Canterbury Christchurch Destinations

5th Street

The welcome mat is out at this eatery in a warehouse-like space made homely with plants and colourful, comfortable furnishings. Settle in for a night of deliciousness with small, medium and large sharing plates to ensure that everyone gets a little of what they fancy. The cocktails also hit the spot.

5 Elgin St, Sydenham, Christchurch /
03 365 9667 /

Cuisine Favourite Destination

Bar Yoku

You’ll need more than one visit to explore the options at this cosy izakaya, which serves Japanese food with a twist. There’s an intimate atmosphere in the restaurant but also a courtyard and bar where you can eat with a view of the coals. The beverage list has a fittingly Japanese slant. Kanpai!

20 Welles St, Christchurch /
03 365 1055 /

Cuisine Global Destination

Cellar Door

If you’ve never visited the Christchurch Arts Centre, here’s the perfect excuse. A mammoth wine list (ask for the friendly sommeliers’ advice) teams with beautifully balanced local fare. Curd nerds will bubble over with joy at the huge offering of handmade cheeses from New Zealand and further afield.

1 Hereford St, Christchurch /
03 925 8497 /

Cuisine Favourite Destination


Having a bit of fun is the central premise of the menu. An open kitchen with simple food, done well, and a relaxed vibe. Bistro classics such as house-made gnocchi, market fish and dry-aged rib eye are a feature but the desserts are a divine alchemy that prove sometimes the best comes last.

128 Lichfield St, Christchurch /
03 365 1147 /

Cuisine Favourite Destination

Eliza’s Manor

This boutique five-star hotel restaurant serves up the goods from a bountiful backyard, including vegetables and micro-herbs from the garden and honey from their own beehives. Fine-dining dishes feature ingredients (think stone fruit, nuts and wild greens) foraged across the city. For a special treat, book in for high tea.

82 Bealey Ave, Christchurch /
03 366 8584 /


This bijou little place supports farmers, fishers and artisans with a creative, ever-changing menu that has organic ideals and sustainable philosophies at its core. No surprise then that the drinks list is dedicated to natural wines. The team is also paid a living wage (or higher) – something to raise a glass to.

5/2 Papanui Rd, Merivale, Christchurch
0210 293 5641 /

Cuisine Favourite Destination

Gin Gin

Anywhere named after one of our favourite tipples – twice – has to be worth a look and this cocktail bar and kitchen mixes whimsy and the wow factor in equal measure. Pink-banquette seating, tasselled pendants and a showstopper bar are a slam of glamour while the sharing plates and pizzettas are delicious.

4-6 New Regent St, Christchurch /
03 365 1560 /

King of Snake

The crowning glory of this Asian-fusion restaurant might be its elevated location alongside the Avon River. Or it might be the award-winning hospitality. Or the awesome food. Or the exotic bar with its classy cocktail menu. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to find out.

Level 1, 79 Cashel St, Christchurch /
03 365 7363 /

Twenty Seven Steps

Count the stairs to this 1st-floor eatery and you’ll find that, yes, there are 27 of them. The climb is worth the effort: a casual ambience, flawless service and hearty food. No fussing around with which side dish to order – each plate is a balanced meal. Only wines the owners love make it onto the list.

16 New Regent St, Christchurch /
03 366 2727 /

Cuisine Favourite Destination


Black Rabbit Pizza

It’s not traditional to eat pizza in the crayfish capital of Aotearoa, but make an exception because the toppings here, as the name suggests, are unconventional – and unmissable. It’s game-on with roasted goat, kangaroo, pulled pork and wild rabbit loan dished up on a crispy, thin base. Wild…and wonderful. 

17 Beach Rd, Kaikōura /
03 319 6360 / 

Cuisine Favourite Destination

Flo & Co Café

Just what the doctor ordered: a neighbourhood favourite where the egg sammies ooze with golden deliciousness, the cabinet is plump with the agony of choice and the kimchi pancakes hit the spot – every time. Open for breakfast and lunch, a daily visit to Flo’s place is almost compulsory. 

13A West End, Kaikōura
03 319 2812 /

Sime’s Kitchen

Small-town eateries, of necessity, need to be big on flexibility and this one has the bases covered: legendary breakfasts; lunches that pack a punch; and on Friday and Saturday evenings the dinner dishes (kingfish Thai style, karaage chicken and braised beef brisket) have their time to shine. 

33 Beach Rd, Kaikōura /
03 261 1170 /
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Cuisine Favourite Destination

Slam Club

In these parts, to ‘slam’ means to ‘lower’ (mainly reserved for vehicles) and while the ‘club’ is named after an upcycled bicycle that got the treatment, the standards of the sandwiches have, conversely, been raised. Pop in for a not-so-humble toastie and a great coffee. Dinnertime, the wild and local fare is a slam-dunk.

10 West End, Kaikōura /
022 512 0442 /

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