Food is an integral part of a country’s cultural fabric as it facilitates understanding of the place. When in Queenstown, it makes sense to have a culinary-focused itinerary, for the place is blessed with restaurants and cafes, serving something for every palette along with a talked-about wine and nightlife. By Shubhanjana Das

1. Public Kitchen and Bar

Lakefront meals? Yes, please! You can’t get any closer to having a tranquil dining experience than at Public Kitchen and Bar. Mecca for meat-lovers, this is the place where you take your group of friends for a lazy brunch before setting up for the day full of experiences in this vibrant city. Cardrona lamb, Fiordland wild venison, Geraldine pork and South Island fish are a few things on the menu worth checking out.

2. Bespoke Kitchen

This rustic fine-dining venue is the epitome of the fact that the real magic in a restaurant should happen behind the scenes, in the kitchen and not necessarily in its decor or the music it plays (even though they do matter). In 2015, six months after it opened its gates to the guests, Bespoke Kitchen was declared New Zealand’s cafe of the year. It is tucked away in the most unpretentious manner in a quiet alley in the town centre. Sip your coffee with the mountains in sight at their outdoor seating range for the best start to your day.

3. Botswana Butchery

This cottage-style restaurant both agrees to and deceives its own name. While the butchery does have an impressive range of various kinds of meats and different cuts, the seafood and vegetarian options are also aplenty. The wine list in this charming place is curated so as to complement everything that’s served on the plate.

4. Fergbaker

The Fergbaker is the sweeter counterpart of the iconic Fergburger, without which, any culinary experience of Queenstown would be incomplete. Venison and portobello mushroom pies, pinot, fig and cranberry breads along with a honeypot of other sugary treats, fergbaker, along with Fergburger and Mrs Ferg (gelato-heaven) is in itself a wholesome culinary trip.

5. Rata

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It's all in the finishing touches…

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Brainchild of Michelin-star chef Josh Emett, Rata is the twist on tradition that every foodie craves for. While it is true that when exploring a different country, you should try out the local flavours, but who said creative reinventions hurt? With meat-based, cheese-based, and fresh seafood delicacies come the best wines that are produced in the Central Otago region.

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