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With a beautiful harbour, vintage architecture, hilly streets and large student population, DUNEDIN is the South Island’s coolest city. It’s a great food town with cafés, bars, restaurants that have access to fantastic seafood, locally grown produce, ethically raised animals and a host of artisanal ingredients. The adjoining Otago Peninsula is an ecotourism hotspot where you can see albatross, sea lions and rare, yellow-eyed penguins.

St Clair beach

Place: Dunedin
Month: December
20ºC, cool for summer!
Traveller: Oliver Phillips

starfish sliders
A Place at the Table

A stone’s throw from the surf at St Clair Beach, Starfish Café and Bar is a Dunedin favourite, featuring fresh, locally sourced food, Dunedin-brewed Emerson beers on tap, and great coffee by kiwi roasters, L’Affare. Sidewalk seating lets you soak up the sun and there’s plenty of cozy inside space if the weather takes a turn.

Nice Slice

For dine-in or take out, Filadelfio’s is the place for gourmet pizzas in Dunedin. Wood-fired crusts are thin and blistered, toppings range from traditional to sophisticated. I rock the Hyde Park – with caramelised onions, mushrooms and a hint of blue cheese.



Locavore Hub

The Otago region produces some of the finest food and wine in New Zealand and the Saturday morning farmers’ market at the Dunedin Railway Station brings it all together in one place, with 65-plus vendors who grow, make, rear, catch, brew, pickle, smoke, roast and produce the food they sell. Skip breakfast and go there hungry for a bacon buttie.

Spike a Donut

Fronting Dunedin’s central space – The Octagon – Nova café’s star attraction is a homemade donut that comes with a giant syringe. Stab that sucker into the donut and squirt until salted caramel, jam or whatever filling you chose overflows onto the plate. Add some whipped cream and enjoy with a cup of awesome Allpress coffee.

Vogel St Kitchen

Heritage Hangout

You can’t miss the giant fish mural on the side of Vogel St Kitchen, possibly Dunedin’s hippest hangout. Situated in the Warehouse District, the loft space café has an industrial-chic vibe, great coffee and a menu with a vegan/whole food focus.

balzac brunch

Bond Sighting

If it’s cool enough for 007, it’s cool with me. Daniel Craig and his wife Rachel Weisz dined at No.7 Balmac when she was filming The Light Between Oceans. They had bruschetta, fish and a burger. I went for smashed avocado on rye toast with heaps of bacon.