We’re in the middle of summer, and that means it’s time to take full advantage by getting out and enjoying the sun-kissed good times our city can provide. Not sure where to start? Here’s our summer gift to you – a rundown on the city’s top food and drink options for some sunny season goodness. Whether it’s a craft beer with friends on a warm evening, a pleasant drive to a top spot, or a monster ice cream with the kids, you’ve got options for days. Get out there and enjoy your city, Christchurch!
Wok It To Me The newbie Asian street food purveyors are home to Hong Kong-style Bubble Waffles, wrapped around your choice of delicious ice cream (pictured above).
Rollickin’ Gelato Making gelato with only the good stuff, Rollickin’ Gelato serves up not only sensational gelato in flavours like Pop’s Lemon Pie, Peanut Butter & Jelly and Black Forest, but some awesome sorbet too.
Utopia Ice This brand new ice cream shop perfectly positioned in Wakefield Avenue near Sumner Beach takes ice cream seriously, with their own unique, handmade flavours like Blueberry & Peppermint with Dark Chocolate, Coconut & Cacao Nibs. Yum.
Vanilla Ices You’ll find this city legend and its secret recipe (which dates back to 1907!) parked up in its temporary spot outside the Piano on Armagh Street, just up from Victoria Square. Get the raspberry sauce!
Slideys Slideys at The Colombo serve up delectable gourmet sliders like ‘Son Of A Piglet’ (12-hour pulled pork, apple, relish, and coleslaw) and ‘The Birdie’ (chicken with chipotle mayonnaise, red pepper and jalapeno) – try at least two flavours!
Merrin Street Brewery Bar The burgers here are monsters, and there’s one to suit every mood – opt for the classic beef with crispy bacon, cheddar cheese and beer-battered onion rings, or take it offshore with the beer-battered market fish, crisp salad, Swiss cheese and house-made tartare sauce.
Merivale Sprig & Fern There’s more gastro-pub goodness at the new Sprig & Fern, which has an entire range of gourmet burgers. They’re all winners, but we’d especially highlight The Studholme – venison with roasted onions and peppers baked with mozzarella.
Rockstar Pizza & Drink Parlour Rockstar’s classic American cheeseburger (pictured) shouldn’t be missed. Start with Wakanui grass-fed beef pattie, cheese, house pickles, tomato sauce and load it up with extras like bacon and cigar onions to take it next-level.
Friday Afternoon Drinks
No. 4 Bar & Restaurant The combination of No.4’s deck (pictured), beers and legendary ‘No. 4 Plank’ platter have been making Christchurch summers better for years. Tap their Boss’ Shout every Friday for great drinks specials.
Little Neighbourhood An oasis on urban Victoria Street, Little Neighbourhood’s garden-y ambience is perfect to relax in and watch the world go by. Order the crew a couple of their seriously good pizzas and some bubbles or a cocktail.
Fat Eddies The pre-quake jazz bar fave is back! Warm up for live music from 7:30pm with Fat Eddie’s Rum Punch (made with ‘Appleton Signature Blend, fresh lime juice, bitters and sweet love’) and order the table up a charcuterie board.
Vesuvio The tapas Vesuvio fires out from their chargrill are perfect for a summer sharing session; throw in an impressive wine selection, craft beers on tap and live music, and you’ve got a top spot to while away many a pleasant summer hour.
Baretta The Italian-inspired plaza here is the perfect place to chill out with a Peroni and some of their seriously tasty platters and pizzas. Hang around for live music and DJs later on!
Spagalimis Spagalimis has not only got a pizza for the fussiest eater in your whanau (some 30+ varieties in all – and literally everyone loves the chips!), but their central city flagship in Ironside House is also the perfect place for a clan gathering, with the outdoor deck area a top summer spot for a family occasion.
Cocopelli Another top pizza spot with an al fresco option for those warm summer evenings, this Palms fave also offers plenty of a la carte options for those who fancy something a bit different – perhaps a pasta or steak – as well as a dedicated kids’ menu that’s sure to keep your little ones happy.
Café Valentino (pictured) A Christchurch hospo legend for a reason – the food is excellent and the welcome is warm. Their huge range of pizzas and pastas has something for everyone (and is ideal for sharing) and the convivial, bubbly atmosphere is perfect for your big catch-up.
Bamboozle Asian fusion reigns supreme here: head chef Phillip Kraal’s stunning menu of unique dishes is inspired by an innovative mix of oriental and European cuisines and bolstered by a fantastic New Zealand wine list. Add kitchen theatrics from the open kitchen and a chilled cosmopolitan vibe; time to settle in for the night. Can’t decide? Tap the Bamboozle Dog’s Breakfast for a showcase of their culinary expertise.
King of Snake (pictured) Equal measures chic sophistication and rock star swag, King of Snake is a flawless union of slick fit-out, top-of-the-game Asian fusion fare (like the deservedly-famous flavour bomb that is their spinach leaf and the painstakingly prepared crispy pressed half duck), exquisite cocktails (don’t miss the King of Snake!) and über professional service.
Kum Pun Thai Offering intimate dining in a relaxed environment, Kum Pun Thai’s wide variety of classic Thai food and flavours has something for everyone. Gather friends or family for a memorable dinner 7 days, or step up your lunch time in a big way during the working week.
Beats & Eats
Universo Brasserie & Bar’s next-level dining and out-of-this-world cocktails are enhanced with live music on Friday and Sunday afternoons. Head portside to Freemans on sunny Sundays for live jazz on the primo deck space over a platter or authentic Italian-style pizza and pasta. In the central city from Thursday to Sunday, Stranges Lane commences rockin’ with live music aplenty at both the Creole-flavoured Orleans and the urban sophistication of Strange & Co, and at Dux Central (pictured) there’s live sets, DJs and jazz to suit the time of week and enhance your glass of Ginger Tom as you tuck into some delicious shared plates or a platter or pizza.
Untouched World Native Garden Café The extremely pleasant garden at Untouched World is a peaceful escape; bliss out in this calm oasis with breakfast or lunch hits like the warm potato and smoked free-range ham hock salad or simply a fantastic coffee.
Under The Red Verandah When ‘verandah’ is in the name, you know it’s a good place to get some fresh air; the charming courtyard at UTRV is ready and waiting for you to retreat there with some of their top-drawer cabinet food or a tasty item from their breakfast or lunch menus.
Christchurch Adventure Park Perched in pine forest at the foot of the park, the Christchurch Adventure Park’s village café has a giant deck that’s perfect for a relaxing drink or meal whether you’re tackling the Park’s adventures or not!
Dux Dine The sun-drenched verandah and sheltered courtyard garden attached to Dux Dine’s Riccarton villa (pictured) are some of the city’s best spaces to dine outdoors. Wait for good weather, find some good company, then tuck into their legendary seafood and vegetarian dishes any time from morning to night.
The Herb Centre Relax in The Herb Centre’s fragrant herb garden with some of their excellent, summery wholefoods fare – there’s vegan, gluten-free and dairy-free options aplenty as well as a range of drinks perfect for a warm arvo – hydrate with their Lemon Zinger or Elderflower Fizz.
Valley Inn Tavern The Valley Inn Tavern offers a chance to relax in a peaceful courtyard near the same spot where travellers to Lyttelton used to stop to water their horses. Kick back under the stately old pepper trees with a pint of Monteith’s and an antipasto platter and have a chinwag.
Flights Of Fancy
Pescatore Pescatore’s luxurious, modern space in The George plays host to premium seafood dining that’s a cut above (pictured). Opt for the 5 or 7 course degustation menus or their limited menu specials and enjoy what Wine Spectator magazine has labelled one of the finest restaurant wine selections in the world.
Chillingworth Road Chillingworth Road has been turning heads for a while now with the stunning quality of their dining experience. Their degustation-only dining room offers 5, 7 or 9 course options with an array of exciting and ever-changing options that make the most of outstanding local ingredients.
Join the craft beer revolution at these excellent beer bastions around the city.
Pomeroy’s Old Brewery Inn The team at Pom’s continue mid-19th century brewery traditions established by their building’s original owners, Wards Brewery, serving their own Pomeroy’s craft beer on tap alongside some of the country’s top boutique and craft brews and international stars.
Moon Under Water Look out for this brand new establishment in Somerfield Street, a dedicated craft beer bar opening this month and set to rotate 12 taps of the finest craft brews and aiming for a genuinely welcoming feel inspired by European community pub traditions.
Sprig & Fern The award winning Nelson brews are finally available on tap on the regular with the opening of a Merivale branch of their popular brew pubs (yuss) – hit them up in St Albans Street to enjoy classic Sprig & Fern appeal with a Christchurch twist.
Dux Central As serious a beer bar as you’ll find in the city; at their aptly named Brew Bar, you’ll find their own enduring favourites on tap, as well as an enormous selection of other craft beers from New Zealand and around the world – it can be hard to choose!
CBK Beer lovers will definitely find it worth making a little trip north to the satellite town of Kaiapoi to find CBK, the Craft Bar & Kitchen – they curate a collection of some 60 of NZ’s finest craft beers on tap and by the bottle.
Twisted Hop Gastro Pub Discover the Hop’s own outstanding hand-pulled English-style real ales in Woolston, with an ever-changing range of guest beers and ciders on tap keeping things fresh. In addition, they’ve got a wide range of further craft beers from New Zealand and overseas by the bottle or can.
The Brewery The Tannery is home to popular local brewers Cassels & Sons, who brew up award-winning keg beers and real ales on site in a wide variety – up to 12 brews are available all year round, with guest beers and ciders too.
Filleries Grab a rigger and hit craft beer filleries Punky Brewster and Fillosophy. Garth’s Peterson’s passion project in Sydenham, The Beer Library, offers the largest selection of craft beer in the region; you need to investigate!
Pegasus Bay (pictured) There’s accolades galore for this North Canterbury fave, which pairs local ingredients with their equally-lauded wines. Select your wine to lunch with after a tasting, or leave it to the experts and enjoy the professionally-paired suggestion from the menu.
Waipara Hills Making the most of views of verdant vineyards and lush hillsides, Waipara Hills’ iconic building is the region’s home of rich aromatic wines, including chardonnay, pinot gris, riesling, sauvignon blanc and pinot noir, plus tasty bistro-style meals.
Black Estate The family at Black Estate turn out gong-collecting wines from organic and biodynamic handpicked fruit. Their funky hilltop Tasting Room & Eatery rocks killer views and fine, locally sourced fare.
Uncommon Melding Melbourne cool with swag for days, Uncommon serves up some seriously tasty café eats, including the famous breakfast board, which features their slow-poached eggs.
Little Pom’s (pictured) Little Pom’s has rightly carved out a name for itself as an epic brunch spot. Their tasty and nutritious fare features go-to brunch offerings that include the sensational Little Pom’s Benny.
Café Raeward Café Raeward whips top ingredients from next-door Raeward Fresh into the likes of their poached free-range eggs on Turkish bread with avocado, basil, and dukkah; now that’s breakfast.
Unknown Chapter Coffee Roasters Effortless cool prevails here: try the French toast with berry marscarpone-filled brioche and free range bacon, yoghurt, and berry compote, all shined off with maple syrup and toasted almonds.
Hello Sunday This former church on Elgin Street in Sydenham now offers some of the city’s finest brunch offerings. Expect inspired seasonal eats that are so good that if you’re not in early (or later in the day) it’s likely you’ll be waiting (but it’s worth it!).
Mona Vale Homestead & Pantry combines history and towering tiers of gourmet goodies (pictured); its gorgeous Fendalton gardens are the perfectly English spot in which to enjoy them. Market Place at the Crowne Plaza Christchurch too take tea to new heights, with their own pearl-clutchingly glamorous high teas; think premium T2 teas and/or Te Hana Reserve Bubbles with dainty sandwiches, golden pastries and exquisite confections.