What should you eat and drink when you go to New Zealand?
Come hungry, so that you can enjoy lots of seafood, wine, lamb, meat pies, fresh fruits, and fizzy sodas.
What to Eat in New Zealand
I really loved New Zealand cuisine because the food was so fresh. Here are some of my top picks:
For seafood lovers visitng NZ, don’t miss the chance to order a plate of green mussels, which are native to New Zealand. The outer part of the shell is bright green while the mussel itself is a bright coral color. I ate every bite of the plate below!
Hokey Pokey Ice Cream
Hokey Pokey is one of New Zealand’s most popular flavors of ice cream. It’s vanilla ice cream with chunks of honeycomb. I got the hokey pokey ice cream pictured below near Coromandel Beach as a sweet treat after a day in the hot sun. I don’t see the honeycomb in the photo, but it was delicious!
New Zealand has the highest density of sheep per unit area. Driving through NZ, we saw so many beautiful sheep farms. If you enjoy lamb, NZ is the place to get it.
When I visited New Zealand, I had yet to discover how incredible oysters were. Don’t make the same mistake I did and add bluff oysters to the top of your culinary to do list. Bluff oysters, which are also called dredge oysters, mud oysters and flat oysters, are only available in New Zealand and parts of Chile, making them a rare delicacy. Bluff oysters have a briney taste with a touch of sweet cream, making them a rare treat. In NZ they tend to serve the oysters cooked, but there are a select few restaurants such as Logan Brown in Wellington, dedicated to serving fresh bluff oysters.
Fergberger is an iconic burger spot in Queenstown, NZ with giant portion sizes. There are always lines sticking out the door, but these tasty burgers are worth the wait.
This dish might not be fore everyone, but when in NZ, right? Whitebait fritters are a mix of small white fish with flour, eggs, butter, parsley which is fried to a golden brown and served with a squeeze of lemon.
While not a traditional New Zealand food, meat pies are popular throughout NZ, and shouldn’t be skipped. We split a veal meat pie on the trip to Milford Sound. It was quite heavy, but very tasty.
Fish & Chips
Fish and chips are a staple in NZ. While this dish can be found around the world, it’s a regular part of NZ culture and you should order a basket of fish and chips if you get the chance.
While bagels and lox aren’t typically associated with NZ, I thought the smoked salmon in NZ was amazing. I became addicted to their coffee shop bagel sandwiches as an easy meal on our road trip. Plus, all of their bagels are sprinkled with cute little pumpkin seeds. Does anyone know why?
What to Drink in New Zealand
I almost didn’t try an L&P soda, but I finally picked one up at a gas station stop along our road trip, and I’m so glad that I did! It was light, crisp, refreshing and perfectly lemony. It tastes very different from Sprite or 7UP in the U.S.
I found that overall the sodas in NZ tasted a bit different but in a good way. I could even tell the difference when drinking a CocaCola, because different countries have different food regulations and taste preferences, so the formulas are adjusted. I would buy NZ soda over U.S. soda any day.
Feijoa is a fruit native to New Zealand that makes a powerfully fragrant tea. The tea almost has a perfume quality to it.
New Zealand Wine
Kings Country Brewery
DB Draught Beer
Pure Hot Chocolate in Wellington