places to eat
Christchurch has a long tradition of serving fresh produce (e.g. tender Canterbury lamb), gourmet cuisine and fine table wines.
Gastronomic delights await the visitor in elegant restaurants and lively cafes that serve a wide range of European, Oriental and American cuisine. To whet the appetite you can obtain a copy of the Classic Canterbury Dining Out Guide from the Visitor Centre in Cathedral Square.
Your search for new taste sensations starts right in the heart of the city as most of the popular restaurants are within the Four Avenues quadrant - notably in Colombo, Cashel, Manchester and High Streets. Oxford Terrace beside the Avon River has an unrivalled selection of restaurants, cafes and wine bars. ‘The Strip’ as it’s called, is a prime meeting place where diners spill out onto the pavement and dine al fresco overlooking the gently flowing Avon River. As night wears on the chic bars, cafes and nightclubs crank up the music and the city begins to surge with life as the clubbing set arrive.
Cathedral Square and surrounding streets offer numerous dining options. Top-end restaurants, cafes and bars can be found here, and also around the Convention Centre and Casino area. On long summer nights city streets throng with diners and revellers en route from trendy cafes to late nightclub dance floors between Cashel Mall and Oxford terrace.
Try something completely novel and dine on the historic 1905 electric tramcar as it makes a leisurely circuit of the downtown area. Other unique dining experiences include the Mt Cavendish gondola restaurant at sunset, chic bistros at Port Lyttleton and the mouth watering array of seafood dishes on offer at seaside restaurants in Sumner and New Brighton. Akaroa on Banks Peninsula is a haven for gourmet food lovers, where fresh seafood, farmed salmon and handcrafted chesses are specialties.
Restaurants to look out for include The Seafood Restaurant in Hereford Street with its fish, mussels, shrimps, smoked eel, calamari and pasta dishes. Also the classic old English, Oxford on Avon, Hays in Victoria Street (serving Canterbury lamb). Santorini Greek Ouzeri in Gloucester Street and The Curator’s House in the Botanic Gardens with its integrated fruit and vegetable home garden.
Christchurch’s celebrated cafe culture is not restricted to flat whites and cappuccinos. It also includes casual dining in very pleasant surroundings as at Osaka in Gloucester Street, Main Street Cafe in Colombo Street, Gopal’s in Worcester Street and the vegetarian favourite, Dux de Lux in Montreal Street. Popular pubs like Oxford on Avon in Colombo Street and Winnie Bagoe’s in Lichfield Street offer cheap, hearty meals and generous English breakfasts. Fast food courts are plentiful around the Square including Shades Arcade, Chancery Arcade and The Rice Box in Worcester Street.