Discover the finest Tekapo restaurants and eateries with our detailed guide to the area’s foodie hotspots. Whether you’re feeling fancy fare or want to take in the views from a relaxed café, somewhere is bound to pique your interest.
Tekapo is a small township in New Zealand’s South Island. It’s about 3 hours from Christchurch and it’s just gorgeous.
It may house just over 500 permanent residents (plus those on holiday, of course), but it offers everything from a glistening lake to picture-perfect hiking and biking trails. If you’re visiting during November, you might even spot the famous lupins blooming along the shore of the lake.
Regardless of whether you’re visiting for the famous springs, the camping opportunities, or the crystal-clear skies (which are perfect for astrophotography and stargazing), you’ll need to refuel at some point.
To help you, we’ve compiled a list of the best Tekapo restaurants and eateries that will have you ready to take on everything this glorious town has to offer.
The Best Tekapo Restaurants and Eateries
From fine dining to international favourites, this list of Tekapo restaurants and cafes covers every base.
In no particular order, these are our favourites…
1. The Greedy Cow
A firm favourite in town, The Greedy Cow caters to all sorts of tastes and preferences – and boy, do they do it well!
With gluten-free, lactose-free, vegetarian, vegan and standard fare, this is the perfect place to head if you’re with a larger group of people.
Pies, cooked breakfast, filled rolls (which are perfect to take away if you’re passing through Tekapo), coffee – everything here is delicious and packed full of flavour.
With such amazing food, and a friendly team, word of The Greedy Cow has spread quickly. As such, it’s a busy spot! We recommend you get there nice and early to ensure you get a table and to get the pick of the cabinet food.
16 Rapuwai Lane, Lake Tekapo 7945
2. Astro Café
If you’re looking for Tekapo restaurants with breathtaking views, then Astro Café is a place you absolutely need to visit.
It’s located on Godley Peaks Road on the summit of Mount John (where you can also go stargazing at night – use the promo code NZTTPLAY to save 10%), and it gives visitors seriously impressive vistas over Mount Cook and Lake Tekapo.
Although the view is the main selling point here (unsurprisingly!), we also adore the restaurant’s barista-made coffees, sweet treats, and light bites.
You can get here by hiking up Mount John or driving from the main village. Just be warned that you’ll need to pay the compulsory $8 toll charge to park. It’s a bummer, we know, but it’s totally worth it.
Oh, and it’s only open Friday to Monday so don’t get caught out.
Godley Peaks Road, Lake Tekapo 7945
3. Dark Sky Diner
We adore the Dark Sky Diner, as it combines immense views across Lake Tekapo with unbelievable South American flavours.
The chefs pride themselves on working with local kiwi ingredients, so expect fresh and seasonal dishes that are lifted with authentic South American spices.
The empanadas are always a crowd pleaser, but vegans will appreciate the Argentinian choripan which is essentially lettuce, tomatoes, and vegan chorizo stuffed inside an artisan bread roll. It may sound simple, but it’s seriously life-changing.
If you’re struggling to decide what to order, try out their Start & Share menu which is packed with delectable tapas plates and fire-grilled pizzas.
This is one of the Tekapo restaurants that’s gorgeous at any time of day, but we suggest booking in for a late dinner if you want to indulge in a spot of stargazing!
1 Motuariki Lane, Lake Tekapo 7999
4. Jack Rabbit
For delectable cakes and bumper brekkies, you can’t go wrong with Jack Rabbit!
This is one of the Tekapo restaurants that’s renowned for its extensive gluten-free and vegetarian menu. This makes it an ideal choice for anyone with allergies or specific dietary requirements.
If we’re being honest, we’re partial to this place’s Big Breakfast. It’s loaded with sausages, bacon, hash browns, eggs, and baked beans. But you can’t go wrong with any of their lunchtime goodies either. Burgers, loaded wedges, and cakes from the counter, anyone?
Whatever you order, you’ll be blown away by the gorgeous lakeside and mountain views that you’ll get from their outdoor patio.
It’s easy to sit for hours with a book and just watch the world go by.
Neil Anderson Way Corner, Motuariki Lane, Lake Tekapo 7999
5. Blue Lake Eatery & Bar
The next spot on this list of amazing Tekapo restaurants is Blue Lake Eatery & Bar – and it’s a total winner.
Before we dive into the food, we thought we’d mention that this place is the headquarters of Burkes Brewing Co. So, you can spend your afternoon sampling fine craft brews while chowing down on dishes from the restaurant’s contemporary menu.
The restaurant is warm, modern, and family-friendly, and the fire is always lit in the winter to keep diners feeling toasty. In the summer, the light shines through the enormous windows and lets in a cool breeze.
You can expect classic kiwi dishes like Canterbury lamb shank and Canter Valley duck leg on the menu. Or choose from a selection of pizzas and salads if you’re not a complete carnivore.
You don’t need to have massive, hearty meals at this Tekapo restaurant either. If you’re not feeling overly hungry, we recommend trying their kūmara wedges or shoestring fries after a couple of cocktails to soak things up.
Main Road, State Highway 8, Lake Tekapo 7999
Pro Tip: This is one of the Tekapo restaurants that operates between Wednesday and Sunday. To avoid disappointment, check your itinerary before heading out.
6. Rakinui Restaurant & Bar
Another one of our favourite Tekapo restaurants is Rakinui Restaurant & Bar.
This place is tucked away inside Peppers Bluewater Resort, and is known for its fine-dining fare, contemporary farm-to-table menu, and fabulous pizzas and burgers. All with breathtaking views of Mackenzie High Country, of course.
The culinary team prides itself on using fresh and locally sourced ingredients to create each dish. So, expect classics like steaks, lamb racks, and delicious High Country salmon to be spotlighted on the menu
Oh, and did we mention that there’s an incredible list of New Zealand wines designed to complement each dish?
Even if you’re feeling full after your entrees, you can’t leave without trying their incredible chocolate trilogy dessert. Comprising a rum-infused dark chocolate trifle, a fluffy cake, and a smooth mousse, it’s a dream come true for chocoholics.
As this place is extremely popular and offers something for everyone, you’ll want to call ahead to reserve a table – trust us on this one.
State Highway 8, Lake Tekapo 7945
7. Altitude 720 Café
We couldn’t create a list of the best Tekapo eateries without including Altitude 720 Café.
It’s right by the Tekapo Hot Springs and feels uber-cozy during winter. During the summer, you’ll want to sit out on the deck, enjoying the epic views of the lake.
The cafe is known for these views, but the food is nothing to scoff at either. Serving up bumper bennies and delicious fish and chips, you really can’t go wrong with a meal here.
If you’re looking for something sweeter, they have a large cabinet packed with freshly baked treats that rotates each day.
Fancy a coffee? Be sure to try the café’s sublime 720 coffee blend which is roasted in-house. It boasts a smooth and unique flavour that you’ll want to take home. Luckily, you can buy the beans if you want to – phew!
6 Lakeside Drive, Lake Tekapo 7999
8. Ramen Tekapo
If you’re looking to tickle your tastebuds with international flavours on your visit to New Zealand, then you’ll want to check out Ramen Tekapo.
This is one of the Tekapo restaurants that looks unassuming at first glance. But inside, you’ll find some of the best Japanese and Thai food in the region. We’re not kidding.
It’s also one of the most popular takeaway spots in Tekapo. There you’ll find specials like homemade ramen, pad thai, and Thai green curry on the extensive menu.
They offer indoor and outdoor seating, but we recommend grabbing your dish of choice and enjoying it by the lake if it’s not too cold. Or you can head to the nearby Church of the Good Shepherd which offers phenomenal views!
120 Main Road, Lake Tekapo 7999
9. Kohan Restaurant
Kohan Restaurant is beloved by locals for its stunning views and layered bento boxes. Thanks to its fabulous reputation, this Japanese restaurant really is a must-visit while in town. It’s ideal if you’re looking for a takeaway treat to eat by the lake, but you can also dine in if you’re looking for a relaxed dinner.
They serve some of the best sushi in the South Island, which is a little surprising considering how small Tekapo is. However, everything on their menu is bursting with flavour and authenticity. It’s surprisingly affordable, too.
If you’re trying to explore NZ on a budget, but don’t want to sacrifice anything on the flavour front, then this place has got your back.
6 Rapuwai Lane, Lake Tekapo 7945
Whatever you’re craving, you’re guaranteed to find something at these Tekapo restaurants that hits the spot!
Do you have any Tekapo restaurants that you adore? If so, we’d love to hear about them in the comments.