Best suburban cafés in Christchurch

There’s nothing quite like the comfort of your local neighbourhood café where familiar faces greet you from day to day and your regular order can be placed with a mere nod and a smile.

People dining around a table at The Origin, Christchurch.

We've gathered a few of our favourite neighbourhood cafes around the city fringe for you to explore ....

Park Ranger cafe space.

Park Ranger (Riccarton)

114 Riccarton Road, Riccarton, Christchurch

For those lucky enough to be living in close proximity of Park Ranger, it’s a no brainer to claim this great café as their local. Stepping in from the bustling Riccarton Road instantly transports you into a warm, cabin like atmosphere, one filled with the smell of fresh coffee and showcasing a mouth watering line up of brunch, lunch or sneaky snack options. With staff as friendly and adept as a bunch of boy scouts and one of the best people watching spots in town, it would be a crime not to put this café on your must visit list.

The Laboratory exterior view.

The Laboratory (Lincoln)

17 West Belt, Lincoln

Sitting smack bang in the heart of Lincoln, the Laboratory is a much-loved local for the folks of this growing community. The barn like interior of this red brick building showcases beautiful old wood, curious little knick knacks and retro kids toys, creating a warm and inviting atmosphere. Serving equally well as a café (open from 11am for coffee and lunch), restaurant (think delicious wood fired pizzas) and bar (craft beer haven including in-house brewery), The Laboratory has got you covered no matter what time of the day you decide to pop in.

Close up of bowls of food on a table.

The Origin (St Albans)

95 Westminster Street Corner of Cranford Street &, Westminster Street, Saint Albans, Christchurch

Sophisticated and beautiful with a Scandinavian atmosphere, The Origin in St Albans will nourish all your senses. Try the balsamic roast vege salad, the Udon noodle spiced tomato soup laden with fried tofu or suro (a soy protein with a mild mushroom flavour) and roasted peanuts, and get ready to indulge your taste buds – these dishes are pure bliss. The good people here also know a thing or two about brewing some seriously great coffee as well as an impressive number of speciality teas. Like a sanctuary of nourishment, visiting this neighbourhood café will leave you feeling oh so good.

Hands pulling a piece of pizza at The Birdwood, Christchurch.

The Birdwood (Beckhenham)

76 Malcolm Avenue, Beckenham, Christchurch

A rather new addition to the suburb of Beckenham, The Birdwood is a very welcome neighbourhood food hub indeed. A buzzing café by day offering delicious seasonal food created with locally sourced ingredients, fresh juices, nourishing smoothies and house-roasted coffee, and a dimly lit diner by night pumping out sourdough wood fired pizzas, handmade pasta and a number of scrumptious sharing plates, you just can’t go wrong with pointing your nose this way. The staff here are friendly and attentive, making it easy just to sit back and relax while enjoying all the culinary goodness coming your way.

People eating and drinking around tables at Addington Coffee Co-op cafe, Christchurch.

Addington Coffee Co-op (Addington)

297 Lincoln Road, Addington

More than just a café, Addington Coffee co-op is a community changing the world one espresso at a time. Working as a co-op in the true meaning of the word, most of the profits made here are distributed back to the local community and to overseas producers and their communities. On top of ticking that box of creating some much needed good in the world, the offerings of this homely neighbourhood café won’t leave you disappointed. Expect some staple brunch options along with a few twists like tofu scrambled eggs or polenta crumbed fish cakes. Take a seat on the comfy couches, get that pile of laundry done while you’re at it (yep, there is a Laundromat adjacent to the café), or pick up a present from the store filled with carefully selected, ethically produced items.