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Nov/Dec in Christchurch - where to eat ?

My title says it all, DH and I will be in Christchurch for about 10 days in late November/early December and no NOTHING about the city - any suggestions for foodies that will be kid free for the 1st time in 4 years?


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  1. speights..........all youll need

    1 Reply
    1. re: brady73

      Thanks for the reply but I'm not sure I understood -can you explain?


    2. it's the local beer....but you may need something a bit warmer at this time of year

      1 Reply
      1. re: brady73

        We're not really big drinkers particularly of beer - any food suggestions?


      2. We had a lot of good food in Christchurch a few years ago, but I would hesitate to recommend anything in particular as it has been awhile.

        Good food is easy to find, my only difficulty was finding spicy food. After 14 hours on a plane I was looking for somthing to clear my head, next time I'll bring my own Tobasco.

        1. Do not, I repeat do NOT, drink Speights. The local motto in NZ is "Drink Speights, lose your mates". By the same token, stay away from Lion Red (if they still make it). Try the local wines and small brewery beers (Monteiths is a personal favourite).

          The range and quality of restaurants in ChCh has dramatically improved over the last few years (the LoTR factor, I guess). There are a lot of nice bistros by the Avon River along Oxford Tce in the downtown area - start there and pick up recommendations as you go. If you like south asian food, there's a small chain of restaurants called "Two Fat Indians" - we ate there twice on our last visit back and thoroughly enjoyed the food, atmostphere and service.

          We're going back for another short visit next year - let me know if you've got any tips!

          1. Hi Tara,
            fortunately, Christchurch's dining scene has improved considerably over the past 2 years.
            There's now a decent restaurant for most cuisines and to get an overview, I'd suggest 2 review sites that come in handy for planning:
            - DineOut ( http://www.dineout.co.nz ) has a decent amount of reviews and although single reviews aren't always reliable, you can see a trend.
            - Time2Dine ( http://forums.time2dine.co.nz ) is a similare affair, but the reviews are strongly centered around our biggest city Auckland.

            But personal experience is always the best guide, so I'll share my experiences with you.

            Italian: there's a great place on Tuam St. I forgot the name, but they also have a store with mediterrenean food items. Great for pizza.

            Souvlaki (I know, more a fast food dish, but this one is worth checking out): Samy's on Riccarton Road. Easily the best "cheap" option in town!

            Japanese Teppanyaki: Tony's ( http://www.at-tonys.co.nz ), also on Riccarton Road. Great on Tuesday and Thursday nights for their $30 All-You-Can-Eat!

            Something different to end with: Ya-Ya House of Excellent Teas ( http://www.yayateahouse.co.nz ) is a fairly new place devoted to tea. Great selection of teas, beautiful place.

            Well, I hope that get's you started. If you have 10 days to spend in Christchurch, you'll have plenty of time to explore the local 'scene'.


            1 Reply
            1. re: bobby.b

              Another really good restaurants guide is MenuMania http://www.menumania.co.nz. You can easily search for restaurants anywhere in NZ by region, city/town, suburb and cuisine and you can view restaurant opening hours, features/facilities, menus, maps, etc.

            2. I grew up in CHCH but have not been back for 4 years. Not sure what has been improved but I would rather advice you to stay away from any Vietnamese restaurants there.

              I have not heared any good news from my bros/sis either.

              For lunch, simple fish-n-chip is great. I have not be able to find any decent fish-n-chip or good simple pie places over here in Texas yet.

              1. Hi Tara,

                Here's my top

                French le Bon Bolli opposite the art gallery...good food if a little pretentious
                Morrocan Simos in cashel mall, quiet, conservative
                NZ Contemporary Fare try Barcelona, great food, fun and lively
                Pizza...delivery, try Hell Gourmet Pizza...
                Fish and Chips well for my bucks you need to travel to Akaroa, for the best fish and chips in CHCH , where you can sit by the sea...finger lickin scumptious fish, with these battered chips which are worth a try!!!!!
                For South East Asian cuisine You have to go to THe Bodim Tree at the east end of Colombo Street. It's superb! The best restaurant in ChCH in my book, quaint, informal with food that rocks.
                Beer is good opposite the art gallery and has a vegetarian restaurant there as well...my favorite brew is Monteiths Original.
                Lamb is best had at Hays Restaurant on Colombo Street.

                Best coffee is on Victoria at the SOuth end, go to C4...great coffee, and good NZ fashion close by.

                Best department Store cafe is Ballantynes, on Colombo.

                Best wine and food matching is at a restaurant on the corner of Colombo and Bealy Avenue called sAGGIO DE vINO. They have NZ truffles on the menu there too.

                Best steak is NY Steak House in Victoria near Saggios.

                I could keep going but I wont...by the way don't go to Two Fat Indians, the chefs are dodgy, two chefs recently went to court for raping a waitress there...yeah, sad but true file.

                Yours truly,

                3 Replies
                1. re: kiwichef

                  Oh, ick! Crossing Two Fat Indians off the list, then. Thanks for the heads up.

                  Never tried the cafe at Ballantynes, but I can't stand that store; pretentious atmosphere, rude/snotty staff, ho-hum products, and inflated prices. I'd avoid them.

                  1. re: artgeek

                    wow, lambasting Ballantynes, how rude!! I'm joking, I agree partially withg your comments about the staff, however they stock great products for farmers!

                    1. re: kiwichef

                      Sorry, that's what comes of being raised by socialists! :-)

                2. Tara

                  I forgot The George Hotel near Hagley park has a restaurant called the Pescatore which is highly rated as one of NZ's best fine dining restaurants. Definitely worth a visit. It's also a lovely place to stay.



                  1. Oh Criky

                    I think I've given you a bum steer..the South East Asian Restaurant I mentioned I think is The Bodai Tree...sorry I really can't remember...hang on I'll look it up, won't be long...its Bodhai Tree...thre u go

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: kiwichef

                      Not sure if we totally agree with all the above suggestions (especially the Speights... Marc Ellis has it right)

                      Our suggestions would be:

                      Mulberry Restaurant. Located on Columbo Street, we had an absolutely gorgeous feast here in Feb this year. Our best meal in New Zealand this year.

                      Rotherhams of Riccarton. An old favourite of ours and if you visit one place, this is probably it. Stunning food, good service, wine list to die for but can very rich and opulent (Martin the chef is Swiss) and the menu hardly ever changes, so we only go once in a blue moon.

                      Mythai Monkey Bar. A 'hot' little Thai place just off the Christchurch strip (a small street with banks of bars).

                      Indochine. The best Asian Fusion we've experienced in the South Island.

                      As ever, check out www.cuisine.co.nz (and no, we are not on commission - perhaps we should be).


                      1. re: megandavid

                        Thanks to all for the advice. DH & I were there in November (yah, we've got kids so I don't get on here that often) & had a great time. Our best find chowhound wise was the Asian food court. A stand alone mall like food court that has about 10 different stalls & we had great food at all of them. Must 2nd the fish & chips in Akaroa, great food, great scenery great weather can't beat it! Le bon bolli also was great. To all of you from NZ thank you for such a great reception in your country. We loved it so much we'll be back & if we could find a way we would move there!

                        yep,. we had that much fun!

                    2. I just went to the Pegasus Bay Winery and Restaurant on the weekend and was most impressed by the food. It is about 45 minutes out of Christchurch but it's well worth the trip.

                      I've added the place in with a link below. Local Kiwis might have more on the local knowledge of this place as I was visiting from Australia.

                      Pegasus Bay Winery and Restaurant
                      Stockgrove Rd, Amberley, Canterbury 7482, New Zealand , NZ

                      4 Replies
                      1. re: cankles

                        i think christchurch is a foodies heaven. but as the original poster has been and gone i shan't go into that.

                        1. re: kmh

                          I am new to these boards - great reading. KMH I for one would love to hear more recommendations for Christchurch as I am going to be there in October...

                      2. Worth noting for anybody interested in seriously good, innovative, fresh/seasonal food in ChCh. Very few places if none at all in the same league. Good value menu, interesting wine list and excellent service.

                        Restaurant Schwass

                        Chef Jonny Schwass is ex-SEZN (Gloucester St) where the food has gone downhill since he left, in my humble opinion...