The Sydenham Picnic Basket

Person in denim jacket using tongs to put donuts and croissants into a take away container.

The streets of Sydenham are filled with all the best artisan producers and quality food and drink. From picnics, special lunches or filling the pantry, we've made this list of Sydenham's top locations so you don't have to.

Words by: Julia Rutherford

Photos by: Nancy Zhou

Packing a picnic, assembling a lunch spread or decadently stocking your pantry? You might be surprised by how many artisan producers and quality food and drink operators you’ll find in the streets of Sydenham. Whether it is stocking up on bagels, pastries and freshly roasted coffee beans for a Sunday brunch at home.

Perusing specialty liquor purveyors for that particular bottle of wine or beer your friends like who are coming round for dinner. Or heading away for the weekend and making a pitstop before leaving the city to make sure you have ample sweet and savoury treats for the days ahead. No matter the occasion or where your taste preferences lie shopping locally in the picnic basket that is Sydenham is the way to go.

Grizzly Baked Goods

33 Buchan Street, Sydenham, Christchurch, Christchurch & Canterbury

For many Christchurch locals, Grizzly Baked Goods needs no introduction. They are the masters of carbs, and stopping by their hole-in-the-wall shop in Sydenham is always a fun experience. Eyeing you up as you approach the window to order are loaves of sourdough, rows of buns, baps and bagels and a cabinet laden with sweet pastries, donuts and cookies. It is pretty much guaranteed that you will leave with more than what you initially popped by for… no bad thing at all!

J Friend & Co

29 Coleridge Street, Sydenham, Canterbury, Christchurch & Canterbury

Make sure you set aside a little extra time when visiting J Friend & Co., as the experience is not to be rushed. This local honey business started by couple Sharyn and Jeremy shines a spotlight on raw pure honey. They celebrate what they harvest from their urban apiaries in Canterbury plus the hives of a select group of beekeepers New Zealand-wide. In their Coleridge Street store, you can sample the different jars and gain an appreciation for the art and craft of producing such fine honey, all whilst learning about the minimal-intervention approach J Friend & Co. supports.

Decant

76 Buchan St, Sydenham, Christchurch

Looking for a full-bodied Bordeaux or a crisp, light rose from Provence? Decant is proud to be home to the South Island’s largest selection of European wines. Even the most specific of wine tastes can be accommodated here. They also specialise in stocking hard-to-find spirits, liqueurs and aperitifs plus beer and cheese, so if you’re really wanting to amplify that picnic or dinner party, Decant should absolutely be one of your shopping stops.

Sweet Société

The Colombo, 363 Colombo Street, Sydenham, Christchurch

No picnic basket, platter arrangement or dinner party is complete without a sweet treat or two featuring. The Sweet Société found inside The Colombo has you covered when it comes to choosing a delicate dessert option. Stockists of the famed colourful and flavourful macarons from J’aime Les Macarons and She Universe Chocolate, they also have their own range of sourdough donuts and other incredible French-inspired baked goods. The hardest thing about going to Sweet Société is resisting leaving without buying one of every treat on offer!

The Beer Library

78 Buchan St, Sydenham, Christchurch

The Beer Library is a craft beer lover’s heaven! This family-run shop has an incredible bottle selection and has over 300 different varieties of craft beer, wine and specialty spirits in stock. And for those aficionados who have their own growlers (defined as a glass, ceramic, or stainless steel bottle used to transport draft beer), the folk at the Beer Library have you covered with their very own draft station. Perfect if you are heading out for a picnic - only one vessel (perhaps multiple!) to keep cool in the chilly bin.

Prima Roastery

Cafes icon

387 Brougham Street, Sydenham, Christchurch, Christchurch & Canterbury

If you are after locally roasted coffee beans, it is difficult to go past Prima. Beginning life in 1995, the roastery has evolved into one of the leading coffee brands in the city, with a strong focus on sustainability and supplying incredible coffee. On offer is a wide variety of options, from blends that have been carefully crafted and produced year after year, to single-origin varieties that surprise and delight.

The team welcomes you to bring in your own containers from home, or your coffee will come in a compostable bag that you can bring back, and they will take care of the composting. Whilst you're picking up your coffee, why not also check out the food cabinet and pick up some tasty bites - the famous Fairlie Bakehouse pies are stocked here… just saying.

Two Thumb Brewing Co

380 Colombo Street, Sydenham, Christchurch

This local brewery prides itself on producing an extensive range of core and seasonal craft beers. They use locally sourced malts and NZ hops and welcome their customers to take a sneak peek at their brewers at work in their Sydenham location. Two Thumb’s beers cater to a variety of palettes, from a light and low alcohol pale ale, all the way through to a deep dark stout. So no matter what your picnic pals or dinner guests prefer, there’s bound to be something in the Two Thumb collection that will appeal.

Grater Goods

This vegan deli and bistro is a must-visit when it comes to assembling a drool-worthy table spread. Grater Goods has an incredible range of vegan meats and cheeses, plus a wide variety of platter accompaniments and specialty pantry items. And what might be the best thing about a visit here is whilst you peruse the deli, you can do so with a glass of wine in hand, now that’s a win-win!

Two ladies sharing a glass of red wine at the table with a lamp on next to them.

Neat Christchurch & Canterbury Places

Ally & Sid

The counter and coffee machine at Ally & Sid café in Christchurch.
Place Christchurch & Canterbury
Cafes icon

Everything about Ally & Sid is inviting - a breezy spot for excellent coffee, tasty cabinet fare and a big side of sunshine.

Tramway Restaurant

Tramway Restaurant exterior.
Place Christchurch & Canterbury
Restaurants icon

The Tramway Restaurant is somewhat of a moving Christchurch institution. Most of us have seen it roll past us lit up with warm lighting, filled with happy diners waving at passers by.

Brew Academy

Side view of a man pouring a beer from taps at Brew Academy in Christchurch.
Place Christchurch & Canterbury

Brew Academy gives you the chance to learn to brew, grab a pint from their tap room, and get a mean feed from Smoke ’n’ Barrel, who operate out of the same premises. There’s a lot on offer at Brew Academy, and good beer ties it all together.

Shopology

Shelve of warm winter scarfs at Shopology.
Place Christchurch & Canterbury

Shopology is a collaborative retail space, where talented artisans, makers and designers come together.