Sweet or Savoury? Scope Our Definitive Guide to Christchurch's Best Scones

Jam on scones.

The humble scone is synonymous with New Zealand hospitality and a staple of our café culture.

Alas, not all scones were made equal. The trick they say is not to over-knead these bad boys but nonetheless, a sizeable dash of alchemy is required to get the perfect result.  We've done the hard yards for you and found the neatest local scone spots in Christchurch - here you'll find these quintessentially British treats surpassing all expectations. 

Made Espresso Bar

56 Cashel Street, Christchurch Central City

The cumin seeds in this organic delight from Made Espresso Bar add a spicy kick to the overall wholesome taste. Constructed with organic spelt flour, butter and yoghurt, this scone lives up to the Made mantra of “honest, wholesome, simple”, and its this organic point of difference which brings scone lovers their way.

The petite espresso bar skirting the CBD is designed for customers on the go, and so is their signature scone. A nourishing take on the staple sweet treat, Made’s scones are not guilt-free, but can be taken away in recyclable packaging that will make you feel that way.

Grain Coffee

Cafes icon

19 Southwark Street, Christchurch Central City, Christchurch, Christchurch & Canterbury

If you picture the quintessential cheese scone, it will look like those served at Grain. Rustically rounded with green flecks of chives, it is served in two perfectly toasted halves. With a crispy cheesy shell, the Grain scone strikes the right balance between chewy and fluffy. Its spongey centre comes from using two types of cheese and buttermilk says co-owner and baker Sophie Dewar, who also sticks to the classic Edmond’s accoutrement, cayenne pepper.

Baked fresh each morning, the doughy goods are often gone before lunchtime, with some customers even texting ahead to reserve their serving - not that you’d expect anything less at the pristine Southwark St café run by hospitality and coffee maestros. Scone aficionados can enjoy their doughy delight to takeaway, or sit amongst the fresh white, wood and exposed brick interior.

Unknown Chapter

Cafes icon

254 Saint Asaph Street, Christchurch Central City, Christchurch, Christchurch & Canterbury

Like all the baking in the impressive cabinet at this stylish mid-town eatery, Unknown Chapter’s scones are from the recipe book of the owner’s mother. Served toasted with butter, the scones are also accompanied by a cheese wafer and micro greens. An impressive sight for arguably the most modest of baked treats.

Generously portioned, these homely creations are made on site where Unknown Chapter prepares all its other edibles, and even roasts its own coffee beans. Like all the other cafés visited, customers call ahead to make sure they won’t miss out on their scone. One man is such a devout dough lover he doesn’t even take a bag, and just walks out with his scone on his hand.

South Town Club

Cafes icon

10 Welles Street, Christchurch Central City, Christchurch, Christchurch & Canterbury

From the first step through the doors of South Town Club, you’ll notice the scones stacked behind the counter, and darn they look good. Located in the heart of Welles Street, South Town Club presents a cheddar cheese scone with a specialty: chilli whipped butter. A great mid-morning morsel, the cheddar scone is toasted, sliced in half and served at an ideal temperature. Crisp melted cheese on top, these are rich in flavour and plump-scone texture. 

Served with the cheddar scone, the chilli whipped butter is best smeared all over. Only a subtle amount of chilli is tasted, and we can confirm that the whipped chilli butter will be scraped out of that wee metal side dish till the very last mouthful.

Niche Coffee + Eatery

Cafes icon

Unit 18/42 Marriner Street, Sumner, Christchurch, Christchurch & Canterbury

Located in Sumner, Niche Café successfully ticks the box for a gluten-free cheese scone. Golden, crispy and served sliced in half for your convenience, these baked delights have no compilations of flavours - just a classic cheese scone. 

Gone by 11 am during the weekends, Niche’s scones are popular contenders amongst Sumner locals and visitors. With the sun streaming in, the pastel tones and soft furnishings at Niche Café breathe simplicity and satisfaction, much like the scone itself. Toasted for that perfect crunch that enhances and contrasts with the fluffy, bouncy middle. 

Cheesy to say, but these gluten-free golden goodies are sure to rekindle that love for a classic cheese scone, so be sure to try one (or two!). 

The Shroom Room

48 London Street, Lyttelton

 Tucked away from the bustling Lyttleton township and nestled between the pungas, The Shroom Room is the go-to for a sweet familiar date (with a hint of vanilla) scone.  

It’s almost as if your Grandmother is whipping these up in the kitchen, as they are served with a dusting of icing sugar. The dense texture and plump shape is toasted whole, so when it is time to dig in, the butter seeps into the middle and disappears before your eyes. 

With reggae music playing, The Shroom Room brings a collective, quirky approach to a Saturday morning appetiser - with a nod to the family favourite, the date and vanilla scone. 

Foundation Café

Cafes icon

60 Cathedral Square Christchurch Central City Christchurch, Christchurch Central City, Canterbury, Christchurch & Canterbury

Tucked within Tūranga, Foundation Café is the perfect place to refuel after browsing for your next read. Surrounded by the hustle and bustle of the library, you’ll always be in good company. 

Home to famous cheese scones which stand out due to their super light, fluffy texture and perfectly cheesy taste, the heirloom recipe is handed down through the bakers and chefs of Foundation as a rite of passage. Each day they make around two hundred of these top-selling fresh scones.

Rumour has it, around three times a week someone arrives with their wicker basket and paisley tea towel to buy ten or so scones, only to head back to the office and claim that they’re homemade! Safe to say, these scones are just too good. The only question is, ‘Will one be enough?’.

Raw Sugar

73 Manchester Street, Christchurch Central City

Raw Sugar’s cabinet and menu is an oasis of vegan goodness, including an often hard to find vegan cheese scone. While they may not be your traditional scone, these vegan beauties pack a cheesy and herby punch. Small yet perfectly formed, they are served toasted in two halves, with a generous side of vegan butter. 

It took co-owners Benny and Shen multiple iterations to perfect their loving version of the cheese scone. They sweetly say that their secret ingredient (in all that they offer) is love. Rest assured, at Raw Sugar Cafe you’ll be treated with top-notch service, superb coffee and a smile to send you on your way.

Truffle Café

121 Papanui Road, Christchurch

Sitting right on the counter, Truffle Café’s cheese scones almost beacon to kickstart your morning. Served warm with a generous serving of butter, the scones have a crunchy outer and light texture. Truffle’s secret ingredient is a hint of chilli which lingers after each mouthful, without overpowering that cheesy, buttery goodness.

Head over to Truffle’s Instagram and you’ll see an array of comments claiming these to be quite simply, “the best scones”, so much so that they’re usually sold out by 10am. Luckily, the team always has an extra batch in the oven ready for the daily mid-morning rush. Your only worry here, will be securing a seat to perch on while you enjoy a heart-warming scone!

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