Are you one click away from booking a snowy New Zealand holiday? Torn between two or three locations? Honestly, it doesn’t matter where you ski in Kiwiland; every field and destination delivers world-class mountain scenery and mood melting side-adventures, so let’s be clear… good food can make or break a getaway experience. Today’s gastronomic spotlight shines on the laid-back winter escape of Wanaka, fleshing out our favourite four haunts to kick back, relax and take advantage of the local après ski setting.
Vibe: Come as you are with a little history thrown in, the Cardrona Hotel is the perfect place for a post-slopes drink and a bite to eat.
Expect to Spend: Anything from $9 to $55 plus. It depends purely on your tastes, from a steaming bowl of golden wedges lashed with sour cream to the mouth-watering (and filling) ploughman’s platter.
Menu Recommendations: As far as Wanaka restaurants go, the Cardrona Hotel has something to suit all tastes. We can’t stop eating the Pulled Pork Cheeseburger ($23), following it up with the always on-point Central Otago Boozy Tart ($16).
Need to Know: The beer garden is the place to be; get in early to get the best seats, particularly if you have a large group.
Address: Cardrona Valley Rd, Cardrona
The Cow Wanaka
Vibe: Think roaring, open fires and an intimate courtyard setting, ideal for making new friends and spending time with existing loved ones.
Expect to Spend: $10 to $15 on dessert (try their Lemon Meringue Pie), and up to $35 on mains.
Menu Recommendations: The Cow does pizza like nobody’s business. We’re absolutely in love with the classic Pepperoni for a reasonable $22.90. Feel like going large? Treat yourself to 14 inches of pizza for $31.90.
Need to Know: The menu is simple and well-made every time. Don’t expect too many fancy flourishes.
Address: 33 Ardmore St, Wanaka
Big Fig Wanaka
Vibe: Café culture with a Wanaka twist – think delicious, purposeful food with a personal touch here and there. Simple seating and street appeal. Eat-in or takeaway.
Expect to Spend: $10 to $20, depending on what strikes your fancy. A pita will set you back around $10; a specialty yoghurt weighs in at $8 (butternut pumpkin, anyone?); and the house red takes $9.50 off your hands per glass.
Menu Recommendations: Our eyes pop with every bite of the slow-cooked lamb and slaw pita.
Need to Know: While no food is completely guilt-free, Big Fig is committed to delivering healthy and wholesome meal options, including Instagram-worthy salads.
Address: 105 Ardmore St, Wanaka
Amigos Mexican Grill
Vibe: A lot like Wanaka, and New Zealand in general, Amigos welcome one and all. Settle yourself into a chair overlooking the garden and dive into a Mexican feast.
Expect to Spend: From $7 (any soft taco) to $27 (try saying no to the fajitas).
Menu Recommendations: Tuck into the Ensalada De Pollo for $25 and enjoy the crunch of a tortilla bowl brimming with seasonal salad, fried chicken, guacamole and chipotle aioli.
Something Different: Indulge your inner-spirit lover with a tequila tasting!
Address: 71 Ardmore St, Wanaka
Starving for excitement? Start planning your Wanaka ski holiday with Ski Express and make this winter a winner.