5 Outdoor Bars in Dunedin, New Zealand

Nestled in the southeastern corner of New Zealand’s South Island, Dunedin is a city that beautifully blends its rich Scottish heritage with the vibrancy of a bustling university town. Renowned for its breathtaking landscapes, distinctive architecture, and rich art scene, Dunedin also offers a vibrant outdoor bar culture that is bound to impress.

Whether after a glass of the world-famous Central Otago Pinot Noir, a pint of locally brewed craft beer or simply a place to enjoy good food with equally good company, Dunedin has got you covered. This guide will explore some of the best outdoor bars this buzzing city offers. Let’s dive into the lively atmosphere of Dunedin’s outdoor bars!

Suggested topic: 7 Things to do in Dunedin.

Here are five must-visit establishments to make your trip a success!

1. Ironic Cafe and Bar

Ironic-Cafe-and-Bar
Ironic-Cafe-and-Bar

You’ll find Cafe and Bar next to Dunedin’s iconic Railway Station. Many often drop by for a weekend lunch or brunch after visiting the Otago Farmers Market. You can see this place at night for a lovely sit-down dinner amid the stylish interiors or drinks in the outdoor seating area.

Ironic Cafe & Bar is passionate about serving all its guests freshly cooked, from scratch, modern New Zealand & International cuisine.

The bar prides itself on making pasta, sausages, jams, chutneys, breads, slices, and baking to provide the tastiest and freshest products. It takes pride in its local Central Otago wines and has many to choose from. The cafe loves coffee and now roasts its own coffee called ‘Evoke’ coffee.

The service is amiable and helpful & it has a lovely sunny courtyard outside.

2. Carey’s Bay Historic Hotel

Careys-Bay-Historic-Hotel.jpg
Careys-Bay-Historic-Hotel.jpg

Established in 1894, Carey’s Bay Historic Hotel has a public bar and restaurant. Although the accommodation part has been abandoned for a long time, the pub experience stood the test. It offers a picturesque seaside scene ideal for an alfresco seafood meal or casual drinks as the sun goes down.

Carey’s Bay Historical Hotel dates back to 1874 and is one of the most popular pubs in Dunedin, located just outside Port Chalmers. The restaurant specialises in seafood but offers a complete menu with roast beef with mashed potatoes and a bacon-wrapped chicken breast stuffed with mushroom.

A bar menu is always available for those who want to enjoy a pint of beer or a glass of wine.

Inside are plenty of cosy corners with beautiful views of the bay and multiple open fires to heat the interior on those chilly Dunedin nights.

The courtyard area provides a beautiful sunny and outdoor space during summertime. Still, it is also open during the winter, with a covered roof to protect it from the elements and a blazing fire to keep the place warm. One of the most popular places is an area called ‘The Snug’, which offers private dining for a party of up to 14 people.

3. Salt Bar and Restaurant

Salt Bar and Restaurant
Salt Bar and Restaurant

This is one of those establishments seamlessly transitioning from a trendy cafe during the day into a vibrant bar and restaurant at night. Indoor and outdoor seating is part of its appeal; visitors can soak up the sunshine on those bright summer days. In addition, the food offerings include the house’s specialty Bedford Burgers.

Similarly, there was an array of European-inspired shared plates and a selection of meat, poultry, and seafood dishes.

Above all, Salt Restaurant and Bar enjoys a waterfront location overlooking Whitianga Marina, complemented by fine New Zealand cuisine and attentive service.

The restaurant features a large outdoor decking area to take advantage of the setting, while inside, it has a modern interior and a log fire.

The lunch menu includes Coromandel oysters with chardonnay vinegar and shallots, free-range chicken breast poached in coconut milk with Asian slaw and yuzu mayonnaise and linguini with prawns, chilli, shallots, garlic and parsley. The dinner menu tempts diners with free-range pork belly, prawn dumplings, and Ruakumara venison fillet.

Functions

Salt Restaurant and Bar is an ideal wedding venue with beautiful marina views. The wedding package can accommodate up to 100 guests, including food and drinks and accommodation for up to 22 guests.

4. Ombrellos Kitchen & Bar

Ombrellos-Kitchen-Bar-1

Ombrellos Kitchen and Bar is another go-to if you have a taste for craft beers, live music, and a sophisticated food menu. Located in a beautiful courtyard area with ample seating, people can enjoy the venue’s casual ambience. In addition, you can venture indoors to warm up to the indoor fireplace. Its bar has 15 beers and is open for lunch and dinner.

Ombrellos is a place built on community, excellent staff, delicious food, and an ever-changing, top-notch selection of craft beers – can you see why we all love it so much..? 

With an epic bar, quirky restaurant, cosy private dining rooms, and outdoor courtyard, Ombrellos has something to offer everyone, from kids to adults to furry friends and everything in between! 

5. Starfish Cafe & Bar

Starfish-Cafe-Bar
Starfish-Cafe-Bar

Starfish Cafe and Bar is located in Dunedin’s picturesque St Clair Esplanade. The cafe, bar, and restaurant have excellent alfresco dining facilities, including a stunning upstairs deck with plentiful seaside views. You will enjoy fresh and seasonal food, and the menu is regularly updated to ensure the fresh and finest ingredients are used. This is one of the 5 Outdoor Bars in Dunedin, New Zealand.

They offer designed, approachable food that’s wholesome, tasty, and sometimes a bit naughty. Therefore, they believe in a positive service culture built on gratitude. Starfish provides modern NZ cafe cuisine celebrating local producers and suppliers and is continually developing offerings to Dunedin’s sedan’s legion of foodies.

Its seasonal menu serves all-day brunch, fresh salads, and in-house baking and caters to various diets, including gluten-free, vegetarian, and vegan. Starfish has a clean, modern aesthetic that offers a relaxed environment to inner-city clientele: freshly roasted Supreme CoffEmerson’s Emerson’s beers and a fantastic selection of wines. We’d love to seat you at a table so you can enjoy the warmth of our space and the excellent coffee, beverage and food offerings.

6. Luna Bar and Restaurant

Luna-Bar-and-Restaurant
Luna-Bar-and-Restaurant

Luna Bar and Restaurant has beautiful harbour views. It opened in 2008 and offers the ultimate relaxing ambience to explore suburban Roslyn village. You can drop by for a meal and enjoy a tasteful selection of seafood, meat, vegetarian, and gluten-free cuisine. This is one of the 5 Outdoor Bars in Dunedin, New Zealand.

Its front location overlooking Carillon Park Nature Reserve from the outdoor terrace offers a comfortable and satisfying dining experience. Their stylish lounge with fireplace seating and modern features is the perfect place to unwind. Relish delicious food made from local ingredients that capture the essence of the community with Mediterranean-inspired Tapas paired with craft cocktails, local brews, and unique wines.

Suggested read: Best 8 Venues to Play Pokies in Dunedin

Synopsis

Dunedin, New Zealand, offers an exceptional outdoor bar scene that combines excellent food, diverse drinks, and unique atmospheres. From the locally sourced cuisine of Ironic Cafe and Bar and the historic charm of Carey’sCarey’stel to the trendy vibes of Salt Bar and Restaurant and the relaxed ambience of Luna Bar and Restaurant, there’s something for everyone.

Add the craft beer haven of Ombrellos Kitchen & Bar and Starfish Cafe & Bar’s modern aesthetics, and you’ll have a truly vibrant scene. These places are a must-visit if you’re looking for a unique culinary and social experience in Dunedin.

Mamta Sharma

Mamta is a spirited writer hailing from Wellington, bringing a youthful zest to the world of digital content. Merging her love for narrative with an eye for detail, Ella crafts stories that resonate and engage the modern reader.