Food and Drink Heroes of Kaikōura
Come hungry, thirsty and with plenty of suitcase space as this new look food and drink scene won’t disappoint.
Words: Johnny Gibson
Photos: Nancy Zhou
Famous for its abundance of seafood, a recent surge of passionate local producers is helping highlight what's wild and farmed to create more memorable food experiences in the awe-inspiring coastal community of Kaikōura.
Mt Fyffe Distillery
202 McInnes Road, Kaikoura Flat, Kaikōura
On the foothills of Mt Fyffe, you'll find one of NZ's smallest nano distilleries in My Fyffe Distillery. Founder and distiller Justine Schroder's passion is evident when she talks about her gin journey. Head to their website to experience Kaikōura in a bottle and hear about their story and award-winning gins. You might even be able to book a visit to the garage distillery located on their family farm.
17 Parsons Road, Hapuku, Kaikōura
Hapuku Kitchen is all about reconnecting people with where their food comes from. A cooking school and home for owner operators Fiona Read and Chris Sturgeon, the property produces just about all the ingredients used in the kitchen. There's a herb garden that grows over 20 varieties, a citrus orchard, walnut, hazelnut and almond trees, apple, pear and quince trees, an amazing vegetable garden, ducks, saddleback pigs, Galloway cows and plenty more. You can join the culinary adventure by booking a half day or full day cooking class or popping along to one of their supper clubs.
57A Beach Road, Kaikōura
This award-winning brewery and taproom is open daily with 12 taps of goodness, including regular releases and seasonals. A lunch menu offers burgers and bites to match your brews. There's an 18 hole mini golf course and two escape rooms. You can also fill riggers to take away if you're not planning to stay.
Star Coffee Roasters
Roasting 100% Certified Organic Fair Trade Arabica beans, Star Coffee Roasters are all about small batch fresh quality coffee. Established in 2010, this low key coastal roaster supplies a handful of local spots, including SlamClub, Bean Me Up and Bernie's Diner. Three blends are on offer and orders can be made via email or phone via the website.
Hislop's & BeeBox
28 West End
The Hislop family has a strong connection to the land in Kaikōura. They’ve been involved in sustainable practices for years. Third generation beekeeper Quintin Hislop operates BeeBox, which is all about supporting sustainable beekeeping practices and honest honey producers, plus they make a pretty good coffee too. On top of honey from Quintin's hives, a selection of different beekeepers' honey is found in-store, plus other honey related products such as Hexagon Mead, made in a traditional way by Quintin's cousin, Jesse.
Jul-20 NZ, State Highway 1, 6, Kaikōura
No Kaikōura trip would be complete without a seafood fix, and there's no place better than this iconic caravan restaurant that sits oceanside along State Highway 1. Nins Bin first opened some 40 years ago and the process hasn't changed much. Crays are caught early in the morning using sustainable fishing methods, cooked across the road in a cookery and served with fresh lemon and garlic butter direct from the caravan – simple and delicious.
Kaikōura Fine Foods
8 West End, Kaikōura, Kaikōura
Kaikōura Fine Foods is a small delicatessen at the north end of the main street. Showcasing local artisan produce alongside fine international foods, is at the heart of this local business. A variety of cured meats sourced mainly from Canterbury based Poaka farm (producer of award winning free range meats), plus several different cheeses from Little River Estate and goat cheese from Picton based Cranky Goat, are all available. The dry goods shelves are stocked with various condiments you won't find at the supermarket.
State Highway 1, Kaikōura
While the lodge is most famous for its Tree House rooms, it's a noteworthy farm for food production. There's an olive orchard that provides oil for the kitchen and restaurant. An operating deer farm specialises in breeding stags for their antlers, and the team is developing a program to breed venison, beef, lamb and pork to create a 'Farm to Table’ experience.
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Neat Kaikōura Places
Bok’s Yellow Food Truck
Hidden in plain sight on Kaikōura's main drag is Bok’s Yellow Food Truck.
The Pier Hotel
A classic Kiwi pub and restaurant housed within an iconic nineteenth century hotel.
The Top Shop
Kaikōura’s Top Shop is the longest serving local fish n’ chip shop in town.
Wacky Stays & Llama Trekking Kaikōura
For something quite out of the ordinary.
Kaikōura Seafood BBQ
One the most affordable spots in town for getting your hands on world famous crayfish.