Where to Eat in Canterbury Region: The Best Restaurants and Bars

October 1, 2017 Jasper Kershner

Christchurch, the Garden City, and the Canterbury region are the perfect destination for daredevils. From northern Kaikoura to Waimate in the south, Canterbury is an adventure sports paradise. Hangliding, helibiking, bungee jumping, snowboarding, jetboating, rafting and skydiving get the adrenaline going. Golfing, flightseeing, swimming with dolphins and soaking in thermal pools are more laid-back temptations. Christchurch, a city of parks and gardens, is the country’s third largest urban area.
Things to do in Canterbury Region

1. Dimitris Greek Food

Re:Start Mall | Cashel Street, Christchurch 8001, New Zealand Takeout, Outdoor Seating, Seating, Wheelchair Accessible Fast Food, Greek, Vegetarian Friendly, Vegan Options, Gluten Free Options Lunch, Dinner HK$78 - HK$118 +64 3-377 7110
Excellent
71%
Good
23%
Satisfactory
4%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 551 reviews

Dimitris Greek Food

Dear customers, After 4 years since the earthquakes we are happy to announce that we are located in 2 locations in Christchurch, firstly we are at the Re:Start Mall on Cashel Street and our new location is a shop at 86 Riccarton Road (which is open for dinner hours).

Reviewed By 988chantellen

There is a reason why dimitris has been around for so many years and has such a cult following.
Huge portions and fresh ingredients with a good price point - around $12.
Their service is always fast despite being constantly busy yet they never fail on being consistently good in quality.
Highly recommend if you are coming to Chch

2. Nobanno

1060 Ferry Road & 91 Riccarton Road, Christchurch 8023, New Zealand Takeout, Reservations, Seating, Waitstaff, Parking Available, Validated Parking, Highchairs Available, Wheelchair Accessible, Serves Alcohol, Full Bar Asian, Bangladeshi, Vegetarian Friendly, Vegan Options, Gluten Free Options Lunch, Dinner, Late Night +64 3-943 5970
Excellent
77%
Good
18%
Satisfactory
3%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 548 reviews

Nobanno

Only Bangladeshi restaurant with modern flair in NZ which serves fresh, healthy and tasty Bengali dishes with exceptional service to every guests.

Reviewed By Oskar_Baxter - Christchurch, Canterbury, New Zealand

We visited the Riccarton location of Nobanno; this recently opened restaurant is easy to find and tastefully decorated. Our server (who I presume was the owner) was intensely passionate about providing us with an excellent dining experience. His explanation of the cuisine was interesting and helpful. Our meals arrived in due course and were attractively plated. We both enjoyed our entrees and mains. The prices were quite reasonable. Definitely recommend giving it a try if you haven't been. We look forward to our next meal there.

3. Mainline Station Cafe

40 Old Main Road | Corner of State highway one and Hurunui mouth rd, Cheviot 7383, New Zealand Takeout, Outdoor Seating, Seating, Waitstaff, Parking Available, Highchairs Available, Wheelchair Accessible Cafe, New Zealand, Gluten Free Options, Vegetarian Friendly Breakfast, Lunch, Brunch +64 21 135 3752
Excellent
89%
Good
9%
Satisfactory
1%
Poor
0%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 131 reviews

Mainline Station Cafe

Reviewed By Morrie2014 - Christchurch, New Zealand

Went on a day trip to Kaikoura and stopped here for coffee and food. The PERFECT place to stop with a great outdoor Seating area, excellent coffee and beautifully made and presented food. Worth a day trip for lunch.

4. No.31 Restaurant & Bar

31 Amuri Avenue, Hanmer Springs 7334, New Zealand Outdoor Seating, Seating, Waitstaff, Parking Available, Street Parking, Wheelchair Accessible, Serves Alcohol, Full Bar, Accepts Mastercard, Accepts Visa, Reservations, Highchairs Available, Accepts Credit Cards European, New Zealand, Vegetarian Friendly, Gluten Free Options, Vegan Options Lunch, Dinner HK$94 - HK$220 +64 3-315 7031
Excellent
83%
Good
12%
Satisfactory
3%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 849 reviews

No.31 Restaurant & Bar

The former "Laurels" Restaurant re-opened its doors in May 2012, as "No.31 Restaurant & Bar", an A la Carte Restaurant specializing in modern European/New Zealand Cuisine. The restaurant is set in a quaint character cottage on the main street of Hanmer Springs. French doors open out to a lovely courtyard for alfresco dining and an outside bar leaner for pre-dinner drinks/cocktails in the warmer months. Inside the restaurant it is very homely, with an open fire, wooden floors and candle-lit tables. Award winning chef/owner, Michael van de Wiel ( previous chef/owner at "The Old Post Office Restaurant", Hanmer Springs, for 12 years). Fully Licensed and NOT BYO. Reservations Recommended.

Reviewed By Richard F - Hanmer Springs, New Zealand

As motel operators we often get asked for recommendations for dining out in Hanmer Springs. "No 31" is only 50meters away but that's not why we recommend them, they have great food and a wine selection to match, and their service is spot on. We've never had a guest come back and say anything negative about their meal, on the contrary, they always comment that the food was great. Good modern NZ menu, whether its beef, lamb or fish.

5. The Lotus-Heart Vegetarian Restaurant

363 St Asaph Street | Christchurch Central, Christchurch 8011, New Zealand Takeout, Reservations, Seating, Waitstaff, Highchairs Available Healthy, Vegetarian Friendly, Vegan Options, Gluten Free Options Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Brunch HK$55 - HK$141 +64 3-377 2727
Excellent
77%
Good
18%
Satisfactory
4%
Poor
1%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 264 reviews

The Lotus-Heart Vegetarian Restaurant

The Lotus-Heart is dedicated to conscious living and healthy eating, striving to create a global cuisine naturally. We use the freshest ingredients, locally grown and organic where possible, pure vegetable oils and vegetarian cheese, and avoid the use of microwaves unless specifically requested due to time constraints. We respect and honour the choices and requirements of our customers and in addition to our pure vegetarian fare, we offer options for vegan, gluten-free, raw food diets, and are more than happy to cater for specific allergy needs. Children are most welcome and we have a children's menu and high chairs available.

Reviewed By Keilisi F - Timaru, New Zealand

Going to Lotus Heart is always a pleasure. It's nice to have a different meal and be surprised at how delecious and satisfying the meal can be. I must once again compliment and thank the wait team. Even though there we limited numbers everything was done with grace and ease. No matter what the occasion you will be estatic to have a meal at Lotus Heart.

6. Pedro's House of Lamb

17b Papanui Road | Merivale, Christchurch 8014, New Zealand Takeout, Free Off-Street Parking, Wheelchair Accessible, Accepts Mastercard, Accepts Visa, Accepts Credit Cards Fast Food, New Zealand, Gluten Free Options Dinner +64 3-387 0707
Excellent
76%
Good
18%
Satisfactory
4%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 904 reviews

Pedro's House of Lamb

A tender whole lamb shoulder cooked slowly over 4-5 hours, with garlic and rosemary to bring out the delicious flavour. Served with scalloped potatoes. TAKEAWAY

Reviewed By Michael R - Hilo, Hawaii

Roasted Lamb and Scalloped Potatoes makes for a simple and yet fantastically delicious dinner. Pedro's is a food truck because they lost their restaurant to the earthquake but their food is far superior to anything we have ever had out of a food truck. The lamb shoulder is roasted, tender and juicy. The potatoes just adds to the rich lush flavors of the lamb. It is to go and feeds two to three people easily. This was one of our favorite meals of our New Zealand trip.

7. The Dubliner

116 Main Street | Mid Canterbury, Methven 7730, New Zealand Reservations, Outdoor Seating, Seating, Waitstaff, Television, Highchairs Available, Wheelchair Accessible, Serves Alcohol, Full Bar, Free Wifi Irish, Bar, European, Pub, Gluten Free Options, Vegetarian Friendly Dinner, Lunch +64 3-302 8259
Excellent
77%
Good
18%
Satisfactory
3%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 172 reviews

The Dubliner

Reviewed By Margaret M

After a couple of rough days on the West Coast of New Zealand in a recent tropical storm, we were stranded. We were redirected to drive to Methven. After the long drive to a place we didn’t plan to be, we thought The Dubliner looked like a great place to have dinner. After we walked in to see a busy pub, no one approached us. Finally, the bartender, from way across the room, shouted at us... “it’s going to be a long wait”. I took it as meaning, please go elsewhere. I understand places are busy and booked, but if someone had greeted us and said, “sorry we are busy for at least an hour, but if you want to wait that would be fine”, at least we wouldn’t have felt so unwelcome. Sorry The Dubliner, service counts. I’ll probably never be this way again, but if I were, I certainly wouldn’t dine here.

8. Carnegies

6 Allandale Road, Fairlie 7925, New Zealand Takeout, Reservations, Outdoor Seating, Seating, Waitstaff, Parking Available, Highchairs Available, Wheelchair Accessible, Serves Alcohol, Full Bar Pizza, New Zealand, European, Vegetarian Friendly, Gluten Free Options, Vegan Options Dinner, Lunch +64 3-685 8999
Excellent
79%
Good
17%
Satisfactory
3%
Poor
0%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 129 reviews

Carnegies

Reviewed By GKTravellers - North Yorkshire

Stopped for dinner based on the excellent reviews on TripAdvisor. The limited menu had a selection of pizza's with unusual toppings and a few mains. We were delighted by our pizza's including one with chicken, brie and cranberry. The pizza's come in two sizes with the 8" one easily big enough for one person and costing only $17.50. While the food couldn't be faulted the service was poor. We can only assume the waitress was new but she seemed too timid to approach the customers when there were only three tables occupied all evening. She had to return to check all of our orders, never checked on our progress, delayed on clearing the plates and failed to ask us about desserts or further drinks. A manager should be providing training and continued guidance until she feels confident to run the front of house.

9. Twenty Seven Steps

16 New Regent Street, Christchurch 8011, New Zealand Reservations, Seating, Waitstaff, Serves Alcohol, Full Bar European, New Zealand, Vegetarian Friendly, Vegan Options, Gluten Free Options Dinner +64 3-366 2727
Excellent
74%
Good
19%
Satisfactory
5%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 714 reviews

Twenty Seven Steps

Reviewed By David E - Leicester, United Kingdom

Excellent but for a few niggles. The main one would be the pace of service which was far too rapid. When eating a good meal there needs to be a decent break between ordering and the first course being served, and between the first course and the main, but this was certainly not the case here, and everything seemed very rushed. We were told we had a 2 hour slot, but the food came at us so quickly we were unable to make it last much more than 1:15 - simply far too fast for a high quality meal. The second niggle would be that the chef was perhaps a little too free with his/her use of salt on an otherwise perfect venison dish.
We started with the scallops and the soup of the day, the first of which was reasonable, the second very good. We continued with the lamb which was very good and the rare venison which was wonderfully tender and tasty, leaving aside the salt issue. The cheese plate was disappointing. We chose to drink the so-called "house plonk" which was anything but plonk, indeed very good and reasonably priced (although the bottle of Pinot noir was too warm, but easily fixed by the use of an ice-bucket). Finally the staff and venue were lovely. Despite the niggles we would return.

10. The Running Duck

1 Peel Street, Geraldine, New Zealand Reservations, Serves Alcohol, Takeout, Outdoor Seating, Seating, Waitstaff, Parking Available, Street Parking, Free Off-Street Parking, Highchairs Available, Wheelchair Accessible, Wine and Beer, Accepts Mastercard, Accepts Visa, Digital Payments, Free Wifi, Accepts Credit Cards New Zealand, Cafe, Vegetarian Friendly, Vegan Options, Gluten Free Options Breakfast, Lunch, Brunch, Drinks HK$16 - HK$102 +64 3-693 8320
Excellent
74%
Good
20%
Satisfactory
4%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 183 reviews

The Running Duck

Welcome to The Running Duck where you will be warmly invited into our Bach inspired cafe. Through the day we offer burgers, salads, award winning coffee and shakes and then Thursday- Sunday (5-8pm) we offer freshly battered fish and chips in our food truck out the front. We love people, we love food, we love culture - come and enjoy this all.

Reviewed By maybhayley - Wellington, New Zealand

Stopped here for lunch after a long drive from Central Otago. Food and service was fabulous. Best burger I have had in ages. Tasted so fresh!
Chocolate shake was amazing but could come in a chilled glass on a hot day.
We will definitely be back one day and will recommend to all our friends :)

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