Love New Zealand

The food you simply have to try in New Zealand


The food you simply have to try in New Zealand
Crayfish at Restaurant Tarras in Cromwell. Image by Alistair Guthrey.

Much like the rest of the world’s population, Kiwis love their food. The country is known for its diverse range of tasty cuisine, especially seafood. That should come as no surprise either, given New Zealand’s 14,000 kilometres of stunning coastline. From the South Island in Christchurch to the North Island in Rotorua, the country boasts a gorgeous selection of fresh and delicious treats.

When visiting New Zealand, people tend to enjoy seeing the sights and exploring nature in what is a truly beautiful country to immerse yourself in, but the food is also another popular option with which to get adventurous. Some people enjoy trying traditional Maori foods too, which is called “kai”. The cuisine in the country is rich in history and takes influences from a range of different cultures. Overall, though, Kiwi grub is known for its freshness and simplicity.

Ahead of your next adventure in the country, here is a look at the food you have to try when visiting New Zealand.

Kiwi Burger

Kiwi burgers
Image via

Admittedly, you’ll probably either love or hate the Kiwi Burger, but you most definitely have to try it. A unique take on a favourite, the Kiwi Burger features the usual burger patties between two burger buns, but they’re accompanied by beetroot and a fried egg. Most pubs or restaurants feature the dish on their menu, mainly because it’s a favourite with so many Kiwis and is adored throughout the country. Some people don’t like it, though, especially if beetroot isn’t their thing.


Crays in Kaikoura
Crays in Kaikoura. Image via

You can’t really go to New Zealand and not try some crayfish. A traditional food in the country, most divers and fishermen are always on the lookout for it as most of the country’s population can’t seem to get enough of it. For example, Kaikōura has ‘seafood caravans’ dotted along the coast, which serve up crayfish as well as a range of other sea-related treats. You’ll generally find crayfish, or lobster as it’s known in some parts of the world, in most places throughout New Zealand.

New Zealand lamb

Roast lamb
Roast lamb. Image by Mike Tinnion.

There certainly isn’t a shortage of sheep in the country, which is largely because New Zealand lamb is widely regarded as being the best on the planet. Whether you’re relaxing with a glass of wine, a slot game of Amazing Link Zeus and with the barbecue fired up, or you’re visiting a top-notch restaurant with a friend, lamb with some roasted seasonal vegetables simply cannot be beaten. Known for being succulent and tender around the globe, Kiwi lamb is a meat that is guaranteed to go down nicely.


Kiwi pavlova
Kiwi pavlova.

Australians claim they invented it, while Kiwis say they did, but pavlova is well worth trying wherever it came from! A much-loved dessert in the country, pavlova is made with meringue, whipped cream, and a selection of fruit. You simply can’t beat it after a heavy main course or a gorgeous plate of New Zealand lamb, for example. It’s fresh, light and tastes absolutely amazing

Whitebait Fritters

Whitebait fritters
Whitebait fritters.

If you’re in the West Coast of the South Island, then you simply have to tuck into some whitebait fritters. Almost like a fishy omelette, the fritters are lovely to eat. Whitebait is regularly caught in the country and is essentially an immature fish that is around two inches long. It’s common to see “whitebaiters” setting up temporary shacks and jetties in the area as they attempt to catch what is a much-loved treat in the country.



Oysters are a popular food in New Zealand, especially dredge oysters and rock oysters. Oysters are not only yummy but good for you being high in protein, iron and essential amino acids.

Each year the Bluff Oyster and Food Festival is held and people flock there to try the delicious Bluff Oysters.

Other food you simply have to try when visiting New Zealand is Manuka Honey, Kumara, Hokey Pokey Ice Cream, Paua, Savoury Pies, Fish & Chips, Southland Cheese Rolls, Hangi, Kina, and cheese.