Dunedin has a surprisingly rich number of cafes, restaurants, bars, shops and galleries. Local knowledge is something that visitors to any city or area appreciate. Here are a few suggestions of places we like to frequent and we hope you will enjoy them as well.
Nova, 29 the Octagon
Located in the Octagon next to the Dunedin Public Art Gallery, Nova is a great place for coffee, a glass of wine, lunch or dinner. It is open from early morning until late at night. Always good coffee, good food and good service. Open 7.00am to 11.00pm daily.
Every Day Gourmet, George Street
At the northern end of the George Street shopping precinct opposite Knox Church, this little delicatessen/café serves some of Dunedin's best coffee. The scones, friands and chocolate Anzac biscuits are divine, and always fresh. Although only open during the day it is a great place to sit and soak up the Dunedin streetscape.
Strictly Coffee, Bath Street
In a lane called Bath Street, between the Octagon and lower Stuart Street is this funky café. They serve excellent coffee and a selection of fresh food. The café attracts coffee lovers from all over the city. Only open during the day. An additional Strictly café serving same great coffee and food is now open in the Albion Arcade opposite the Meridian Mall.
Rhubarb, 299 Highgate
Located in the trendy hill suburb of Roslyn, Rhubarb is about serious coffee, food and wine. Sam and Helen have created a stylish café serving casual food in a former butcher shop. Sam also has a wide selection of fine New Zealand wines for sale either to takeaway or drink in the café. Open 9.00am to 4.00pm 7 days a week.
Delicacy, 595 Highgate
Delicacy, is a busy little suburban deli and café in the suburb of Maori Hill that in addition to coffee and food during the day offers evening dining three nights a week. The menu is intriguing – you can mix and match the flavours on your plate.
Dunedin restaurants and chefs have a national reputation for excellence. As you would expect in a University city there are also some funky good value restaurants. Here are a few that we enjoy and recommend to visitors and friends.
Bacchus Wine Bar, Cnr Octagon and Lower Stuart Street
Situated on the first floor of the former ANZ banking chambers and overlooking the Octagon this restaurant offers quality, imaginative and contemporary fare with traditional flavours.
Bell Pepper Blues, 474 Princes Street
One of Dunedin's and New Zealand's top restaurants. The signature dish for the chef owner is cervena (venison). The ambience of the restaurant is restrained and understated with classic style food. You can bring your own (BYO) wine or choose from their wide range of New Zealand and international wines. Open Monday to Saturday.
Plato, 2 Birch Street
Housed in the former seafarer's hostel, Plato has built a reputation in Dunedin of offering high quality food and service. The food is unpretentious and flavoursome and has an excellent range of local seafood. Great wine list with many by the glass.
Table Se7en, Cnr George and Hanover Streets
On the corner of George and Hanover Street, Table Se7en is a modern restaurant with hip décor and city views from the large windows. They serve fresh contemporary food and have an extensive wine list. The restaurant also has a pleasant quiet bar.
The Best Café, 30 Stuart Street
This is a Dunedin institution located in Lower Stuart Street, opposite the Court House. Without a doubt the best place in the city for fresh Bluff Oysters, Whitebait and Fish. Take a step back in time when thinly sliced brown and white bread and butter were complimentary, the tablecloths functional vinyl, dinner was served at lunchtime, and tea was the main meal at dinnertime. Open from 11.30am to 7.00pm, Monday to Friday. A favourite of Stuart's Grandmother for 70 years.
Zucchini Brothers, 292 Highgate
Located in the Roslyn village, opposite to Rhubarb, this small pasta and pizza restaurant is a favourite of ours. It serves a great selection of delicious gourmet pizzas and pasta at very good prices. Licensed to sell wine and BYO. Open from 6.00pm.
Fleurs Place, Moeraki Village
Just an hour north of Dunedin you will find one of New Zealand’s best known restaurant in a stunning setting right on the waterfront at the old jetty at Moeraki. Their specialty is fresh fish straight from Moeraki Bay fishing boats. A great place to stop for lunch, dinner of coffee either on your way to Dunedin or heading north.
New Edinburgh Way, George Street
The block between Hanover and Frederick Streets has a number of value for money ethic cafes and restaurants, bars and hotels. Being close to the University and the large student population makes this part of town lively. Choose from Thai, Turkish, Japanese, Indian, Cambodian cuisine. Many allow you to Bring Your Own (BYO) wine. For some of the freshest and most flavoursome Indian cuisine we always go to Anakali. Good value and welcoming service. There are also two wine shops in the block offering a wide range of New Zealand and international wines and beers.
A good value pub meal can be found in the London Lounge at the Royal Albert Tavern and on Thursday nights it is worth dropping into the Robbie Burns Hotel to listen to Calder Prescott Jazz band. The band whose members are all over 70 are infamous in Dunedin for playing great jazz.
Dunedin's shopping is focused around George and Princes Streets in the centre of town. Here you will find national chain stores as well as speciality shops and boutiques. George Street is Dunedin's main retail area; however there are many interesting shops and outlets in Princes Street and Moray Place. Here are some of our favourite haunts.
Dunedin is also New Zealand’s fashion capital with many local fashion designers selling their stock in the city. The ID fashion show showcasing some of New Zealand’s leading fashion designers is held in March on the platform of the historic Dunedin Railway Station. The show is now considered to be a highlight in the calendar of those dedicated to fashion.
Princes Street South
About six blocks south of the Octagon between Jetty and Police Street many of Dunedin's auction houses, antique and curio shops are located. The area is a great place to search for china, porcelain, antique furniture and curios. Sue and Robert Gale of Gales Antiques have a wide range of 20th century china including Carltonware, Clarice Cliff, Charlotte Rhead and Crown Derby. Further down this block Jeffery Anderson and Paul Ray have Dunedin's finest selection of Georgian and Victorian antique furniture. Most of the antique and curio shops are open from 10.00 am weekdays and on Saturday.
Princes and Dowling Streets
In the area of Princes Street from Dowling Street to the Octagon there are a number of art galleries. Wander to lower Dowling Street for a cluster of galleries, all with differing styles, then head along Princes Street and turn left into Moray Place. Here you will find galleries such as the Temple Gallery, located in the old Masonic Lodge hall that started life as the Dunedin Synagogue and Peter Rae gallery next door. Come back down onto Princes Street and pop into Plumbly's antiques and the Moray Gallery, before crossing the street to catch an exhibition in the Community Gallery. The last gallery in this section of the city is the Dunedin Public Art Gallery. Here you will find one of the best collections of New Zealand and European art in New Zealand.
Lower Stuart Street between the Octagon and the Railway Station has a number of galleries and interesting shops.
Places we like to visit are Gallery De Novo on the corner of Moray Place and Stuart Street, a great place to check out New Zealand art and Lure near the corner of Bath and Stuart Streets sell and manufacture some of the best New Zealand contemporary jewellery.
If you enjoy being pampered with a body therapy treatment, we always recommend a visit to Fruition on the corner of the Octagon and George Street. Jacqui offers friendly professional well priced services for everything from manicures, facials to tanning and hair removal.
When heading up Stuart Street to Belmont House we suggest you visit the Salisbury Gallery at The Manse, which is just off Stuart Street in Smith Street. The Manse opened in March 2007 and is a restored inner city Victorian mansion. The Manse is an artisan space offering a wide range of New Zealand art for sale.
The University Bookshop
We love wandering around here. This award-winning bookshop, owned by the Otago University Students Association, is Dunedin's finest bookshop and one of the best in the country. It carries a huge array of books ranging from New Zealand contemporary fiction and non fiction through to a wide range of international books. Upstairs, the continuous book sale is always worth a browse; where you can often pick up a real bargain. Located on Great King Street opposite the Otago Museum. Open 7 days.
The Farmers Market
A fresh produce market operates every Saturday morning on the north side of Dunedin Railway Station. There are many stalls selling regional fresh produce, food, plants and flowers. We venture to the market regularly for fresh vegetables, breads, meat, fruit and flowers. It is well worth the early rise on Saturday morning. Open from 8.00am to midday.
While you are at the Railway Station we recommend you have a look through this stunning 1906 building and perhaps take a walk around New Zealand's Sports Hall of Fame or buy tickets for the famed Taieri Gorge Railway.
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