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Arrowtown Eats

Jan 19, 2018  ·  6 min read

Arrowtown is only a 25-minute drive from Queenstown’s city centre but with all the delicious eats on offer we recommend walking! With its beautiful buildings and famed nature trails, Arrowtown is a charming precinct nestled below the beautiful peaks that surround the sparkling Arrow River.

Queenstown is a foodie destination in itself and we’re lucky to call it home, but sometimes you need a change of dining scene and Arrowtown’s overflowing bars, cafes, and restaurants on its main strip, will hit the spot.

From its humble beginnings as a gold mining town during the early 1900’s gold rush, Arrowtown is not to be missed on anyone’s TripAdvisor search when researching Queenstown. The heart/stomach of the place is Buckingham Street, where a procession of heritage buildings are home to boutique establishments – refreshingly, no chains here. It’s the ultimate place to relax, eat, shop, eat, take in the history and eat some more.

This small town has big taste. We have checked out which stairs, nooks, and crannies to explore to get the best bites.

The Chop Shop Food Merchants

Want to know where all the locals eat? We found it.

As breakfast merges into lunch, there’s no better (or busier) place than the Chop Shop.

This bustling haunt appears unassuming from the outside, but be prepared to be bombarded with ace service and the salivating smell of sizzling bacon paired with the heavenly sound of freshly ground coffee beans getting ready to create the base of your morning brew.

Collapse into the old leather couch or perch at the bar where you can banter with the chefs as they slice, fry, cook and chop. First, pry yourself away from your phone because you’ll be wanting to ‘gram every inch of the creative fit out.

Our favourite is the Turkish Eggs served with burnt butter, chilli and thick, creamy Greek yoghurt. The menu changes seasonally so get in quick – or not. No doubt there are more drool-worthy dishes to come in the future at the Chop Shop kitchen dictated by the season’s freshest offerings. The result is an ever-evolving menu of pure perfection. 

Let’s raise our flat whites to local legends Chris and Fiona Whiting who have mastered daytime dining with upmarket style.
Before this post continues – BRB, going to Chop Shop.

When: Open daily from 8am to 3pm
Where: 44 Buckingham Street

The Fork and Tap

Every charming town needs a historic pub where old mates can gather for some after work banter and also be family friendly. That place in Arrowtown is The Fork and Tap, which is righteously located in the heart of Arrowtown.

Make the most of the mammoth beer garden this Summer and enjoy the “not your average” pub grub. I mean, we can’t say that Wild Southland Hare Backstrap served with blackened Broccolini, Confit Hare Leg BonBon & Celeriac Puree, finished with Hare Jus, Cranberry Compote and Rocket Pesto is seen at our local.

The fresh flavoursome food is a win but so is the expansive selection of Kiwi craft beers to go with your upscale meat and three veg. With 19 beers and ciders on tap, begin with the like of Behemoth Brewing Company’s ‘Murica APA Pale Ale hailing from Auckland to Altitude Brewing Goldpanner’s Profit Lager over from Queenstown.

It’s old faithful. Your classic Kiwi pub, place full of character, timber floors and tables, a bit old school and just really good food. Paired with evening filled with live Irish music, we’ll see you there daily.

When: Open daily from 11am to 11pm
Where: 51 Buckingham Street

Slow Cuts

This schmick eatery goes back to basics and does them well – and slooow. When the specialities are rotisserie chicken, burgers, slow cooked meats, and fresh-made-daily salads, you know we’re here to stay for a lovely while. The solid menu will satisfy the belly of carnivores, herbivores and hop enthusiasts alike.

In addition to a reliable range of favourites on the menu, there is the option to expand your buds and stomach with the ‘Slow Cut of the Day’ which could be smoked beef brisket served in a tomato, red wine and paprika sauce with rice pilaf or the ‘Burger special’. Recently featuring “The Muy Thai Burger”, packed with fresh sole fish cakes, spicy coconut jam, som tam slaw, lettuce and tomato, all you need is your bun or beef in one hand and an ice-cold brew in the other. Lucky for you, while you devour the best farm fresh produce the region has to offer, you can also drink local with Arrowtown craft beer, with Lake & Wood and The Arrowtown Brewing LTD. making regular appearances on the taps.

When: Open daily from 12pm to 9pm
Where: 46-50 Buckingham Street

The Blue Door

You can’t be within 2km of Arrowtown and not revel in the glory that is a hot buttered rum. We know, rum technically isn’t food, but we reckon for the punch this vessel packs (and the calories), we’re willing to make an exception. Enter a ‘Blue Door’ and you’ll find yourself in the cosiest establishment, the interior will remind you of a quintessentially English country houses’ wine cellar and is probably the size of one, as it’s most likely not big enough to host family Christmas. With butt-print worthy leather seats, a roaring fireplace in the Winter and an outdoor bar for these sweltering Summer nights, an eve in Arrowtown isn’t complete without a stop at The Blue Door.

When: Open daily from 5pm until late
Where: 18 Buckingham Street

So if you’re going to Arrowtown for brunch, burgers or buttered rum, be excited! We’re talking the kind of excitement you get before a first date, because baby, it’s love at first bite.

words by chris lee


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