From Marlborough to Central Otago to Wellington, these hot spots are where you will find the best food and wine in New Zealand.
New Zealand’s most famous wine region – where three-quarters of the country’s total volume is produced – also has a thriving food scene. “There’s a great community of people doing good things here,” says Shepherd Elliott of Wellington’s Shepherd restaurant. He recommends Arbour restaurant in Blenheim and the Feast Merchants food truck at the Marlborough Farmers’ Market in Blenheim every Sunday morning.
Along with pinot noir, olive oil and cheese, Central Otago is known for its game. “There’s really good venison and rabbit,” says Casey McDonald of Craggy Range Restaurant in Hawke’s Bay.
Wine, cheese, chocolate, craft beers, fresh produce – Martinborough has it all. “The coastline along here is also great for crayfish, paua and seaweed,” says McDonald.
“In the past five years, there’s been an influx of new young entrepreneurs,” says Elliott. His top tips for restaurants in Wellington include the contemporary Kiwi cuisine at Rita, the Middle East-inspired bar and eatery Mason and Hiakai, which showcases Māori and Polynesian ingredients and cooking techniques.
Look for Wanaka’s roadside fruit stalls, says McDonald. “This is the stonefruit capital of New Zealand – all the restaurants get their fruit here.