Where to find the best coffee in Queenstown?
29 November 2017
*** You can find our updated 2020 blog on the best coffee and brunch spots in Queenstown here ***
The first question we often get from people arriving in Queenstown and Arrowtown is: “where do we find a good coffee?”
If you’re a fellow coffee lover, our guess is that you have your local go-to spot in your home town, that reliable haunt where the barrister knows your order and is warming the milk before you’ve even stepped inside.
If this is you, then it’s also likely that, when spending more than a few days in one place while travelling, you’ll find your home-away-from-home local barrister. You have a lot to pack in right, and you need all the energy you can get! A bad coffee can ruin your day, no matter where you are in the world.
As fellow coffee addicts and foodies, we have tried and tested the cafes in Queenstown and Arrowtown and wish to impart our local caffeine wisdom on those new to town. No one should ever have to have bad coffee in their search for the local holy grail.
So without further ado, here we go…here’s out Top 5 best coffees in Queenstown and Arrowtown…
Bespoke Kitchen – raw food heaven
9 Isle Street | Central Queenstown
Bespoke Kitchen sits under the gondola in central Queenstown, slightly out of the hustle of downtown Queenstown, but close enough that you can walk.
You guessed it – the coffee is great! No worries about which barrister you’ll get on which day – the Bespoke touch is unwavering.
The only problem is ordering your coffee…when you go to order you’ll have to walk past the most eye catching food cabinet we’ve ever seen. There’s no such thing as: “JUST a coffee please”. One might even call their food display edible art! Raw treats galore will be the decider on whether your eyes are truly bigger than your stomach! Multiple trips to the cabin are not unheard of!
Insider tip: if you’re ordering off the menu, you can’t beat the breakfast board with a delightful sample of each breakfast type so you won’t get food envy.
A fresh, modern interior and an outdoor area with open fire make this a perfect spot to linger around or grab-and-go if you prefer.
Yonder – bring a book and stay a while
14 Church Street | Central Queenstown
The little sister and next door neighbour of the iconic World Bar, Yonder is Queenstown’s newest café delight...or should we say café, restaurant and live music venue delight! Wander into Yonder for a guaranteed great coffee and a breakfast menu to die for. We love their cabinet food with lots of enticing options.
The outdoor area is full of vibe on a hot day, while in the cooler months the fire indoors makes for a cosy feel. This is the hot spot café in central Queenstown where you can bring your laptop or book, and sit for a while – soak in the atmosphere and really feel like a local.
Insider tip: gluten free pancakes have finally been done right!
Odelay – a handy brew
5 Hawthorne Drive, Unit 10 The landing Remarkables Park | Frankton
Odelay is owned by passionate Queenstown locals who serve, in their own words, “damn fine Allpress coffee”. And that they do.
Located in Remarkables Park, right by the airport in Frankton, Odelay’s super handy location is perfect for grabbing that brew on the way to or from the airport or shopping in the Remarkables shopping centre. On Saturday mornings, the Remarkables Market is just down the road…we love grabbing one to go, to enjoy while wandering the local stalls.
Insider tip: on a hot day you can’t beat the outside courtyard with a bowl of fries and fresh Central Otago fruit juice (scheduled in between coffees, obviously).
Chop Shop Food Merchants – brunch and lunch
44 Buckingham Street | Arrowtown
Heading up the Wakatipu Valley now to Arrowtown, we have the iconic Chop Shop where the word “traditional” is left at the door.
If you grab your coffee first thing in the morning, you’ll see local faces who frequent here daily. Later in the morning though, the mix will dilute with friendly visitors. Up beat music will make you feel like you’ve stepped into a city bar…but hey, if you’re here for coffee you’re obviously not here to wind down for the day?
Each item on their menu will surprise with a twist. Insider’s tip: we love the corn fritters with Thai dressing, Turkish poached eggs, pork buns with apple salad and the very yummy cinnamon jam rolls.
Great service, great menu, great coffees and great fun. This is where you can get away with a coffee in one hand and a wine in the other – no matter the time of day.
Terra Mia – the wild card
28 Buckingham St | Arrowtown
On the main street of Arrowtown, you’ll find this genuine Italian gem opposite the Remarkables Sweet Shop. It’s easily missed and that’s the beauty! You won’t find a hipster following here or intimidatingly trendy interiors. What you will find is our Marketing Manager, Bindy’s, favourite long black…hands down!
If you’re looking for a sweet accompaniment to your beverage, then there’s a delicious cabinet awaiting you, which even includes some gluten and dairy free delights.
Italians know their coffee! They also know pizza and pasta which they hand make on site – nommm to say the least.
The window seat is the perfect possie to sip on your next level brew and watch people wander the main street of Arrowtown.
Insider’s tip: Terra Mia offers a Christmas dinner on Saturday 24th with a 4-course set menu for $75 per person. This includes canapés on arrival and a glass of sparkling with the Panettone (Italian Christmas cake).
Visiting Wanaka?? You can check out where to find the best coffee in Wanaka here.