Favourite New Zealand foods

You are here

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


With more than 14,000 kilometres of coastline, New Zealand is home to some amazing seafood. View the gallery to find out more.

Roast Lamb

Succulent and tender, roast lamb is a Kiwi favourite. New Zealand lamb is held in high esteem throughout the world and is one of the country’s top export meats.  Best enjoyed flavoured with rosemary and plenty of seasonal veggies, roast lamb is a meal that is sure to impress. You'll find it on the menu of our best restaurants nationwide.

Lake Taupo
Lamb at Lake Taupo Lodge, Lake Taupo

By Lake Taupo Lodge

Succulent and tender, roast lamb is a Kiwi favourite.

Māori hāngī

The hāngī was the most widely used method of cooking by Māori for more than 2000 years. Now saved mainly for special occasions, foods cooked in a hangi include chicken, pork and mutton, as well as various vegetables. One of the best places to enjoy this cultural feast is Rotorua, in the central North Island – book yourself in for a Māori cultural experience. You might also get to savour a delicious hāngī-steamed pudding for dessert.

Marae experience, Rotorua

By Alistair Guthrie

Hear tales from locals while savouring freshly prepared food.

Fish and Chips

Best enjoyed while sitting on a New Zealand beach on a balmy summer evening, Fish and Chips is a bonafide Kiwi favourite. Freshly caught snapper, terakihi and hoki are the most common types of fish used, which is then battered and deep-fried. Scallops and squid rings are also often included. Fish and Chips are available pretty much everywhere in New Zealand, and are delicious when accompanied with a beer or two.

Lake Wakatipu, Queenstown

By Chris Sisarich

Fresh, lightly battered seafood deep-fried with potato wedges, then sprinkled with salt and wrapped in paper to go; the humble fish and chips has been a popular takeaway meal for generations of Kiwis.

New Zealand sweets and candies 

For those with a sweet tooth, the indigenous chocolate fish has been a long-time favourite. The chocolate-coated marshmallow fish comes individually wrapped. 

The Pineapple Lump is another favourite New Zealand treat. A square pineapple candy coated in chocolate, the Pineapple Lump has been on sale since 1935.

The Jaffa, a hard coated orange flavoured candy with a chocolate centre, is a must for every Kiwi lolly jar. We even celebrate this unique Kiwi treat each year when thousands of Jaffas are raced down Dunedin's Baldwin St, the steepest street in the world, as part of the annual Cadbury Chocolate Carnival.

New Zealand
New Zealand Sweets, New Zealand

By Takahide Nakazawa

New Zealanders' love their sweets, especially Pineapple Lumps, Chocolate Fish, Jaffas and Jet Planes.

New Zealand Desserts

Kiwis are passionate about good ice cream - hokey pokey (creamy vanilla ice cream with pieces of honeycomb) anyone?  New Zealanders also love their Pavlova. A meringue-type dessert that’s topped with cream and fresh fruit, Pavlova is a permanent fixture at many family Christmases. For something a bit healthier, you can’t go past the delicious kiwifruit – small and furry and green on the inside, it's best eaten by scooping the sweet, juicy flesh out of the middle.

New Zealand
Pavalova, New Zealand

By Takahide Nakazawa

A classic Kiwi pavlova garnished with fresh red berries an raspberry coulis.

Cheese and Wine

If you’re after award-winning wines and cheeses, look no further than New Zealand. We’ve got several world-class cheese making companies, famous for blue cheese, delicious vintages and creamy soft cheeses. Kapiti, Whitestone and Puhoi Valley are some of the top brands to look out for. In terms of wine, New Zealand punches above its weight. Enjoy full-bodied Pinot Noir, light and fruity Sauvignon Blanc and mouth-filling Merlot.

Hawke's Bay
Hawke's Bay wine and cheese, Hawke's Bay

By Chris McLennan

Taste, sip and savour your way through some of the world's finest wines and cheese in New Zealand.

Where to Next?

Food and wine events →

Wine regions and experiences →

Indigenous Maori food ingredients →