New Zealand – Our favourite food and drinks

Fresh, diverse and delicious, Kiwis love their food. While you’re in New Zealand, seek out a few of the following quintessential Kiwi foods and drinks.

Crayfish and seafood

With more than 14,000 kilometres of coastline, it’s no wonder New Zealand is home to some of the best seafood in the world. Known for it’s amazing crayfish, the small town of Kaikōura has ‘seafood caravans’ dotted along the coast. The most famous is Nin’s Bin(opens in new window), which is operated by a local family who have been selling crayfish there since 1977. Creamy green-lipped mussels can be found in Marlborough, especially in Havelock. And Mount Cook is known for delicious king salmon.

New Zealand lamb

Succulent and tender, roast lamb is a favourite for Kiwi’s. New Zealand lamb(opens in new window) is held in high esteem throughout the world and is one of the country’s top export meats. Best enjoyed flavoured with rosemary and served alongside plenty of seasonal roasted vegetables, roast lamb is a meal that is sure to impress. You’ll find it featured on the menus of our best restaurants nationwide.

Hāngī – food cooked under the ground

The Māori hāngī is a traditional earth oven style of cooking. Now saved mainly for special occasions, foods cooked in a hāngī include chicken, pork and mutton, as well as pumpkin, potato and kumara (sweet potato). One of the best places to enjoy this cultural feast is Rotorua, in the central North Island, where you can also taste food that has been steam-cooked in naturally heated geothermal pools. You might also get to savour a delicious hāngī-steamed pudding for dessert.

Fish and chips

Best enjoyed while sitting by the beach on a balmy summer evening, fish and chips(opens in new window) are a Kiwi favourite. Consisting of fresh fish, coated in a crispy batter then deep fried, along with a generous serving of hot chips. You can find fish and chips in almost every town in New Zealand. This take-away meal is usually accompanied by fresh white bread and tomato sauce. You’ll find fish and chips on most restaurant menus too, usually served with seasonal salad. 

New Zealand wine, beer and other drinks

In terms of wine, New Zealand punches above its weight. Enjoy full-bodied pinot noir, light and fruity sauvignon blanc and the deep, peppery flavours of a New Zealand syrah. Craft beer breweries are gaining popularity, as are cideries. Created in 1907, Lemon & Paeroa (better known as L&P) is a non-alcoholic soft drink made from lemon and carbonated water, the name stems from originally being created in the town of Paeroa. Feijoa juices, healthy kombucha creations and other fruit drinks(opens in new window) can be found in shop fridges throughout the country.