When the sun is low in the sky and the long winter nights are closing in, shrug off the winter lethargy, rug up warm and head to Dunedin's snug little bars and eateries to while away the winter.
Foxes don’t hibernate, but Mr Fox is happy to accommodate hibernating humans. Make your way downstairs to the Mr Fox den and find a spot to settle. You’ll find a great drinks menu full of beer, wine and foxtails and a hearty little tapas menu to sustain you in your torpor.
Duck down the alley to Pequeño. It’s small, comfy and loungey and the fire’s always roaring, so order a cocktail and an antipasto and bags a spot by the fire.
Follow your nose down the alley to Steamer Basin. Beer, pizza and garlic bread are the main attractions here, but the gluten-reluctant among us have a few drink options to choose from. The beers are brewed on site, the pizzas are served by the slice, and with Steamer Basin not being sold anywhere outside Dunedin, you’ll want to go straight to the source.
This cosy bolthole feels a bit like a little French bistro with fine local wines and a very appealing menu that changes regularly but often includes tasty morsels such as duck leg confit, soft-shell crab buns and chimichurri eye fillet for two. Not to mention, Indigo Room is famous for its cocktails...
A wood-fired menu is an inspired approach to surviving winter, and it means No7 Balmac has positioned itself as an ideal winter residence. It’s as cosy inside as it is outside with the sheltered deck and outdoor fireplace, which means No7 Balmac can host your private winter gathering or a casual brunch with friends.
Dining Vaults at Distinction Hotel
You’ll be safe and secure when you book a private dining experience for two or more in the vaults at Parcels Restaurant. Order off the standard menu or have the staff create a tailored menu just for you to add to the experience. The cushy and intimate rooms have luxurious décor unique to each of the vaults and are a little bit of luxe hidden away in downtown Dunedin.
Woof feels like home but with cooler ephemera and a better range of beer, wine and cocktails. You can stay toasty inside while you watch the snow clouds form outside and the after-work crowds put their collars up and brace themselves to cross the road. Whether you want a quick drink with friends or a drawn-out evening of drinks, snacks and talk, you’ll want to be at Woof.
Arc Brewing Co
A winter weekend drive, small batch brews on tap, and a different food truck each weekend means Arc Brewing Co is always an appealing place to go when you want to get out of the house. You’ll discover something new to try each time you visit, so for a tasty surprise and a great vibe in the taproom, wrap up and head to Arc this winter.
Porridge has always been on par with caviar in Dunedin, but Adjø takes it to another level. Drop in for breakfast and coffee or your evening meal and a wine. Serving nordic dishes, with rye bread, sardines and mackerel standard items on the menu, this is the food of winter climes and will keep you fuelled for the season.
Mulled wine, craft beers on tap and a roaring fire are just some of what makes the Portsider the place to be on a winter’s day. Nab a table by the window and watch the passers-by or chat to the locals over a pint or two. The simple menu, with dishes cooked to perfection, and the welcoming atmosphere and staff will make you want to see out the winter right where you are.
Ballroom Café at Larnach Castle
It isn’t strictly nookish, but the Ballroom Café's grand fireplace and general opulence guarantee your comfort and cosiness. With hot food on offer from 11am to 4:30pm, a great selection of hot drinks or a wee dram of whiskey for those so inclined, this is the way to winter in sumptuous surrounds.
Inch Bar’s compactness means that everyone could huddle together for warmth if they had to, but with the fire blazing, you’ll be glad of a bit of space and a cold craft beer. Depending on the day, you might strike an open mic night or a gig, but any day is a good day to meet your friends there for a relaxed afternoon catch-up that extends into the evening.