The café scene in Christchurch and Canterbury has taken off, showcasing delicious options for coffee, cabinet food, and more. Taking the chance to grow anew post-earthquake, there's a fresh, upbeat vibe among the newcomers of today and the local institutions from years ago. From Sumner to Lyttelton and over the hill to the centre city, Christchurch hosts an outstanding collection of roasteries, bakeries, cafés, and restaurants that could rival even some of the finest overseas dining options.

Best on Bread: 8 Carby Delights to Eat Your Way Across Christchurch

A selection of different sandwiches on a table.
Not all sandwiches were made equal so we've rounded up some of our favourite spots to grab a sammy in Christchurch.

Addington Coffee Co-op

View of big table of customers at Addington Coffee Co-op in Christchurch.
Place Christchurch & Canterbury

Addington Coffee Co-op is, simply put, a true Christchurch institution with laid-back vibes and house-roasted coffee.

Allpress Espresso

Two employees working behind the cafe counter at Allpress Espresso in Christchurch.
Place Christchurch & Canterbury

The coffee here is just what you'd expect from the experienced Allpress roasters.

Ally & Sid

The counter and coffee machine at Ally & Sid café in Christchurch.
Place Christchurch & Canterbury

Everything about Ally & Sid is inviting - a breezy spot for excellent coffee, tasty cabinet fare and a big side of sunshine.

Barefoot Eatery

Interior of Barefoot Eatery in Christchurch.
Place Christchurch & Canterbury

Grab your mates, your mum, your bubs and even your dog, and head down to Barefoot Eatery at The Welder to discover a nourishing and fun café experience.

Coffee Embassy

Outdoor Coffee Embassy signage on a brick wall.
Place Christchurch & Canterbury

This flagship café is the best place to try adventurous coffee coupled with house-made lunches and coffee accompaniments like their delicious doughnuts.

Dispense Espresso

Man making coffee behind blue coffee machine at Dispense Espresso in Christchurch.
Place Christchurch & Canterbury

Dispense Espresso’s owner, Hamish Bell, knows a thing or two about what makes a café great.

Dose Diner

Close up of the counter at Dose Diner in Christchurch.
Place Christchurch & Canterbury

Adding a much needed touch of ‘cool’ to Blenheim Road, Dose Diner takes a page from the book of the quirky Melbourne café scene.

Dux Dine

Bi-fold white doors onto deck and courtyard area of Dux Dine in Christchurch.
Place Christchurch & Canterbury

Dux Dine is one of those rare gems where anyone and everyone has a place at the table, all in a cosy, home-like atmosphere.

5 Drool-worthy Donut Spots You Need to Devour in Christchurch

Row of donuts from Grizzly Baked Goods.
From sprinkles to custard, Lyttelton to Wigram, Christchurch has plenty to offer in the donut scene.

Everyday Dose

The window of at Everyday Dose in Christchurch.
Place Christchurch & Canterbury

Kinfolk meets wasabi at Everyday Dose, an immaculate Hereford Street espresso bar where you will be met with the scent of house made croissants and bagels.

Evil Genius Bar & Eatery

Woman making cocktail on a bar at Evil Genius Bar and Eatery in Christchurch.
Place Christchurch & Canterbury

Evil Genius Bar & Eatery is a destination you need to get to know. Open from dawn ‘til way past dusk, offering everything from coffee to cocktails.

Foundation Café

Two people eating at a table in front of a window.
Place Christchurch & Canterbury

Foundation is fully licensed, serving up flavoursome fare seamlessly integrated into Otautahi’s world-class library, Tūranga.

Grain Coffee

People sitting at tall leaners.
Place Christchurch & Canterbury

Petite, yet oh so beautiful and sleek, Grain is a café that keeps things honest and simple.

Grater Goods

Two woman dining at Grater Goods.
Place Christchurch & Canterbury

Found in an old glass factory in Sydenham’s industrial blocks, you'll find everything from sausages to bacon and steak - just the more humane and sustainable kind.

Herba Gourmet

A painted Herba Gourmet sign.
Place Christchurch & Canterbury

If you thought fast food was served greasy treats, think again. That’s what Herba Gourmet have done: rethought street food to bring fresh, healthy, fine food to diners on-the-go.

Where to Find the Best Pastries in Christchurch

Trays of croissants and pastries from Bohemian Bakery.
Pastry has been kicking around since Egyptian times so it’s high time we put together a list for the best spots to pick up pastries in Ōtautahi.

J'aime les macarons

Blue shop exterior and glass cabinet.
Place Christchurch & Canterbury

Hundreds of colourful macarons with punchy and interesting flavours are produced out of the J’aime les macarons kitchen each day.

Little Poms

Waiter holding breakfast bowl at Little Poms, Christchurch.
Place Christchurch & Canterbury

Located in the same building as the ever-popular Pomeroy’s Old Brewery Inn, Little Poms is charming neighbourhood café all about good food made by Christchurch’s talented producers and artisans.

Little River Café and Store

Seating area at Little River Cafe and Store.
Place Akaroa

This institutional café, specialising in homemade fare for all, is well worth a visit next time you're passing through Little River.

Little Vintage Espresso

Customers queuing to order at the counter at Little Vintage Espresso.
Place Christchurch & Canterbury

A jewel in the Amberley crown, Little Vintage Espresso offers delicious homemade food and good coffee.

Miro

A flatlay of food on a table at Miro cafe in the old Caffe Roma building in Christchurch.
Place Christchurch & Canterbury

A stylish and cosy spot for breakfast, lunch or brunch any day of the week.

Mona Vale Homestead & Pantry

Exterior of Mona Vale Homestead & Pantry.
Place Christchurch & Canterbury

Walking onto the grounds of Mona Vale Homestead & Pantry is a transportive experience of its own.

Native Café

Customers sat on stools outside Native cafe.
Place Christchurch & Canterbury

There’s something for everyone at Native Café.

Niche Coffee + Eatery

Table of delicious food.
Place Christchurch & Canterbury

Niche Coffee + Eatery, the latest addition to the hospitality scene of Sumner, fits like a glove to the seaside village.

Sweet or Savoury? Scope Our Definitive Guide to Christchurch's Best Scones

Jam on scones.
The humble scone is synonymous with New Zealand hospitality and a staple of our café culture.

Old School Collective

The cafe at the collective.
Place Christchurch & Canterbury

This collective of lifestyle businesses in North Canterbury has turned a 140-year-old school into a dream destination just north of Christchurch.

Park Ranger

Park Ranger cafe space.
Place Christchurch & Canterbury

A café that hasn’t missed a beat when it comes to the details, and one of the best to have opened its doors in the city.

Peninsula General Store

The exterior of the Peninsula General Store building.
Place Akaroa

Don’t be fooled by the vintage exterior of this cafe, deli and gourmet food store — inside you'll find the most modern of cuisine philosophies.

Posh Porridge

Eating a piece of loaded toast from Posh Porridge.
Place Christchurch & Canterbury

Posh Porridge offers boutique flavours and lashings of luxury toppings for its porridge bowls. Just pop into its Montreal St location and find out for yourself.

Prima Roastery

The counter at Prima Roastery.
Place Christchurch & Canterbury

Whether you’re after a caffeine kick, a cool spot for a catch up, a resupply of beans or a new espresso machine, Prima is the place - they’ve got parking out the back, too.

Red Eight

White counter and red brick wall at a cafe in Kaiapoi.
Place Christchurch & Canterbury

Kaiapoi cafe Red Eight, offers up moorish quiches, freshly baked focaccia and famous Lemon Meringue Tarts in Canterbury.

These 8 Christchurch Roasters Will Change the Way You Think about Coffee

Close up of unroasted bag of coffee beans at Prima Roastery.
Christchurch’s coffee roasters are the ones to watch. With established roasteries and new players popping up on the scene, the South Island’s biggest city is competing with the best of ‘em.

Red Eight Café at Portstone

Close up of lemon meringue pies.
Place Christchurch & Canterbury

Red Eight, the much-loved Kaiapoi café, has blossomed in a new spot at the picturesque Portstone Garden Centre.

Riverside Market

Riverside market by the Avon
Place Christchurch & Canterbury

This unique Christchurch establishment brings fresh produce, artisan bakeries, independent food stalls, rooftop bars and restaurants, high-class retail and eclectic market stalls all under one roof.

Rollickin' Gelato

Woman handing customer an ice cream.
Place Christchurch & Canterbury

House made organic milk gelatos and sorbets mean Rollickin’ is the talk of the town.

Rollickin' Gelato Cashel Street

Double scoop gelato on a cone in front of an orange wall.
Place Christchurch & Canterbury

Rollickin' Gelato brings a fabulous late-night dessert venue to the riverside end of Cashel St.

Six Ounces

Barista making a shot of coffee at Six Ounces.
Place Christchurch & Canterbury

There’s nothing quite like a cosy neighbourhood coffee shop and six ounces is exactly that.

Smokey T's

Flatlay of BBQ meat and chips on a table.
Place Christchurch & Canterbury

Expect the softest, juiciest slow cooked meat you’ve ever tasted at Smokey T's.

South Town Club

Person squeezing lime on tacos from South Town Club.
Place Christchurch & Canterbury

South Town Club is a sweet collab between the old owner’s Supreme and Dan Hobson, an absolute champion of top-notch hospitality.

Sweet Soul Patisserie

Fine patisserie on a white plate.
Place Christchurch & Canterbury

This light-filled corner shop is the first fine patisserie shop in Christchurch.

Top Plant-Based Brunches in Christchurch

Avocado on toast from Grizzly Baked Goods.
Plant-based brunches are settling into the Christchurch food scene, and we couldn’t be more excited to branch out and enjoy.

Switch New Brighton

View of seating area inside Switch with customers..
Place Christchurch & Canterbury

Switch is a bit of an institution of the seaside suburb of New Brighton.

The Arts Centre

The exterior of a building at the Christchurch Arts Centre.
Place Christchurch & Canterbury

A much-loved heritage hub for all things creative and cultural, Christchurch’s Arts Centre is a real jewel in the city’s crown.

The Birdwood

Customers eating breakfast at The Birdwood, Christchurch.
Place Christchurch & Canterbury

Much-loved neighbourhood cafe by day, knock-out contemporary Italian eatery by night – The Birdwood might just be the dream local hospo joint.

The Caffeine Laboratory

Customers dining upstairs at Caffeine Laboratory.
Place Christchurch & Canterbury

Cafe and burger joint, Caffeine Laboratory is a stylish space fitted out in raw timber and with a brand new upstairs area.

The Mediterranean Food Company

Table with pizza and glasses of red wine at Mediterranean Food Company, Christchurch.
Place Christchurch & Canterbury

 Down the industrial eastern end of Tuam Street in an old brickery is a secluded slice of Italy.

The Origin

Close up of bowls of food on a table.
Place Christchurch & Canterbury

Vegetarian cafe The Origin brings a much needed boost to the hospitality scene in St Albans to the delight of locals.

8 Fried Chicken Alternatives in Christchurch

Foundation fried cauliflower.
Vegetarians rejoice - we’ve found the best fried chicken alternatives in Christchurch, so you can enjoy the finger-lickin’ goodness sans cluck. No chicken, no problem.

The Welder

A courtyard full of plants with two hanging white chairs.
Place Christchurch & Canterbury

The Welder is a unique health and wellbeing centre in stunningly repurposed buildings in the heart of South Town.

Unknown Chapter

Seating area at Unknown Chapter.
Place Christchurch & Canterbury

A sunny spot always bustling with life thanks to its epic brunch menu, homemade slices and cakes and speciality roasted coffee.

Viking Coffee Roasters x Espresso245

Espresso245 exterior.
Place Christchurch & Canterbury

The role Viking Coffee Roasters plays in the local cafe community can’t be understated.

Westend Stories

Interior shot showing hanging plants and cafe scene at Westend Stories..
Place Christchurch & Canterbury

Westend Stories is a green oasis for those looking to temporarily escape the confines of their workplace.

Where to Dine as a Big Group in Christchurch

Big group dining at The Laboratory.
It can be hard to find a place to grab a bite when you're going out as a big group. Don’t despair! We’ve rounded up some of the neatest places to hit when your numbers are looking more like a football team than an intimate table for two.

Dine Al Fresco at the Best Outdoor Restaurant Spots in Christchurch

Lyttelton Coffee Co. balcony.
Whether you’re looking to settle in for an evening of people watching or prefer to enjoy your long black in al fresco solitude, keep scrolling for where to find outdoor dining in Christchurch

9 New Discoveries in Ōtautahi

View of shelves with produce at Frances Nation Grocer.
After all that 2020 has been, we couldn’t be happier to welcome this new crew of hospitality venues to Ōtautahi.

5 Places Every Brunch Enthusiast Needs to Tick off in Christchurch

Brunch served in a Christchurch cafe offering the best brunch in the city.
Brunch enthusiasts, rejoice! Neat Places has compiled your weekend hit-list for the best brunch in Christchurch. From the caffeine hit to the perfectly poached eggs, you'll find somewhere just right for that next weekend brunch outing.

Make Goldilocks Jealous with Christchurch's Best Porridge Dishes

Woman pouring milk onto porridge.
Porridge is everywhere - luxury, next level porridge, that is. Find out some of the top spots around Christchurch to get your fix.

Brunch in the 'Burbs with the Best Neighbourhood Cafés in Christchurch

People dining around a table at The Origin, 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.

Dose up on Goodness, Here's 4 Places to Sink a Green Smoothie in Christchurch

A green juice on a table at Dose Diner Christchurch.
Healthy, filling, nutritious, energising, the green smoothie is one craving not to feel guilty over.

9 Christchurch Cafés Open on a Sunday to Stave off Your Work Week Blues

A burger, chips and beer sitting on a table in Ten27 Christchurch cafe.
There’s no bigger bummer than a well earned weekend off rolling round and discovering your favourite Christchurch café is closed.

Live the Digital Nomad Life with 13 Christchurch Cafés That Have Free Wifi

A woman working in a cafe.
A necessity in homes, workplaces and public spaces – but wifi connections in cafés, bars and restaurants can feel few and far between.

Neatest places for an ice cream

A hand holding an ice cream.
On a hot day in Christchurch, there’s no better way to cool down than with a delicious iced delight.