Don’t let anyone go telling you Christchurch bars aren’t the same since the earthquakes… well perhaps they’re partly right, but only in a positive way.
If ever there was an example of a city that chose to reinvent it’s nightlife, Christchurch is it. As in all good cities, Christchurch bars are the go-to spot for old mates wanting to catch up over a pint, new dates settling in for a cosy night and groups of young dancers wanting to show off their swagger.
Whether you’re here for a night only, or have made Christchurch your home, don’t be content to stick with just one bar for the night, as there are too many great options to experience. Wandering the city centre is a good way to get a first impression of a city, and come evening time there’s plenty of reason to stay out longer as Christchurch bars put on a show. Watch for where the crowds are and know that the more people look like they are having a good time, the more likely you are to too. Don’t blame us if you wake up with a dusty head the next morning though, Christchurch bars and nightlife can be such a good time that it’s easy to forget when a sensible bedtime is.
Bear in mind though there’s plenty in the suburbs to keep you entertained too. Lyttelton, Sumner, Lincoln and Woolston (to name a few) are all home to some fine establishments that have grown a firm following over the years. Wanting to know where to go while you’re in Christchurch? Head along to one of these local favourites and strike up a conversation with someone at the bar, as they’re sure to know the best spots to camp, tramp, fish, swim, ski and shop.
Exploring The Terrace: An Insider’s Guide
Located on the main drag of the harbourside township of Lyttelton, Eruption Brewing is a destination for good beer, good food and good vibes.
Moon Under Water
Moon Under Water features all the best aspects of a classic pub that's up with the times when it comes to great brews, food and service.
Home of Christchurch's only Japanese Peruvian fusion restaurant, Nikkei is a unique foodie destination.
Castro’s Tapas & Bar
Named after its owner-operator and chef extraordinaire Richard Castro, this Riverside Market top-floor restaurant is an experience not to be missed.
What do you get when you marry the cosy vibes of an intimate pub with the sophistication of an inner city wine bar? You end up with the best of both worlds and the result is Downstairs on New Regent Street.
Pretty Good Pizza
Picture this… an old-school cozy Italian pizza restaurant, but make it modern and set it in Christchurch's Riverside Market.
The arrival of Sumner Social warrants high fives all around because, at last, the coastal suburb has a top-notch bar and restaurant with ocean views.
The Old Vicarage
The Old Vicarage is exactly that, the former home of the Vicars from St Mary’s Church in Halswell.
Paddy McNaughton's is a pint-sized pub with Guinness and Magners on tap. It’s the closest thing to a Dublin pub this side of the equator. Live music every week.
Table For One: The Best Solo Dining Spots In The Garden City
If you like your bars secret, check out Austin Club tucked in a basement, down an alleyway. Oh, and you'll need the password, too.
There’s nothing quite like a cosy neighbourhood haunt and six ounces is exactly that.
At the corner of Manchester Street and High you’ll find Muse Art Hotel, while at the top of the hotel, you’ll find Pink Lady.
The Last Word
Prepare to be charmed by The Last Word’s relaxed, friendly environment and impressive drinks offering
Midnight Shanghai offers Christchurch elevated, modern Chinese fare with karaoke, handcrafted cocktails and a menu designed for sharing.
The Cellar Door focus is on approachable wine drinking, seasonal fare and free flowing conversation. It feels like your ‘local’ but has a distinctive, exciting element, sans pretentiousness.
Seats in the City: Best Seats in Ōtautahi Christchurch
Canterbury Brewers' Collective
Canterbury Brewers’ Collective at Riverside Market is your CBD spot for takeaway brews, cold pints and free-flowing chat over which to find your new favourite pour.
Three Boys Brewery
Pop into Three Boys Brewery and fill a rigger, order a keg for that next bash or sit down and enjoy a cold one right here – there’s a comfy space upstairs to set down your tush and watch the brewers at work.
Evil Genius Bar & Eatery
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.
gin gin's the spot whether you’re keen for an after work bevvie, a boogie, a place to host your own party, seriously good food, a night on the town, or some combination thereof.
If bars could be left or right handed, Dux Central would be ambidextrous. There’s nothing this place can’t be.
Much-loved neighbourhood cafe by day, knock-out contemporary Italian eatery by night – The Birdwood might just be the dream local hospo joint.
The Craft Embassy
Great beer, great food, great views. Craft Embassy is the whole package and more.
A speakeasy-style bar, OGB serves up an old-school approach to hospitality.
For the novelty of having your local beer served from the window of a bus, look no further than Smash Palace.
Welcome to Eating & Drinking in Christchurch's East Block
Prepared to be wowed by the sophisticated one-stop-shop that is The Tannery.
Civil and Naval
This Lyttelton spot offers a well thought-out sharing menu dotted with memorable plates along with excellent wine, beer and cocktails.
Inventive in its approach to dining, Boo's draws from the savant of comfort food: Southern American cuisine.
Offering an excellent range of craft beer, wood fired pizzas and tapas-style plates that are designed to be shared, this pub is a Lincoln local’s favourite.
Pomeroy's Old Brewery Inn
Pomeroy’s has been the catalyst of the Christchurch craft beer scene for years, with its ever-changing blackboard showcasing over 31 beers on offer.
Brew Moon Brewing Company
An independent family-run craft beer brewery and pizzeria, the Brew Moon is a much-loved hospitality spot in Amberley.