Calling all foodies! New Zealand’s table is waiting and there’s a place setting with your name on it.
Put simply, New Zealand is a haven for food lovers – bursting with modern dishes, while appreciating the traditional cooking techniques that paved the way.
When you cross the Tasman, you’ll find specialty coffee pouring from laneways, award-winning restaurants nestled in seaside towns, and green havens in the city centre, all celebrating the best of farm to fork cuisine.
To help you navigate your next epicurean adventure, get to know New Zealand with this foodie’s guide.
Enjoy a cosy evening at Ada inside Grey Lynn
Tucked inside the lush Convent Hotel, you’ll find Ada.
The industrial-luxe space highlights the original 1922 architecture with curved archways, exposed brick, and a glass-roofed atrium above the dining area.
Head chef Hayden Phiskie has crafted up an Italian-inspired menu of share plates, pasta, pizza, and their current trending item, the pizza frittata.
You don’t need to be staying in the hotel to dine at Ada, they even have allocated seating each night to allow for walk-ins.
Where: The Convent Hotel, 454 Great North Road Grey Lynn, Auckland.
Find the best local produce at Ortolana
From farm to table, Ortolana has teamed up with local growers to create a farm-fresh seasonal menu. This Italian-inspired bistro located in the heart of Britomart aims to transport the garden into the city.
Step into their sun-filled courtyard by day or dine under their dreamy fairy-lights by night for a tantalizing meal sourced out of their market garden.
Where: 33 Tyler St, Britomart, Auckland
Get your fix of fresh bread and pastries at Daily Bread
Close your eyes and picture soft sourdough with a heavy, caramelised crust, golden pastries that are soft and buttery, and luscious warm doughnuts filled with vanilla mascarpone cream and blackcurrant jam.
Put down your Google search for heavenly realms and let us present to you - Daily Bread.
You’ll find this bakery deli throughout Auckland, so you best stop by at least once.
Where: 1210 Great North Road, Point Chevalier | 108 Ponsbory Road, Grey Lynn | 8/10 Morrow Street, Newmarket |33 Federal Street, CBD, Auckland | 30 Customes Street East, Britomart |43 Eversleigh Road, Auckland
Explore a modern take on traditional Māori cuisine at Hiakai
If you hadn’t already planned a visit to Hiakai, add it to your list now.
With a menu inspired by the land, sea, and people of Aotearoa, this restaurant is named among Lonely Planet's top travel picks for 2021.
Hiakai, meaning hungry or having a desire, need, craving for food in Māori showcases not just the best of their cultural cuisine, it encompasses the warm and welcoming manaakitanga (Māori hospitality).
The menu at Haikai keeps Māori and Polynesian food culture alive through the exploration of native ingredients and modern cooking techniques as well as their relation to Māori myths and legends.
Where: 40 Wallace Street, Mt Cook, Wellington
Head to Giapo and taste the Colossal (ice cream) Squid
Forget everything that you know about ‘ice cream’ and get ready for your favourite frosty dessert to be reimagined at Giapo.
The team at Giapo’s whip up Instagrammable ice cream creations, including their very own selfie cone.
As a celebration of selfie culture, the cone consists of a rectangular frame hand-decorated and glued to a waffle cone using chocolate, giving you the perfect frame to take your selfie through.
Make sure you try one of their more extravagant ice creams, inspired by Te Papa’s world-famous Colossal Squid.
Where: 12 Gore St, Auckland City, Auckland
Discover the catch of the day at Fleur’s Place
Move over farm to fork, and get ready for trawler to table when Fleur’s Place dishes up fresh fish straight from Moeraki Bay.
What isn’t sourced directly from the bay is foraged by small organic growers, meaning the menu reflects seasonal harvests.
You’ll find Fleur’s Place on the edge of the water in front of an old jetty in the quaint little fishing village of Moeraki off the Otago coast.
Where: At the Old Jetty, Moeraki, Otago
Rest your sea legs at PLATO for a meal and some house-brewed beers
Formerly a hostel for seamen, this retro eatery is run by father and daughter duo, Nigel and Rose Broad.
Plato’s seasonal menu is filled with fresh and locally-sourced ingredients and, being on the Dunedin harbour, the best of South Island seafood.
Lacking no personality, you’ll find bookshelves lined with ceramic and plastic knick-knacks, vintage jugs, and antiques all part of their quirky charm.
Be sure to check out their beers on-tap for seasonal blends from their on-site microbrewery, Birch Street Brewery, which is run out of the old seafarers’ laundry room, or pair your meal with a bottle of their Plato wine.
Where: 2 Birch Street, Dunedin. (Look out for the blue ‘Seafarers Hostel’ sign)
You’d hardly be visiting Queenstown without taking a trip to Fergburger and Fergbaker
The title of ‘best burger joint on the planet’ is not thrown around lightly, but Fergburger wears the crown.
Open for 21 hours, from 8am – 5am, with over 20 different burgers, Fergburger has a cult-like following, worthy of such a title.
Head next door to the adjoining Fregbaker for a selection of pies, pastries, cakes, sandwiches, and fresh bread.
Open from 6am – 4.30am, you’ll never have to make a mad dash before the bakery closes to pick up supplies again.
Where: 40 and 42 Shotover Street, Queenstown
Indulge yourself at Patagonia
Treat yourself to Patagonia ice creamery and chocolaterie for mouth-wateringly good desserts.
Paying homage to their South American and Italian roots, Patagonia serves up artisan ice cream, sorbet, and frozen yoghurt in handmade waffle cones.
If you’re after something a little richer, try their handcrafted chocolates, blended with ingredients like sun-ripened apricots, aromatic citrus peels, Mexican chilli, juicy figs, and delicate rose petals.
You’ll even find them in Queenstown Airport so you can stock up before flying out.
Where: 31 Ramshaw Lane, Arrowtown | 2 Rees Street, Cnr of the Mall, Queenstown |155 Ardmore Street, Wanaka |Sir Henry Wigley Drive, Frankton (Queenstown Airport)
Take a trip down memory lane at The Remarkable Sweet Shop
When was the last time you walked into a lolly shop?
If it’s been too long, The Remarkable Sweet Shop will make up for lost time as you take your taste buds on a nostalgic journey with confectionary and chocolate from all over the world.
You’ll even be able to sample new flavours of their fudge released each month, before picking up a selection of your favourites to take home.
Where: 39 Beach Street Queenstown |27 Buckingham Street, Arrowtown | Sir Henry Wrigley Drive, Frankton, Queenstown Airport
Delve into Riverstone Kitchen’s seasonal share menu
They don’t come more authentic than Riverstone Kitchen’s New Zealand farm-to-table fare share menu, set in the paddock of their family farm.
Focusing on seasonal produce the menu at Riverstone Kitchen is ever-changing to reflect the seasons, making the most of ingredients at their peak.
You’ll often find Bevan and Monique Smith picking herbs and harvesting vegetables from the surrounding gardens and organic orchards, providing a daily supply of fresh produce.
Where: 1431 State Highway 1, Road 5h, Oamaru
Head to The Cow – Pizza and Spaghetti House, a Queenstown staple
Fancy a meal inside a restored stone barn, historically used for daily milking?
Well, that’s exactly what you’ll find at The Cow – Pizza and Spaghetti House, minus the cows.
The Cow has remained open since 1977, and their menu has remained unchanged so you can enjoy the same hand-rolled pizzas and spaghetti dishes each time you visit, even if that was over 40 years ago.
Where: Cow Lane, Queenstown as well as 33 Ardmore Street, Wanaka
What else is cooking?
While New Zealand might only be three hours away, it’s got its own specialties. Hokey Pokey ice cream anyone?
Take jaffas for instance, the sugar-coated, orange flavoured chocolate balls are so popular that there is an annual charity event that involves thousands of jaffas being released in a race down the steepest street in New Zealand.
Make sure you order a kiwi burger at least once, and of course, you can’t go wrong with anything that’s sourced from the ocean.
If you’re feeling adventurous try kina, a delicacy that involves the edible inside of a sea urchin, otherwise keep an eye out for fresh crayfish.
Make sure you immerse yourself into an authentic experience of Māori and Polynesian descent by trying a traditional hāngī – a cooking technique that involves cooking food underground through steam.
For a taste of culture, visit living Māori villages like Whakarewarewa home of the Tūhourangi Ngāti Wāhiao people, Tamaki Māori Village or Te Puia, who will gladly welcome you into their cultural way of eating.
PLAN YOUR TRAVEL
BEFORE YOUR FLIGHT
It may have been a while since you last flew overseas. It's a fantastic time to remember the basics of international travel as well as learn about what's changed.
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