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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
Closed now
See all hours
Sun - Sat 09:00 - 23:00
More Info
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693 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 660: English reviews
Miami Beach
Level Contributor
128 reviews
75 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 73 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 days ago NEW

Looking for a casual place to have a late lunch, we stopped in at Public for a small bite. It's a great location, right on the water with a spectacular view of the lake and mountains. We also happened to have a great, sunny day, so sitting outside was particularly pretty. It's a good thing the weather was good because... More 

Thank MiaBchGal
Level Contributor
25 reviews
13 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 days ago NEW

Although we didn't eat here, the food looked very good, but our two visits were during the daytime when we could soak up the sun. The drinks prices were reasonable for the location ($9) and the quirky red phone box entrance was a nice feature. The staff were all very pleasant and helpful, and there is free WiFi should you... More 

Thank SmudgeBirmingham
Cambridge, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 days ago NEW

Booked a table here as had seen some great reviews from fellow celiacs. I'm always very nervous about trying somewhere new but as a few had gone before me I thought I'd give it a go and I wasn't disappointed. We had a great waitress called Rhianna who was super friendly and really helpful when it came to me ordering... More 

Thank Laura K
Macclesfield, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
101 reviews
40 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 days ago NEW via mobile

The Public has a bit of a different approach to serving food - it comes out when it's ready not necessarily in the order you expect! Live with it because the quality and portion size offset those niggles. We had a garlic and bean dip with fresh veg sticks followed by baked fish and a chicken schnitzel..both dishes enormous..and delicious.... More 

Thank Mike R
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
12 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 days ago NEW via mobile

We had a delicious meal at Public. The kitchen knows how to add flavour to food and every dish we ordered was a winner. The Beef steak and Venison were mouth watering delicious and the sides were fabulous. The pork belly sticks, croquettes and rabbit were perfect. The Pavlova was big ( best to share) and chic cheesecake also amazing.... More 

Thank zoe401
Level Contributor
164 reviews
121 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 60 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 days ago NEW

We shared the venison, lamb belly and whole flounder and all were very tasty. Wine list was interesting. Sides are necessary and were particularly nice. Service could be a little more prompt but everywhere seemed busy in Queenstown In January. Outside setting was very pretty - but can get very windy. Choice of heaters / umbrellas seemed like a good... More 

Thank Terry K
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
133 reviews
78 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 days ago NEW via mobile

Given the previous reviews I thought this was a pretty safe bet for a good meal on our last night in Queenstown. We had the green lipped mussels/clams and the lamb pasta dish for main. Both meals were around $30 but the small portions did not reflect this. The mussels were overcooked and didn't even come with bread which seems... More 

Thank Laura C
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 days ago NEW via mobile

My family and myself had dinner tonight and it was amazing! The food was outstanding and each of my brother's loved their drinks. The waitress, Rhiannon, was so helpful and polite and was more then happy to answer our questions about the local area, as we are new here. Great food and lovely staff :)

Thank Benjamin M
Reigate, Surrey uk
Level Contributor
44 reviews
22 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

Really enjoyed the food at this wharf side restaurant. Tapas style service in that choices arrive as cooked but unusual menu options. Loved the duck pancake starter! Staff were super friendly and worked so hard to keep up with the number of people wanting service.

1 Thank JaneReigate_Surreyuk
Cork, Ireland
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

Great drinks & food menu. The Jameson cocktail was especially delicious! Fabulous setting right beside the lake, so picturesque & pretty , blankets provided for the cooler evenings st the moment, our lovely waitress Rebecca took awesome care of us! Thanks guys. 👌

1 Thank Louise S

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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, Free Wifi
Good for
Romantic, View, Bar Scene, Local cuisine, Child-friendly, Special Occasion Dining, Groups
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?