One day in Christchurch

Madeline Pratley | Date posted - 16 May 2019

The largest city on the South Island, Christchurch is home to almost half a million people, which means there’s a whole lot to do, see, and eat. If you’ve only got one day in Christchurch, here’s what we think you should get up to.

Breakfast

Fuel up!

Miro

In a beautiful old building on Oxford Terrace, Miro is the perfect place to start your day. Their coffee is great, but their breakfast cocktails are what we’ve got our eyes on, including the classics Bloody Mary, and a Mimosa. We love the innovative Cereal Killer cocktail, made from Woodford reserve bourbon, cereal infused milk, vanilla syrup, and bitters. Tastes like a bowl of cereal but gets you tipsy, we like. If you’re gonna get anything for breakfast, it has to be the pancakes with fruit, mascarpone, almonds, and cinnamon syrup. If you’re a savoury person, get something eggy, the croque madame is especially tasty, made from brioche bread, swiss cheese, prosciutto, and served with a fried egg. Then there’s the Miro Mac and fries. Yep. For breakfast. Why not?

Terrace Tavern

Not far from Miro is Terrace Tavern, it opens a little later, and if you’re a fan of a lie in, this might be the place for you. Their brunch menu features favourites like avocado and eggs, eggs benny, and shakshuka. We’ve already picked out our favourite thing on the menu, the PB&J french toast: granola crusted french toast, peanut butter and jelly, and creme patissiere. From the brains behind Dux Dine and Dux de Lux, the idea behind the place is to make it a relaxed restaurant where people can meet friends and eat great food.

Morning

Hop on a tram to see the city centre in style, and get on and off whenever you fancy. One thing you can’t miss is the Cardboard Cathedral, a temporary replacement after the 2011 earthquake. Make sure you go to the Canterbury Museum as well, which escaped the earthquake, and is free! If it’s a sunny day then it’s worth heading to the Christchurch Botanic Gardens with shrubs and plants native to New Zealand.

Lunch

Time for another meal...

Original Sin

Looking for a place that does all the classics but is still cool, stylish, and delivers tasty food? Original Sin is the one. With dishes like Fish and Chips, their Beef Burger, and Macaroni and Cheese, you’d be forgiven for thinking this place wasn’t that hip, but oh boy, the food is scrumptious and the place is stylin’. We do love a place that does a charcuterie platter, so that was always going to sway us. It’s a great place to head for lunch and refuel, even catering to the veggies and vegans with their own menu, featuring dishes like the German bread dumplings and a delicious lentil salad.

Afternoon

After a leisurely lunch, it’s time for more exploring, perhaps some retail therapy? The most impressive department store is Ballantynes. If you’re more of an outdoorsy type, get up on the Gondola where you’ll take in views of the Canterbury Plains, the Southern Alps, and the hills of Banks Peninsula.

Dinner

Still hungry?

Bessie

Meat-lovers, steak coineussers, and beef fans rejoice, we introduce to you Bessie. A restaurant whose specialty is dry aged meat which they do in house. The meat is then finished on a charcoal oven roaring at 450 degrees. The combination of this style of cooking and premium New Zealand ingredients creates a spectacular flavour combination that shows off world class New Zealand produce. Not only are their cuts of meat fantastic, but their accompaniments are just as good. We’re talking steak tartare, duck fat potato croquettes, and glazed carrots among others. Might be best to get all the sauces as well, white peppercorn, chimichurri, black garlic and mushrooms, red wine jus, horseradish, and seaweed butter. If you’re looking to splash out while you’re in Christchurch, we’ve found your place.

50 Bistro

Are you staying at The George? Even if you’re not, you need to go to 50 Bistro on the ground floor. Overlooking Hagley Park, 50 Bistro is a great place in the evening to enjoy some hearty comforting dishes, and a warm ambience. The entrees include the tasty duck tortellini with truffle pumpkin puree and prosciutto crackling. For your main, there’s sophisticated dishes such as the canterbury fish, and the ora king salmon (which you have to try while you’re in New Zealand), and the pasta of the moment, which is always extremely fresh. If you’re a veggie/vegan, there’s a plant focused menu with a number of options.

Hoi An House

Brunch, Child Friendly, Cocktails, Dessert, Diner, Asian, BYO, Pan Asian, Vietnamese, Vegetarian

Receiving raving reviews from locals, Hoi An House is somewhere a little different from your stuffy restaurant. Translating to “perfect meeting place”, Hoi An is a place to come and relax. Their menu features fresh, healthy and tasty dishes with a European twist inspired by their chef Hieu Tran having come from Vietnam where there’s a diverse culture of food. Once you enter, you’ll smell how good the food is and realise what a great choice you’ve made. The mains are generous and make sure to savour the sauces with your starters. You’ve got two options at Hoi An, the sharing menu or the usual dinner menu, if you have no idea what to go for, choose the sharing menu where you can enjoy a set choice of dishes.

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