Food, glorious food…..it is something we all need and hopefully enjoy, and no longer is today’s consumer happy with something that is bland, boring and and tasteless……today’s consumer demands fresh, innovative food and really good coffee……so what is available to you within 5 minutes of the University of Otago campus? I went for a bit of a stroll today to let you see the food outlets that we think are worth a mention.
Te Mātiti is the University of Otago’s new kid on the block. It is located in the newly refurbished Otago Business School, and offers a range of food and coffee prepared by the University Union, our in house catering and food suppliers. It’s a pretty awesome space within the large open plan ground floor of the business school and large glass windows that look out to the Leith river below make it feel light and airy – plus, they’re a friendly bunch that work here. The University of Otago operations manager was recently awarded a special He Toki award for introducing bilingual signage so that you can order your coffee in te reo – from a mowai (flat white) to a ratei tiai (chai latte) at Te Mātiti and seven of the nine cafes on campus! Ka pai!
Slightly reluctantly the lovely owner of Sushi Station agreed to let me take his picture……he is always on hand with a smile and to open the door for you, and ensures that there is a steady stream of food coming from the busy kitchen. Sushi Station is located on Albany Street, directly opposite our central library and popular choices to takeaway include rice balls, bento boxes, dumplings and pokē bowls. But if you’re wanting something a little more substantial, they have a hot menu that, not that we are into naming names, is very popular with Highlanders Rugby Team and the Volts (our cricket team) players and management and you will often see them dining in at Sushi Station. The decor is cute, with little flower boxes in the window and the queue often extends out onto the footpath, a clear sign this little business is a winner.
Like quite a few things in our little city, Formosa Delight is a very humble looking little cafe from the outside – but do not let this appearance deceive you. Staff and students alike flock to this little cafe in Albany Street that serves up predominantly vegan or vegetarian Taiwanese food. The herbs, salad greens, kale and garlic chives are grown by owner Beatrice Lin (pictured here) in her large organic garden, the eggs are from her free range hens, plus all the food served by Beatrice and her husband is made from scratch. I have had the pleasure of dining here and I can definitely recommend paying this quiet little eatery a visit.
This is another favourite for staff and students, just a block from campus and you’ll find this little stunner. Again, another passionate group of people at Fluid Espresso making the food predominantly from scratch with super fresh ingredients. INCREDIBLE cabinet selection of beautiful sweet treats, but also a really good range of fresh salads, wraps and bagels. Pictured here are their smoothies, and if you’re a coffee drinker apparently these guys know how to make a good brew. They also stock a few small gift items and the space is beautifully decorated and accessorised without being intimidating. Again, awesome and friendly service.
One of Dunedin’s little hidden gems, this tiny cafe could easily be missed if you didn’t know it was there, but the locals know all about it and you’ll see a busy line of people buzzing in and out throughout the day. Again located on Albany Street, the Dispensary Cafe is fresh, great scones (apparently you have to get in early) and slices, light and airy and by all reports provides great coffee……I am not a coffee drinker so I can only go on the feedback of others – my colleagues in the office next door are hooked on the stuff, so if they go there, it must be good.
You’ll find a range of food trucks in Dunedin both on campus and dotted around the city, including these guys ‘Jian bing’ who serve a Chinese savoury crepe, they’re neighbours to ‘Rising Sun Dumplings’ whose $6 for five pork or vegetarian dumplings and fried rice have fuelled many a student during their time at Otago. Plus, Hussey & Laredo are currently around the corner in their sunny yellow caravan and serve up coffee, and locally sourced produce to make their gorgeous haloumi bagels amongst other things. Citizens Food Truck regularly parks up on the museum reserve serving bao buns and loaded fries – yup they’re loaded alright, with cheese or gravy.
The Good Earth Cafe
Another little cafe that attracts the staff and students of the university, the Good Earth Cafe is housed in a typically Dunedin styled old historic building. Once again this cafe provides a warm, friendly vibe and offers a range of organic, free range and made from scratch food. It has little tables for days like today when the sun is shining and provides a comforting country style/home atmosphere with vases of fresh flowers laid out on the mismatched vintage wooden chairs and tables.
So there you have it, the top 7 places to eat around campus, but don’t take our word for it, try them yourself. We have only scratched the surface on eateries in Dunedin, and we will take you on another food journey in a later blog, but rest assured if you are a student or staff member at the University of Otago there is a range of options to satisfy whatever your taste buds are after.
Thanks to Dunedinnz.com for imagery and content on Formosa Delight.
Nicky Richardson is an International Marketing Coordinator at the University of Otago. With degrees in music and marketing, she is a recent graduate of Otago herself – she loves Otago so much she ended up getting a job here!