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If is fair to say that things have changed an awful lot in Christchurch over the past 18 months. The restaurant choices were very limited for some time but things are on the improve and locals and visitors can once again enjoy an excellent selection of dining options.
Following the earthquakes of 2011 the city has been divided up into distinct entertainment precincts.
Still a bit flat at present but keep an eye open for new developments coming soon. Some great places in the city include Cook n with Gas, Tiffany’s and the Monday Room. The only hotel open inside the central city The George has two excellent dining options including Pescatore their award wining fine dining restaurant. The Christchurch Casino which is also up and running has some good dining options.
The area some now dub SOMO, essentially what the locals know as Sydenham and Addington. Two distinct areas, Sydenham has a revamped small shopping mall (The Colombo) and two new eateries ‘Burgers & Beers’ and the Honeypot Café, Addington has the fantastic Addington Coffee Co café, Dux live, a live music venue and the Pedal Pusher.
To the north of the city is the suburb of Merivale which always had a great selection of bars. The excellent French restaurant St. Germain is one welcome newcomer to the scene alongside the regular more casual dining options such as No 4, Aikman’s and Tutto Benne.
To the West is Riccarton which is home to Rotherham’s of Riccarton, arguably the best restaurant in Christchurch. The area also has a number of casual dining options such as Trevino’s, Fox & Ferret Pub and Nandos, Spice Parragon is a new addition, a great Thai fusion restaurant already a hit with the locals.
All the outer suburbs of the city feature a great selection of restaurants. In particular you will find a wide array of ethnic restaurants popular with locals.
For something completely different be sure to visit some of Christchurch’s container bars before they disappear – the main ones are Revival, Cargo, Carlton Country club & Port Hole. All are based around converted shipping containers. But if that is still to normal for you then head to Smash Palace, hidden behind scaffolding and tarpaulins is a bus converted into a bar, serving craft beer and on cold nights hot water bottles. You have to love the local can do attitude in the face of adversity.
Stay up to date on Christchurch's restaurant scene
This is by no means a complete list and the restaurant scene in Christchurch changes almost daily. A website to watch is popupcity.co.nz - as new places open they will feature here.