There are a variety of establishments, for all persuasions and wallet sizes, to help you reach that final destination.
For a relaxed, industrial vibe, check out Rhyme & Reason; it’s literally set up inside a fully-functioning brewery. Stills, mash tuns and a whole line-up of brewing silverware make up the backdrop of the garage space. Grab a brew, set up shop at one of the family-style long tables, listen to live music and wait for your next turn of Giant Jenga. Brewery tours are available on request and give insight into the process and future brews. A tasting paddle is the way to go for the indecisive, offering four fresh tap beers of your choice.
Or, check out Wanaka's newest brewery, B. Effect Brewing Co. at their new location B. Social. For years, B. Effect was a contract brewing company that brewed out of locations all over the South Island. This past summer, they finally brought their delicious craft beers home to Wanaka. Located in the industrial area just a five minute drive from town, B. Social is the perfect après spot if you're looking to escape the downtown area. Unique bar eats, in-house brewed craft beers and even kombucha, B. Social has an après treat to please the whole crew of shredders.
You may already be familiar with family-owned wine company, Maude — the vineyard has been operating out of the neighbouring Maungawera Valley for over two decades. Now, the vineyard boasts a second-generation medley of wines and its own cellar door in Wanaka so you can sample the goods, all at once. The Maude Wines Tasting Room can be found inside sister restaurant, Bistro Gentil. The new service takes the standing work out of the wine tasting experience — unless you’d like it — with the ability to bring the entire Maude line-up and your own seasoned tasting guide table-side.
Either way, you’ll likely want to turn that tasting session into dinner and a bottle. You’re in luck. The hatted bistro is something straight from the European countryside. It’s led by chef Mario Rodrigues and offers modern French cuisine using produce from the establishment’s garden and Central Otago.
This season, you'll also want to check out the Chef's Table by Raspberry Creek at Rippon. Raspberry Creek catering have taken over the Rippon hall to bring you one of the most luxurious après-ski dining experiences this winter. The hall exudes ski chalet charm with gorgeous light fixtures and cozy armchairs rugged up by the roaring fire. Accompanied by live music and a selection of delicious dishes and wine, a stop at Rippon on the way home from Treble Cone is well-worth your while!
Make sure you pre-book! Call 021 2060 469 or email [email protected]
Maybe you want to be amongst all the hustle and bustle of downtown Wanaka for your après. A simple walk down Ardmore Street in your ski boots will reveal an abundance of après hotspots, each with their own unique character.
First off, you'll probably notice Kai Whakapai Cafe and Bar. The outdoor seating is almost always full on a busy day and the occasional live musician will occupy the courtyard at the front of the bar. A friendly staff will greet you and will gladly oblige as you sample brews from their rotating taps.
Were you to wander down the street from Kai, you'd happen across Cork. Cork boasts a wide range of local and international spirits (60+ whiskeys and 50+ gins!), plus a funky outdoor courtyard sitting area in which to enjoy your cocktail.
Next, you might come across Trout Bar. A bit more upscale, Trout Bar offers local brews, classic cocktails and tasty cuisine using the freshest ingredients. Then, just a hop, skip and a jump away is the aptly named Lake Bar, where you can catch an après drink, meal and the big game.
Finally, it doesn't get more 'lakeside' than Edgewater Resort. Though it may not be right in town, Edgewater's après is worth the stop on the way home from the mountains. The new menu features a selection of light meals and carefully curated beverages like spicy mulled wine and artisan local craft beers. Relax around the roaring open fire with a glorious lakeview backdrop from 4-6pm everyday.
We can't talk après eats without mentioning a local favourite; food trucks. No one really knows when the food trucks of Wanaka decided to pull up their handbrakes on Brownston Street. Regardless, there’s something for every appetite in the re-imagined car lot. The hardest part is deciding what to order. There’s Burrito Craft which offers inventive Mexican street food, including loaded tacos and hunger-busting burritos which come packed to the seams. Travelling soup truck Dripping Bowl is perfect for a soul-warming aprés ski or some much needed sustenance after conquering Roy’s Peak. The cups of liquid goodness can be topped with things like roasted seeds, fresh herbs, yogurt and slow-cooked meat.
If your après cravings lean towards the international, The Spice Room is a favourite spot for Indian cuisine, with a fresh and healthy take on authentic Indian flavors. Or check out Shinaburo Korean Eating House, for a homey Korean-in-your-own-living-room vibe (plus, don't forget BYO wine!). Francesca’s Pizza rounds off our list, offering wood-fired classics like Margherita, Pepperoni with wild venison, and the Tartufi with wild mushrooms, mozzarella and black truffle oil.
Finally, fine dining. We can't not mention Kika, Wanaka's world-renowned Tapas restaurant. At the helm is award-winning chef James Stapley, who has curated an incredible menu of innovative sharing style plates. You may have to take off the ski kit and don fancy dress for this one.