Our top picks for the best places to eat in NZ


Along with a sense of adventure, don’t forget to pack in your appetite when visiting New Zealand. New Zealand is choca-block with eateries that pay homage to our world-famous produce. Here are our picks of best places to eat in NZ.

1. Pio Pio Café, Milford Sound Lodge 

Seeking inspiration from the surrounding wild landscapes of Fiordland, Pio Pio Café is the absolute best place to tuck in after your Milford adventures. Much like the destination, the café is a must-do with a menu that features local specialties such as local venison tenderloin and Stewart Island salmon. Tuck into a perfectly cooked New Zealand beef cheek or savour the flavours of the sea with a prawn and squid salad – a personal favourite of ours on this best places to eat in NZ list.

Best places to eat in NZ

Photos like this make our tummies rumble…

2. Nin’s Bin, Kaikoura

This pseudo food truck is an icon on State Highway 1, just 15 minutes from Kaikoura. It is the place to be if you’re a seafood lover. They serve a decidedly limited menu of crayfish, mussels, and whitebait, all of which were swimmingly fresh. But what is lacked in variety, is made up with quality and finesse in treating the seafood. A bonus is staring out into the Pacific blue as you enjoy one of New Zealand’s most popular food experiences.

3. Fleurs Place, Central Otago

Located on the old jetty in the sleepy village of Moeraki (renowned for its boulders on the beach), Fleurs Place has icon status in New Zealand’s food scene. Serious foodies, including British chef Rick Stein, travel the world to dine at this rustic portside restaurant by owner/chef Fleur Sullivan.  If you appreciate the bounty of New Zealand’s southern seas, you will love Fleur’s menu because it is the ocean that inspires what’s on it. Seasonal, fresh and always perfect, this is one we could not leave out on our best places to eat in NZ list.

Best places to eat in NZ

Nothing beats a fresh salad in a World Heritage location…

4. Hangi in Tamaki Maori Village, Rotorua

Cooked in a pit in the ground, hangi is a traditional Maori meal that is a must-try. Made with seafood, chicken, lamb and root vegetables, it is cooked for hours resulting in off-the-bone meat with delicious earthen flavours. A great way to interact with the Maori culture, hangi is offered at many tourist attractions. One place that does it extremely well is Tamaki Maori Village in Rotorua with their emphasis on ‘sharing a culture’.  The story behind the kai (food) is as rich as the dish itself.

5. Finishing our list of the best places to eat in NZ is Poderi Crisci, Waiheke Island

On Waiheke you expect the wine to be excellent. Equally memorable is the great-tasting food you can enjoy here – it’s a huge part of the life on Waiheke. Poderi Crisci is one of our favourite vineyard eateries here, a slice of Tuscany in Auckland. Eating and drinking at tables in the sun, in this hidden valley that opens into a basin, with the beautiful Awaawaroa Bay beyond, is very special. The Italian fare they dish out is outstanding – worthy of the song and dance this place has created.