Visitors and locals in Canterbury will be pleased to hear their eating and drinking needs will be well met thanks to the high number of quality cafes Christchurch has to offer.
Many hospitality owners and operators have taken the opportunity to build new businesses at the same time as the city repairs itself post-earthquake, meaning there is a fresh and upbeat side to the cafes in town these days. From Sumner to Lyttelton and over the hill to the centre city, Christchurch hosts an outstanding collection of roasteries, bakeries, cafes and restaurants that could rival even some of the finest overseas dining options.
Big coffee lovers, Cantabrians also understand the importance of a good cup of espresso, meaning you are unlikely to find anything sub-par around these parts. Instead Christchurch cafes pride themselves on doing coffee, and doing coffee well, even going so far as to mix it up for the customers with cold brews, drip coffee or latte alternatives. A handful of roasters in the area means you can try out a local brew in every sense of the word, and often available as wholesale, you can try perfecting it at home yourself too.
A new wave of supporting local means most menus at cafes in Christchurch will likely feature plenty of Cantabrian ingredients also. A solid sense of community and desire to keep growing this young, fresh hospitality scene sees collaborations and businesses combining in a way that wasn’t seen before, and for those lucky enough to dine at these places, means tastier food on your plate.
For a hearty brunch to start the day, a coffee on the run, or a place to hold mid-afternoon meetings, Christchurch cafes have all your needs covered. From bustling bright spots popular with inner city workers, to those with a more laid-back and slow paced atmosphere, the café scene here caters to even the most hard-to-impress customers.
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On the corner of Bridge Street and Estuary Road in the heart of South Brighton, you’ll find Dune Café.
Kokomo brings a modern coastal dining experience to Ōtautahi Christchurch.
Central Deli Sandwiches
Central Deli Sandwiches is a permanent daytime pop-up within Christchurch's New Regent Street restaurant Story.
The Lil' Brew Espresso Bar
Located within an iconic heritage building in the heart of Redcliffs, The Lil Brew Espresso Bar is quite possibly the cutest cafe in town.
Akin is as clean-cut as a café can be.
A sophisticated sibling to Tom’s sandwich bar on Christchurch's Southwark Street, Estelle sits neatly just a few strides and a diagonal road crossing away in a space...
At the Phillipstown end of Tuam Street in Christchurch stands a small kitchen where award winning pastry chef Corentin Esquenet works his magic.
Bohemian Bakery St Martins
Bohemian Bakery’s St Martins shop provides the south of the city with all of the carby goodness familiar from the bakery’s other locations.
The Little High Eatery
A collection of eateries housed in an open space building, Little High is more than your typical food cooperative.
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Westend Stories Café & Eatery
Westend Stories is a green oasis for those looking to temporarily escape the confines of their workplace.
Ally & Sid
Everything about Ally & Sid is inviting - a breezy spot for excellent coffee, tasty cabinet fare and a big side of sunshine.
Sweet Soul Patisserie
Step in through the floor-to-ceiling glass doors of Sweet Soul Patisserie, and you will immediately be greeted with an air of amicable sophistication.
If you’re in Christchurch and seeking an exceptional coffee experience, C4 Coffee should be your primary destination.
Game, set, match! In a sunny spot on Worcester Boulevard, this tennis-themed café with a gram-worthy brunch menu is the new King of...
Positioned in the entrance of CoCA Gallery, Lux Espresso has a contemporary design and a wholesome breakfast and lunch menu.
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Mind Your Temper
If you’re feeling grumpy or a little blue, a visit to Mind Your Temper is sure to lighten your mood.
Seeking a calm environment with aesthetically-pleasing interior decor, complete with incredible coffee and delicious food to match? Then look no further, Child Sister has...
If you are a sando aficionado and find yourself in the South Town area of Christchurch city centre, keep an eye out for the striking cobalt blue hue of Tom’s.
Bonobo: a benevolent primate, a trip-hop artist and more recently a plant-based cuisine destination in the seaside suburb of Sumner.
A tenacious stand alone espresso bar and café, Pilgrim has become a central city favourite amongst its regulars and central city workers that come and go for the...
The Old Vicarage
The Old Vicarage is exactly that, the former home of the Vicars from St Mary’s Church in Halswell.
You’ll find a few golden nuggets interspersed around Tai Tapu, and General Post is one of them.
You may think of truffle as clandestine but this Merivale café - with the same name - is anything but.
The Mediterranean Food Company
Down the industrial eastern end of Tuam Street in an old brickery is a secluded slice of Italy.
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Addington Coffee Co-op
Addington Coffee Co-op is, simply put, a true Christchurch institution with laid-back vibes and house-roasted coffee.
There’s nothing quite like a cosy neighbourhood haunt and six ounces is exactly that.
Mona Vale Homestead & Pantry
Mona Vale Homestead & Pantry in Christchurch creates an idyllic setting for a beautifully appointed restaurant, perched along the Avon River.
Niche Coffee + Eatery
Niche Coffee + Eatery, the latest addition to the hospitality scene of Sumner, fits like a glove to the seaside village.
Saturdays is a celebration of not just the weekend, but every day. It’s an ode to what saturdays stand for: slowing down, enjoying one another and pairing it all with excellent food and drink.
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.
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Foundation is fully licensed, serving up flavoursome fare seamlessly integrated into Otautahi’s world-class library, Tūranga.
Gelato & Tea
Gelato & Tea offers homemade gelato and a range of tea drinks, alongside a selection of delicious sweet treats.
The Welder is a unique health and wellbeing centre in stunningly repurposed buildings in the heart of South Town.
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.
J'aime les Macarons
Hundreds of colourful macarons with punchy and interesting flavours are produced out of the J’aime les macarons kitchen each day.
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.
Switch New Brighton
Switch is a bit of an institution of the seaside suburb of New Brighton.
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.
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.
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Expect the softest, juiciest slow cooked meat you’ve ever tasted at Smokey T's.
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.
Much-loved neighbourhood cafe by day, knock-out contemporary Italian eatery by night – The Birdwood might just be the dream local hospo joint.
The Arts Centre
A much-loved heritage hub for all things creative and cultural, Christchurch’s Arts Centre is a real jewel in the city’s crown.
A hub for all things food, creativity and culture, BOXed Quarter thinks outside the square.
A stylish and cosy spot for breakfast, lunch or brunch, any day of the week.
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Little Vintage Espresso
A jewel in the Amberley crown, Little Vintage Espresso offers delicious homemade food and good coffee.
The coffee here is just what you'd expect from the experienced Allpress roasters.
Adding a much needed touch of ‘cool’ to Blenheim Road, Dose Diner takes a page from the book of the quirky Melbourne café scene.
Dispense Espresso’s owner, Hamish Bell, knows a thing or two about what makes a café great.
A sunny spot always bustling with life thanks to its epic brunch menu, homemade slices and cakes and speciality roasted coffee.
Lyttelton Coffee Company
A quirky place humming with activity, this place is home to a coffee roastery and a cafe big on sustainability, community and authentic fare.
Prepared to be wowed by the sophisticated one-stop-shop that is The Tannery.
If you thought fast food was served greasy treats, think again. Herba Gourmet has rethought street food to bring fresh, healthy, fine food to diners on the go.
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.