15 Best Restaurants & Cafes in Wanaka New Zealand

Wanaka is a lakeside haven surrounded by the breathtaking Southern Alps and at the doorstep of Mount Aspiring National Park. With plenty of awesome things to do in Wanaka you will be assured of a good appetite, and luckily there is a plethora of restaurants in Wanaka to choose from. Whether you’re in the mood for a fine dining experience, a juicy steak, Indian, Thai or a delicious vegan meal, Wanaka has all the options. Thanks to the high-quality local ingredients, diverse cuisines and the influence of global culinary trends, the Wanaka restaurants will impress you with every bite. Get ready for the ultimate list of the 15 best restaurants in Wanaka! 


Big Fig – Slow food, served fast

Located along Wānaka lakefront, Big Fig is serving slow food inspired by the Lebanese kitchen for lunch and dinner with a separate breakfast menu. And the best thing is, you can create your own meal! First, you choose the size of your plate (small 4 portions, medium 5 portions or big 6 portions). Then you choose one meat of your choice, and then you pick your sides (the amount depends on if you have a small, medium or large plate). It’s basically an assembly-line food service but with super healthy and tasty food. Tables are shared so it’s also a great way of connecting with other travellers or locals! 


The slow-cooked meats at Big Fig are the best, but also their vegetarian options are super tasty. You can expect a varied selection such as juicy meatballs, lamb, beef cheeks and vegetable stews. We loved eating at Big Fig as it is affordable, healthy and quick service! Another great point was that the serve free water which is not always the case at the other Wanaka restaurants.

wanaka -restaurants-big-fig-food

Big Fig also serves breakfast from 8 am to 10 am with delicious banana coconut porridge, ricotta pancakes, pastries and coffee as some of the examples. It’s a must-try restaurant in Wanaka and perfect for budget travelers who like to enjoy a good meal.

Address: 105 Ardmore Street, Wanaka

Opening hours: Daily from 8 am – 8.30 pm 

Price range: $14 – NZD 27 for mains 

Specialty: Lebanese food and slow-cooked meat 


Scroggin is one of the best restaurants in Wanaka to go for breakfast or lunch. With high-quality, locally sourced ingredients, all meals are made from scratch at Scroggin. In combination with the locally roasted beans from Wolf Coffee Roasters in Arrowtown, you can expect a very tasty cup of coffee to accompany your meal. 


You can choose from a wide variety on their menu including porridge, buckwheat waffles, scrambled tofu toast and much more. Enjoy the stunning mountain and Lake Wanaka views while sipping your coffee at Scroggin or grab something from their cabinet food. 


Address: 71 Ardmore Street, Wānaka

Opening hours: Monday – Friday 7 am – 3 pm, Saturday and Sunday 7 am – 3 pm

Price range: NZD 17 – NZD 28 for a meal and coffee starts at NZD 5

Specialty: Coffee and winter spiced buckwheat waffles


Kika is an award-winning Wanaka restaurant that serves food in tapas style inspired by the best of global cuisines. Their sharing concept provides you the opportunity to try their delicious dishes from smoked & cured Ōra King salmon to lamb shoulder or beef tartare with confit egg yolk. There are plenty of amazing options that will tickle your taste buds. 

It’s impressive to see how Kika’s chef blends the best of global cuisines with the finest New Zealand ingredients to create a symphony of tastes. From the rich traditions of Europe to the exotic spices of Asia, you can expect different flavors that are distinct to Kika.

Dining at Kika is a bit more pricey than other Wanaka restaurants, but the restaurant itself is very relaxed with a friendly atmosphere.


Address: 2 Dunmore Street, Wanaka

Opening hours: Daily from 5.30pm till late

Price range: Expect to pay around NZD 40 – NZD 50 minimum for a large sharing plate, so NZD 80 – NZD 100 for two people 

Specialty: Delicious sharing plates, tapas concept 

Tititea Steak House

If you’re in the mood for a great steak, look no further than Tititea Steak House. Formerly known as Wanaka Gourmet Kitchen, Tititea Steak House serves a great a la carte menu which is filled with local selections like wild venison and lamb shoulder. Their meat is very juicy and tender with a great selection of side dishes. 


Another popular option is the stone grill where you can cook your own meat at your table. With stunning views of Lake Wanaka and a cozy setting, you will be in for a great meal. Make sure to make a reservation as Tititea Steak House is one of the most popular Wanaka restaurants and fills up quickly. 

Address: 123 Ardmore Street

Opening hours: Daily from 5.30 pm – 9.30 pm, Monday closed 

Price range: Between NZD 40 – NZD 70 for a main with meat 

Specialty: Steak, tenderloin and lamb shoulder 


Arc is located in Wanaka’s main street with a secret native garden which is the perfect spot to relax and enjoy your meal. This beautiful Wanaka restaurant serves brunch from 9 am – 2.30 pm and sharing food in the evening, with an extensive wine list and signature cocktails.


Try their tapas dishes such as NZ scampi dog, braised veal croquetas or moonfish “aguachile” for a unique taste while socializing over the delicious drinks. Or the Apricot & strawberry waffle for brunch. Whether you’re coming in the evening or during the day, Arc is one of the fantastic Wanaka restaurants that won’t disappoint!  

Address: 74 Ardmore Street, Wānaka 

Opening hours: Breakfast and brunch 9 am – 2.30 pm and dinner from 5 pm – 10 pm 

Price range: $24 – $42 NZD for a dish

Specialty: Tapas and cocktails 


Red Star Burger Bar 

For burger lovers there is one restaurant in Wanaka you have to try! Red Star Burger Bar is the place to go for delicious burgers. You can maybe say it’s the Fergburger from Wanaka, but of course the burgers themselves can’t be compared and both have their unique taste. 

The gourmet burgers from Red Star Burger Bar are either beef, chicken, fish, pork, venison or lamb, so you can definitely say there is a huge variety of options! Add cheese, mushrooms, bacon, and egg and you’re ready to go! 

Address: 26 Ardmore Street, Wanaka

Opening hours: Daily from 12 – 8 pm

Price range: NZD 15 for a beef burger

Specialty: Burgers 


Federal Diner 

Federal Diner is the place to go in Wanaka for specialty coffee, brunch, their famous Wanaka scones and free-range meat dishes. If you like to get away from the crowds, then Federal Diner is your Wanaka restaurant to go to. 


Their dinner menu had a great variety of different cuisines around the world. And with an extensive breakfast and lunch menu there is something for everyone. The healthy options in combination with great coffee and a quiet atmosphere make Federal Diner some of the best Wanaka restaurants. 

Address: 47 Helwick Street, Wanaka

Opening hours: Sunday – Tuesday 7 am – 3 pm, Wednesday – Saturday 7 am – 8 pm 

Price range: NZD 15+ for breakfast options and lunch starts at NZD 20

Specialty: Brunch 


The Brownston Street food trucks

Indulge yourself in the food truck culture of Wanaka. This is the perfect opportunity for a relaxed, casual dining experience in Wanaka. If you’re with a group of people with different tastes it is the ultimate solution with all the different cuisines that are available. From Mexican to burgers, Asian or vegetarian, there is something for everyone. This is the ultimate Wanaka hipster vibe and a great way to connect with other people.  

Address: 42 -79 Brownston Street, Wānaka

Opening hours: All day

Price range: Varies per food truck but generally, the trucks operate daily from 12 pm until 8.30 pm

Specialty: Nothing in particular, up to you what you prefer!

Thai Siam 

In the mood for Thai food? Then Thai Siam is the answer! With the best traditional Thai food in Wanaka, you can’t go wrong here. The minimalist design of the restaurant invites you to come as you are while enjoying the genuine Thai flavors. 

Try their creamy red, Penang and Massaman curries or the pineapple fried rice and vibrant salads. Your taste buds will be satisfied after the delicious Thai feast at Thai Siam. 


Address: 80 Ardmore Street, Wānaka 

Opening hours: Daily from 12 – 9 pm

Price range: NZD 20 for a main

Specialty: Thai food



Muttonbird is another one on the list of best Wanaka restaurants that serve sharing dishes. With their focus on fresh local ingredients, their menu changes with the seasons. This casual and funky restaurant is a great place to come with friends and unwind while enjoying the unique dishes. 

And the extra great thing about Muttonbird is the views! On a clear day, you can see the snow-capped mountains through the windows. This adds to the atmosphere and even gives the restaurant that special touch. In combination with the great food a must-visit in Wanaka.  


Address: 33 Ardmore Street, Wānaka

Opening hours: Tuesday – Saturday: 5.30 pm – 10 pm. Closed Sunday & Monday

Price range: NZD 44 – $59 NZD for main. Smaller plates vary from $7 – NZD 34

Specialty: Sharing menu


Francesca’s Italian Kitchen

Fancy a really good Italian meal? Make a reservation at Francesca’s Italian Kitchen, because when walking in you might get disappointed because it’s always packed! This famous Italian restaurant in Wanaka has two other locations in Christchurch and Dunedin and is well known for its homemade paste and wood-fired pizza. 

It’s the best place to go for a delicious Italian meal. With good wine and typical Italian desserts such as cannoli and tiramisu, your Italian evening will be perfect.

wanaka-restaurants-Francesca’s Italian Kitchen
wanaka-restaurants-Francesca’s Italian Kitchen tiramisu

Address: 93 Ardmore Street

Opening hours: Daily from 12–3 PM, 5–9 PM

Price range: NZD 25 for a pizza 

Specialty: Homemade pasta and wood-fired pizza

Bistro Gentil

This beautiful restaurant overlooking Lake Wanaka has some of the best views. Come here for a special occasion or if you just want to enjoy the French gastronomy. The main dishes vary from market fish to the 55-day aged beef fillet, pork belly or lamb rump. But also for vegetarians is enough choice. 

wanaka-reåstaurants-Bistro Gentil-

The romantic setting with breathtaking views asks for a special night out, so this is one that you want to dress up for. It’s the perfect place for couples!


Address: 76A Golf Course Road, Wānaka

Opening hours: Daily from 6 – 9 PM

Price range: Mains start at NZD 41

Specialty: French Cuisine 

Kai Whakapai 

Kai Whakapai is another one of those amazing lakefront Wanaka restaurants. So whether you’re ordering a takeaway and relaxing along the lakefront, or you dine in, you can’t go wrong with all the classics that Kai Whakapai offers. From breakfast to lunch to dinner, they have something for everyone on their menu. 

Address: 121 Ardmore Street, Wānaka

Opening hours: Daily 7  AM – 9.30  PM

Price range: Breakfast and dinner options start at $22

Specialty: Open steak sandwich 

wanaka-restaurants-Kai Whakapai

Bombay Palace

For the best Indian food in Wanaka you have to go to Bombay Palace. With stunning views over Lake Wanaka from the upper level at Ardmore Street, the Indian dining experience gets promoted to a whole other level. The food is of amazing taste with a very large menu to choose from. Curries are rich in spices and very creamy. Naan bread is crispy and not too oily, it was just exactly how we like our Indian food. The great thing about Bombay Palace is that they have a fusion of different Indian cooking styles which makes it interesting to choose from all the different options and flavours!


With plenty of options on their menu including vegetarian options as well, this is a great family-friendly place. You can also go for their Banquet Menu which is a mixed Indian platter with three curries including naan bread, popadums and a delicious dessert. Bombay Palace is one of the Wanaka restaurants you can’t miss when you fancy good Indian food.

Address: Level-1/145 Ardmore Street, Wānaka

Opening hours: Daily from 12.30 – 3 PM, 5 – 9.45 PM

Price range: Mains start from around NZD 22

Specialty: Everything is amazing, but I highly recommend the Butter chicken 


The Cow 

If you’ve also checked out our best restaurants in Queenstown blog, you might have seen The Cow restaurant on there as well. This laid-back restaurant is another great family-friendly place to go. With hearty Italian meals, you can’t go wrong with a delicious pizza or pasta Bolognese. 

Try to get here early as The Cow is always packed and you can’t make a reservation. Early dinner isn’t a bad thing, especially with a high-carb meal as pizza and pasta!

Address: 33 Ardmore Street

Opening hours: Daily from 5 – 9.30 PM

Price range: NZD 24 for a pizza

Specialty: Pasta Bolognese


What is the best time to visit Wanaka? 

The best time to visit Wanaka depends on the things you want to do in Wanaka. Generally the best time for hiking and exploring are the spring, summer and autumn seasons. With winter the snow comes, and hiking trails become more slippery. Nevertheless, you can still hike the famous tracks such as Roys Peak and Isthmus Peak in winter when you have crampons. 

Summer is peak season when the days are long with average temperatures ranging from 20 to 30 degrees Celsius (68 to 86 degrees Fahrenheit). This allows for plenty of exploration and outdoor activities such as hiking, mountain biking, and water sports on Lake Wanaka. 

Autumn in Wanaka showcases stunning golden hues as the leaves change color. The weather remains relatively mild, with temperatures ranging from 10 to 25 degrees Celsius (50 to 77 degrees Fahrenheit). This season is perfect for hiking, cycling, and exploring the local vineyards during the grape harvest. It’s also a quieter time, with fewer tourists compared to the summer months. 

Winter in Wanaka brings snow-capped mountains and excellent skiing conditions. The temperatures range from -2 to 10 degrees Celsius (28 to 50 degrees Fahrenheit). Wanaka is a popular destination for snow sports enthusiasts, with ski fields like Cardrona and Treble Cone offering fantastic slopes for skiing and snowboarding. Winter also provides a picturesque setting for photography and cozy evenings by the fireplace. 

Spring in Wanaka is a transitional season characterized by blossoming flowers, emerging wildlife, and moderate temperatures. The weather can be changeable, with temperatures ranging from 10 to 20 degrees Celsius (50 to 68 degrees Fahrenheit). Spring is a great time for hiking, mountain biking, and enjoying the vibrant colors of nature as the region comes alive after winter.


How to get around in New Zealand 

To experience New Zealand to the fullest and at your own pace, renting a carcampervan or motorhome is the best way to get around. Which one of these options you choose depends on your preference and budget. If you love camping, being outdoors all day and you don’t mind a smaller living space, then renting a camper van is the way to go. It also gives you the freedom to sleep at some of the most beautiful camping spots. But for some of them you’ll have to make a reservation and plan your trip accordingly. The same goes for a motorhome which is bigger than a campervan and fits about 4-6 people. Here’s what you need to know about renting a car, camper van or motorhome in New Zealand. 

Car rental in New Zealand

Renting a car in New Zealand is the easiest and cheapest rental vehicle available. It will get you to all the best destinations with ease and gives you the freedom to stop for a break wherever you want. However, you should keep in mind that some roads in New Zealand are still gravel or that you have to cross shallow rivers to some destinations in National Parks. Therefore we personally recommend a mini SUV or SUV model to have enough clearance for these kind of roads. We rented for 6 weeks a Mitsubishi ASX model and were super happy with this car! 

The best place to book your rental car in New Zealand is on Discover Cars where you can compare different car models, prices, companies and terms and conditions. Make sure to secure the booking of your rental car as soon as possible to have the lowest price possible. Prices go up the closer you get to the pickup date.


Campervan rental in New Zealand

Traveling around in a campervan is one of the most popular ways for a road trip in New Zealand. With a bed, small kitchen and seating area you will have all the (basic) needs on four wheels. Make sure to check if your campervan has a shower because this might influence where you want to camp. A campervan allows you to camp at plenty of beautiful places, sometimes for free, sometimes for a fee. It will give you a true feeling of freedom and connects you completely with nature.

We recommend booking your campervan with Travellers Autobarn. They have a wide range of Station wagons, 2-berth campervans & 3-5 berth campervans to hire for all budgets. All Travellers Autobarn campervan hires in New Zealand come with free unlimited kilometers, a 10% discount to premium campgrounds, 24/7 roadside assistance & long-term rental discounts. Check the availability and prices today to secure your campervan for a New Zealand dream road trip!

Best tours around Wanaka  

Wānaka is a popular ski and summer alpine town which is the ultimate hub for outdoor adventures. Closely located to Mount Aspiring National Park there are plenty of tours going from Wanaka to explore this dreamland of mountains, glaciers, river valleys and alpine lakes. From scenic flights, jet boating, and parasailing to hiking and biking, there is an activity for everyone. Find here the best tours in Wanaka. 

Scenic flight Self-guided Hike and Jet Boat Ride

This action-packed tour lets you explore Mount Aspiring National Park by plane, boat and on foot. Soar over the snow-capped mountains during a scenic flight, hike along the banks of the Siberia River, then hop aboard for a thrilling jet boat ride along the Wilkin River.

→ Book here your Scenic flight Self-guided Hike and Jet Boat Ride tour in Wanaka


Wine Tour with Wine Tasting and lunch from Wanaka 

On this afternoon tour, you will visit four boutique wineries in one of New Zealand’s most popular wine regions. You will learn the secrets behind these wines from the winemakers themselves, and stop at one winery for gourmet food with wine matching. Transport from your accommodation in Wanaka is included. 

→ Book here your Wine Tour with Wine Tasting and lunch from Wanaka

Wanaka Lake boat ride and 4×4 jeep Mountain Adventure

Get away from the crowds on this boat ride and 4×4 day trip from Wanaka. Start with a boat ride across Lake Wanaka and then you’ll hop aboard the 4×4 vehicle and drive up into the mountains. Your guide will tell you stories from Otago’s pioneer history and the gold rush era. Enjoy a delicious picnic with spectacular lake and mountain views.

→ Book here your Wanaka Lake boat ride and 4×4 jeep Mountain Adventure

Half-Day Level 2 Waterfall Climbing from Wanaka 

Get the adrenaline pumping with this half day adventurous tour. Climb steel ladders and cross high, narrow bridges over waterfalls, swim in hidden natural pools and enjoy a picnic lunch beside beautiful falls. While no experience is required and full safety briefings are given, this trip is best suited to active travelers who are sure-footed and unafraid of heights.

→ Book here your Half-Day Level 2 Waterfall Climbing from Wanaka


Jet Boat and Wilderness Walk Tour from Wanaka

Speed along the Matukituki River in Mount Aspiring National Park during this exhilarating jet-boat ride. Admire spectacular landscapes, then hike past forests, waterfalls, and glacier-fed streams before ending your tour.

→ Book here your Jet Boat and Wilderness Walk Tour from Wanaka

Wanaka Parasailing

Feel free like a bird and fly high above Lake Wanaka during this single or tandem flight.

→ Book here your Wanaka parasailing activity


Riverside Biking Tour Lake Wanaka

Go on a stunning guided bike ride along the banks of one of NZ’s most beautiful and powerful rivers. Beautiful vistas and plenty of photo opportunities make this a must-do trip for hike and nature lovers. A medium level of fitness is required for this 10-kilometre ride.

→ Book here your Riverside Biking Tour around Lake Wanaka

Where to stay in Wanaka

Wanaka is a relatively small town which means that all areas are within easy reach of its main attractions. However, some areas may be more suitable for you than others, depending on your preferences, budget and way of transport.

We have a complete guide about the best places to stay in Wanaka if you’re looking for an in-depth guide. But if you just want to see some of the best picks, then here is an overview of accommodations to stay in Wanaka. 

Edgewater Hotel

The Edgewater Hotel is a stunning lakefront hotel that has hotel rooms and apartments with picturesque lake views. You can literally walk in one minute from your hotel room to the lakeshore. With a day spa, sauna, tennis court and a a restaurant and cafe, there is nothing you will miss during your stay at the Edgewater Hotel. Without a doubt some of the best Wanaka hotels. 

→ Book here your stay at Edgewater Hotel Wanaka

Edgewater Hotel

The Camp Lake Hawea

The Camp is located along Lake Hawea and is one of the most beautiful locations you can stay near Wanaka. With direct access to the lake, a private beach with mountain views and a wide range of accommodation options, The Camp offers something for every budget. From Glamping tents to Lakeside cottages, Tiny houses, and a campground with shared bathroom facilities and a public BBQ, The Camp is a place where you can feel at home. We stayed in one of the tents with a stunning lake view and felt so at peace surrounded by nature. A great choice if you want to be closely located to Wanaka and have some of the most incredible views at your doorstep. 

→ Check here prices and availability for the different accommodations at The Camp


Lakeside Luxury 2 Bedroom Apartment

This gorgeous 2 bedroom apartment is a home away from home with all the amenities you need and a stunning view on Lake Wanaka. With a fully equipped kitchen including a dishwasher, a patio with incredible mountain and lake views, a shared indoor pool, and close location to Wanaka town, this luxury apartment is everything you need.

→ Book here your stay at Lakeside Luxury 2 Bedroom Apartment

Lakeside Luxury 2 Bedroom Apartment

More New Zealand travel guides

I hope you enjoyed this complete guide about the best Wanaka restaurants. Make sure to put this awesome town on your South Island itinerary! 

We have many more New Zealand blog posts with all things to do and places to visit on the North and South Island of New Zealand. So if you’re looking for more inspiration and ideas, head over to our other New Zealand travel guides!


22 best things to do in Wanaka – The Ultimate Guide

15 best walks in Wanaka – The Complete Guide

Where to stay in Wanaka – The Ultimate Guide

Isthmus Peak track – The Complete Guide

Roys Peak track – The Complete Guide


30 best things to do in Queenstown – The Ultimate Guide

12 best Queenstown helicopter tours

16 best hikes in Queenstown – The Ultimate Guide

Moke Lake loop track & viewpoint – The Complete Guide

Queenstown Hill walk – The Complete Guide

Ben Lomond hike – The Complete Guide

Bobs Cove nature walk – The Complete Guide

New Zealand North Island 

25 best things to do in Rotorua – The Ultimate Guide

15 best things to do in Taupo – The Ultimate Guide

Best things to do in Whangarei – The Ultimate Guide

7 best KeriKeri waterfalls – The Complete Guide

Pouakai Tarns walk – All You Need to Know

Similar Posts

This post may contain affiliate links

We hope this guide will help you plan your travels! If you consider booking your accommodation, tours or rental car via our affiliate links, you support this blog because we earn a small commission at no additional cost to you!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *