On the hunt for the best Indian restaurant in Queenstown? Whether you’re seeking takeout, delivery, or a special dine-in experience, you’ll find it here.
With an intense love for Indian food, I’ve made my way around all of the Indian restaurants in the area and present to you the six best places to eat your heart out in Queenstown, Arrowtown, Cromwell and Wanaka.
Keep reading to find your next curry-fueled feed!
Budget Travel Tip: Looking for affordable places to stay in Queenstown?
Driftaway Queenstown is a holiday park 6km from the resort town in Frankton. It has near-perfect reviews, stunning views in a cabin-like atmosphere, and modern shared areas like a kitchen and lounge. You can check availability and book online here.
If you’re looking for a hostel directly in the resort town, here are five of our favourites:
• Haka Lodge Queenstown: check availability and book here
• Nomads Queenstown: check availability and book here
• JUCY Snooze Queenstown: check availability and book here
• Southern Laughter Backpackers: check availability and book here
• The Black Sheep Backpackers: check availability and book here
Location: 66 Shotover Street, Queenstown / 1085 Frankton Road, Frankton
Bombay Palace is the go-to takeaway spot in Queenstown for Indian food – especially since Spice Room closed. It sits tucked away at the end of Shotover Street with a second location in Frankton, pumping out consistently delicious Indian cuisine.
You’ll never be disappointed with one of Bombay Palace’s curries, and you can’t go wrong with popular classics either. Try the butter chicken, chicken tikka masala, lamb vindaloo and the paneer pasanda, paired with any of their delicious naans. The atmosphere is warm and inviting if you feel like dining in, with excellent service and piping hot plates.
Taj Indian Kitchen
Location: 75 Beach Street, Queenstown
Taj is the closest thing to upscale Indian food in the area. They showcase a vibrant interior as well as a high-end menu. With plush booths, velvety chairs, and eye-catching decor, a meal here will delight all of the senses and leave you feeling satiated.
Their dishes are prepared with close attention to detail, with intricate plating and dazzling smells arising from every corner. Either order a la carte or choose from the Taj’s tasting or degustation menus, which offer a bit of everything for $70 or $90 per person, respectively.
Though it’s slightly pricer than its neighbouring Indian restaurants, Taj is well worth the splurge. Try the chicken chapati tacos, Dahi Ke Kebab (spiced dumplings), and the tandoori lamb chops. You won’t be disappointed.
For a more budget-friendly experience, visit Taj for lunch until 4 pm every day.
From the Staff
Our signature and most popular dishes are Nawabi Lamb Shank along with Venison Rogan Josh.– Management at Taj Indian Kitchen
Location: 62 Shotover Street, Queenstown / 3/34 Grant Road, Frankton
With a location in town on Shotover Street and a second location at Five Mile in Frankton, Boliwood is an excellent spot for a mid-priced feed. The interior is nice and cozy, with large yellow booths to sink into after that last piece of naan, though takeout is equally as delicious.
In terms of what to try, you can’t go wrong with the beef vindaloo, aloo paratha, and the masala dosa with potato curry, a south Indian specialty. Boliwood is well known for making some of the best Indian tea in Queenstown. Be sure to enjoy it with your meal or on a cold evening after a day up the mountain.
Location: 50 Buckingham Street, Arrowtown
On Arrowtown’s Buckingham Street, Mantra offers a prime spot just out of Queenstown to grab some Indian food. Only about a 20-minute drive from the centre of QT, Mantra has an elegant atmosphere with an equally extravagant menu.
Indian food meets fine dining here, with the most beautiful presentation imaginable. Everything that comes out of the tandoor is smokey and delicious. Each accompaniment is carefully thought out to add a unique spin to classic Indian cuisine. Some must-try dishes are the samosa chat, lamb korma, and next-level butter chicken. Serving both lunch and dinner, you may find that this is not only one of the best Indian restaurants in Queenstown but also on the South Island.
Location: 61 The Mall, Cromwell
Sitting out in Cromwell, India Garden is the perfect place to stop on your way into or out of Queenstown. It’s located in The Mall, Cromwell’s pedestrian street, and serves quick and tasty food.
Whether you’re visiting for dine-in or takeout, you’ll never be left hungry after India Garden. The service is terrific, there are plenty of vegetarian options, and the curries are authentic. Aside from the plentiful curry dishes, try the chicken biryani, chili paneer, and chicken saag wala with plenty of garlic naan. The portions are large, and the staff are friendly, making Indian Garden one of the best Indian restaurants in the Queenstown area.
Location: 2 Brownston Street, Wanaka
If you’re venturing out to Wanaka, a stop at Ashraf’s is an absolute must. This little hole in the wall is as unpretentious as they come, which usually means a super delicious feed. Find it on Brownston Street, just after the roundabout.
The cozy interior makes for a charming dining experience. Still, Ashraf’s do takeout if you’d instead enjoy your spoils at home. Try the chicken kofta, onion bhaji, or any Kashmiri specialties. They are certainly some of the best in New Zealand.
For more information on Queenstown and the surrounding area, check out the articles below:
- 45 Free and Cheap Things to do in Queenstown
- 20 Vegan-Friendly Restaurants in Queenstown
- 20 Best Bars in Queenstown
- 18 Best Cafes in Queenstown
- 17 Things to do in Queenstown
- 13 Best Arrowtown Cafes (20-minute drive from Queenstown)
- 21 Things to do in Tauranga (a flight away to the North Island, but still a great place to visit)
- Top 11 Japanese Restaurants in Queenstown
- 28 Best Restaurants in Queenstown