Foundation Café

60 Cathedral Square Christchurch Central City Christchurch, Christchurch Central City, Canterbury

There aren’t many public libraries that offer a happy hour or even have quality food and drink on offer. At Tūranga’s Foundation, you’ll find just that and more.

On top of being one of the most welcoming cafes in Christchurch, Foundation is fully licensed, serves flavoursome fare and is seamlessly integrated into Otautahi’s world class library by way of clever design and friendly service. The Trevella family, who own and operate Foundation, bring their experience from successful local cafe, Good Habit, and their catering business to this one of a kind venture.

At Foundation visitors can sip on Prima coffee, select a magazine or newspaper from the nearby shelves and spend a worry-free afternoon in the light filled space. Whether you’d like to come alone or bring a big group, the Foundation staff makes it easy to do just that. They’re never overly fussed about anything besides making sure everyone who comes in is well served and made to feel right at home. On any given day you’ll find mums, bubs, local office workers, trades people, librarians and tourists all enjoying Foundations.

Foundation’s menus are the creation of head chef, Kelly Te Mete, who brings experience from top Christchurch kitchens, like The George, to Foundation. From morning through to 3 p.m. brunch options like Tahini Granola are healthy but full of flavour and unexpected elements. For lunch and dinner Kiwi classics like a steak sandwich with chimichurri, mushrooms and caramelised onions are balanced by the likes of miso ramen, Korean fried chicken and an always fabulous market fish of the day. The wine and beer lists include drops from well known NZ outfits like Pegasus Bay, Three Boys and Cassels and Sons.

Visitors are welcome to make Foundation their own, too. Book clubs and drawing groups meet here regularly to share skills and thoughts over coffees, wines and treats from the colourful case which is always brimming with homemade and locally sourced doughnuts, slices, scones, salads, croissants, sandwiches and cookies.

Foundation prides itself on being accessible and authentic and you’ll find they do this in every which way possible. Their menu doesn’t break the bank. The service is consistently exceptional regardless of if you’ve come for a wee coffee or a big feed and manager, Suz Williams Finch, makes sure things stay this way. She runs the show from day to day and her buzzy, creative energy amplifies what Foundations does so well. Suz makes sure that Foundations remains a place where you’re welcome to come in, order a Tequila sunrise and chat to everyone or order a coffee and an Afghan, pick up a book and keep to yourself.

So come one, come many for friendship, fresh fare, coffee, a New Zealand tipple or two and stay as long as you like.

Words by Olivia Sisson & Photography by Nancy Zhou

60 Cathedral Square Christchurch Central City Christchurch, Christchurch Central City, Canterbury

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