka.
And let’s not forget about the lemon cheesecake. It’s smooth, tangy, creamy, and the kind of dessert that will have you scraping your plate clean.
Titea Steak House has a fantastic wine list that pairs perfectly with their steaks. Grab a glass of red wine with your steak.
9. Bombay Palace
Address: level-1/145 Ardmore Street, Wānaka 9305, New Zealand
Hours: Monday to Sunday – 12:30 PM to 3 PM & 5 PM to 9:45 PM
Bombay Palace serves authentic and flavorful Indian cuisine that’s among the best in Wanaka.
The chicken tikka masala here is a classic favourite that’s great with their vegetable biryani. Each spoonful is packed full of vibrant, warm flavours that will transport you straight to the heart of India.
You also can’t miss out on the garlic naan. It’s perfect for scooping up that last bit of curry from your plate.
Bombay Palace has a fantastic lunch deal with a variety of dishes to choose from. The lunch menu offers an array of curries, biryanis, and naan bread that are sure to satisfy your midday cravings and won’t break the bank.
Address: 47 Helwick Street, Wānaka 9305, New Zealand
Hours: Monday to Sunday – 8:30 AM to 2:30 PM
Fedeli is known for its fresh, wholesome meals that leave you feeling satisfied and nourished. Whether you’re in the mood for something light and refreshing or a hearty, protein-packed salad, Fedeli has you covered.
The chicken katsu sandwich is a must-try. And for vegans, the vegan bean burrito is a dream come true. Packed full of hearty beans and fresh vegetables, this burrito will leave you craving more.
For dessert, get the pear and almond tart or the vegan cheesecake. Rich, creamy, and absolutely delectable. Each bite is a creamy delight that will have you questioning whether it’s really vegan—trust me, it is!
Fedeli offers a discount if you bring your own coffee or salad container.
11. Lake View Seafood Restaurant
Address: Level 1/155 Ardmore Street, Wānaka 9305, New Zealand
Hours: Monday to Sunday – 11:30 AM to 2:30 PM & 5 PM to 10 PM
Overlooking the stunning Wanaka Lake, this restaurant offers an unforgettable dining experience that combines delicious food with a breathtaking view. One of the standout dishes on the menu is their fried rice, and the spring rolls are pretty great too.
For your main dish, try the stir-fried beef with cashew nuts—they give you a generous handful of crunchy cashews whose nutty flavour really brings out the richness of the beef.
If you want to be a little exotic, though, give their juicy roast duck a go for an authentic taste of traditional Chinese cuisine.
For large groups, it’s recommended to order the banquet meal. It’s a great way to sample a variety of dishes, and you’ll be able to split the check.
12. Burrito Craft
Address: 42 Brownston Street, Wānaka 9305, New Zealand
Hours: Tuesday to Sunday – 12 PM to 8:30 PM
Phone: +64 20 443 4430
Burrito Craft specialises in crafting mouthwatering burritos that will surely tantalise your taste buds.
Their pulled pork in the pulled pork burrito has that classic smokehouse BBQ taste that will have you licking your fingers. However, if you’re a seafood lover, the crispy monkfish burrito is rich and a unique twist on the classic fried fish burritos you know and love.
And we can’t forget about their loaded fries. Perfect as a side dish or a snack on their own, these fries are nothing short of addictive. They’re crispy, perfectly seasoned, and loaded with toppings.
For our vegan friends, don’t worry—you’re not left out! Their jackfruit carne asada is a fantastic option. Don’t forget to ask for vegan mayo. It adds a creamy, tangy element to the burrito that perfectly complements the jackfruit.