Shining a Light on Queenstown’s Hospo Heroes

Tanoshi Iko won the award for outstanding casual dining/street food.

The Queenstown hospitality industry acknowledged the outstanding abilities of its own with the announcement of the winners at the Queenstown Hospitality Awards ceremony.

Blue Kanu

Presented by the Restaurant Association of New Zealand and lead partners Trents Wholesale and RA Lexis ComplyHub, the awards acknowledge the outstanding hospitality professionals, all of whom are making a positive impact on the local café, dining and drinking scene.

Central Queenstown eatery Blue Kanu, famed for blending Pacifica and Asian styles together to create what they call “Polynasia”, took out supreme establishment. It’s Pacifica inspired interiors were also recognised with the restaurant picking up the award for ambience and design.

Winery restaurant Akarua Wines & Kitchen by Artisan was the people’s choice, with members of the dining public overwhelmingly selecting it as their favourite place to dine.


Tucked away in an urban forest of native trees, the outstanding restaurant accolade went to Rātā.

Locals and visiting guests looking for an exceptional dining experience can be assured of it this year with Yaan Robert of steak lovers paradise Jervois Steak House awarded the accolade of outstanding chef and supreme crew member.

In a new category for 2021 Tanoshi Iko won the award for outstanding casual dining/street food. Located on Lake Wakatipu, historic cafe The Boat Shed Cafe & Bistro, picks up the award for outstanding café. Great service did not go unrecognised with Emma Fitzpatrick of The Bunker picking up the award for outstanding maitre d’ while Aosta took out the award for outstanding front of house team.

Those looking for a place to get together with friends also won’t be disappointed with the region’s assortment of best bars recognised.

Shaun White

Shaun White of Eichardt's Bar took out the award for outstanding bartender while Little Blackwood won outstanding bar.

“Queenstown is a force to be reckoned with when it comes to dining out, offering exceptional experiences in some of the world’s most stunning settings. It is a great opportunity to remind locals, domestic visitors and now Australians of all the incredible options for dining they have to choose from,” commented Restaurant Association CEO Marisa Bidois.

“It has never been more important for diners to get out and try the fantastic array of local dining spots, so we hope these awards inspire visitors and locals to support the industry.”

The winners were announced at a sell-out awards ceremony held at the Skyline in Queenstown on Monday 3rd May.

Queenstown Hospitality Awards Winners 2021:

The Hits Southern Lakes Outstanding People's Choice

Akarua Wines & Kitchen by Artisan

Meadow Fresh Outstanding Barista

Tara Murray, Vudu Cafe & Larder

Cardrona Distillery Outstanding Bartender

Shaun White, Eichardt's Bar

dinefind Front of House Team


Antipodes Outstanding Maitre d’

Emma Fitzpatrick, The Bunker

Mt Cook Alpine Salmon Emerging Chef

Nathan Young, Sherwood

Southern Hospitality Outstanding Chef/Trents Supreme Crew Member

Yann Robert, Jervois Steak House

Menulog Outstanding Street Food/Casual Dining

Tanoshi Iko

Bidfood Outstanding Café

The Boat Shed Cafe & Bistro

Asahi Outstanding Bar

Little Blackwood

Pernod Ricard Outstanding Wine & Beverage List

Botswana Butchery

Canter Valley Outstanding Winery Restaurant

Akarua Wines & Kitchen by Artisan

OneMusic Outstanding Ambience & Design/Trents Supreme Establishment

Blue Kanu

Bidfresh Outstanding Regional Establishment

Bannockburn Hotel - Wine Country Restaurant & Bar

Eftpos NZ Outstanding Restaurant


McCarthy Outstanding Sales Rep

Juanita Hart, Red + White Cellar

Skyline Queenstown Outstanding Supplier/Trents Supreme Supplier