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Cuisine: A La Carte, Tapas/Small Plates
Price Point: Mains from $15 - $35
Ranked: #12 of 79 restaurants in Queenstown

Public Kitchen & Bar is a casual dining option right on the waterfront in Queenstown Bay, making it the perfect spot to drop in for a drink, grab a bite and catch up with friends and family.

Chef Owner Martin James and talented Chef Stephen Clayton have taken a step back from fine dining and returned to ‘grass roots’ cooking. Their honest, no fuss style of cooking utilising the best local produce caught on the doorstep, hunted in the hills or foraged from the farms is perfect to pass around and share with friends.

The bar offerings include Central Otago wine, Queenstown’s own craft beer on tap and a hearty selection of both local and international wines to keep you happy as you drink in the views.

Sample the daily changing flavours and while away an hour or two with friends and family.

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Public Kitchen & Bar
Absolute Waterfront Steamer Wharf, Beach Street, Queenstown
Queenstown 9300

Open Hours:
Mon-Sun: 10:30 am - 10:00 pm

Phone: 03 442 5969

Sample Menu *may not be current

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Ranked: #12 of 79 restaurants in Queenstown 12
Public Kitchen & Bar
Location: Queenstown
Cuisine: A La Carte, Tapas/Small Plates
Mains: $15 - $35
Public Kitchen & Bar accepts American Express

Reviews

Vikki Smith

Staff were amazing. So friendly and helpful.
The food was so delicious. So much flavour and good portions.
I love the fact that sharing is encouraged so you can try a few delicious dishes.

- dined at Public Kitchen & Bar on

Not only the best expresso matinis and oysters to start with.. but as we had four if us we decided to do the trust the chef option. Entrees ..mains and desert was exceptional. Our friends were first timers and said they would definitely go back. Not the first time for us and as usual didnt disappoint!! Best meal all year

- dined at Public Kitchen & Bar on

My husband and I absolutely loved this place. There is so much to choose from on the menu and everything we chose was exceptionally good. The waitress who looked after us was so lovely too and made it a great experience. I highly recommend the chicken schnitzel (how do they make schnitzel THAT good?), the salmon is to die for and the garlic bread was amazing. Seriously amazing. I will be back.

- dined at Public Kitchen & Bar on

Brilliant from start to finish!! I took the in-laws out for dinner to obtain some much needed brownie points and boy did this place do me good. We were greeted by a legendary red head American/Canadian guy who has a mean beard. Unfortunately his name was not as memorable as our dining experience. Once we were explained the public ways of sharing we dove into some starters from the snacks menu and awaited our mains, on this occasion we opted for calamari rings and crispy cauliflower bites, did not disappoint. Now I’m not bragging but we were the very firsts to try their Crispy duck with beans and it was epic, very flavoursome and LARGE. the short beef rib did things to me that are too PG for this review, and even as a salad dodger, I couldn’t keep my hands out the salad bowl. This was the first time I have been dining on first table and would have happily paid full price but of course we didn’t as we probably wouldn’t have been able to afford rent this week. Strongly recommend!! We had 4 at our table and 2 “snacks” 2 salads and 3 mains was plenty to fill us up. 10/10 food. flawless service. Harmonious atmosphere in the restaurant and the wine was bloody good. The in laws were very happy. Great success high 5!!

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Ah Public is an absolute favourite and with first table it's like 2 for 1! We love the sharing style as you get so much variety. Favourites had to be the lemon risotto, beef cheeks and surprising the celeriac puree! Even as southlanders the Cheese rolls look like something we must try next time. The service, the ginger beer, the decor is all fresh and fantastic.

- dined at Public Kitchen & Bar on

We thoroughly enjoyed our lunch at Public Kitchen on a sunny Sunday, sitting on the waterfront. As a group of 4 we shared 2 large & 4 small plates as well as a salad, and it was a perfect amount. The service was good and the menu was well explained to us too. There were also blankets provided for our outdoor seating so even if the breeze was a little on the chilly side we could remain outside soaking up the beautiful waterfront views.

- dined at Public Kitchen & Bar on

The Public Kitchen is a must when dining out in Queenstown. The food is always amazing with outlooks over the botanic gardens to the Remarkables.

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Meg Cardiff

The food was unbelievable! We loved everything we ordered, the cauliflower was the best. There’s lots of vegan and veggie options as well.
All our servers were great, honestly couldn’t fault a thing! Thanks guys!

- dined at Public Kitchen & Bar on

Evelyn Gil

Amazing service and food. The enviroment just beautiful.

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Jayden Pattison

Wow, we dined here for lunch and it was beautiful. We ordered from the shared plates. And I could not fault anything. The service from the two guys was impeccable they were super attentive considering how busy the restaurant was. The food was super delicious, we ordered around 7 plates and a desert and we managed to get get through most of it. We had an action packed day so this was our main meal for the day. Totally recommend to go here. I can’t wait to come again.

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Zeca Borges

The food and service were amazing. Lovely atmosphere and great decor. We felt much valued and welcomed guest. We had seafood ceviche as started that was really yummy. We had Venison denver leg what was amazing. We also ate a delicious salad pavlova to finish the dinner. My conclusion the Public Kitchen is definitely a five star restaurant.

- dined at Public Kitchen & Bar on

This was one of the best dining experiences we have had.

We booked for my partners birthday and the waitstaff were amazing with us, and the kids.

They even went as far as to pop a candle in my partner's dessert cheesecake (highly recommend - it's just delicious)

We would definitely go again, the food was incredible.

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Emm Benson

The staff were amazing at accommodating myself, my husband who was late and our 4 month old son. The food was mouth wateringly tasty and good sized sharing portions. We will be back next time we are in queenstown to sample more of the delicacies on there very large menu. Everything brought out from the kitchen looked amazing

- dined at Public Kitchen & Bar on

From the friendly greeting when we walked in to the chat before leaving we rate this restaurant as a 10. The food was good as well and liked that we could share everything was great. We will be back.

- dined at Public Kitchen & Bar on

Excellent food, attractive venue and very friendly staff. Certainly floated our boat!!!

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Public Kitchen & Bar was our first meal in Queenstown and it did not disappoint. We ended up dining here twice during our weeks holiday.

All the food was fantastic and served within good time. The staff were all very welcoming, friendly and helpful.

2nd best to the food was the scenery when sitting outside. Absolutely amazing!

I'd definitely eat here again.

- dined at Public Kitchen & Bar on

Leon-Anthony Smith

Great experience. Table right next to the lake, great service from all the waitstaff, seating quickly and served attentively. Food was delicious, sharing plates with a wide variety of choice for both meat eaters and vegetarians. Will be back again for sure. Cheers!

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Katherine Plummer

The tapas at Public Kitchen is so good! We went as a group of 4 and got so much food and can't fault any of it, it was all incredible. Definitely order a good few dishes because then you can really make the most of what's on the menu.
Also, just want to say thanks so much to the amazing staff who made my Mum's birthday extra special! :)

- dined at Public Kitchen & Bar on

Peggy Hieronymus

Probably the most picturesque spot right by the wharf to eat out. Spot on service with staff they know what they doing, yummy cooked food ... credit to the chef behind the scenery.., you doing a fabulous job.
I am local and had invited friends and we all certainly loved the shared variety of the most delicious menu .
We will be back. Keep up the outstanding work and effort in the high season.
Cheers
Peg ( breakfastattiffanys.co.nz)

- dined at Public Kitchen & Bar on

Am so gutted that I haven't been here in so long as this has been my most impressive lunch of summer! Amazing food and such nice, friendly service. Loved it! We enjoyed lots of smaller dishes and it's so hard to single out one particular dish - they were all delicious. Ceviche, pork rillettes, baked camembert, cod croquettes, etc... amazing and will be back.

- dined at Public Kitchen & Bar on

Sasha Mackay

I can't fault a thing: this place is fantastic. Love the emphasis on local produce, the flavour combinations (e.g. coconut ceviche, and rhubarb brulee), and the good value cocktail jugs. Service was really excellent, and the outlook is 5 star.

- dined at Public Kitchen & Bar on

Niki Reid

Most excellent dining experience. Staff were welcoming and friendly, especially to our 9 month old. Food was delicious, we liked how it was all made to share. Favourite dishes were the pork belly bites, and lamb steak. Our baby loved the beef cheek :) the desserts were HUGE and really yummy, the rhubarb creme brûlée was perfect. We highly recommend Public Kitchen & Bar, perfect location right on the lake with a view of the Earnslaw. We’ll be back!

- dined at Public Kitchen & Bar on

We had a great lunch here. The deep fried cheese rolls (three pieces) were a nice way to start. Not traditional but yummy anyway. The mains are meant to be shared and are generous, to say the least. We were a bit greedy and got a main each and shared both! The sides were also very generous. Two sides between the two of us were plenty. As for the food itself; just delicious.

As for dessert these are for sharing, too. But we got one each anyway and shared both. Rhubarb Brulee was divine and the Pavlova to die for. Crisp shell and chewy inside just how we like it and lashings of cream and fresh fruit.

Great service too. Friendly and efficient with just the right amount of attentiveness.

This would be a great place for a group meal with the fun of sharing and delicious food.

- dined at Public Kitchen & Bar on

Nina Smith

OH MY GOODNESS! The food was so good!! I suggest digging into the starters and sharing amongst the table. The cheese rolls, Kumara bites, pumpkin risotto and lemon chicken were top notch! The waitress was super helpful with guiding us through the extensive menu. I would definitely go back!

- dined at Public Kitchen & Bar on

Bridget Taylor

5 star lunch. Awesome service, fantastic food and beautiful location. I will definitely be back and have already been heavily recommending. Thank you Public team.

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Shelley Rushton

A great place with a super view to try a variety of food, small plates were all delicious, especially enjoyed the rabbit and the duck. Service was attentive and food came out fast. We would go back.

- dined at Public Kitchen & Bar on

Dianne Austin-Wilson

Food was awesome had a great lunch, do the best burgers...

- dined at Public Kitchen & Bar on

Charlee Davis

Lovely setting with some scrumious food! We got a great table sat right on the lake so rather than people watching we did boat watching. We ordered the camebert to share which is cheese heaven! Then the lunch tjme burgers with a side witch is a great deal anyway let alone in first table! Hughley recommend the chickpea fries. They where super flavoursome and quite cheesy! All the staff was lovely and helpful would happily come again :) be prepared to roll out of town after you have dined here.

- dined at Public Kitchen & Bar on

Po Yi Wan

Sticky Pork Belly sticks is really good!!!!

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Harriet Koch

We had the most amazing experience dining at Public Kicthen and Bar. Lucy the manager was incredibly welcoming and efficient and at the end of the night took my 3 drinks off the tab for my birthday!
The food was excellent and came out promptly by Missy who was also very efficient. The sharing plates were full delicious food they we enjoyed immensely.
Highly reccomend to anyone who likes trying lots of different food and being surrounded by wonderful people.
Ps. Bring back up to help eat the food if you decide to order many different dishes like we did!

- dined at Public Kitchen & Bar on

Kelsey Powell

I was worried about the vegan options at Public, but there were far more options than expected. The servers ensured our drinks and food were all vegan and even engaged in conversation with us about veganism. We got the perfect table by the water and enjoyed the whole evening as we watched the sunset, sipped on our vegan cocktails, and shared our vegan plates together. It was a wonderful experience and would highly recommend it!

- dined at Public Kitchen & Bar on

fenagh smith

The food here was delicious!!! Had a wonderful meal, thankfully it is a tapas menu as there was too many great things to chose from so we just ordered them all - our order even got the nod of approval from the staff!!

Would recommend it to one and all - thanks again Public Kitchen & Bar!

- dined at Public Kitchen & Bar on

The staff were excellent, it was pouring with rain and we had a cosy booth table which was great fun. Love the decor and the food ... wow so much fun sharing platters, delicious flavours and a huge pavlova to share at the end. Highly recommend Public, thanks for a great meal.

- dined at Public Kitchen & Bar on

My husband and I had a great time at Public Kitchen & Bar. Great food, with a stunning backdrop of mountains and lake Wakatipu. Service was great too!

This is a family style restaurant, so you order a plate, and then share it between everyone at the table. When I first looked into this restaurant, I was under the impression that it was tapas style, but it isn't. The portions are not all small plates.

We tried the Garlic Bread, Gyoza, Chicken Schnitzel & Pavlova. All of them were delicious. I would say the most underwhelming of them all was the garlic bread, and the best was the Pavlova. It was huge, and made really well...homemade of course! So delicious.

When it came to pay the bill, they knew to take 50% off of our food, however it wasn't clearly laid out for us. I'm still not entirely sure if we received the correct discount. They could use a lesson in how to ring this up so it is easy for both parties to see.

- dined at Public Kitchen & Bar on

Andrew Mike

The place is pretty nice, but in our opinion the food needs to have more flavour and the service needs to be more organized.

- dined at Public Kitchen & Bar on

WOW! Our first time using First Table and we’re 100% blowaway! It was very reliable, the restaurant honoured our discount reservation without at all compromising on their service and quality of food. Everything from the moment we arrived to when we payed our bill, it all went so smoothly.
Public Kitchen and Bar had A-M-A-Z-I-N-G food! Hot, fresh, fast and not to mention the amazing lakeside views!
Definitely would dine here again and we will certainly be using First Table for all our dining outings in the future!
(In fact, we’ve just booked at Stratosfare buffet for tomorrow nights dinner through First Table!)

- dined at Public Kitchen & Bar on

Starters were ok. Camembert, squid and chips ( can you actually mess those up?). Mains were super disappointing. Eye fillet was burnt and overcooked when requested medium rare - I dont return food, maybe my fault but I dont want the food to be wasted. Tomato saffron rissoto was bland, no traces of any saffron. Chicken was ok. Come here for the views and pub style snacks.

- dined at Public Kitchen & Bar on

Rebecca Kingdom-Kruszewski

Delicious food and great service in a beautiful setting.

- dined at Public Kitchen & Bar on

Fabulous food, staff and location. Perfect for a relaxed Friday night dinner. Highly recommend.

- dined at Public Kitchen & Bar on

Kreig Leitchze

Simply sensational!

The staff at Public Kitchen are vibrant and happy, and accommodated everyone without any fuss when a light rain forced diners inside from our wonderful views across the waters of Lake Wakatipu.

The food? Sublime!

Between my partner and I we had pork belly sticks (best pork belly in Queenstown if you ask me!), squid rings, their own style fried chicken (so tender on the inside, crispy on the outside - and delicious throughout), rack of wild venison which was melt-in-the-mouth, and complimented superbly by the oh-so-sumptuous duck fat potatoes.

Together with a fantastic wine list and an espresso martini that will kick start your evening, Public Kitchen is the complete modern Kiwi dining experience.

If you only have one night in town, this is where you dine.

- dined at Public Kitchen & Bar on

Stephanie Lichtwark

Great food, atmosphere and service.

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Dipesh Singh

More than an expectation- Food and service

- dined at Public Kitchen & Bar on

A rather delightful menu with so many choices, we opted to eat mainly from the snack menu and share all the dishes, all were delicious. In addition, our waitress Eleanor was really wonderful - highly recommended for a sunny evening by the lake

- dined at Public Kitchen & Bar on

Lovely setting by the water. Good if you like share plates and portion sizes are very good.

- dined at Public Kitchen & Bar on

Rebekah Burt

Great food, great service. Second time I've been and will definitely be going back again.

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Sam Ford

Not as exciting as I hoped when it came out but food was OK and lovely atmosphere. Great place to go if you want to share different dishes with friends/a group

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Jody Mowat

Great

- dined at Public Kitchen & Bar on

Wow! The view and location on the lake are amazing. We had an outdoor table in the sun. Really friendly staff and impeccable customer service. The share plates are not only delicious but also generous and superbly presented. For the 2 of us we had 4 dishes. The only thing we couldn't finish was the pavlova. It was big enough for 4 people to share!. We're definitely coming back. ( to finish the pavlova)

- dined at Public Kitchen & Bar on

Leo Cheng

Lovely location and excellent food.

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Jess Warren

Couldn't fault this place. Sharing food family style. Great food yummy espresso Martinis. Food was so flavoursome and perfectly cooked, beef check pork belly and wilted greens were top picks but no complaints really. Pavlova was perfect desert is definately share style as well, only fault was the rhubarb brulee was a little bit average when compared with the high standard of everything else we had. Definately go back again though

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Jody Mowat

Great

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Tania Cleaver

Great selection on the menu to choose from and the food was excellent. The service was wonderful, friendly and very helpful. Would love to go back.

- dined at Public Kitchen & Bar on

Great service and great portion sizes.

- dined at Public Kitchen & Bar on

Margi Jamieson

Great service and food

- dined at Public Kitchen & Bar on

As always one of the best restaurants in Queenstown

- dined at Public Kitchen & Bar on

Had a lovely meal - nothing could be better

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Awesome food and amazing service! Would 10/10 recommend.

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Erin Clark

This is the best place to chill with friends and share the delights on the menu. We shared alot of food! Highlights were the kumura and chickpea bites, pork belly bites, duck pankcakes and the salads were super tasty. Also got to mention the amazing cocktails available on the menu. Thanks for the great service.

- dined at Public Kitchen & Bar on

Very warm service.

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Lauren Mchugh

Had a really nice meal. Service was fantastic and super friendly. Thought the wine we had was quite over priced for how it tasted. Had some cheese sticks that tasted slightly over cook. Also had the lamb stew which was sublime. Overall a nice experience with really good Espresso Martinis.

- dined at Public Kitchen & Bar on

Vicki Halligan

We had a fabulous Xmas dinner thank you

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Shelby Hunt

An amazing selection of food and really friendly staff. Already looking forward to visiting again

- dined at Public Kitchen & Bar on

Vikki Smith

Staff were amazing. So friendly and helpful.
The food was so delicious. So much flavour and good portions.
I love the fact that sharing is encouraged so you can try a few delicious dishes.

- dined at Public Kitchen & Bar on

Great staff, great food and nice atmosphere

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Jody Mowat

Excellent 10/10

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Fabulous food, great atmosphere and prompt service with a smile!

- dined at Public Kitchen & Bar on

Very nice location, very friendly service. Thanks for a great experience!

- dined at Public Kitchen & Bar on

Not only the best expresso matinis and oysters to start with.. but as we had four if us we decided to do the trust the chef option. Entrees ..mains and desert was exceptional. Our friends were first timers and said they would definitely go back. Not the first time for us and as usual didnt disappoint!! Best meal all year

- dined at Public Kitchen & Bar on

Kyle Floriancic

Everything was great. We will be back again for dinner sometime soon.

- dined at Public Kitchen & Bar on

Great,yummy food. Love the "share" concept!

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Ruby Brent

Really good food and amazing service! Would deffo reccomend

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Sarah McIlwrick

Great chef !!

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Floyd Kitchen

Me and my family had a fabulous time at Public kitchen and bar the food was amazing and the service was exceptional. Wouldn’t hesitate to recommend anyone to go and dine at Public kitchen and bar.

- dined at Public Kitchen & Bar on

Carl Manglo

Great service, Amazing ambiance, Good food

- dined at Public Kitchen & Bar on

Overview

426 reviews

Food
Service