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Where to eat in Christchurch – a food and dining guide

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Christchurch’s foodscape is somewhat altered since the 2011 earthquake, with creative cuisine rising to the surface like bubbles of air in a hot sauce. Several classic fine dining restaurants are undisturbed in the city center, while quirky and innovative cafes and eateries have popped up in areas such as Addington and Ferrymead. Sampling local produce is easy, from New Zealand lamb in the city to shrimp and salmon on the coast.

Mike Watt

My Destination local expert on

Christchurch (NZ)

Excluding the famous pavlova – a meringue dessert enjoyed the world over – New Zealand doesn’t particularly have a national dish, preferring instead to adapt other cuisines to local tastes. Freshly caught fish and locally reared lamb are specialties you should definitely try, as well as wine from the nearby Waipara Valley.


City Center


Although many of the restaurants in this central area were badly damaged by the earthquake, it is still a prime destination for fine dining and locally sourced food. Tiffany’s Restaurant, one of the city’s best-loved eateries, features a tranquil riverside lawn and sophisticated regional dishes such as New Zealand rack of lamb and pan fried fresh market fish. Classy restaurant and bar Fiddlesticks offers a premium menu including succulent meat with gluten-free options, while The Lotus Heart is a friendly vegetarian restaurant, catering to every dietary need with Korean-style wraps and tasty Indian dishes.


Tiffany’s Restaurant, 95 Oxford Terrace. Tel: +64 3 379 1350• Fiddlesticks, 48 Worcester Blvd. Tel: +64 3 365 0533• The Lotus Heart, 363 St Asaph Street. Tel: +64 3 377 2727


Riccarton Road


Riccarton Road is an extensive avenue stretching out west from the city center. Densely packed with restaurants from oriental eateries to Indian, American and Italian, this street delivers some of the most diverse and affordable cuisine in the city. Laidback restaurant Arjee Bhajee serves locally influenced Indian cuisine with an option to takeaway, while Saigon Star is a simple yet popular Vietnamese eatery offering fresh seafood dishes and the chance to bring your own drinks.


Arjee Bhajee, 13 Riccarton Road. Tel: +64 3 365 6633• Saigon Star, 184 Clarence Street. Tel: +64 3 348 8879


Addington and Cashmere


These areas south of the city are new hotspots for unpretentious dining and the best coffee in town. The Cup in Cashmere has a slogan of ‘espresso with a view’ – not surprising when the café offers sweeping vistas over Christchurch and beyond. Accompany your fresh coffee with local Akaroa salmon or giant scallops. Closer to the city center, Addington Co-op competes with a popular mix of healthy breakfast dishes and Fairtrade coffee, all served up in the relaxed setting of an old mechanics shop.


  • The Cup, 127 Hackthorne Road. Tel: +64 3 332 1270• Addington Coffee Co-op, 297 Lincoln Road. Tel: +64 3 943 1662




Just outside Christchurch, the harbor town of Lyttleton is worth a visit for its fine seafood restaurants and quirky approach to local cuisine. On the quay, Fisherman’s Wharf is dedicated to bringing seafood ‘from boat to plate’; dine on fresh squid, shrimp and scallops while watching the sea brush the portside. Those wishing to ‘splash out’ can choose Roots – this restaurant has no menu, preferring to serve the best local produce as it is available, in creative and delicious ways. For reasonably priced yet quality grub, head to the styled shipping containers that form the Porthole Bar – a local favorite with tasty platters and live entertainment.


Fisherman’s Wharf, 39 Norwich Quay. Tel: +64 3 328 7530• Roots, 6 London Street. Tel: +64 3 328 7658• Porthole Bar, 40 London Street. Tel: +64 3 328 977