New Zealand is renowned for its stunning scenery, cultural tapestry and eclectic culinary scene. New Zealand’s population is remarkably multicultural, and according to the New Zealand government’s Office of Ethnic Communities, a quarter of New Zealand’s current population was born overseas, meaning New Zealand’s food is a melting pot of tastes, cuisines and flavors. NZ’s diverse cultural tapestry has a profound influence on how New Zealanders eat in their daily lives, creating an exciting culinary adventure for those traveling to New Zealand – often surprising tourists with its diversity.

Let’s discuss New Zealand’s culinary scene through a tourist lens, explore food popularity by region and unveil the can’t-miss food trends in NZ. New Zealand hosts a number of distinct climates and terrains, creating a particularly unique culinary experience by region. Each region in NZ has its own culinary traditions and customs, driven by local produce and waterways.

Northland and Auckland- North Island, NZ

Northland has a generally warm climate and is home to tropical fruits and plenty of seafood, as Northland is extremely coastal. Local cuisine consists of produced foods, often guided by fresh seafood, combined with local fresh ingredients. Auckland is a world-renowned city, home to a rich culinary scene steeped in culture. Some iconic and up-and-coming restaurants in Auckland:


The restaurant, winner of ‘Iconic Eats of 2024’, promises to deliver flavor-packed Korean cuisine, promising an authentic experience. Gochu is inspired by local ingredients but stays true to Korean cuisine.


Voted one of the top 100 eateries in the Auckland food scene, Bossi promises authentic Italian fine dining and strives to “transport diners to the heart of Italy”.

Waikato and Bay of Plenty, North Island, NZ

Waikato is known in New Zealand for its dairy farming and horticulture. The region produces some of New Zealand’s best dairy products and, for good reason, is known for its cuisine-inspired dairy and meats – the ‘paddock to plate dining experience promises fresh regional produce and hearty meals. The Bay of Plenty is known for its abundant orchards, boasting the iconic kiwifruit and producing some of the best citrus and avocados in NZ. For this reason, when traveling in the region, tourists must visit the local farmers market to taste locally grown produce.

Zeelong Tea Room

Zeelong has been awarded numerous gold standard awards at the Global Tea Championships, making its tea room in the Waikato a destination for tea lovers!

Icarus Roastery

In the Bay of Plenty, Ikarus Roastery produces authentic, NZ organic coffee and is celebrated locally for producing high-quality coffee in NZ, and we Kiwis know our coffee!

Wellington, North Island, NZ

Wellington, Zew Zealabds capital city, is famous for its coffee, craft beer and up-and-coming food scene. Wellington is home to some of NZ’s best and most famous restaurants and breweries, such as:

Logan Brown

Logan Brown is Wellington’s most prized fine dining restaurant, dedicated to evolving with trends within the industry, however, with an unwavering commitment to local produce and suppliers.

Parrotdog Brewery

Known for its willingness to share its love of ‘simpler times’ with its guests, reminiscent of historic taverns and local pubs, the brewery promises a cosy, traditional Kiwi pub experience, celebrated with a range of carefully crafted craft brews. is coming. local community and beyond.

Marlborough, South Island, NZ

Malborough is a region celebrated for its wines, particularly its Sauvignon Blanc; However, let’s discuss a lesser-known treasure produced in this region – gin! Although the region is dotted with vineyards and wineries, in 2023, Malborough’s own Roots Malborough Dry Gin was awarded the World’s Best Dry Gin at the 2023 World Gin Awards in London.

Gin Shack and Tasting Bar

The Gin Shack, home of Roots award-winning dry gin, offers guests an exceptional gin-tasting experience, partnering with Frank’s Oyster Bar and Eatery, which offers the perfect food pairings to complement the world-renowned gin.

Canterbury, South Island, NZ

Canterbury is known as the home of wide and open fields and farms, celebrated for its sheep and beef. The region has a cool climate, making it the perfect place to grow fresh vegetables, and is celebrated for offering truly authentic farm-to-table dining experiences. Must see:

King’s Truffle Farm

This truffle farm offers guests a unique look into the world of a truffle farmer, hosting truffle events that are truly magical. Experience New Zealand’s best truffles in season and join in the harvest, with specially trained truffle hunting dogs. Enjoy a truffle tasting with local farm-to-table ingredients and paired with an award-winning complimentary wine. The perfect foodie experience!

Otago and Southland, South Island, NZ

Otago and Southland, home to iconic Queenstown and Wanaka, offer a diverse and rich culinary scene for all who visit. Southland is famous for its bluff oysters and Central Otago for its vineyards and wine. Not to mention, Edmund de Rothschild recognized Central Otago as the best land for wine production, noting that it was the equivalent of the Burgundy region in France, and purchased an estate in Bannockburn, Central Otago, to produce Pinot Noir.


Grant Taylor, the most awarded winemaker in New Zealand history, owner and founder of Valli in Central Otago, after years working in the Napa Valley, France and Australia. Valli promises a world-class wine-tasting experience not to be missed.

Wynyard Estate Saffron Tour

Saffron is known as one of the most expensive spices in the world; How often do you look at its roots? In the Teviot Valley, Central Otago, Vineyard Estate grows, produces and sells their saffron and offers free tours to anyone who is curious. The tour promises a glimpse into the world of saffron, and a chance to taste some home-prepared saffron snacks!

And the journey ends…

New Zealand’s love of food is evident no matter where you are in the country. It is clear that New Zealand cuisine is inspired by its multicultural community. However, each region has its own food culture, often led by climate, terrain and produce. There is so much to taste here in New Zealand; It’s a foodie’s wonderland!

Veronica Vermeulen

Veronika Vermeulen is the director of Aroha New Zealand Tours Ltd. Aroha New Zealand Tours Ltd. Offering 100% tailored travel and privately guided luxury experiences in New Zealand since 2000.

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