Where to Find Christchurch’s Best Burgers

A Chicken burger on a black plate sitting on a wooden bench.

If you are looking for a good burger in Christchurch, you don't have to look very far!

Words by: Julia Rutherford

The humble burger is taken very seriously in Christchurch Ōtautahi, so much so, that the dilemma you’re most often faced with is which 10/10 option to choose from. Luckily, we’ve put in the hard yards and are rounding up the very best throughout the city, those that truly have their burger game nailed. Whether you are a purist and love the simple, refined nature of a classic LA-style smash burger, or perhaps you want to hold the meat and try a mouth-watering plant-based take instead. Then there is of course the ‘more is more’ approach, where the bun does its best to contain a mountain of deliciousness. So bookmark this list and next time you’re struck by an intense burger craving, we’ve got you covered!

The Burger Joint

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78 Brighton Mall, New Brighton, Christchurch, Christchurch & Canterbury

What could be more perfect than a day spent out by the beach in New Brighton followed up by one of the best burgers in the 03. Tucked down Carnaby Lane, you’ll find The Burger Joint, where the ethos is ‘Real Food, Real Local’. They certainly do mean this, producing their epic burgers with meat from local butchers Peter Timbs and Angus Meats, and the all-important buns from Good Honest Products. Their menu is the perfect mix of classics we all love, alongside creative new favourites to try such as the ‘Miss Kimi Cheese’ and the ‘Hawaiian Laden’. No visit to The Burger Joint would be complete without an order of their loaded fries, the perfect addition to your meal.

Black Burger

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96 Oxford Terrace, Christchurch Central City, Christchurch, Christchurch & Canterbury

While Black Burger in Riverside Market may be relatively new on the scene, their wagyu LA-style cheeseburgers have been making some noise and the hype is real. With a deliberately paired back menu, the mission here is to source the finest ingredients in order to make the best damn cheeseburger possible and they’re certainly smashing this goal. Recently, Black Burger took out the top prize in the city’s Fiery Food Competition as part of the inaugural Turn Up The Heat festival. Winning over the public with an extra spicy take on one of their ‘Not So Secret Menu’ items - the Chilli Cheese. So next time you find yourself in or near Riverside Market head straight to Black Burger.

Grater Goods

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105 Orbell Street, Sydenham, Christchurch, Christchurch & Canterbury

Found in the heart of Sydenham, where it has quickly become a foodie mecca in Christchurch over the years, you’ll find Grater Goods a vegan deli and bistro. The mission at Grater Goods is to introduce people to more vegan products and they have an incredibly inclusive approach to this. Part of this includes a menu that features a range of incredible dishes but most importantly has a killer burger lineup. The KFT in particular will convince even the most dedicated meat-eaters to give plant-based a try. Think marinated and fried tofu amongst pickles, onions, homemade aioli and hot sauce. Om nom nom is what comes to mind here!

Smash Palace

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172 High Street, Christchurch Central City, Christchurch, Christchurch & Canterbury

Smash Palace is somewhat of a garden city institution, one of the first bars to emerge out of the earthquake rebuild, it continues to go from strength to strength. Frequented by locals and visitors alike, the vibes here are just what you want from your local watering hole. And arguably the best bit… they serve understated burgers that deliver on the deliciousness scale every time and don’t disappoint. No matter if you’re a traditionalist that likes a classic beef burger with cheese or if you’re looking to mix it up with the breakkie or pigalafel (that’s falafel + bacon) options, you can taste the love and care that goes into these burgers.

Two burgers with melted cheese over the burger patty.

12 Bar

342 Saint Adaph Street

Heading to another city centre spot that gives off neighbourhood bar feels and is quite the hidden gem is 12 Bar. Craft beer served up by friendly bartenders and excellent live music is the name of the game here. And what better to go with the best brews than some of the best burgers created by the onsite food truck Craft Eats. On the weekends it's a great spot for all ages, with a family-friendly atmosphere and board and lawn games on offer. So the next Saturday or Sunday you have free, gather up the troops and head on into 12 Bar and the whole crew can enjoy some good times and even better burgers from Craft Eats.

Empire Chicken

100-96 Oxford Terrace, Christchurch Central City, Christchurch, Christchurch & Canterbury

If a fried chicken burger is your ultimate then look no further than Empire Chicken in Riverside Market. Finger-licking good has never been more appropriate to describe the dishes coming out of the kitchen here and with eight burger variations to choose from, your fried chicken dreams are made. Depending on your hunger levels you’ve got a range of choices from the paired back and aptly named ‘Single’ right through to the likes of the ‘American’ and ‘Anti-Vegan’ which are both stacked high with the very best ingredients. There’s even an ice cream burger on the dessert menu if you’re feeling rebellious and want to throw all traditional burger rules out the window!

Smokey T's

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314 Cashel Street, Christchurch Central City, Christchurch, Christchurch & Canterbury

Local favourite Smokey T’s are the masters of slow-cooked meats, they produce tender, juicy, melt-in-your-mouth goodness. Using a wood-smoked BBQ and the most precious of ingredients… time, the process here is focused 100% on quality. Luckily for all us burger lovers out there, the humble bun meets meat combination features on the Smokey T’s menu with your choice of brisket, pork belly, jerk chicken and southern fried chicken. Served in an organic milk bun, with slaw and all the saucy trimmings you could want, run don’t walk to their Cashel Street location.

Slick Burger

254 Ferry Road, Phillipstown

If you are heading out of the city centre and find yourself on Ferry Road - you just so happen to be in the perfect spot for one of Christchurch’s best burgers. Slick by name and slick by the food produced, Slick Burger just had to be a part of this list. With over 25 burgers on their menu, there is something to appeal to every tastebud and preference here. The names alone show how creative the Slick team is, from their fish burger ‘Gill Clinton’ to ‘The El-Wedgo’ which as you may have guessed features potato wedges, there’s plenty to salivate over.

Pomeroy's Old Brewery Inn

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292 Kilmore Street, Christchurch Central City, Christchurch, Christchurch & Canterbury

It can be hard to beat a pub outing on a sunny Sunday afternoon, pint in one hand, burger in the other. When this is the exact scenario you want to find yourself in, then you must head to Pomeroy’s Old Brewery Inn. On the edge of the central city, this family-run pub has been on the scene for over 20 years and they sure know what they’re doing. With character in spades, a range of brews on tap and most importantly a stellar selection of burgers on their menu at any given time.

Neat Christchurch & Canterbury Places

Bessie

A table setting at Bessie, Christchurch's steak house.
Place Christchurch & Canterbury
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Dark, a little brooding and faultless in its theme, Bessie is an immaculate display of fine dining in the inner city.

The Observatory Hotel

A Modern Gothic lounge design.
Place Christchurch & Canterbury
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The Observatory Hotel is a beautiful central location in Christchurch, allowing you to leave the car for your stay and explore the city on foot.

A&C Homestore

A&C Homestore interior in Christchurch.
Place Christchurch & Canterbury

Found down a laneway in The Crossing precinct, the retail heart of Christchurch’s inner city, shopping at A&C Homestore is always a dreamy experience.

Dux Central

Dux Central exterior, Christchurch.
Place Christchurch & Canterbury
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If bars could be left or right handed, Dux Central would be ambidextrous. There’s nothing this place can’t be.