Best Places to Eat with Friends in Dunedin, for International Students

Friday, August 9, 2019

This is an update on our 20 delicious and affordable places to eat for International Students in Major Cities Around NZ blog that we created last year. This time around we are going to be more in-depth for each city and tell you the best places for breakfast, lunch and dinner in each of our major cities. In this edition we cover Dunedin, the Southernmost of our largest major cities.


1. Vogel Street Kitchen – 76 Vogel Street
Opened in 2015, this café has garnered a reputation as one of Dunedin’s best. With an all-day menu that starts from 7:30am in the morning to 3pm on weekdays and runs from 8:30am to 4pm on weekends. We recommend the brown sugar buttermilk waffles or the breakfast stack.

2. Topiary Café – 109 Bush Road
Located in Wal’s Plantland, this café is one part of an overall experience which includes a plant shop, mini golf and a garden view. The café itself has a popular selection of cabinet food (including pikelets, scones, muffins and slices). From the breakfast menu, we suggest trying the cabinet food, some corn fritters and a bagel.

3. The Corner Store – 134 Stuart Street
An all-day breakfast menu, great organic coffee and an epic selection of veggie, vegan and gluten free breakfast options. Try the baking and cabinet food or have a bagel, veggie breakfast or brioche french toast.

4. Capers Dunedin – 412 George Street
Not to be confused with Capers Café in Palmerston North, this café is currently offering a $12 BLT & Chips and a 2 for 1 pancake deal for students. They also offer delivereasy pancakes if you’d prefer breakfast in bed! Try their gourmet pancakes, bacon and eggs and some smoothies.

5. Starfish Café and Bar – 240 Forbury Road
Their all-day menu runs from 6:30am everyday till late on the weekdays and till 5pm on the weekends. Their quirky restaurant name translates to their meals and we recommend that you try their starfish stack and the southern belle burger. Enjoy the view of St Clair beach while you eat your breakfast and drink your coffee or smoothie.


1. Copper Café / Restaurant – 595 Highgate, Māori Hill
Try a salad of the day or indulge in some of the baked goods on offer at this café/restaurant. The atmosphere is perfect for eating, drinking and hanging-out with friends.

2. The Perc Café – 142 Stuart Street
A fantastic brunch spot, the Perc café has great food and friendly service in a handy location right in the middle of town.

3. Nova – 29 The Octagon
Established in 1955, this café & restaurant has earned its title as a Dunedin institution. With 80 seats and a seven-day week, there is plenty of room and time to experience this venue. Located just across the road from the Dunedin Town Hall, their lunch menu includes such delights as a buddha bowl, gorgonzola stuffed pear, chicken ballotine and the Nova Katsu burger.

4. Market Kitchen – 472 George Street
Come for the locally grown, freshly made, seasonal lunch and stay for the delicious baking and sweet treats.

5. Excelsior Café – 152 Princes Street
Besides the great food and service there is also free Wifi and chess to play at this quiet and relaxing café. Big windows and lots of light so that you can enjoy the view of the street and chill while you have your food and drink.


1. 1908 Café Restaurant - 7 Harington Point Rd, Portobello+
A classic building located in the heart of Otago Peninsula, this is the perfect place to stop on your way to view the wildlife and scenery the peninsula is known for. Once home to the Wainui Tea Rooms in 1908, the building has served as a local post office. Today, 1908 has been restored and is open seven days a week for dinner. We recommend the maple syrup lamb shanks or the braised chickpeas with crispy onion rings. For dessert, you cant go past the dark chocolate & salted caramel layered brownie.

2. Best Café – 30 Stuart Street
One of the oldest restaurants in New Zealand, operating since 1932, this café is mostly known for its blue cod bluff oysters and hand cut chips. These self-professed ‘seafood specialists’ are located just before the Railway Station, just look for the neon sign that says: ‘Best Café’.

3. Vault 21 – 21 The Octagon
This restaurant serves fusion-inspired shared plates that are designed to try and bring contrasting flavours together to create a greater taste. Their menu is a mixture of small share plates, bites and mains that are all relatively expensive but aim to justify the expense through quality.

4. The Jitsu – 133 Stuart Street
This Japanese restaurant has earned its reputation as one of the friendliest and nicest places to eat in New Zealand.

5. Etrusco at the Savoy - 8 Moray Pace
This Italian restaurant is great for massive servings of pasta, people with allergies and provides a fantastic atmosphere. This is the place to come for a great night out with friends in a great environment.

Who are iStudent Complaints and what can we help you with?
iStudent Complaints is an independent dispute resolution scheme established by the New Zealand Government. Our objective is to encourage swift settlement of contractual and financial disputes between international students and their providers in New Zealand. As an independent and impartial service, we are not affiliated with any Education providers.

Why did we do this blog?
Even if we need to step in one day to help you resolve a dispute, we want you to enjoy studying and living in our amazing country as much as we do. To that end, we’ve created this content so that you may continue to explore and experience the best New Zealand can offer.