Lake Tekapo Restaurants & Bars Zealand/LakeTekapo/FoodNightlife/01.jpg

Lake Tekapo Restaurants & Bars

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Lake Tekapo is just a small township yet it has a surprising number of restaurants that tend to also double as bars. Many of the establishments have outdoor seating and views across the lake where you can watch the gorgeous alpenglow over a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc.

Prices for dining in Tekapo are increasing as the town becomes trendier with tourists.

Lake Tekapo Cafes

The Greedy Cow is the best spot in town to get your coffee fix or for daytime dining. They have a range of gourmet delicatessen and baked goods as well as yummy eat-in cooked breakfasts. All in all, the food is sensational! The café doesn’t have views of the lake but the décor is eclectic and quirky so it’s a pretty hip place to hang out. The internet access is also a bonus.

The Reflections Café is another option for breakfast. They have a range of food, but it’s a little on the plain side and very expensive. The partial views of the lake and mountains are a plus, as is the wireless hotspot for paid internet access. Reflections is also open for lunch and dinner.

For gorgeous lake views, head to the Dark Sky Diner, although it may be inundated with tourists.

A nice spot for lunch is the Observatory Café atop Mount John, about a ten minute drive from town. It’s just a small café selling simple meals and coffee and cake, but the views are the best in town so they must be good!

Other options for a quick bite are the bakery or Robin’s Take-away for fish n chips and the like.

Lake Tekapo Restaurants and Other Dining

Rakinui Restaurant is situated at the Peppers Bluewater Resort, on the opposite side of the highway from the main strip of restaurants and shops. This is possibly the best Lake Tekapo restaurant, but it wouldn’t fit into the fine dining category. Like many other restaurants in this meat loving nation, it has a predominantly meat based menu, and the menu lacks a little of the creativity that you’d usually see in an upscale dining establishment. Nevertheless Rakinui is a pretty nice spot to head for dinner.

MacKenzie’s Bar and Restaurant is a very popular dining spot. The views from the lake end of the restaurant are gorgeous, and it has a broad range of food and beverages.

The Tekapo Tavern looks like a complete dive from the outside, but definitely go in there because it’s much nicer inside (unfortunately a fire in late 2019 closed the tavern so hopefully it opens bigger and better). It’s got a certain charm and the views out the back are amazing. The drinks menu is what you’d expect of a country pub so don’t go in there hoping to drink fancy wine or a spiffy cocktail. And as to be expected the food is pretty typical for pub fare, and it’s really inexpensive. They have a super cheap specials menu and a kids menu, so it’s often buzzing with families in the early evening.

Thai Tekapo is another spot for a reasonably cheap feed. The wine list is very simplistic and the restaurant lacks charm, but the food is pretty good.

The Jade Palace (Chinese) is very popular with the many Chinese tourists that come through town, but it is not recommended.

Other Lake Tekapo restaurants include the the Godley Resort restaurant, and Kohan for great Japanese food.

Tekapo Bars & Nightlife

A pub crawl in Tekapo won’t take long as there’s really just the one pub, the Tekapo Tavern. The tavern sometimes gets a little festive, but don’t have high expectations of a rocking party scene.

Some of the Tekapo restaurants have bars if you just want a quiet refined drink (e.g. Mackenzies, Rakinui).