- Take 5, relax and enjoy a read...
Flexible dates
Book Multiple Motels

Bella Vista's Blog

Check-in on our New Zealand travel blog for latest news, events and updates - along with a splash of personality from the whole team at Bella Vista!  

#TrustBellaVista

Dine out Dunedin: best places to eat and drink 


Posted by on


Yes, Dunedin is home to the humble cheese roll, a lip-smacking delicacy that oozes melted pleasure. But look beyond this city’s Scottish heritage and university town façade and you’ll discover stylish cafes, wine bars and hole-in-the-wall eateries, curated by expert chefs and beer brewers. Check out our ‘best restaurants in Dunedin’ guide for creative cuisine and cool surrounds, all served up with genuine Southern hospitality.  

 

Best Dunedin Italian restaurant  

For ambience, an aperol spritz and Italian comfort food, you can’t go past the Esplanade at St Clair. Enjoy waterfront dining or a hearty brunch, as the waves crash on the shore and sea spray whips the sky. Inside this bright and cosy space, you’ll enjoy wood-fired pizzas and speciality dishes like braised lamb pappardelle or pork and fennel sausage conchiglie. It’s pasta but not as you know it! After eating your fill, roll out into the bracing fresh air and take a stroll along beautiful St Clair Beach, one of the best sea-side walks in Dunedin.  

 

Best Dunedin craft beer and food  

While the legendary Dunedin Craft Beer and Food Festival takes place each December, you can enjoy a beer tasting with bites at Emerson’s Brewery Restaurant, all year round. While some might question whether a brewer could excel at both food and beer, Emerson’s have nailed it. With four different takes on fries including poutine, you’ll be hard pressed to choose from the delicious tapas-style menu. Imagine tender lamb loin chops dipped in baba ghanoush or pork belly bites served with lentil dahl, poppadom, and lemon raita. The cosy dining hall also showcases founder Richard Emerson’s impressive collection of railway memorabilia and provides ‘behind the scenes’ views of this working brewery. Making this one of the more character-filled places to eat in Dunedin. 

 

Best Dunedin student café? 

As a university town, the Good Earth faces stiff competition for the student dollar. But this café’s convenient location to campus, combined with its impressive selection of?organic breads, baked goods and daily specials made from scratch, reels the students in. The light-filled historic building and shady courtyard provide the perfect spot for a relaxing catch up over coffee, beside cafe windowsills laden with homemade chutneys and jams. You’ll feel right at home in this airy setting,  munching on one of their brown butter chocolate cookies. 

 

Best Dunedin fine dining 

Overlooking St Clair beach, is upstart bistro Titi which is receiving rave reviews for its excellent food, friendly service and carefully curated list of local wines. With a ‘Trust the Chef’ three or five course dégustation menu, choose a main then let their award-winning Chef choose the next two options. This is an opportunity to challenge yourself, but rest assured the food is superb and beautifully presented. What could emerge from the kitchen is the freshest tempura or a duck croquette or a dessert of yuzu cheesecake with white chocolate. Part of the fun is trying to guess what will come next, making this one of the best restaurants in Dunedin to experience nouveau cuisine! 

 

Mingle with the locals  

Discover the local growers, cheese makers and food purveyors at the Saturday Otago Farmer’s Market. Taste your way around the stalls and food trucks, while enjoying the stunning renaissance-style architecture of the nearby Dunedin Railway Station. 

 

Best Dunedin lunch on the go  

Two suggestions here. Pop into Beam Me Up for handcrafted, New York style bagels ranging from jalapeno cheese to blueberry and the standard sesame seed. Stuffed bagels include the Boba Feta, whipped feta, oregano, chives, lemon, garlic and cream cheese or the Vulcan, hot smoked Stewart Island salmon cream cheese with lemon and dill. All lip smacking flavours sure to excite the tastebuds. Pair with any of their barista coffees to complete the experience. 

Another popular lunch spot is the Side On bakery on Moray Place. This fully operational bakery produces exquisite sourdough loaves and a range of sweet treats from cardamom buns and almond croissants to cheesecake. If eating in, the halloumi with fried cauliflower, cream cheese, pumpkin seeds, pickles and curry vinaigrette on toast, is one of their enduring bestsellers.  

Ask the Bella Vista team for restaurant recommendations to suit your tastes, because as locals, they know the best food spots, cheap eats and things to do in Dunedin.