Explore New Zealand's most beautiful street
A stroll down colourful, pedestrianised New Regent Street in Christchurch will instantly transport you to a bygone era.
Thanks to its Spanish Mission architecture featuring shaped gables, medallions, tiled window hoods, and barley-twist columns, Christchurch's New Regent Street remains just as enchanting today as it was when it got its start in the 1930s.
Hitch a ride on the Christchurch tram to make an iconic entrance, and despite the street’s small footprint, you’ll feel like you have the world at your feet. Whether you join the bustling café crowds at the outdoor tables, indulge in some much-needed retail therapy, or opt for a cosy nightcap on a winter's evening, there’s always somewhere to be and something to discover on New Regent Street.
The Caffeine Laboratory
1 New Regent Street
The Caffeine Laboratory's relaxed daytime vibe makes it the perfect spot for some pre-theatre fodder, or as a stop off for New Regent Street wanderers. On top of killer coffee from Lyttelton Coffee Company, The Caffeine Laboratory offers excellent burgers, some of the best chips in town, and an array of brunch menu options. It would be remiss of us not to mention their Christchurch famous doughnuts, which you’ll have to order quickly if you want to get your hands on one!
37/35 New Regent Street
Handmade in store every morning from organic milk, the creamy mc’dreamy products at Rollickin’ Gelato have quickly proved a popular treat for New Regent Street wanderers. Long lines may be common here, but these sweet treats are well worth the wait (especially when it means extra time spent people-watching on one of New Zealand’s most beautiful streets!). Dairy-free friends are also looked after, with the sorbet menu just as extensive and delicious looking as the gelatos, and treats can be scooped out of compostable cups or choc waffle cones depending on how much sweet you can handle.
Corner of Armagh and New Regent Streets
The joy and passion for good coffee and great cafés is palpable the moment you enter Belle, a charming addition to New Regent Street in 2020. They also serve a tasty full brunch menu and roast their own coffee beans on site!
27 New Regent Street
With impressive cabinet food and a full menu of breakfast and lunch options (you can’t leave without trying the French Toast, served with grilled banana and streaky bacon), you’ll be well taken care of in this classic, down-to-earth café.
25 New Regent Street
Open at 9am, this cosy spot boasts a spacious upstairs seating area with oversized windows that look onto New Regent Street, making Coffee Lovers a heavenly place to start your day with a good cuppa.
Miss Higgins Oven Fresh Cookies
10 New Regent Street
With flavours like Chunky Chocolate Chip, Raspberry White Chocolate, Red Velvet and Salted Caramel, your craving for a warm, gooey, fresh-out-of-the-oven treat has never been easier to satisfy.
Twenty Seven Steps
16 New Regent Street
Twenty Seven Steps is a sophisticated and modern bistro, where service, food and drink are up to a fine dining standard without all of the associated pomp and fluff. The venue’s blend of the classic with the new extends through to the cocktail options and hearty European-style fare. There is a distinctly modern take on the menu which features ingredients that are seasonal and, as far as possible, locally sourced. For once it’s a menu featuring dishes that aren’t necessarily designed to be shared, and that’s a refreshing change. Expect big pieces of meat or fish topped with locally grown veggies and deliciously rich jus.
Francesca's Italian Kitchen
149 Gloucester Street, Christchurch Central, Christchurch
A big ol’ slice of authentic, rustic Italian cuisine and hospitality in the heart of the garden city. Whether you’re after a perfect woodfired pizza and prosecco before a visit to the theatre, a light lunch or a feast with friends, Francesca’s Italian Kitchen will not disappoint. Open for lunch and dinner seven days a week, this authentic spot is bound to have you saying “si,si!” to another visit.
8 New Regent Street
Open for dinner Wednesday until Saturday from 5:30pm, head chef Finbar McCarthy and his team take inspiration from local and seasonal producers and deliver a regularly changing three course menu in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere.
24 New Regent Street
This cheerful and charming Thai eatery makes a perfect lunch spot or venue for a relaxed date night, thanks to dishes that are packed with flavor and a vibe that will have you happily lingering long after your last bite.
Besuto Bites Sushi & BBQ
21 New Regent Street
Besuto Bites is the perfect stop-off for a quick bite thanks to their “pick your own” sushi options, which they serve alongside a menu of hot meals and mouth watering noodles.
3 New Regent Street
As one of Christchurch’s oldest and finest jewellery retailers, Youngs Jewellers is a go-to shop for everything from small, token gifts to important heirloom and investment pieces. With both contemporary and antique collections, you’re bound to find what you’re looking for (and maybe what you didn’t even know you needed.)
Rowena Watson Designs
7 New Regent Street
Rowena Watson Designs gemstones are collected from all over the world, and sourced sustainably wherever possible. Whether you’re looking for a classic piece or something with a bit of quirk and personality, you’re sure to find it nestled in this absolute treasure trove of accessories.
Heart and Soul Gallery
34 New Regent Street
Heart and Soul Gallery offers a curated collection of unique New Zealand made products, gifts, art, and photography, including their world renowned sheepskin rugs and Possum Merino accessory range.
Christchurch Central, Christchurch
The philosophy at Groovy Glasses is simple: No Boring Specs Allowed. Think eyewear brands such as the sublime Anne et Valentin (worn by Lady Gaga), luxurious Moscot (a New York brand worn by another celeb, Johnny Depp), rad limited edition frames by l.a. Eyeworks and a range of specs by New Zealand’s own Kate Sylvester.
The General Store
32 New Regent Street
If you spend a touch too long imbibing at one of the local hot spots and didn’t quite make it to the supermarket as planned, just swing by The General Store for all the essentials. They have you covered with products ranging from toothpaste, milk, cereal, and more!
Stage Door Dance and Streetwear
5 New Regent Street
Stage Door sells top quality dance brands like Capezio, Bloch, Wear Moi or Ballet Rosa. In fact, the entire staff is full of dancers/performers and dance teachers, allowing them to personally understand your dance and streetwear needs.
Isaac Theatre Royal
145 Gloucester Street, Christchurch Central, Christchurch
From Lorde to comedy to orchestral masterpieces to community shows and Scooby Doo Live, the heritage theatre is a wearer of many hats and has something to please everyone. In addition to live shows, this entertainment hive is also home to the New Zealand International Film Festival and doubles as a much-utilised venue for weddings, dinners and conferences. With a rich past dating back to 1863, the Isaac Theatre Royal has played an integral part in the cultural and creative history of the city and it’s fair to say the future is very bright for this Christchurch gem.
The Last Word
Christchurch Central, Christchurch
The Last Word is the type of place you’d struggle to visit just once. In fact, with its relaxed feel, friendly staff, extensive drinks list and moreish snacks, it’s the type of place you’d like to visit every night of the week. Whisky and cocktails are The Last Word’s main game and with 320 whiskies available, owner Alex Ricketts confession that he is a whisky “geek” makes a lot of sense. On the snacks front, they’ve really nailed it with delicious food that pairs perfectly with a drink or two such as garlic bread, grilled cheese sandwiches, cheese platters and even a slice of whisky fruit cake, if you’re in the mood.
Coming soon ...
This fun and quirky establishment currently located on Victoria Street is joining the New Regent Street family in October 2020, so we couldn’t resist adding it to the list as a must-try. Their current space boasts a light-hearted, pink interior with plenty of plant life, and we can’t wait to see what the new space holds.
Corner of New Regent and Armagh Streets
Bringing new and exciting flavours from South America to Christchurch, Casa Publica offers an extensive menu with over 160 rums to choose from. Try one of their famous rum flights alongside a plate of fajitas to truly feel like you’ve been transported to Central America.
28 New Regent Street
The Institution is a boutique craft beer and cocktail bar, with cozy seating both inside and out to enjoy an afterwork tipple or post-dinner drink. The thoughtful beer selection, retro furnishings and intimate atmosphere will happily keep you around for hours.
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