During our 1 month road trip across New Zealand, we mostly cooked our own food to keep our expenses in check. That doesn’t mean we didn’t occasionally splurge and go out for lunch or dinner. In this blog post we’ll list some tips on where to eat in New Zealand.
Eating out in New Zealand is slightly cheaper than we’re used to in Belgium. On top of that, they serve free tap water in New Zealand, whereas in Belgium a water will cost you about €2 or NZ$3.2. Score!
Where to eat in New Zealand – South Island
Fish & Chips at Lockies Takeaways in Moeraki
One of the best spots to eat in New Zealand is Lockies Takeaways in Moeraki. They have the best fish & chips (and tartare) ever! Brecht had read about this place when doing research on Moeraki. When the owner of our campsite recommended this place as well, we just had to try it. We ordered Lockies world famous cod twice, together with 1 portion of chunky chips and homemade tartare. That cost us NZ$21 in total. Maybe a bit more chips would have been nice, but 2 portions would indeed have been too much, like the owner warned us.
Lockies Takeaways is pretty popular, so chances are you’ll have to queue for a bit before you can order. It’s definitely worth the wait though! You can take your order home, or eat outside on the patio.
Burgers & Ice Cream at Fergburger in Queenstown
Another crazy popular place to eat in New Zealand is Fergburger in Queenstown. People queue for hours for one of their epic burgers. We did too. We arrived at 18:50 and stood in line for 25 minutes before it was our turn to order. Another 40 minutes later our order number finally appeared on the screen. After another 5 minutes of queueing we finally got our 2 burgers and some fries (NZ$33.50). The burgers were delicious, but maybe not as epic as expected. We still believe we had the best burgers ever in Chiang Mai!
Fergburger is an established brand in New Zealand, widely known and worshipped. They even have Fergburger merchandise for sale. There’s limited seating and long waiting times, but also heaters to keep the people waiting in line warm, and a web page where you can check the status of your order. One of the staff will come and tell you about waiting times while you’re queueing and they’re open 21 hours a day. You can’t say they don’t give it their all.
The next morning at 9:45 we drove past Fergburger. There was no line, but there were people eating burgers for breakfast. I guess that’s the time to go if you don’t want to wait.
Right next to Fergburger there’s Fergbaker and Mrs Ferg Gelateria as well, if you’re more into meat pies, baguettes, smoothies, or ice cream. They have something for everyone!
Ribs & French Fries at Flame Bar & Grill in Queenstown
As you probably know, Queenstown is the adventure capital of the world. During our stay we ate out more than once, because you get really hungry from all that adrenaline rushing through your body. After Brecht’s flyboarding session on Lake Wakatipu, we headed to Flame Bar & Grill for lunch. They’re famous for their ribs and relatively cheap lunch menu. We both had ribs with sauce and french fries, and drank free tap water, which added up to a bill of NZ$38 in total. It’s true what they say, their ribs are pretty delicious!
Dinner & a movie at Cinema Paradiso in Wanaka
When you ever find yourself in Wanaka (definitely worth a visit!), you should catch a movie and some dinner at Cinema Paradiso. It’s a cute little movie theatre with comfy old sofas and good food. We ordered our food before the movie started, so it would be ready when we came out during the intermission. Brecht had a salmon pizza (NZ$22), I ordered the pumpkin and basil ravioli with Italian meatballs (NZ$18). The food was good (especially the pizza) and the atmosphere relaxed and warm. We had a lovely evening!
Where to eat in New Zealand – North Island
Fancy Lunch at Shed 5 in Wellington
We like a nice lunch (or dinner) every now and then, and when there’s a deal involved, we like it even better! Needless to say, the lunch deal at Shed 5 in Wellington sounded right up our alley: NZ$40 for 3 courses. It’s called “dine ‘n dash”, and 4you can choose only 2 courses for NZ$30 as well. We booked a table beforehand. It was a little fancier than expected, with neatly dressed waiters and fancy sounding dishes, so we might have been a little underdressed. Nevertheless, the staff was very friendly and the food delicious! Too bad there’s another building blocking what’s probably a nice view over the water.
Italian Pizza at Cin Cin in Wellington
Seems like we ate out in New Zealand’s bigger cities more than anywhere else in the country. Our second time eating out in Wellington we had dinner at Cin Cin, before attending a comedy show in a bar down the street. There was no pre-dinner research involved in this one, we just picked a nice looking restaurant. We both love Italian, so that probably had something to do with it too. They serve woodfired pizza, and that’s what we ordered: a pizza Italiana and a pizza Bufala Prosciutto to share. The pizzas cost us NZ$30.50, wine not included. They were really good, and we enjoyed the live piano music in the restaurant as well. Great start of a fun evening!
Fish & Chips at Oceanz Seafood in Silverdale
Fish & chips is of English origin, but it’s pretty popular takeaway food in New Zealand (and Australia) too. Oceanz Seafood in Silverdale, close to Auckland, was the second (and last) chip shop we tried in New Zealand. The place is actually a seafood retailer, with a small chip shop corner. There are no spots to sit, it’s takeaway only. Oceanz Seafood got awarded Best Chip Shop in 2013, so we just had to try it. Fish & chips for 2 cost us NZ$19. It was good, but we have to admit Lockies Takeaways in Moeraki was better.
Burgers at Burger Burger in Auckland
In our quest to find the best burgers in the world, we had some more burgers in New Zealand before flying to New York City. Burger Burger is located in Ponsonby Central in Auckland, some sort of hip shopping mall. They’re saying they “bring you a fresh approach to the local food and retail scene”. Ponsonby Central has cafes, bars, restaurants, a produce market, retailers, and ever changing Pop Up stores. It looked really nice! They have a parking, but there are limited spots and only 30 minutes of free parking.
Back to Burger Burger and their burgers! We both ordered a Burger Burger with Bacon and Cheese, costing us $NZ38 in total. No burgers without fries though, so we ordered a portion of shoestring fries to go with it for NZ$7. It was delicious! However, we’re still convinced we had the best burgers ever in Chiang Mai! Heading back there soon to verify this claim.
As we were cooking or own meals most of our time in New Zealand, we didn’t have the chance to fully explore the Kiwi cuisine. Luckily we did try the traditional NZ takeaway meal: fish & chips. Can’t leave without having it at least once, and we highly recommend Lockies Takeaways for that! Even though we didn’t try a lot of restaurants, we hope this post can help you decide on where to eat in New Zealand. Enjoy!
What’s your favourite spot to eat in New Zealand? Did we miss out on some delicious food? Let us know in the comments, we could use that information for when we head back to New Zealand one day!
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