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Where to Eat

in Cromwell

A World of Flavour

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article written by Alexia Santamaria

Right on the shores of Lake Dunstan, Cromwell is an incredibly popular spot for visitors to the Central Otago region. Everyone loves the Heritage Precinct - a fascinating mix of original and reconstructed buildings from the old main street of the 1860s gold town which is now home to galleries, cafes and other cute shops.

If you’re staying in Cromwell and looking for great places to eat, you’re in luck - there are a few to choose from. Whether you’re looking for grab ‘n go bakery fare or one of the most high-end dining experiences in the region, you’ll love what’s on offer.

The Cloudy Bay Shed

While you may associate the Cloudy Bay brand with Marlborough, The Shed is unmistakably Central Otago. It’s all centred round Te Wahi, their stunning local Pinot Noir, but the whole wine range is available for tasting and drinking.

The food is some of the best in Central Otago - every clever dish a perfect balance of flavour, and texture. You can tell that enormous thought has gone into the whole dining experience with creative high-end food, stunning interior design (that manages to be elegant but simultaneously very approachable), beautiful art on the walls and floor-to-ceiling windows on one side so you can gaze dreamily at picture-perfect view of Lake Dunstan, Sugarloaf and the Pisa Range between exquisite bites.

Allow extra time as you’re really not going to want to leave.

The Cloudy Bay Shed

Pinot Junction 

Small but perfectly formed could easily be the best description for Pinot Junction at the Cromwell Heritage Precinct. With its quirky historic décor and stunning views over Lake Dunstan, this could be one of the best places to stop, relax and chill while also enjoying some great food and wine.

The team here are friendly and welcoming, serving fabulous home baking, delicious charcuterie boards, pizzas and brunch dishes. But what really stands them apart from other café’s is the selection of fabulous local wines available. Owner Kate has a wealth of wine knowledge having been immersed in Central Otago wine scene for many years. She is always more than happy to provide unbiased advice on wines you may want to try.

Pinot Junction Platter

Penny Black 

The stone facade of the old Post Office & Telegraph Building in the Cromwell Heritage Precinct belies a far more modern interior, fab for some great drinks and a casual bite to eat.

Penny Black, right on the shores of Lake Dunstan, is the perfect place for a drink and sharing snacks. It’s got a great vibe and the locals love the casual food packed with flavour.

Grab a round of cocktails and some Gochujang Squid, Baked Camembert, koftas, chorizo croquettes, a cheese or antipasto board to nibble on while you put the world to rights after a hard day.


Cocktails are a specialty at Penny Black

Penny Black's food menu is designed to complement the drinks menu

Stoaker Room

The Stoaker Room in Cromwell never fails to deliver a great experience. Everything is steamed, baked, grilled and smoked in cookers made from French oak pinot noir barrels.

You’ll love sharing a Stoaker Banquet and some drinks with friends - think venison with roast pumpkin and Otago cherry sauce, tandoori lamb rump with grilled veggies and mint yoghurt, pork belly with potatoes, crispy shallots and herb aioli, spiced prawns with chimichurri sauce on greens and Akaroa salmon with slaw and grilled pineapple salsa all served on a giant board to share (there are individual options too).

The Stoaker Banquet - best enjoyed with friends and family

Cromwell Farmers and Craft Market

The Cromwell Farmers and Craft Market is held every Sunday morning from Labour Weekend through to early March and is a great place for picking up local edible treats.

There is a wonderful array of fresh produce including stone fruit, local cheeses, olive oil, saffron, lamb, nuts, fresh pasta, flowers and much more, depending on the season.

It’s a great place to connect with passionate local growers and producers.

Cromwell's Farmer and Craft Market is on Sundays from Labour Weekend to Easter

Find talented artisan producers and growers at the weekly farmers market

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