It’s no secret that Queenstown is one of New Zealand’s most expensive places to travel, with its high priced ski passes, trendy cocktail bars and costly lake front restaurants. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t get away with some cheap and tasty meals for a fraction of the price that they’re pushing at the tourist hot spots. Here’s some of my Queenstown ‘Cheap Eats’ suggestions:
- Fat Badgers: This pizza joint is a quick solution to anyone who is craving comfort food. With huge pizza slices from as little as $5NZD and their hefty portions of poutine (chips, cheese curds and gravy – a French-Canadian delicacy), you’re sure to come out feeling stuffed to the eyeballs without pulling on your pursestrings.
- Thamnak Thai: This casual-style Thai restaurant lies in the centre of town, along Beach Street and is only a stone’s throw from Queenstown lake (but then again, everything is close by in Queenstown). With lunch deals sitting around $15 for a starter, main and drink, you can fill up from a selection of curries, soups or stir fry dishes.
- Bombay Palace: It’s no secret that Indian food on this side of the hemisphere isn’t quite as low cost as you’d like. A curry and rice can set you back up to $25 alone, even before ordering the perfect Cobra beer accompaniment. Now, Bombay palace isn’t the cheapest meal in town but it’s ideal for satisfying your craving for curry. Grab yourself a free, local ‘Lakes Weekly’ magazine, which are usually found in stands dotted around town. You can then cut out a Bombay Palace voucher and this will bag you a curry and rice for just $16.
- Pub on Wharf: This cosy, live-music pub is perfect for a few mulled wines in winter or enjoying a refreshing beer in the outside garden, in summer. They also offer a hearty choice of pub grub style meals such as beef wellington or fish and chips for $20 per main. Not the most attractive deal ever but for live music and a decent pint, you can’t go wrong.
- Hikari Sushi: Takeaway sushi shops can be found pretty much everywhere in New Zealand but this brand was my personal favourite. You can nip in for a quick takeaway box of fresh sushi and then take a short stroll to the local gardens to enjoy your light bite in the sun. With sushi pieces ranging from $1-$3 each, you can get a wide selection for a tiny price.
- Red Rock: A favourite amongst backpackers, this cheap and cheerful pub offers a loyalty card for locals. This loyalty card can get you a reasonably-priced pint of beer which will help to wash down your $10 full English breakfast, after a heavy night on the town. Red Rock is a far cry from most other cafes in the Queenstown area, with eye-watering prices like $8 for some sourdough toast!
- Balls and Bangles: This mainly got a mention for being my favourite lunchtime retreat but Balls and Bangles also offers an extensive list of bagel sandwich choices. From bratwurst & sauerkraut to the classic salmon & cream cheese, all for the price of $12. Once you’ve finished your bagel, you can then stuff your face with an indulgent doughnut that is syringe injected with chocolate sauce. How can one resist?!