Queenstown and Arrowtown
Queenstown isn’t known for its cheap eats, but my friend Kristina was visiting from the Big Apple, and it was her first time to New Zealand and to Queenstown – on a tight budget. I was a bit worried but we surprisingly were able to find some delectable food without breaking the bank.
Everyone from Auckland is told that they must go to Fergburger, but next time you’re hitting the Remarkables check out the little sister bakery right next door – Fergbaker. Slightly more expensive than your local bakery but their pies are anything but average.
We got the Venison and Portobello Mushroom Pie ($6.90) Lamb Shoulder and Kumara Pie ($6.50) Beef Cheek Pie ($6.50), and the Boston cream donut ($4.90). The pies had buttery pastry that melted away to intense savoury flavours that makes you reconsider your decision to share.
The lamb pie was wonderful and the meat was soft and the beef cheek pie was surprisingly sweet mixed with apples. We were only able to take one photo of our pies, because they were gone in seconds! The Boston cream donut was better than any donut we have tried in both NZ and the USA. The vanilla bean cream was more like a custard in the middle and the dough was so light and fluffy it made you think you could order a second.
As we walked around the waterfront we stumbled on a tiny little shop called the Empanada Kitchen. It’s mostly a food stall connected to the public bathrooms, a bit odd but we weren’t fazed by that, because they were selling fresh vegetarian and meat empanadas!
We ordered the ham and cheese ($5.50) and the blue cheese and walnut empanadas ($5.50). If you like pies, you will love empanadas. They were flaky, gooey, savoury and when you added their signature Aji sauce full of peppers, garlic, lemon juice and tomato – it was perfection. Their motto is “simple things done well” and we can’t agree more. The only downside is that they aren’t in Auckland.
If you stop over in Arrowtown while you are in the area, there are some tasty spots including a little place tucked away in the middle of town called Slow Cuts. We shared their Moroccan lamb sandwich ($12) and the slow cut of the day – slow braised beef brisket served with red wine and garlic gravy and chickpea pilau rice 20g ($18). And some fried smashed potatoes of course ($8).
The lamb sandwich had a multitude of complex flavours instead of just being seasoned with mixed Moroccan herbs and the slow cut of the day was enormous. All of the food had rich hearty flavours perfect for a crisp winter day. And those fried smashed potatoes more crispy than regular fries and had the right amount of salt. Even though we loved the food, we weren’t able to finish the meal between the three of us!
Queenstown is a beautiful place but it can sometimes be heavy on the wallet. Luckily there are more and more tasty places popping up around the town that are good quality, mouth-watering and best of all – cheap!