As New Zealand’s oldest city, Christchurch has always had a fair bit of character and refinement. And the people of Christchurch know how to eat well, with hundreds of great restaurants popping up over the last few years. If it’s fine dining in Christchurch you’re looking for, the hunt is over. We’ve put together a definitive list of the best fine dining restaurants in the city to satisfy your upmarket tastes.
Situated in an old Station Master’s house at Riccarton Railway, Dux Dine is one of the most recognisable venues in the area. The turn-of-the-century villa has been extensively upgraded, keeping the spirit of its original era, while providing all the modern comforts you’d expect. In true New Zealand style, you can start off with freshly shucked bluff oysters, before moving onto fish of the day dishes or treats like pea and haloumi fritters. The extensive wine list provides world and local wines, and the beautiful surroundings make this one of the best places for fine dining in Christchurch.
Situated just outside the city in the beachside town of Sumner, Clink is one of our favourite spots for fine dining in Christchurch. With its stripped back interiors and beautiful patio, it’s a great place for brunch, lunch, or dinner. Choose from a menu of small plates like homemade ciabatta with dips, or pulled beef croquettes, or pick a main like slow roasted pork belly on coconut pumpkin puree with baby carrots, apple, and celeriac remoulade. They serve a great cocktail menu of classics like the “Complicit Collins”, alongside their own creations.
“Temptation is a powerful thing” pronounces Original Sin’s website, and after tasting their menu, we can see why. This restaurant in central Christchurch, on the banks of the River Avon, is known for great views, and delicious foods. With a focus on seafood dishes like seared Ora King salmon with Cloudy Bay clams, and prawns with gnocchi, this spot will give you a true taste of Christchurch. Executive chef David Nicol has travelled the world, honing his craft, bringing his knowledge of European and Asian cuisines home to New Zealand to work with local ingredients.
With its low lighting and comfy booths, Bloody Mary’s is one of the most relaxing places in the city to dine. Being a hotel restaurant, it’s one of those spots that’s often overlooked on “best of” lists, but its great food, and impressive wine list make it a must-visit. The majority of the menu is made up of meat, unsurprisingly, with a plethora of dishes that will take your fancy. (If you’re not a veggie, that is.) Choose from steaks like the firstlight wagyu, or the Canterbury Angus, served exactly to your specifications, or try their Canterbury lamb in either rack, or four point rack. Of course, with a meat list like this, their wine list is also pretty impressive with whole sections dedicated to types of wine like Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignons, and more.
The Monday Room
Quite literally, the perfect place to escape Monday, The Monday Room (TMR) offers Christchurch residents a beautiful restaurant to relax and eat, whatever the day. Calling themselves “Christchurch’s home of social dining”, each plate is designed to be shared, with a focus on local produce. Choose from dishes like vegan fried chicken (whipped tofu for the uninitiated), duck fat roasted yams, or green lip mussels in a tomato and fennel broth. If you’re finding it a bit hard to make decisions, go for “Trust the Chef” where TMR team will pick the menu for the whole table, selecting shared entrees and main courses to be eaten banquet-style.