Emerson's is Dunedin's original craft brewery. © DunedinNZ

Indulge: food and drink in Dunedin


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1. Good beers made here 

The iconic Speight’s brewery arrived in 1876, but the more refined and experimental end of the beer boom now take centre stage. 

Emerson’s is the oldest of these, and their custom-built taproom and restaurant are a short stroll from both the University and Forsyth Barr Stadium. It’s a large room that still feels more cosy than cavernous, while a lazy pint in the sunny courtyard is prime real estate. 

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🍻 #beers

A post shared by Emerson's Brewery (@emersonsbrewery) on Apr 25, 2018 at 2:17pm PDT

At the other end of town, New New New has breathed new life into the old brick stables. With a strong Sino-Futurist aesthetic and an R&D focused output, it’s fast become a fixture of the thirsty and discerning. The catch? The Taproom & Garden Bar is only open on Friday evenings, so seize the moment! 

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Taproom Open from 4.30pm today — Consume, Conject, Connect 218 Crawford St, Dunedin New New New Corporation’s Matryoshka Division has determined that each one of us is a shell, nestled inside a spiralling series of incrementally and infinitely larger shells. Within each of us is a smaller shell, and within that is a series of regressions to the infinitesimal. But if we are a series of layers, where is our substance? It lies, the Matryoshka Division posits, in that which we consume. We are contained by multitudes, it is true. But we also contain multitudes ourselves. Join New New New Corporation’s continued efforts to consume quality, in order to embody that same quality. On that note, let us consume fermented beverages and @salchicha.nz’s sausages with fresh chimichurri, and apprehend the synecdochical strains of DJ @marze.nz bringing the noise within the noise.

A post shared by New New New Corporation (@newnewnewnz) on Feb 7, 2019 at 3:36pm PST

For the best put together beer lists from further afield, park up responsibly at Eureka, Ombrellos, The Portsider or Albar – especially if they have local lads Cell Division or Noisy Brewing Co on tap. 

2. An even stronger brew

Good coffee has been serious business in Dunedin for decades. At a time when national distribution reigns supreme though, your local options are forging their own path.

Mazagran, a small shop front at the fashionable end of Moray Place, is the veteran among them – small, effortless, with brews that put hairs on your chest. 

It was also a finishing school for Jared Culling, who has opened his own fine roastery and espresso bar (Kūkū) out in suburban Caversham. A recidivist record collector, you’re guaranteed good beats and banter to boot. 

Tucked away in an industrial park in Strathallan St is Common Ground. Their beans now supply an ever-growing list of local coffee haunts, but for best results, they have some of the most reliably good baristas in town on site. 

If you’re in need of something to eat to go with it, Vanguard match their craft with great food built on local, seasonal and ethical supply chains. 

3. A little something for elevenses?

The Highgate Bridge Bakery (simply known as The Friday Shop) is an excellent patisserie serving croissants, tarts and chausson aux pommes – but is only open on Fridays. They get cleaned out weekly, so get in early or order in advance. 

At the more bombastic end, the decadent cakes of baker Matt Cross of The Tart Tin – salted caramel meringue; rocky road fudge – are the kinds of things that need to be apportioned wisely. You can order for weekday collection, or visit him up on the platform at the Otago Farmers Market on Saturday mornings. (For a more traditional morning tea option, go see Gilbert’s for an Eccles cake or two.) 

Need something more savoury? Beam Me Up Bagels outgrew their market stall, and are now permanently established in the North East Valley. Does what it says on the tin: great bagels, with a fine list of spread options and easily the best coffee anywhere near them. 

4. The most important meal of the day

The Esplanade in St Clair, where you can watch the waves crashing in as the sun goes down, is a dramatic dinner setting. Authentic wood-fired pizza and pasta dominate, with a healthy range of ports and desserts to follow. Always add the mozzarella di bufala.  

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Love opening up to this #beachside #dunedinnz

A post shared by Esplanade Dunedin (@esplanade_dunedin) on May 5, 2018 at 1:20pm PDT

With its graffiti murals and grungy furniture, Good Good is a food truck inside a warehouse, but their caravan pumps out some of the finest burgers in the country. They come in three varieties – chicken, beef and vegetarian (a pulled pork style barbecued jackfruit) – alongside buttermilk fried chicken and sweet potato fries.

For nearly thirty years The Asian Restaurant has been a Dunedin institution, and Hong Juan Lee’s hospitality the stuff of legend. Their traditional Chinese menu is exhaustive, the prices affordable, and the nights often rowdy. They’re also about to retire from the business, so get in while you still can. 

5. Delicious degustations

Tucked away behind the main street, both central and somehow secluded, you’ll find Bracken. A converted 19th-century villa, its domestic origins add to the private dinner party vibe. Bracken offers four-course ($49) and eight-course ($99) combinations, plus a wine ($45-$65) or whisky ($35-$45) matching experience for the non-drivers. 

The colonial flavour of the building can often work its way onto your plate – how else could you explain a menu that can include haggis; pork belly with black pudding mash; and poached pears with praline and plum ice cream?

In the historic Terminus Building, in the city’s Warehouse Precinct, is Moiety. An even more refined set-up, their five-course set menu ($65) is slightly more adventurous. Ikejime fish, tomato, nori, tofu, rice, kohlrabi, ice leaf, kimchi. Goat milk, financier, honey and cape gooseberry. That sort of thing. Vegetarian and vegan menus can be prepared with a few days’ notice.  

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lamb neck, eggplant, endive, soft herbs, granola

A post shared by Moiety (@moietydunedin) on Feb 23, 2019 at 1:58pm PST

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