An Akaroa Food Guide
Founded by French settlers in the 19th Century (and swiftly taken away by the British, but that’s a story for once you get there), Akaroa has preserved its heritage and culture even down to the wine and cheese. That’s right, Akaroa is a unique town in the South Island to pick up your morning baguette from the bakery, tour boutique wineries and sample local cheeses. Beyond that, Akaroa and the Banks Peninsula is legendary for its fresh seafood, with plenty of dining options to allow you to sample it.
Plan your getaway to Akaroa with food in mind using this foodie guide to Akaroa!
Things to Do in Akaroa for Foodies
- Experience the Akaroa Farmers’ Market
- Tour the boutique wineries with The Bonjour Wine Tour
- Do a private wine tour of the Akaroa Winery
- Try award-winning cheeses at Barrys Bay Cheese
- Visit the Hikuika Permaculture Hazelnut Farm
- Dine of French cuisine and seafood at Akaroa’s restaurants.
For more details on each experience, see the 6 Things to Do in Akaroa for Foodies.
Food Tours and Activities
In the true spirit of the Akaroa’s French heritage, unsurprisingly, the foodie highlights surround wine and cheese.
Starting with the wine, there are a few boutique wineries on the Banks Peninsula, including Meniscus, French Peak and the Akaroa Winery. Either visit their cellar doors independently during the high season (late-October to April) or make it simple by booking onto The Bonjour Wine Tour. Learn about the geological history of the area that creates the unique terroir of the wines while visiting various boutique wineries. With some tastings, you’ll also get to sample other local artisan treats.
Now onto the cheese, a must-do for foodies on the way to or from Akaroa is stopping by Barrys Bay Cheese. Sample handcrafted award-winning New Zealand cheeses, with some favourites being Havarti, Maasdam, Aged Gouda, Rinded Cheddar and Peninsula Blue. Watch the cheesemakers in action (on weekdays) through the viewing window of their factory shop, where you can also pick up local wines, craft beer, preserves and more.
A comprehensive artisanal experience can be found at the Akaroa Farmers’ Market, happening every Saturday morning between October and April. Browse a wide array of stalls, many adorning French flags, to sample and/or buy locally grown fruit, vegetables, herbs, honey, olive oil, olives, nuts, preserves, pickles, jams, sauces, bread, pastries and more!
For more foodie activities, like touring a winery or hazelnut farm, check out the 6 Things to Do in Akaroa for Foodies.
The Best Restaurants in Akaroa
French cuisine and seafood are the highlights of this little town on the edge of the Pacific Ocean. Some of the foodie highlights for French cuisine include The Little Bistro (33 Rue Lavaud) offering Akaroa’s closest thing to fine dining. You can also pick-up French treats or dine in at the Sweet As Bakery (63 Rue Lavaud) or Kiwi savoury pies or French pate from La Boucherie & Deli (67 Rue Lavaud).
A must-do while in Akaroa is grabbing some super fresh fish and chips from either Murphy’s On The Corner (7 Church Street) or Akaroa Fish and Chips (59 Beach Road) and sitting on the waterfront to eat them. Don’t ask us which one is best, as it’s too close to call.
For a more sophisticated seafood experience, book a table at the popular Ma Maison (2 Rue Jolie), The Trading Rooms Restaurant and Pantry (71 Beach Road) or The Wharf (75 Beach Road).
Breakfast, lunch or coffee meet-ups are best done at the cute Peninsula General Store (40E Rue Lavaud) set among a quirky grocery store. End-of-the-day drinks are best enjoyed at the trendy HarBar Beachfront Cafe (83 Rue Jolie).
For more recommendations, we list more fine dining in The Luxury Guide to Akaroa, romantic restaurants in The Honeymoon Guide to Akaroa and cheap eats in The Guide to Akaroa on a Budget.
Alternative Things to Do in Akaroa
You didn’t think Akaroa was all about eating, did you? The town and the surrounding Banks Peninsula is also a hub for wildlife, particularly marine wildlife that you can enjoy on nature cruises or penguin safaris. There are hiking trails to explore, artistic gardens and more, so check out some of the activities in the 10 Akaroa Must-Dos to get inspired. Some of the activities you could be getting up to include:
- Visiting the largest blue penguin colony in New Zealand
- Sailing the Akaroa Harbour on the Fox II (available on Viator and Tripadvisor)
- Kayaking in the Akaroa Harbour or marine reserves
- Checking out the Akaroa Museum
- Exploring the artistic gardens of The Giant’s House
- Doing stand-up paddleboarding at night with NightSUP
- Hitting the hiking trails of the Hinewai Reserve
- Swimming with Hector’s dolphins
- Doing a scenic nature cruise…
And the list goes on! Get more details on each activity and others in the 10 Akaroa Must-Dos.