The Best Christchurch Spots For An Iced Drink This Summer

Women sipping on an iced coffee at a cafe

Picture this… the sun is shining, the vibes are popping and you’re in the mood for the perfect icy beverage to complement your day.

Words by: Julia Rutherford

Photos by: Nancy Zhou, Ashleigh Vermaak & Supplied

If you’re a caffeine lover, it’s hard to go past an iced coffee although maybe you can be persuaded by an iced matcha, and for those with an extra sweet tooth, an iced chocolate is always a winner. We’ve done some serious research around Christchurch to narrow down your best options. From the best in-house coffee roasteries to city centre spots that personify summer and sunshine to beachside haunts that will no doubt leave you tempted to make your way to the surf and sand. 

So cool down and caffeinate up with our guide to some of the neatest spots in Ōtautahi Christchurch and their iced drink offerings.

C4 Coffee

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113 Fitzgerald Avenue, Christchurch Central City, Christchurch

If you know anything about the Christchurch coffee scene, chances are you will have heard rave reviews about C4 Coffee. With close to 30 years of experience, this triple-threat roastery, cafe and retail space is found on Fitzgerald Ave in a converted warehouse. C4 does not mess around when it comes to their cold brew, dedicating a 12-hour brew time and using their Mexican Single Origin roast to create this delicious beverage. With notes of chocolate and caramel, what’s not to love? If you are feeling adventurous try their nitrogen-infused version – you won’t find that at many places around town! If you’re inspired to recreate the cold brew at home, talk to the knowledgeable C4 team, as they have both the brewing equipment and the beans for sale.

Prima Roastery

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387 Brougham Street, Sydenham, Christchurch

Another incredible Christchurch coffee roaster based on the outskirts of the central city is Prima Roastery. You’ll find their beans at many cafes around town but there’s something special about visiting the roastery itself. The cafe space is bathed in tons of natural light thanks to the floor-to-ceiling windows and the eclectic decor makes you feel right at home. Their coffee menu is as pared back as can be, simply reading ‘Black, White’. After all, when you've perfected the art of roasting, not much needs to be added to make it *barista’s kiss*. We recommend ordering an iced latte to get that cool kick of caffeine you’re craving and appreciate the complex flavours of the Prima roast.

Coffee Embassy

107 Fitzgerald Ave, Christchurch Central City, Christchurch, Christchurch & Canterbury

Fitzgerald Ave is home to not only one epic coffee roaster but two! Coffee Embassy can be found on the corner of Lichfield Street and Fitzgerald, with an onsite roastery and seriously cool little espresso bar. It’s well worth venturing here on a warm day to sample the iced caffeinated beverages they have available – particularly if that day is a Thursday. This is the only day of the week they have a limited number of canelé affogato available – we’re talking a BUTTER canelé and scoop of vanilla ice cream, topped with a double shot of Embassy’s finest espresso. But never fear if you can’t make it on a Thursday (or too many others beat you to it!) because they have some incredible other options such as their iced filter (batch brew) available on tap at the bar and a blended iced coffee with ice cream. Y.U.M!

Unknown Chapter

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254 Saint Asaph Street, Christchurch Central City, Christchurch

At any point during their opening hours, Unknown Chapter is busy and bustling with people and for good reason. They certainly know a thing or two about great coffee, being yet another amazing in-house roaster based in the central city. Their food menu and cabinet items also make for a top reason to visit, in fact it can be so hard to choose what to have, over ordering is often the reality. Their iced drink game is pretty hard to beat and they have all taste buds and preferences covered. If you’re committed to a strong hit of coffee then the cold brew should be your order, whereas if you are wanting a sweeter something, the iced chocolate or mocha is more your pick. Unknown Chapter is the perfect oasis to escape a hot city day.

Ally & Sid

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4 Walker Street, Christchurch Central City, Christchurch

The interior of central city cafe Ally & Sid is summer vibes personified, with fresh white walls and pops of colour, even on a grey day you’ll still feel like an iced beverage at this spot. If you’ve got the kids in tow, there’s a great play space for them at the back of the cafe so that you can enjoy your drink in peace – it’s a win-win! At Ally & Sid, they often have a home-brewed iced tea on offer which hits that perfect balance of summer refreshment whilst still providing a nice little hit of caffeine. Located on Walker Street, it’s slightly off the beaten path but well worth making a detour for.

Doubles

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62 Worcester Boulevard, Christchurch Central City, Christchurch

Speaking of light and bright interiors, Doubles on Worcester Boulevard brings the sunshine no matter the weather. A brunch favourite among many a Christchurch local thanks to a very tempting food menu, coffee that always delivers and its excellent location – close to both the Arts Centre and the Terrace. If it’s a day when only an iced drink will hit the spot but you still want a strong coffee, get an iced Americano. With plenty of outdoor seating on their patio, nab a spot out here and indulge in some tram and people-watching – after all, that’s one of the best city pastimes isn’t it?

The Lil' Brew Espresso Bar

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186a Main Road, Redcliffs, Christchurch

Heading out of the central city and to the coastline, make a beeline for The Lil’ Brew Espresso Bar in Redcliffs. This especially cute cafe delivers on multiple fronts, particularly if you have small humans and furry friends in tow. Kids are catered for both inside and out, with dedicated play areas to keep them entertained and loving life. There’s outdoor seating for your pups, so they can chill under the table and if they’re well behaved you may feel so inclined to order a Cocomutt ice cream for them . For yourself we recommend the Iced Matcha, it’s not super common to find across Christchurch and the team here certainly has their recipe and method fine-tuned. There are also some pretty epic milkshakes on the menu if the kids have earned a sweet treat.

Switch New Brighton

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7/78 Brighton Mall, New Brighton, Christchurch

Also near the beach but in a different direction is Switch New Brighton. Located off the main drag down Carnaby Lane, this cafe is beloved by locals and visitors alike. With a generously laden food cabinet plus an all-day breakfast menu, you certainly won’t go hungry at Switch. But we’re here for the iced drinks and you'll be wide awake after drinking one of their single-origin cold drips. On a nice sunny day, make the most of the ample outdoor seating and enjoy your cold drip while soaking up some rays and listening to the waves close by.

Allpress Espresso

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110 Montreal Street, Sydenham, Christchurch

Allpress Espresso is one of the country’s favourite roasters, with their beans appearing in hospitality outlets around New Zealand. Luckily for us Ōtautahi dwellers, they have their own cafe on Montreal Street, and while the roastery itself is in Dunedin, you’d never know it as the beans arrive fresh from down south on the daily. A must-try at Allpress on the iced front has to be their cold brew – it’s everything you want it to be and more. Packing a powerful caffeine punch, thirst-quenching and quite simply delicious, pair it with a treat from the cabinet and your day is made.

Westend Stories Café & Eatery

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93C Cambridge Terrace, Christchurch Central City, Christchurch

If you and a group of friends are in the city near the Bridge of Remembrance and the want (or rather need) for an iced drink strikes, head to Westend Stories which is mere metres away. The cafe’s large space provides plenty of seating depending on your group size and the options continue when it comes to making your drinks order. It’s hard to go past a classic iced coffee served with ice cream but if you want to branch out, our pick is the iced matcha (also served with ice cream). They’re sweet and the caffeine hits the spot.

Neat Christchurch & Canterbury Places

Rekindle

Entrance showing shop sign and doorway.
Place Christchurch & Canterbury
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This is a place for craft, for making things. Rekindle is focused on creating opportunities for resourcefulness – making what we need from what we have around us.

Mind Your Temper

A close up of colourful chocolates on display at Mind Your Temper Christchurch.
Place Christchurch & Canterbury
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If you’re feeling grumpy or a little blue, a visit to Mind Your Temper is sure to lighten your mood.

Pizza Trap

Customers sitting at high tables.
Place Christchurch & Canterbury Editor's Pick
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Pizza Trap is a collaboration between the person behind Alligator Pizza and Space Academy, serving up neo-neapolitan pizzas with quality ingredients on hand-thrown, sourdough bases.

Odeon

A wide view of the inside of the Odeon restaurant in Christchurch.
Place Christchurch & Canterbury
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Take one of Christchurch’s best chefs and his wealth of international experience, add his Andalusian-inspired dishes to an epic and interesting wine list, and top it all off with a sumptuous, luxe decor and you get Odeon.