Move over Wellington. A rising star in New Zealand's foodie scene, Dunedin offers a delectable line-up of cafes, restaurants and other hidden gems to tempt locals and visitors alike.
Here, we've rounded up the top 12 foodie destinations in this South Island coastal city.
Housed in the city’s former 1930s post office, Distinction offers diners an exclusive private dining experience in one of four secret vaults on the ground floor. Bespoke menus (and cocktails) can be created on request.
Dunedin’s latest foodie destination, Moiety is a restaurant that lives and breathes the seasons, showcasing locally grown food and wine from the Otago region. Expect directional cooking in an intimate converted warehouse space.
3. Ocho Craft Chocolate Factory
Become a bonafide chocolate aficionado with a factory tour at Ocho Chocolate. Go behind the scenes and follow the bean-to-bar process, then finish with an delicious chocolate tasting.
4. Good Good
If you’re after the best burgers in Otago, make a beeline for Good Good, a quirky venue featuring a retro caravan, astro turf and funky neon signs. Don’t miss the moreish Tater Tots dusted with Parmesan.
5. Urbn Vino
Wine maker Brendan Seal crafts a range of Central Otago wines at this tiny hole-in-the-wall city winery. Pick up a bottle or two of his signature pinot noir. The cellar door opens Saturdays from 1 to 5pm or by appointment.
6. The Tart Tin Boutique Bakehouse
Following its success at the local Farmers Market, baker Matt Cross has set up The Tart Tin Boutique Bakehouse in Dunedin’s edgy warehouse precinct. Take your pick from an array of tarts, cakes and biscuits such as Ruby pear tart, caramel poached apple tart and baby berry pies. If you have a soft spot for donuts, you’ll love Matt’s versions filled with salted chocolate pudding or lemon curd.
7. The Taproom at Emerson’s Brewery
If there’s one thing that’s better than beer, it’s beer and chips. And at the Taproom, you can indulge in both with a bar menu boasting four different kinds of hot chips. Order the tasting board of Emerson's six year-round signature beers and take your pick from Poutine (shoestring chips with gravy and cheese curd); shoestring chips served with truffle oil and Grana Padano parmesan; smoky chips served with hop salt and trice-cooked chips hand-cut with "all the best bits" and hop salt. Moreish.
8. The Esplanade
Dining at this Italian restaurant is all about the Italian-style pizza, garlic French fries and the stunning beachfront vista of St Clair. After lunch or dinner, go for an athletic walk to nearby Tunnel beach (and take in the amazing coastal views) or stop for a dip at the hot salt water pool.
9. Vanguard Coffee Co
It’s almost impossible to get a bad coffee in New Zealand, but Vanguard offers a cup of superior brew. Roasted on site using ethically sourced beans, the café also has an inviting line-up of freshly baked counter goods including date scones, salted caramel slice and carrot cake. Don't miss the red velvet pancakes with candied popcorn, cherry crumb, coconut yoghurt and maple syrup.
10. Otago Farmers market
A Saturday morning institution for locals, this small market boasts a number of must-visit stalls for visiting foodies. Grab a latte from Evoke Coffee, pick up a bacon buttie, then head to The Tart Tin’s retro caravan for baker Matt Cross’ popular homemade treats. You can also pick up Bay Road Peanut Butter and artisanal chocolate from Ocho.
11. Prohibition Smokehouse
Discover a New Orleans-inspired menu infused with smoky flavours at Prohibition Smokehouse, a sophisticated venue lined with designer wallpaper and hung with pineapple pendant shades. Take your pick from a menu of sweet treats including pecan pie with butterscotch “moonshine”. Located centrally in Dunedin’s Octagon, it’s open for lunch and dinner.
12. Bay Road Peanut Butter
PB fans alert! Bay Road’s peanut butter is handcrafted on-site and available on tap. If you’re in the mood for eating in, you can order from a menu of peanut-butter infused cakes, muffins and slices.
Travel tip: You can fly direct to Dunedin departing from Brisbane with Virgin Airlines. Alternatively, visitors travelling from Sydney and Melbourne can fly to Dunedin via Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch or Brisbane.
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