Where to Catchup With Friends During the Week in Christchurch
Weekends aren’t the only time for catching up with friends, and they no longer hold the monopoly on being when you can have some fun.
Words by: Julia Rutherford
Photos by: Nancy Zhou
In Christchurch, it’s becoming increasingly popular for people to be out and about during the week, meeting up for a good meal, indulging in a bit of gossip and reconnecting with someone you might not have seen for a while.
Brunching and lunching is always a winner in our books, but at your next catch up, why not level up and add an activity to your plans too? From embracing nature on a walk around the gardens, beaches or bays to a spot of pampering to getting your arts and culture fix at some of the incredible free venues around the city. So schedule that long overdue meet-up and make your way through our neatest recommendations throughout the city.
Meet up for a pizza or plate of pasta at The Mediterranean Food Company and shop the store
322 Tuam Street, Christchurch Central City, Christchurch, Christchurch & Canterbury
The Mediterranean Food Company on Tuam Street is a foodie’s heaven, so if you or the friend you are meeting up with falls into this category, it is a must-visit. Start with lunch at the in-house café, where you can opt for authentic Italian dishes like pizza and fresh pasta or go straight for their highly-rated tiramisu, some of the best you’ll find in town. After polishing off your meal, browse the aisles of the store part of the building, stock up on pantry staples and makes sure to throw some treats in your basket too. Shopping with friends usually results in discovering new items, or perhaps you can make a plan for a dinner party at each other’s houses in the future using your new finds.
Lunch at Child Sister + partake in an event at Tūranga
277 Manchester Street, Christchurch Central City, Christchurch, Christchurch & Canterbury
No weekday catchups list would be complete without mentioning Child Sister, this inner-city café has one of the best menus around town, and its popularity is evident to see. Luckily there are plenty of indoor and outdoor seating options for you to choose from, so settle in, and peruse your cabinet and menu options, top tip here… there is no wrong choice! After you have enjoyed a delicious lunch, make your way around the corner and a less than five-minute walk to Tūranga, the Central City Library. You can opt to browse the aisles and aisles of books together, or why not participate in one of the many events, classes or exhibitions they have on? This will take a bit of pre-planning, but their website always has the most up-to-date programme of what is going on. From baking clubs to creativity sessions to history classes, there are all sorts of things for you to pick from.
Start your catch-up with wines at Tussock Hill Vineyard, followed by a drive over the Port Hills and explore the bays of Banks Peninsula
210 Huntsbury Avenue, Cashmere, Christchurch, Christchurch & Canterbury
If you haven’t been to Tussock Hill Vineyard at the top of the Port Hills, then you must remedy this immediately. So close to the city centre, but with its elevated position and panoramic views, you feel as if you are completely removed from the busy streets below. Book a table for you and your friends, decide on a designated driver beforehand and turn up on the day prepared for an excellent culinary and wine experience. We recommend trying one of the wine flights, or if you have been before and know what you like, go straight for your favourite bottle/s to share amongst your group. Their food menu makes the best of seasonal produce and is designed to share, the helpful Tussock Hill serving team will guide you on how much to order and often share their personal favourites with you. After taking in the views of the city and finishing up your lunch, head over the hill and drive around the bays of the Banks Peninsula. Stopping along the way at your choice of Corsair, Cass, Rapaki or Governor’s (just to name a few) - it’s the best of both worlds in an afternoon.
Begin with coffee and cake at The Old Vicarage, followed by a walk at Halswell Quarry
335 Halswell Road, Halswell, Christchurch, Christchurch & Canterbury
The Old Vicarage in Halswell is one of the cosiest cafés in Christchurch, quite a feat given its large size, but every nook of this place is charming and just perfect for a morning or afternoon coffee catch-up. Whilst you’re enjoying a coffee (or beverage of choice), it’s an excellent idea to order some cake to go with it. Fueled by caffeine and sweets, if it’s a nice day, go to nearby Halswell Quarry for a walk, there are different paths you can take, views to marvel at and six botanical areas that pay homage to Christchurch’s sister cities. All in all a great way to spend a weekday in the garden city.
Caffeine and food fix at Truffle Café, then wander down the road for a facial or manicure in Merivale
121 Papanui Road, Merivale, Christchurch, Christchurch & Canterbury
If you live in or around Merivale, you are probably already a big fan of Truffle Café on Papanui Road. With Allpress coffee in the grinder, a cabinet full of some of the best baked goods in town and a covered verandah, there are plenty of reasons to make Truffle the destination of your next catch-up. If you have time up your sleeve and plenty more goss to get through, walk down Papanui Road and treat yourself to a mani, pedi or even a facial. Nicola Quinn offers an extensive facial and body treatment menu and is a handy five minute walk from Truffle.
Brunch at Miro before taking in an exhibition at Christchurch Art Gallery
176 Oxford Terrace, Christchurch, Christchurch & Canterbury
This recommendation might just be one of the most aesthetically pleasing ones on the list, both on the eatery and activity front. Meet at Miro for brunch, where they have seating for all weather occasions - if the sun is shining, sit outside and take in the views of the Avon River and if it’s a bit cooler, get cosy inside by the fireplace. With amazing smoothies, breakfast cocktails and elevated dishes to choose from, this is a cut above your average brunch. Feeling satiated, cross the river and indulge in some art gallery time, with the best in the city only a few minutes walk away. For art lovers, make a beeline for Christchurch Art Gallery for their world-class exhibitions, where there is always a mix of contemporary and modern pieces on display.
Go for a walk in the Botanic Gardens and finish with a coffee or lunch at Westend Stories
93C Cambridge Terrace, Christchurch Central City, Christchurch, Christchurch & Canterbury
Wait until mid-morning for all the commuting traffic to pass through Hagley Park and its surroundings, and pick a meeting point for you and your friend to enjoy a slow meander through the Botanic Gardens. A jewel in the crown of the many green spaces we have in the Garden City. Depending on the season, pick which areas you want to explore and take a little more time to appreciate the beautiful surroundings. When the rose garden and dahlia border are in full bloom, this symphony of colours is quite magical. Plan your route so you pop out at the city side of the gardens, make your way down Cashel Street and stop off at Westend Stories. Whether you just need a coffee and a snack or a full lunch, this café has you covered, and their extensive indoor plant life will carry through the theme of your day.
Enjoy a late lunch at Grater Goods, then head to The Spirits Workshop for a tasting
105 Orbell Street, Sydenham, Christchurch, Christchurch & Canterbury
Grater Goods is a gem, it’s a deli, café and bistro all rolled into one and found in Sydenham, just on the edge of the city centre. It’s entirely vegan, making it the perfect spot for anyone embracing a vegetarian, vegan or even flexitarian lifestyle. We recommend ordering an antipasti platter, it allows you to sample many of the goods they sell in the deli, like their pastrami, cream cheese and carrot lox - all vegan! Once you’ve finished your platter (or lunch of choice), peruse the deli, make any purchases you want and then move on to another Sydenham spot, The Spirits Workshop. This local distillery offers tastings and tours of how they make their Divergence Whisky and Curiosity Gin. It’s a fascinating look behind the curtain, and we fully endorse spending a weekday afternoon sipping away at these world-class spirits.
Lunch at neighbourhood favourite The Birdwood, followed by a visit to Foxglove Florist to pick up some blooms
76 Malcolm Avenue, Beckenham, Christchurch, Christchurch & Canterbury
If you are looking to meet up in the Beckenham or Cashmere part of town, it’s hard to go past lunch at neighbourhood favourite The Birdwood. By day it’s a bustling café serving up expertly brewed coffee, smoothies, salads, sweet treats and more. (You’ll also have to make a note to come back in the evening to the Pizzeria section). On a sunny day, sit outside in their sheltered courtyard, choose between their excellent menu or cabinet offerings and enjoy catching up with one another. Once you’ve eaten, head up Dyers Pass Road to Foxglove Florist and browse the beautiful blooms and other aesthetically pleasing items in the store.
Fuel up with breakfast or lunch at Niche Coffee + Eatery, then stroll along Sumner Beach
Unit 18/42 Marriner Street, Sumner, Christchurch, Christchurch & Canterbury
Feeling like a catch-up close to the beach? Then heading to Sumner is a must! With plenty of eating options around this seaside suburb, time and time again, we are drawn back to Niche Coffee + Eatery. With beachy boho vibes, Allpress coffee and dishes made from ingredients by local producers, a visit to Niche is always a good time. After a delicious meal, embrace the fresh sea air and go for a leisurely walk along Sumner Beach. Spectate as the surfers catch some waves, people watch as others go about their day, and most importantly, take in the stunning scenery and views that surround you.
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