Whether you’re looking for rural or city, basic or boutique, Producing an abundance of fresh and artisan food, and scattered with vineyards and breweries, New Zealand offers a rich and flavoursome dining experience.
Food here is of a very high standard, with every imaginable cuisine represented. Cafes open mornings from around 7am and usually close after lunch, though some have evening menus. Reliable chains like The Coffee Club are easy to find in every major town - www.thecoffeeclub.co.nz Restaurants open from 5pm, but often close earlier than in countries such as Spain, especially in the smaller centres. Breakfast or lunch in a café will cost $15 - 20, while a main meal for dinner at a mid range restaurant will cost $30 - 40.
The Coffee Club
The temperate climate, fertile soil and a pristine ocean provide New Zealand chefs with top quality ingredients to create an innovative cuisine that has international influence. Find excellent examples across the country, in main cities and the smaller towns between. Often your meal will come with a breath-taking view.
Giapo Ice Cream, Auckland
New Zealand’s ten recognised wine regions are Northland, Auckland (including Waiheke Island), Waikato, Bay of Plenty, Gisborne, Hawke’s Bay, Wairarapa, Nelson, Marlborough, Canterbury, Waipara and Central Otago. Each region produces self-guided “wine trail” maps. Alternatively you can devise your own outing, or join an organised wine tour.
Varying climate and terrain means each region has its signature varieties – for example, Marlborough is renowned for Sauvignon Blanc; Gisborne for Chardonnay; Hawke’s Bay for Claret-style reds; Central Otago for Pinot Noir, etc. – but there are no hard-and-fast rules to finding a great wine.
Bring-Your-Own. A BYO sign on a restaurant means you can Bring-Your-Own bottle of wine, paying only a small corkage charge.
- Visitors will find supermarkets in every major town. New World, Countdown, and Pak' N Save are the largest chains and all offer petrol discount vouchers when you spend over a certain amount, usually $50, with some cards such as the AA SmartFuel card allowing you to earn points at other retailers. New World also offer a special Tourist Club Deals Card for travellers.
- Many towns have Farmer’s Markets, usually held early on a Saturday morning, where local growers and artisan producers sell their wares from a trestle table. Here the vegetables are as cheap as they are fresh. There are plenty of opportunities to splurge on nuts, honey, chocolates or cider. Free samples abound! Grab a coffee and take your time strolling, tasting and people watching. A list of Farmer’s Markets can be found at www.farmersmarkets.org.nz
Header Image: Skyline Queenstown