Whatever reservations you may have about the French, their cuisine is what makes it all worthwhile. Bistro Gentil brings the delights of French gastronomy to the beautiful shores of Lake Wanaka.

“We revisit typical flavour combinations using fresh seasonal ingredients from our kitchen garden and the best of our region. Lumina lamb, Aoraki salmon, Canter Valley duck…”

— Mario Rodrigues, Head Chef

The quaint bistro surrounded by lavender sits just outside of town, offering tranquil lake views and beautiful sunsets. An ideal way to spend your evening.

“Indulge in the classics from our À La Carte menu such as French Onion Soup, Beef Tartare or Crème Brûlée.

Why not spend the day sampling local award-winning wine here at the Maude Tasting Room and book in for dinner.


Bienvenue au Bistro Gentil


  • Chicken liver parfait cigar, quince paste, ash /7
  • Sourdough and Bistro’s compound butter /9
  • Manuka smoked olives /8
  • Rock oyster, shallot mignonette /7
  • Wild mushroom croquette, parsnip puree /11



  • French onion soup, gruyere crouton 13/21



  • Aged beef fillet tartare, radish, egg yolk, soy gel, miso mayo, crispy shallots, croutons /23
  • Burrata, fina seca wagyu, pumpkin seed pesto, edamame, asparagus, viniagrette /25
  • Cranky goat cheese, buckwheat, beetroot, radish, carrot, brown butter vinaigrette /22
  • Earth board, selection of 3 cheeses, house chutney, walnut, croutons, sourdough /35


  • Market Fish, prawns, creamy spinach, harissa, garlic, crispy potatoes /45
  • 200g 55 day aged beef fillet, red onion relish, onion caramel, potato dauphines, Café de Paris butter or blue cheese butter /55
  • Lumina lamb rump, potato galette, courgettes, aubergine puree, sundried tomatoes /45
  • Roasted leek vinaigrette, honey mustard vinaigrette, goat cheese, brown butter croutons, fried capers /38
  • 200g Red Tussocks venison, truffle parsnip puree, red currant, walnuts, beetroot relish, red wine jus /46


  • Signature French fries with truffle salt /14
  • Carrots and parsnip braised in beef fat, cashew, parsley /14
  • Green garden salad, medlar vinaigrette /12
  • Kumara fries, aioli, chives /14


  • Vanilla crème brûlée, peanut crumb, boysenberry sorbet /20
  • Chocolate cremeux, plum meringue, sesame and hazelnut praline, pickled blueberries /20
  • Bistro pavlova, meringue, cream chantilly, strawberry, peach, apricot, blueberries, mint /17
  • Colonel, lime sorbet, vodka Tried & True /17
  • Selection of house made ice cream and sorbets /17
  • Canelé de Bordeaux, French pastry with rum, salted caramel ice cream, chantilly /17
  • Mini bistro desert /8
  • Affogato, vanilla ice cream, espresso, liqueur of choice /23

Feel like a sweet wine?

  • Pegasus Bay Finale Noble Sauv Blanc /18
  • Campbells Rutherglen Muscat /16
    Bon appétit !
  • star rating  We are Wanaka locals and have dined at BG many times over the past 6-8 years. Some time ago, I found that while the food was amazing, it was often... read more

    avatar thumb Ski_Wanaka_NZ
    October 3, 2018
  • star rating  We ate here during our three night stay in Wanaka and it was absolutely delicious. Both dishes were perfectly cooked and delightfully flavoured. Service was relaxed and friendly, a good... read more

    avatar thumb Alex H
    April 15, 2019
  • star rating  We had high expectations and it delivered. First off the wine experience is top notch. The ability to taste all types wines before you get a bottle is... read more

    avatar thumb Pete P
    March 24, 2019
  • star rating  Tasty food, presented well. I felt the sauce on the aged steak masked the flavour of the steak a bit, but apart from that it was good. The proportions of... read more

    avatar thumb 943felixl
    October 25, 2021
  • star rating  There have been a few places we have eaten in that were memorable but this is certainly one of them. Nothing we ate or drank came short of the mark... read more

    avatar thumb B1005OIphiliph
    June 30, 2021
  • star rating  We really enjoyed the food last night which was exceptional. I cannot thank the staff enough for making the night extra special for our engagement and I appreciate the little... read more

    avatar thumb roryk839
    November 18, 2018
  • star rating  Bistro Gentil created the BEST of problems- we wanted to eat more than we knew we could! After some haggling for favorites we had three entrees and two mains with... read more

    avatar thumb curiousgrins
    September 30, 2018
  • star rating  Visitors to Wanaka, Bistro Gentil had been recommended to us by our AirBnb host as somewhere top rate to celebrate our wedding anniversary. Hands down, one of our best... read more

    avatar thumb peter2780
    May 10, 2019
  • star rating  Lovely French restaurant on a hilltop. Probably our best meal in NZ.

    Energetic noise level vs. the quiet candlelight affair I would have expected. Our group had fun... read more

    avatar thumb DanC296
    December 2, 2023
  • star rating  I went here with a group of people for dinner. I had heard great things about the place so was looking forward to trying it for myself. I had the... read more

    June 18, 2019


To make a reservation, simply complete the form below, a credit card registration will be required to confirm your booking. No charge will be made to the card at this stage. In the case of ‘no show’ a $50 fee will be charged to the card. Please refer to our booking policy below. 

For private hire, large groups and special requests email bistrogentilwanaka@gmail.com.

For parties larger than 9 people, we offer a 3 course set menu so we can deliver the best service. Please email us for more details.

If you are unable to make a reservation online call us on 03 443 2299 as we may still have availability.

Please note that the cancellation must be requested 24 hours prior to the reservation time otherwise cancellation charges may apply. When booking we request credit card details via the secure Stripe payment platform in order to confirm the booking.

Bistro Gentil reserves the right to charge a cancellation fee of $50 per head when one of the following conditions has been met:
1. Booking is cancelled with less than 24 hours notice.
2. Guests do not show up for the reservation (bookings will be considered no-show after 30 minutes)
3. Party size is less than the original booking by 2 or more guests without notice.
The cancellation fee will be deducted from the registered card on file and the person responsible for the booking will be notified by email.

A request from us:

If you are unable to honour your reservation or would like to make any changes, please let us know as soon as possible. It is important that we reallocate seats to our waiting list during busy times.

We are a small restaurant, so the amount of staff on in an evening is based on our bookings. We will love you for it!



Opening Hours
Monday to Saturday 6pm till close

Sunday 6.30 pm till close 

To Make a Reservation
Click here

For Inquiries
Ph: 03 443 2299
Email: bistrogentilwanaka@gmail.com