Wanaka’s beauty is some out of the world. If you are planning to visit New Zealand, a day trip to this South Island town will help you enjoy your New Zealand trip and its culture.
6 Cool Restaurants in Wanaka, New Zealand
1. Francesca’s Italian Kitchen
Francesca’s Italian Kitchen is known for its authentic flavors. This is a spacious restaurant that has a trove of traditional Italian dishes, with many options for vegetarian and gluten-free diners also. Here wine and other produce are locally sourced, and it is also popular to serve New Zealand brewed Allpress coffee also.
You will find homemade pasta here also homemade gnocchi with braised beef cheeks and the merino lamb shoulder ragu are some of my favorite dishes on the menu. Most people, however, come here for the traditional woodfired pizza.
2. Big Fig
This restaurant also serves up excellent food for non-vegan and vegetarians alike. This restaurant does not operate on a “reservations” basis. You just have to visit the place and feel at home, browse diverse Mediterranean/Middle Eastern menu, and order. Some of the favorite food it serves include meatballs, flavorsome salads, stuffed pittas, and plenty of baked products for sweet-toothed customers.
The Lebanese-based breakfast menu is served up fantastic fresh options like the Middle Eastern Granola and Shakshuka. For lunch and dinner choose your plate size, the meat you want, and between 2-4 sides and salads. The slow-cooked meats are the hero on the menu here and expect a varied selection like lamb shawarma, beef cheeks, and meatballs. There is also a large chunk of vegetarian options like vegan tagines, stuffed vegetables, and vegetable stews.
If you want something lighter (the lunch and dinner option above is surprisingly filling!) there’s a large selection of counter goods. At the counter, you will find yummy freshly baked cakes, biscuits, and pitas. You must try the Tahini chocolate brownie.
3. Federal Diner
Federal Diner offers you contemporary classics as their specialty. You can relish the diner’s signature cheese scones and amazing coffee blends. At lunch, you can select from an interesting selection of salads and sandwiches. For dinner, you can have Kiwi staples which include slow-roasted lamb, and fish and prawn curry as unique offerings.
The locals like to call it their ‘little secret’ which is a suitable name seeing as Federal Diner is hidden down a laneway off Helwick Street. It’s particularly popular for lunch and brunch – so get here before the rush to nab yourself a table.
From the breakfast menu, the granola bowl and bacon butty are two lighter but amazing options. And from the lunch menu, you would love the lone ranger sandwich (roasted chicken on Turkish bread) and the braised pork shoulder roti.
4. The White House Café and Bar
The White House is known for its delicious food, rustic interior, and quaint charm. Working as a 1930s Art Deco style building, this restaurant is popular for its Mediterranean and Middle Eastern food with a mixed New Zealand flair. They offer a wide list of wine exclusivity to local blends, and their food menu is always as per the seasonal changes.
5. The Spice Room
This restaurant is known for its Indian food and spices that are paired with the Otago region’s finest wine. You can drop by late at night for a takeaway meal, and there are a special NZ$20 curry, rice, and poppadum feast that will keep you full. Other specialties include malai kofta (house-made vegetarian potato dumplings) and the classic butter chicken.
You will also find fresh Indian food that Wanaka locals love a lot. The Spice Room focuses on home-style Indian cooking and the star dishes are butter chicken, jalfrezi, and goat curry. There’s also a sister restaurant in Queenstown if you wish to visit this too.
The Spice Room has lots of vegetarian options such as the Tadka Dal and Muttar Paneer. Most of the curries are gluten-free too. Vegan, dairy-free, and nut-free options can you will also find – just ask your server. A popular option is their Banquet Menu which is $50 per person and comes with popadums, a mixed Indian platter, three curries with naan bread, and a yummy hot chocolate naan to finish.
The portions here are big so be sure to visit with an empty stomach!
The interior of the restaurant is cozy and inviting plus there’s a big fire in the lounge area to warm you up on those cold Winter days.
6. Thai Siam
Thai Siam will always keep you satisfied whether you’re out there for lunch or dinner. You can find here a range of Thai cuisine essentials, Pad Thai, including spring rolls, and a large assortment of curries. Better to visit this restaurant before the lunch/dinnertime rush as the place gets quite busy soon.
These are 6 Cool Restaurants in Wanaka, New Zealand, which are the most amazing and popular restaurants in Wanaka, New Zealand where you can tantalize your taste buds and enjoy your food!