Queenstown Café Crowned Country’s Best

December 06, 2015
Queenstown Café Crowned Country’s Best

After months of searching, discussing and tasting, the NZ Cafe of the Year judges have awarded the top title to a "world-class" Queenstown café.

Queenstown café The Bespoke Kitchen has taken out the sought-after title of NZ Café of the Year for 2016.

The Bespoke Kitchen won over the competition’s judges with its organically-based menu, balance of traditional café staples with raw and vegan options and “unmatched” standard of coffee.

Owned by Rae Ellis, Chris Vile and Michelle Freeman, The Bespoke Kitchen only opened its doors in June of this year, but NZ Café of the Year head judge Kerry Tyack says it offers a “world-class experience” to its customers.

The hard-working team behind Queenstown café The Bespoke Kitchen.

“The judging team was impressed with all aspects of the superb service and the coffee was unmatched. Best of all Bespoke Kitchen delivered consistent quality in every respect including counter food offerings, reading material and menu choice,” Kerry Tyack says.

Sanctioned by The Restaurant Association of New Zealand, cafés are judged on atmosphere, appearance, their menu, coffee, service and staff interaction.

Supreme winner The Bespoke Kitchen also took out the award for Best Suburban Café while the title for Best Metro/CBD café went to Elizabeth Café & Larder in Tauranga. 

A delicious dish from Best Metro/CBD winner Elizabeth Café and Larder.

There were joint winners of the Best Rural Café with the Red Shed Palazzo in Drury and The Clareville Bakery Café in Carterton taking the honours.  The title of Classic Kiwi café went to Sweet Vanilla Kitchen in Lower Hutt.

The People’s Choice category was won by Nick’s Café in Waiuku south of Auckland.

CEO of The Restaurant Association of New Zealand Marisa Bidois says with record entries this year the competition has been tough.

“The café culture is such a big part of life in New Zealand and our social fibre so it’s wonderful to see such a diverse representation in the finalists. We give our big congratulations to the winners.”

As well as the glory, the supreme 2016 NZ Café of the Year winner takes away a $40,000 editorial package in Dish Magazine, a ‘Great Cafés of Melbourne Tour’ valued at $10,000 and use of a Renault Kangoo for a year.

NZ Café of the Year Winners

  • 2016 Supreme NZ Café of the Year and Best Suburban Café – The Bespoke Kitchen, Queenstown
  • Best Rural – Red Shed Palazzo, Drury and The Clareville Bakery Café, Carterton (joint winners)
  • Best Metro/CBD– Elizabeth Café & Larder, Tauranga
  • Classic Kiwi – Sweet Vanilla Kitchen, Lower Hutt
  • People’s Choice – Nick’s Café, Waiuku, Auckland

More information about the finalist cafés and regional People’s Choice winners can be found on the Top Cafés of New Zealand website. For more information on the 2016 Café of the Year Competition, visit www.nzcafeoftheyear.co.nz

NZ Café of the Year is proudly supported by Meadow Fresh, Heinz Watties, Renault and Dish.