New recommended Queenstown, New Zealand restaurants

This is an update to the Queenstown, New Zealand restaurants and travel guide which I posted two years ago. In early December 2013, I returned to the south island of New Zealand and spent a week in Queenstown after several days sea kayaking and hiking in the Abel Tasman national park (see Kayaking in New Zealand: Abel Tasman park). Here are new restaurants I recommend:

(1) Rata: Delicious modern New Zealand cuisine from Michelin starred chef, Josh Emett, served in a beautiful modern space. Great selection of New Zealand wines. Expensive. 43 Ballarat St, Queenstown.

(2) Madam Woo: Josh Emett is also behind this restaurant that serves Chinese and Malay street food. Small plates to be shared in an eclectic, colourful space. Moderate. 5 The Mall, Queenstown.

(3) Public Kitchen and Bar: formerly called Wai, but still run by the same team that created Wai, Public Kitchen and Bar is a great place to have drinks by the waterside and to enjoy New Zealand specialties such as green lipped mussels. Moderate. Ground Floor, Steamer Wharf, Beach Street, Queenstown.

(4) No. 5 Church Lane: Thai-inspired restaurant and bar that serves small plates such as roasted coconut salad, chicken larb balls and venison curry as well as dinner (with appetizers, mains and dessert). Cozy bar scene. 5 Church Lane, Queenstown.

queenstown new zealand

(5) Outside Queenstown, just 15 minutes away on the road to Arrowtown is the Amisfield Bistro (which is not new) but a place I tried on this trip to New Zealand. Set in the Amisfield winery, you can sit outside or inside and enjoy amazing dishes from the “Trust the Chef menu. It seems like a lot of food because you get 6 to 7 dishes including dessert but the plates are reasonably small. If you’re not that hungry, you can order a la carte. You must reserve here because it’s extremely popular.

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About Esme Vos

Esme Vos is the founder of Mapplr, a travel site featuring boutique hotels, luxury resorts, travel guides and restaurant reviews. You can find her on and Twitter.


  1. Esme!!! Happy New Year to you. Thanks for the tips on these new restaurants in one of my favorite towns. As you may remember, I worked on the WiFi network there and had the pleasure of spending a couple of months in Queenstown 3 years ago. The “Goodbar” boys had the restaurant market corralled at that time, doing a great job, I might add.

    You have convinced me we need to make another trip there to increase capacity on the local loop or some/any other excuse/reason to get back there. You’ve gotta love Queenstown and Arrowtown. Simply a feast for the eyes…

    I love your posts; all always noteworthy. Thank you.
    Bobby Vassallo