Park Ranger

Monday7:00 am – 3:30 pm.

Tuesday7:00 am – 3:30 pm.

Wednesday7:00 am – 3:30 pm.

Thursday7:00 am – 3:30 pm.

Friday7:00 am – 3:30 pm.

Saturday8:00 am – 3:30 pm.

Sunday9:00 am – 3:30 pm.

114 Riccarton Road, Riccarton

03-341 7949

Park Ranger sits on a leafy corner of Riccarton Road. Only a stone’s throw from Riccarton Bush, Park Ranger and its great outdoors theming are better suited to busy, urbanised Riccarton Road than you might first think.

The café feels somewhat like a cabin that you might find in the middle of a great, expansive bush. It’s full of beautiful wooden furniture, plants and a mismatched assortment of old school crockery that you can only imagine once was gathering dust in an old shed somewhere. Details are done well here – little glass bottles filled with a sprig of plant take place of standard table numbers, there’s reading material on growing plants indoors and cabins from around the world, and staff wear custom designed Park Ranger badges – something you’d expect a bunch of boy scouts to wear.

At Park Ranger there is a focus here on things that are handmade or produced by artisans. The kitchen team makes its own chutneys and relishes and granola, all of which line custom-built shelves, along with a well-curated collection of other artisan-produced products that are available to buy – everything from Hasami Porcelain mugs to locally produced Mikau Teas and Lyttelton Lights candles. It’s all a bit hotch potch – exactly what you’d expect of shelves in a cabin that have accumulated an assortment of stuff over the years.

The coffee here is great, and is made using locally roasted Underground Coffee beans. As far as food goes, there’s an interesting and affordable breakfast and brunch menu, as well as an impressive lineup of cabinet food. Baked goodies and hearty sandwiches will keep any adventurer’s appetite sated. Brisket pastrami is made in house and when served with Park Ranger’s excellent salads, makes for a very good Ploughman’s lunch.

Park Ranger in many ways doubles as café and deli. In keeping with the great outdoors theme, there’s plenty here to pick up for a picnic lunch. Here you can pick up free-range eggs, locally grown asparagus (when it’s in season), sliced meats and an assortment of excellent cheeses.

This is a café that hasn’t missed a beat when it comes to the details, and as far as we’re concerned, it’s one of the best to have opened its doors in the city. Go there and explore.

Words by Grace Hall & Photography by Naomi Haussmann

114 Riccarton Road, Riccarton

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