MistyNites

My Life in Motion

Guide to Christchurch

The more you travel, the more people you meet. The more people you meet, the more you learn about different people’s home towns. I’m always intrigued by the opinion of those people that have been to Christchurch, and I can’t help but get a little bit defensive when people don’t like it. Usually, when I press them on it, they skipped round the damaged city centre and then left again. They didn’t find out enough about what the city is all about, and where are the best places to go. If my previous posts don’t give enough information on where to go and what to see, I enjoy giving recommendations on where to eat and drink in the city. The following are very much my own personal recommendations, and I encourage others to give their own favourites. I’m still discovering new places to go, and regularly there’s an opening or a re-opening going on somewhere in the city, so I’m always eager to find new gems. Discovering all the gastric delights of this city is a work in progress.

CAFES:

C1 Espresso185 High Street, Central.

GO FOR: location; atmosphere; the biggest range of teas I’ve ever seen; food flying through pneumatic tubes; the best ice coffee in town

Vic’s Cafe132 Victoria Street, Central.

GO FOR: freshly baked bread for sale

Cafe Procope205 Fendalton Road, Fendalton.

GO FOR: cheerful staff; amazing food

Beat Street Cafe324 Barbadoes Street, Central.

GO FOR: quirkiness; great food

WHEN NOT TO GO: Sunday brunch/lunch when the queue for cooked food on a busy day is >1hr

Black Betty165 Madras Street, Central.

GO FOR: location; atmosphere; Shakshuka

WHEN NOT TO GO: Sunday brunch/lunch when the queue for cooked food on a busy day is about 1hr

Coffee CultureVarious: Beckenham, Upper Riccarton, Riccarton, Airport, Lyttleton, Merivale, Rangiora, Redwood, Sumner, Shirley, Sydenham. – although a chain, I love these coffee shops

GO FOR: great coffee and consistency across the various branches; join their loyalty card for 20% off hot drinks

The Cupcake Collection140 Colombo Street, Beckenham.

GO FOR: the most delicious assortment of cupcakes ever!

Salt on the Pier195-213 Marine Parade, New Brighton.

GO FOR: yummy food within reach of the beach

Ocean Cafe & BarEsplanade Clock Tower, Sumner.

GO FOR: great coffee by the beach

Red Rock CafeGondola Summit Station, Mount Pleasant.

GO FOR: delicious food and coffee overlooking the city and Lyttleton harbour; red velvet cake

Cafe Lumes107 Fitzgerald Avenue, Central.

GO FOR: friendly, welcoming staff who remember your name and your order; yummy food;

WHEN NOT TO GO: at the weekend when it is closed!

Coffee Lovers25 New Regent Street, Central.

GO FOR: location; the best hot chocolate in the city

WHEN NOT TO GO: >4pm when it is shut

Bean Scene Cafe & Cargo Bar, 359 Lincoln Road, Addington.

GO FOR: size – there’s plenty of tables between inside and out, and it has the best of both worlds: a cafe and a separate bar trading out of the same place

Oddfellows Cafe, 5 Disraeli Street, Addington.

GO FOR: great menu; fantastic coffee and it is attached to a local coffee roasters

WHEN NOT TO GO: on a Sunday when it is closed

Underground Cafe, 359 Colombo Street, Sydenham.

GO FOR: Fantastic selection of very tasty food

Antigua Boat Shed Cafe, 2 Cambridge Terrace, Central.

GO FOR: fantastic location next to the Avon River and near the Botanical Gardens; friendly, smiling & helpful staff

Hello Sunday Cafe, 6 Elgin Street, Sydenham.

GO FOR: the choice of indoor or outdoor dining, healthy food choices

RESTAURANTS:

Tutto Bene192 Papanui Road, Merivale.

GO FOR: Italian restaurant run by Italians, and the owner is always full of smiles; the best Italian in town

WHEN NOT TO GO: if you haven’t booked a table in advance – it books out!

Strawberry Fare19 Bealey Avenue, Central.

GO FOR: divine and delicious foods and a huge dessert menu

WHEN NOT TO GO: if you haven’t booked a table – it’s very popular; or if you’re looking for a cheap eat as it’s far from the cheapest place in town

Flying Burrito Brothers77 Main North Road, Papanui.

GO FOR: great mocktails; extensive range of Mexican food; good food at an affordable price

WHEN NOT TO GO: if you want a quick feed at the weekend – they don’t take bookings and the wait for a table can be as long as an hour at busy time

Pomeroy’s Old Brewery Inn, 292 Kilmore Street, Central.

GO FOR: delicious food (my favourite is the pulled pork) in a cozy, welcoming pub-style restaurant; extensive and changing range of craft beers

St Asaph Street Kitchen & Stray Dog Bar, 236 St. Asaph Street, Central.

GO FOR: scrumptious snack menu; central location

Himalayas, 830a Colombo Street, Central.

GO FOR: delicious and extensive range of Indian fare

Spagalimis, Various: Riccarton, New Brighton, Central.

GO FOR: a wide selection of pizzas which are also available to takeaway

The Town Ball Restaurant & Bar, 52 Manchester Street, Central.

GO FOR: delicious food in a buzzing environment; great location to watch rugby

WHEN NOT TO GO: if you want a quiet meal, as with rugby playing on the big screen all the time, it is a very noisy place to eat

EDIT NOTE 23/06/2014. As of today, the Town Ball has closed for business. It was a temporary (though large) business, and will be removed to make way for a permanent structure.

Speight’s Alehouse Ferrymead, 2a Waterman Place, Woolston.

GO FOR: sharing platters; pub grub

Curator’s House, 7 Rolleston House, Central.

GO FOR: location – snuggled at the corner of the Botanical Gardens next to the Avon river; private dining rooms available for bookings and functions

Passengers & Co, 92 Russley Road, Russley.

GO FOR: delicious food and coffee, friendly staff

WHEN NOT TO GO: at the weekend when it is closed

Venuti, 791 Colombo Street, Central.

GO FOR: scrumptious Italian fare; friendly & helpful staff

DRINKING HOLES:

Pomeroy’s Old Brewery Inn, 292 Kilmore Street, Central.

GO FOR: an extensive, and ever-changing, range of craft beers

Cassels & Sons CBD Bar, 208 Madras Street, Central.

GO FOR: location; atmosphere; live music in the summer

Revival Bar, 92-96 Victoria Street, Central.

GO FOR: location in the popular and ever-expanding Victoria Precinct; unique style of a container bar; al fresco drinking on a gorgeous sunny day

The Running Bull, 1 Riccarton Road, Riccarton.

GO FOR: walking distance from Hagley Park; pool tables and large screens for watching sports

Curator’s House, 7 Rolleston House, Central.

GO FOR: a few drinks in the beautiful Hagley Park

WHEN NOT TO GO: when the wasps are out!

No. 4 Bar & Restaurant, 4 Mansfield Avenue, Merivale.

GO FOR: a great location for a few drinks after work

WHEN NOT TO GO: it can get quite packed on Friday nights once the offices have shut

Elevate Bar & Grill, 2 Colombo Street, Cashmere.

GO FOR: great place for holding functions; a nice place to go that’s away from the CBD

The Bog Irish Bar, 50 Victoria Street, Central.

GO FOR: All your Irish desires – Irish staff, Irish music, Irish-style fare, Guinness; scrumptious bar snack menu; live music venue; the decor is fantastic

Sugarhorse Bar & Eatery, 100 Moorhouse Avenue, Addington.

GO FOR: After work drinks and food, large drinks selection

TAKEAWAYS:

Himalayas, 830a Colombo Street, Central.

Food: Indian

Order in the restaurant, online or over the phone, but be aware that online orders are slower to process

Spagalimis, Various: Riccarton, New Brighton, Central.

Food: Pizza

Beats the likes of Pizza Hut and Hell’s hands down, but it comes at a price

Dimitris Greek Food, Cashel Street Re:Start Mall, Central.

Food: Greek souvlaki

The best, and one of the most popular, souvlakis in the city. Sold out of a food truck in the Re:Start mall there is always a queue, so be prepared to wait

Burger Wisconsin, Various: Cashmere, Papanui.

Food: Burgers

It’s no Fergburger, but although I know some people that would disagree with me, this is my favourite burger joint in the city

Fritz’s Wieners, Cashel Street Re:Start Mall, Central.

Food: Wieners

Quick and tasty sausage fare. They often have a mobile unit at lots of events.

Muffin Break, Various: The Palms, Riccarton Mall, Northlands Mall, Eastgate Mall, Colombo Street.

Food: Muffins, Toasties, Hot & Cold drinks

A chain of food-court style coffee shops, the coffee is good, and if you sign up to their loyalty card, every 5th one is free

Mrs Higgin’s Cookies, 10 New Regent Street, Central.

Food: Fresh baked cookies

Very more-ish and yummy cookies baked fresh

The Sausage Sisters, Unit 5, 456 Colombo Street, Sydenham.

Food: sausage rolls

Listed as a courtyard cafe, it’s little more than a kiosk with a table and chairs outside but the sausage rolls are delicious, especially the moroccan lamb

New York Deli, Various: Addington & Papanui.

Food: New York Deli-style sandwiches

Made to order sandwiches. Choose the bread, the meat filling and the salad, and enjoy. Not as cheap as Subway but worth the extra dollars.

MARKETS:

Riccarton Market, Riccarton Racecourse. Sundays 9am – 2pm

Stalls: fresh produce, bric-a-brac, private sellers, crafts, and a myriad of food carts

The market is on every week of the year regardless of the weather. As an ex-pat Scot, this is my go-to place to get some much loved British foods

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