Boundary-pushing chef Ed Verner has opened Alpha at Pasture for breakfast, brunch, lunch and early dinner. As at Pasture and Boxer, guests can expect an immersive experience. Pop in and grab takeaway food or stay for a meal while watching the chefs make bread and experiment in the kitchen. Khyber Pass Road is now home to Fluff, where fluffy bread takes centre stage. Kayla Nong and Michael Nguyen are baking a slightly sweet cross between a Japanese bread and a sourdough that works with savoury and sweet toppings. Meanwhile, Sam Raina has opened Kneads All Day, a café with an in-house bakery that is fast becoming the place for brunch in Hobsonville. It’s the latest from a team with successful offerings such as Rude Boy Deli, Just Like Martha, and Winona Forever. Vegan and vegetarian options abound and house-made sweet treats are mandatory. Chef Georgia van Prehn has opened Alta on K Rd, a small owner-operated venue with an ever-changing four-course set menu. We’re expecting great things as Georgia’s innovative food earned Scotch Wine Bar & Restaurant in Blenheim a prestigious hat at the 2019 Cuisine Good Food Awards.


Chef James Beck has announced the sale of Bistronomy & Vinotech, Hawke’s Bay’s two-hatted restaurant. New owners Sabrina and Jason Brown bring great local and international experience, most recently having been at Elephant Hill.


Moore Wilson’s of Wellington has opened the long-awaited, new Moore Wilson’s Masterton store on Dixon St where you’ll find grocery, frozen foods, fresh produce, meat, cheese, speciality ingredients, artisan products and kitchenware. There are a few surprises too, such as a giant Kiwi chilly bin, 3m by 6m housing a walk-in produce room.


Make sure you explore The Intrepid Hotel on Ghuznee Street on your next Welly trip. Boutique, and a stone’s throw from Cuba Street, this cool new offering occupies the former office and warehouse of Cadbury Chocolate, built in 1909.


QT Queenstown welcomes award-winning chef Ryan Henley, who will lead the food and beverage programme across the hotel’s outlets ,including Bazaar Marketplace, Reds Bar, and a new pop-up restaurant, Lil Red at QT. Ryan arrives at QT Queenstown by way of The George in Christchurch.


Otago-based Sandymount Distillery Gin is making ripples, having claimed two silvers at the New Zealand Spirits Awards. Chapter One Gin and Lover’s Leap Dry Gin are made using foraged native botanicals among other classic ingredients. Currently available in Dunedin liquor stockists or to buy online. Black & Brew is a chic espresso bar and café that opened recently in South Dunedin’s Prince Albert Road, and is breathing more life back into the wonderful old heritage stores in the area. Expect excellent fair-trade coffee and cabinet food. The Dunedin Distillery is a small-batch operation that is, literally, raising spirits from bread. Created by two Dunedin women with no distilling background, its starting range is a London-based gin and a chocolate vodka. It’s also a food-upcycling success story, as the products are fermented from waste bread and bakery products. The team has set up shop in Roberts Street (due to open soon). Comes First Chicken Diner is a casual diner in lower Stuart St. Chicken is served crispy southern USA-style on white bread with pickles, adorned with house-made dips and condiments, but the burgers pack a punch too. The baked potato is making a comeback with the opening of Patate, a casual eatery serving potatoes-to-go inspired by Turkish street food kumpir. The brainchild of Otago University dietetics graduate Aysu Shahin, the business has hit on a winning combination for the health-conscious, but also has plenty of indulgent toppings for more decadent feasts.