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Public Kitchen & Bar

Certificate of Excellence
££ - £££
New Zealand
As featured in Queenstown and Surrounds
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Ground Floor, Steamer Wharf | Beach Street, Queenstown 9348, New Zealand (Formerly Wai Restaurant)
+64 3-442 5969
09:00 - 23:00
Open now
All hours
Sun - Sat 09:00 - 23:00
More Info
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651 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

Traveller rating
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Showing 622: English reviews
Singapore, Singapore
Level Contributor
16 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 days ago NEW

A really nice, relaxed restaurant with great service and good food. Many tapas-style dishes for sharing, and also bigger mains. We ate here twice and sampled a variety of dishes, all of which were very much to our liking. Large selection of local and regional beers, and overall prices are good. Highly recommend the sticky pork belly skewers!

Thank HansLee
San Diego, California
Level Contributor
3 reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 days ago NEW

This place has the absolute most wonderful food on earth. It was so good that my husband and I ate here every single night we were in Queenstown. The lamb stew with pasta is a dish I will spend the rest of my life trying to recreate. The quality of their food is outstanding and fresh. Some of the dishes... More 

Thank Kathleen P
Geneva, Switzerland
Level Contributor
178 reviews
80 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 93 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 days ago NEW

We turned up ad hoc at about 6.30 p.m. and were lucky to get a table right away as the terrace by the water was already quite full. It was a beautiful summer evening and everywhere looked glorious. They have a "snack" menu, which is essentially inventive tapas options for sharing. We chose two glasses of different Pinot Noirs to... More 

Thank SKIClub
Belgrade, Serbia
Level Contributor
70 reviews
30 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 days ago NEW via mobile

We had dinner at Public once and we stayed in a high table next to the window! Beautiful & romantic view! Loved it. Regarding food we just had some tapas and glass of wine it was ok, nothing special.

Thank Ana S
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
83 reviews
18 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

Delicious food, excellent service and a great position with expansive views of the mountains and lake. My new favourite restaurant in Queenstown...

Thank Clinton K
Queenstown, Otago, New Zealand
Level Contributor
18 reviews
9 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

Good nourishing tasty food plates for sharing with a wide variety of meat and fish dishes, and delicious desserts. Some of our group were dairy free and/or gluten free, so we ordered only those dishes (desserts not DF) and we all had a feast!

Thank Jan R
Level Contributor
94 reviews
42 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

Everything we tried at Public was delicious. Portions are small and prices are high, but not too high. Service & delivery was a bit spotty and slow, but everyone was friendly and helpful. We appreciated the help because the menu is large and unusual so we needed explanations & recommendations.

Thank scurryman
Westcliff-on-Sea, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
140 reviews
93 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 53 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

After exploring Queenstown in the morning, we decided to stop for some lunch. A lot of places were busy in town (Marathon Weekend), so we opted for the Public Kitchen & Bar on the Wharf. When we arrived there was only 1 table outside taken, so we were not sure if we'd done the correct thing. However within 30 minutes,... More 

Thank eastaroadster
Singapore, Singapore
Level Contributor
75 reviews
57 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

Easily the best place we visited in Queenstown. Service is excellent with friendly staff in a relaxed environment with a great selection of bar snacks or more formal dining. All with great views out to the lake. All the meat dishes we had were extremely well cooked. The drinks selections were surprisingly good and we topped off our meal with... More 

Thank Heccy
Sunnyvale, California
Level Contributor
14 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago

This restaurant starts with passing through a London phone booth at the entry. We had no problems with reservations in spite of it being marathon weekend. Food was quite good, unlike many restaurants with great views.

Thank Tim_Meadows

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Restaurant Details

Rating summary
  • Food
    4 of 5 bubbles
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Average prices
US$4 - US$25
New Zealand
Brunch, Lunch, Dinner, After-hours
Restaurant features
Reservations, Outdoor Seating, Seating, Waitstaff, Highchairs Available, Wheelchair Accessible, Serves Alcohol, Full Bar
Good for
Local cuisine, Groups, Special Occasion Dining, Child-friendly, Business meetings, View, Bar Scene, Romantic
Open Hours
09:00 - 23:00
09:00 - 23:00
09:00 - 23:00
09:00 - 23:00
09:00 - 23:00
09:00 - 23:00
09:00 - 23:00
Location and Contact Information
  • Address: Ground Floor, Steamer Wharf | Beach Street, Queenstown 9348, New Zealand (Formerly Wai Restaurant)
  • Location: South Pacific  >  New Zealand  >  South Island  >  Otago Region  >  Queenstown
  • Phone Number: +64 3-442 5969
The newest offering by acclaimed restaurant group Wai Dining, Public Kitchen and Bar is now open on the Steamer Wharf. Offering exceptional local cuisine Public Kitchen is all about local produce caught in the hills or farmed down the road or caught off the coast. The closest restaurant to the lake the outdoor terrace is a must dining option to take in the views and enjoy the exceptional sharing dishes on offer. Open daily from 9 am for Breakfast, lunch, bar grazing, drinks and dinner. Open Everyday from Midday till late

Questions & Answers

Questions? Get answers from Public Kitchen & Bar staff and past visitors.
Posting guidelines
Typical questions asked:
  • Do you have gluten-free options?
  • Is there a dress code?
  • Do you allow dogs on the outdoor patio?