The Best Food Experiences and Places to Eat in Christchurch
A cultural hub on the South Island, Christchurch offers the most diversity when it comes to food tours, activities and restaurants on the South Island. From the earthy flavours of a traditional Maori “hāngi” to cooking your own Asian cuisine, Christchurch makes sure that your visit is more than just about eating. Combine the food tours and market visits with a stay in one of the city’s renowned hotels featuring their own dining or situated nearby a bustling restaurant scene. That way, you have the perfect foodie getaway to Christchurch. Plan yours with this complete food guide to Christchurch, including the top cafes, restaurants and places to eat.
The 10 Best Places to Eat in Christchurch
What are the best places to eat in Christchurch? Here’s our ultimate list of the best restaurants and cafes with something for all tastes and budgets.
- 5th Street (5 Elgin Street, Sydenham)
- Kinji (279B Greers Road, Bryndwr)
- Unknown Chapter Coffee Roasters (254 Saint Asaph Street)
- Jaba Grill & Bar (2/150 Lichfield Street)
- Barefoot Eatery (20 Welles Street)
- Twenty Seven Steps (16 New Regent Street)
- Rollickin Dessert Cafe (35 New Regent Street)
- Story (8 New Regent Street)
- Greater Good (105 Orbell Street)
- Chillingworth Road (478 Cranford Road)
Scroll down to “About The Best Places to Eat in Christchurch” to learn more about our top picks!
The Best Food Tours in Christchurch
Whether you crave New Zealand wine, tour the local markets or do something unusual like truffle hunting, Christchurch is bound to have a food tour or activity to suit your palette.
Waipara Wine Tours
Explore one of the South Island’s most underrated wine regions, the Waipara Valley, with one of the wine tours from Christchurch. You’ll be picked up from your accommodation and enjoy a 45-minute journey to the Waipara wine region, getting insights about the landscapes and small towns you pass through along the way. Wine tours typically visit around four specially-selected boutique wineries, either your guide’s favourites or ones curated to fit your group’s taste.
Riverside Kitchen Cooking Class
For a more hands-on experience than simply going to a restaurant, learn to make your own delectable dishes at one of Christchurch’s cooking classes. A popular go-to is the Riverside Kitchen (40/100 Oxford Terrace), offering a lively calendar covering all sorts of cuisines in their modern venue upstairs at the Riverside Market. Classes begin with a demonstration followed by the opportunity to spruce up some dishes for yourself with guidance from professional chefs. All classes also include a three-course meal paired with New Zealand wine.
While we list a lot more food tours and experiences in the 10 Things to Do in Christchurch for Foodies, something that’s free to attend is the farmers’ markets. In Christchurch, you have plenty to choose from, whether it’s the Christchurch Farmers’ Market (16 Kahu Road, Fendalton) on a Saturday morning or Riccarton Markets (165 Racecourse Road, Broomfield) on a Sunday morning. The Lyttelton Farmers’ Market (London Street, Lyttelton) is one of the region’s most renowned markets and a great opportunity to explore this cool little harbour suburb on a Saturday.
Finally, if you’re not visiting on a weekend, then head to the Riverside Market (96 Oxford Terrace) which is an indoor market venue in the city centre, which is open seven days a week.
More Food Tours in Christchurch
- Enjoy fine dining while touring on the Christchurch Tramway Restaurant
- Join a craft beer tour with Cheeky Wine Tours
- Learn a new recipe and the Asian Garden Cooking School
- Taste and tour The Spirits Workshop Distillery
- Join the truffle hunt between June and August with King Truffles
- Be treated to a bespoke picnic with Christchurch Luxury Picnics.
For more details on each experience, see the 10 Foodie Experiences in Christchurch.
The Best Places to Eat in Christchurch
After discovering Christchurch’s dining scene, you’ll wish you were a local. But since you’re probably on limited time in the city, here are some of our top recommendations for restaurants in Christchurch.
The Best Local Restaurants in Christchurch
Situated upstairs on the colourful and trendy New Regent Street, Twenty Seven Steps (16 New Regent Street) specialises in the fresh and the seasonal ingredients transformed into hearty meals. On the same street, find Story (8 New Regent Street) offering an intimate dining experience with a three- or two-course set menus reflecting seasonal ingredients.
In the same vein, Gatherings (5/2 Papanui Road, Merivale) showcases Canterbury produce with a focus on mindful eating with ethically and locally sourced ingredients and even the furniture made from recycled wood.
Elsewhere in the city, enjoy the atmospheric dining room and plush seating of The Monday Room (161 High Street) serving New Zealand cuisine.
Some other noteworthy mentions include the ever-popular 5th Street (5 Elgin Street, Sydenham) for its New Zealand and international cuisine made with love and Jaba Grill & Bar (2/150 Lichfield Street) for its charcoal-grilled steaks and ribs.
The Best International Restaurants in Christchurch
Needless to say, Christchurch is a melting pot of cultures with a few international gems in the dining scene, such as the acclaimed Kinji (279B Greers Road, Bryndwr) and Zen Sushi and Dumplings (301 Montreal Street) serving fresh and flavourful Japanese cuisine.
Discover New Zealand’s love for American-style gourmet burgers at The Burger Bar (255 Saint Asaph Street) or their love for Thai food at Thai Orchid (21 Riccarton Road).
A good go-to for international dining is “The Terrace” along the Avon River for an array of restaurants, such as Delilah (122 Oxford Street) for its European-style sharing plates, Amaterrace (134 Oxford Terrace) for a Japanese teppanyaki experience, or Amazonita (126 Oxford Terrace) for charcoal-grilled cuisine combined with creative cocktails. These restaurants also have a romantic flair, which is why they also feature in The Honeymoon & Romantic Getaway Guide to Christchurch.
The Best Fine Dining Restaurants in Christchurch
Inati (48 Hereford Street) is a fine dining restaurant with cuisine designed to be shared. Showcasing quality Canterbury cuisine, the menu dips into the earth, land and sea for a comprehensive gastronomical experience.
Impeccably-presented plates in a restaurant adorned in fabric draping down the walls, Chillingworth Road (478 Cranford Road) offers a European bistro experience in elegance.
The Best Cafes in Christchurch
And, if you need something to do during the morning or afternoon, you can always rely on one of Christchurch’s cafes. Some noteworthy mentions include Little Pom’s (294 Kilmore Street) for its brunch staples with a creative twist, Black Betty Cafe (165 Madras Street) for its array of coffee brew methods, and Unknown Chapter Coffee Roasters (254 Saint Asaph Street) for its stylish light-filled space and in-house roasted coffee. Plus, don’t miss Barefoot Eatery (20 Welles Street) for its impressive plates that are plant-based, dairy-free, gluten-free, refined sugar-free and free of any additives but so damn tasty!
Outside of the city centre, Hello Sunday (6 Elgin Street, Sydenham) has one of the most unique and diverse brunch menus in the city, while Addington Coffee Co-op (297 Lincoln Road, Addington) roasts its own fairtrade coffee and offers ethically-minded eating.
The Best Dessert Restaurants in Christchurch
If there’s one place for dessert in Christchurch, it’s the punchy Rollickin Dessert Cafe (35 New Regent Street) for, ya know, the ice cream and sweet treats – open every day for fun and late night for dessert dates.
The Best Cheap Eats in Christchurch
Every city has its set of eateries that won’t break the bank and Christchurch is no different. Try the best souvlaki from Dimitris Greek Food (96 Oxford Street), tantalise your tastebuds with Moroccan food from Mosaic by Simo (No. 3/300 Lincoln Road, Addington), demolish an oversized gourmet burger from Slick Burgers (254 Ferry Road, Phillipstown) and much more.
Finally, don’t miss the plant-based deli of Greater Good (105 Orbell Street) boasting bistro-style cuisine in the form of burgers, soups, antipasto platters, loaded fries and ciabattas for a reasonable price.
Check out our Cheap Eats in Christchurch for places to go.
Alternative Things to Do in Christchurch
Although it might be hard to believe after reading this food guide to Christchurch, there are things to do in the city that don’t involve food. Shocking, we know! We recommend complementing your foodie getaway with some of the other must-dos in Christchurch, including:
- Wandering around the Botanic Gardens and Hagley Park
- Checking out the Christchurch Art Gallery
- Hiking or mountain biking in the Port Hills
- Strolling, punting or a waka paddling tour alongside the Avon River
- Riding the TranzAlpine
- Riding the Christchurch Hop-On Hop-Off Tram (more info on Viator and Klook)
- Fly over the city on a giant zipline at the Christchurch Adventure Park
- Experiencing the Poles at the International Antarctic Centre…
… And much more! For more details on each, check out the 45 Best Things to Do in Christchurch.
More About Food in Christchurch
That’s it for our food guide to Christchurch. For more advice not necessarily related to food but useful nonetheless, take a look at these guides
- 10 Things to Do in Christchurch at Night
- 26 Free & Cheap Things to Do in Christchurch
- 10 Christchurch Travel Tips for First-Timers
Finally, if there’s anything we’ve missed, you’re likely to find it in The Complete Travel Guide to Christchurch.