Christchurch has a thriving food scene, and the cafes in Christchurch are some of the best in New Zealand.
Whether you’re after a quick breakfast, a leisurely brunch, or the perfect spot for lunch, you’ll find no shortage of options for excellent cafes in Christchurch.
While we live in Queenstown (which is also home to some wonderful cafes!), we visit Christchurch often. We always look forward to eating at the fantastic cafes in the South Island’s largest city.
In this guide, we’re sharing 18 of the best cafes in Christchurch, based on our own “research” (aka brunching every time we’re in the city).
We should mention that this is by no means an exhaustive list—that would honestly be impossible with all of the amazing choices for cafes in Christchurch! We’ll keep updating this list as we sample the city’s brunch options, though—don’t you worry.
So without further ado, here are our top recommendations for the best Christchurch cafes!
Related Read: The Best Supermarkets in Christchurch
Table of Contents
Christchurch Cafe Map
18 of the Best Cafes in Christchurch
1. Grizzly Baked Goods *Top Choice*
Okay, so technically Grizzly Baked Goods is a bakery rather than a cafe, but you simply can’t miss this place if you’re a lover of all things carby and delicious!
In all honesty, Grizzly makes some of the best sourdough bread and pastries in the whole country.
Their “eggy bagel” is the perfect quick breakfast—a fluffy frittata and melty cheese are sandwiched between a housemade everything bagel. At just $10, this just may be the best breakfast deal in all of Christchurch.
If you’re after something sweet, you’ll be spoilt for choice with Grizzly’s pastry offerings. Get there early, and you just may be lucky enough to grab one of their incredible lemon-poppyseed morning buns.
They also do toastie sandwiches on their delicious sourdough bread, so don’t rule out lunch at Grizzly, either.
Grizzly has two locations—one in Addington, and one in the Welder building in the CBD. Both are great, but we’re partial to their Welder location; the plant-filled space is the perfect place to linger over your freshly-baked treats.
If you continue reading about the other cafes in this guide, you’ll notice that a lot of Christchurch cafes feature baked goods from Grizzly. They really just make the best stuff. So if you can’t make it to Grizzly itself, you’ll likely be able to sample their bread or pastries at another cafe in town!
Tip: If you’re hitting the road for a South Island road trip, consider ordering a lunchbox from Grizzly! With a sandwich, pastry, granola bar & cold drink, it’ll be the perfect road trip fuel.
Address 1: 33 Buchan Street, Sydenham, Christchurch
Address 2: 22 Welles Street, Christchurch Central City (in the Welder building)
Website: Grizzly Baked Goods
2. Posh Porridge
Posh Porridge makes oat-based breakfast bowls that are unlike any oatmeal you’ve ever tried.
Their creative porridge bowls feature local ingredients, including steel-cut oats from Ashburton, seasonal fruit, and other delicious toppings like homemade granola and vanilla bean custard.
Check their instagram for their most current menu, as it changes depending on what’s in season. A recent favorite was topped with apricots, custard and pistachio—so yum.
You’ll need to get your timing right in order to experience Posh Porridge; their Montreal Street cafe is open on Fridays from 7-1, or find them at the Christchurch Farmer’s Market from 8:30 am until they’re sold out.
Address 1: Unit 1/388 Montreal Street, CBD, Christchurch 8013 (open Fridays only)
Address 2: Christchurch Farmers Market, 16 Kahu Road, Christchurch (Saturday from 8:30 am till sold out)
Website: Posh Porridge
3. Child Sister *Top Choice*
If the bright, airy space at Child Sister doesn’t already convince you to pop in, then let their menu further entice you.
With Korean influences on the menu, Child Sister has some seriously inventive—and beautiful—food on offer.
We recommend trying the kimchi rice omelet (our absolute fave) or the gochujang shakshuka. If you’re just after a snack, their honey butter waffle fries are super tasty!
This is a popular place, especially on weekends, so try to visit during off-peak hours, or call ahead to make a booking.
Out of all the amazing cafes in Christchurch, this is probably our #1 recommendation.
Address: 277 Manchester Street, Christchurch Central City
Website: Child Sister
4. Little Poms
Little Poms is a bustling cafe and a favorite amongst Christchurch locals. This cafe specializes in seasonal food sourced from local and organic producers, so expect to find fresh, high-quality dishes to choose from.
Whether you’re after breakfast, brunch, or lunch, you’ll find it at Little Poms.
If you love egg breakfasts as much as we do, try the chili-scrambled eggs with lemon ricotta and shitake mushrooms. Equally good is their unique eggs benny, which is perched on buttermilk-cheddar biscuits and topped with salsa and chipotle hollandaise.
Make sure you get a coffee, too, as they do it well here!
Address: 294 Kilmore Street, Christchurch Central City
Website: Little Poms
5. The Riverside Market
While the Riverside Market is not a “cafe” in the traditional sense of the word, this is a must-visit place in Christchurch for anyone who loves good food.
This indoor market is home to 30 different food and drink offerings, including cafes, restaurants, and bars. There are also purveyors selling seafood, produce, meat, cheese (and tons more), a lot of which is locally sourced or produced.
The only problem with going to the Riverside Market for a meal is that you’re going to find it hard to choose—there are so many good options.
If you visit during the morning hours, consider grabbing a coffee from Underground Coffee or Empire Coffee. Pair your coffee with a pastry or other treat from one of the excellent bakeries onsite, like Bellbird Bakery.
Our favorite time to visit the Riverside Market is lunchtime. Good luck picking a lunch spot, though—they’re all good. We can highly recommend Dmitri’s Greek Food for incredible souvlaki, if that helps you narrow things down.
The best recommendation we have is to simply wander around the Riverside Market until you find an eatery that strikes your fancy—you honestly can’t go wrong!
Address: 96 Oxford Terrace, Christchurch Central City
Website: Riverside Market
6. Ally & Sid *Top Choice*
Ally and Sid is such a great spot to grab a coffee and treat and linger for a while.
With a sunny, peachy interior that feels straight-up cheerful, this is a perfect cafe oasis. They’ve got great coffee (both filter and espresso) and serve up delicious cabinet food—including pastries from Grizzly bakery—and excellent sandwiches.
Come to Ally & Sid to brighten up your day. You’re almost guaranteed to leave with a smile on your face.
Address: 4 Walker Street, Christchurch Central City
Website: Ally & Sid
7. Tom’s Sandwich Shop
If it’s a sandwich you’re after, then head on over to Tom’s—this wee sandwich shop makes some of the best in the city!
The menu changes occasionally, but expect to find a variety of simple but creative options on offer.
On a recent lunchtime visit, it was hard to choose between the cauliflower sandwich or the one with prosciutto and pepperoncini…in the end, the prosciutto won out, and let’s just say that it was delicious! You really can’t go wrong, though—everything is good here.
We should probably also mention that the egg sandwich is a locals’-favorite breakfast item. Just get there on the early side or you might miss out on this one.
In addition to great sandwiches, Tom’s also serves up excellent coffee and a selection of delicious pastries (get the jalapeno cheese scone, just sayin’).
Tom’s is a great casual stop for a quick breakfast or lunch in Christchurch.
Address: 36 Southwark Street, Christchurch Central City
8. South Town Club
South Town Club offers an inventive, internationally-inspired menu featuring seasonal produce and fresh, vibrant flavors.
They make beautiful coffees using beans from Wellington’s Supreme Coffee Roasters, and a visit here is worth a coffee alone. But you won’t want to look past their food. The menu changes seasonally, but some delicious choices include the “lucky dip” breakfast dumplings or the confit garlic hummus with crispy chickpeas and sourdough.
For a lighter option, the yogurt with housemade granola is hard to beat.
To top things off, you’ll encounter friendly service and a relaxed vibe at this excellent Christchurch cafe.
Address: 10 Welles Street, Christchurch Central City
Website: South Town Club
9. The Mediterranean Food Company
If you’re after an excellent Italian lunch, look no further than the Mediterranean Food Company.
From some of the most authentic Italian pizzas on the South Island to freshly-made pasta dishes like penne all’amatriciana, you can expect plenty of carby goodness at this eatery.
They also have lighter options, like the Medfood salad—with mesclun, peach, prosciutto, and gorgonzola, this is one delicious salad to dig into.
In addition to lunch options, the Mediterranean Food Company has a small breakfast menu that’s served until 11 am. The croissant with ham and cheese or the peach French toast are both good choices.
While you’re there, make sure to peruse the onsite shop selling all sorts of Mediterranean-inspired food items. They’ve got a well-stocked selection of pantry items like pasta, spices, and oils, plus a deli section with cured meats and specialty cheeses. This place is a food-lover’s paradise!
Address: 322 Tuam Street, Christchurch Central City
Website: Mediterranean Food Company
10. Hello Sunday *Top Choice*
Hello Sunday is one of the most popular cafes in Christchurch, and for good reason: they churn out some seriously yum food and serve up filling portions.
Located in a cute historic building (a former post office from the 18th century), the setting at Hello Sunday is charming and inviting.
As for the food, well—it’s really good. Their eggs benedict is delicious (and served on potato-leek hash rather than bread, so it’s also gluten-free!). Other impressive items include the shakshuka and the beef cheek hash (get the latter with a side of kimchi; it’s the perfect combo).
For a sweet treat, we also recommend their cinnamon brioche, which pairs excellently with a flat white.
On a sunny day, the outside patio is a great place to enjoy your brunch and coffee!
Address: 6 Elgin Street, Sydenham
Website: Hello Sunday
11. Unknown Chapter
Yet another excellent Christchurch coffee roaster (how can a city have so many good ones?!), Unknown Chapter is a top spot to sip on a hot coffee and get a delicious caffeine fix.
On the food front, expect classics done well at this bustling eatery.
Head to Unknown Chapter for brunch, and choose from their lemony eggs benedict; avo toast with feta, cherry tomatoes, and poached eggs; or the healthy, hearty salad bowl with halloumi, quinoa, and roasted pumpkin hummus (to name just a few of the many menu options available!).
Good coffee, good food, and a good setting—what more could you ask for in a cafe?
Address: 254 Saint Asaph Street, Christchurch Central City
Website: Unknown Chapter
12. Black Betty Cafe
You can count on Black Betty Cafe for reliable, delicious fresh meals and excellent espresso. This popular Christchurch cafe is many a locals’ go-to for brunch and coffee.
Black Betty uses their own Switch Espresso in their coffees and it is really good stuff. You can also purchase coffee beans to take away with you (and if you’d like, they’ll grind them to whatever you require).
With a full brunch menu and a well-stocked cabinet filled with sweet treats and lunch items, you won’t leave here hungry. They do a great eggs benedict and also have good corn fritters (along with tons of other options!). If you’re after a gluten-free or vegan meal, you will find plenty of choices, too.
This cafe is especially popular on weekends, so if you’re visiting on a Saturday or Sunday, it’s a good idea to get there early!
Address: 165 Madras Street, Christchurch Central City
Website: Black Betty Cafe
13. Addington Coffee Co-op
The Addington Coffee Co-op is a Christchurch cafe institution. Situated in a converted mechanic’s garage, this is a relaxed, local’s-favorite spot to grab coffee and brunch.
As their name might suggest, Addington Coffee Co-op specializes in coffee. More specifically, they roast fair-trade, organic coffee beans, and you can purchase their “Common Good Coffee” beans onsite to take home with you.
Now onto the cafe! This cafe serves some amazing coffee (house-roasted, of course) and also has delicious breakfast and brunch options to choose from.
Tuck into smoked Akaroa salmon with potato hash and citrus hollandaise, or an indulgent eggs benny, which comes on an English muffin from nearby Grizzly bakery.
Sweet options include pancakes with seasonal fruit and coconut ice cream, and French toast with espresso mascarpone.
The cafe also has an entirely vegan menu, and they have plenty of gluten-free options, too—there’s something for everyone here.
After your brunch, check out the cafe’s sweet little gift shop; it has a nice selection of eco-friendly, ethical goods and a hand-picked assortment of books.
Address: 297 Lincoln Road, Addington
Website: Addington Coffee Co-op
14. C4 Coffee
Coffee aficionados will find a lot to love about C4 Coffee. Both a local coffee roaster and a fabulous cafe, this place makes some of the best cups of coffee in town along with equally delicious food.
There are a LOT of coffee options to choose from on the C4 Cafe menu. If you find choosing to be a bit overwhelming, consider getting a flight of coffee tastings to sample. We like a simple flat white with their house “Krank” blend—it’s smooth and nutty and easily one of our favorite flat whites ever.
For food, choose from freshly cooked options like eggs benedict or the fluffiest, creamiest scrambled eggs with buttered sourdough toast. Their salmon bagel is also delicious, and they have yummy pastries and scones to tempt you, too.
Sit inside in their cozy, plant-filled cafe space and geek out on all of their coffee gear, or enjoy a seat outside on the sunny patio. And after tasting how delicious their coffee is, why not take home a bag of freshly-roasted coffee beans to enjoy all week long?
Address: 113 Fitzgerald Avenue, Christchurch Central City
Website: C4 Coffee
15. Good Habit
Set in a historic convent with lovely garden surroundings, Good Habit is a Christchurch cafe with a whole lot of charm.
You’ll have food options galore, including a hefty cabinet selection of homemade baked goods, wraps, and sandwiches.
Or order from their menu—for a healthy and delicious lunch, get one of their salad bowls, which come with a variety of freshly-made salads and your choice of protein (grilled salmon, lemon chili halloumi, and salt & pepper steak are just a few options).
For breakfast, try their kimchi and cheese souffle omelet or eggs benedict, which comes with a lime-chipotle hollandaise.
On a sunny day, you’ll definitely want to sit outside amidst the garden. If the weather isn’t so conducive to outdoor dining, though, then grab a cozy table inside—it’s lovely inside the cafe, too.
If you’re looking for a Christchurch cafe with healthy, wholesome, food on offer, then we highly recommend a visit to this spot!
Address: 319 Saint Asaph Street, Christchurch Central City
Website: Good Habit
16. Frances Nation Grocer
Head to Frances Nation Grocer for the picnic supplies of your dreams.
Located in the beautiful Christchurch Arts Centre, this specialty shop sells gourmet goodies from around NZ, and they also have takeaway coffee and lunch options.
On a nice day, head to Frances Nation Grocer for a sandwich and sweet treat to take to the nearby Botanic Gardens. Or sit at one of their outdoor dining tables to enjoy your food in the sun.
While you’re there, make sure to peruse their specialty food items on offer; they have a seriously good selection, including local bread, pickles, vinegar, and chocolate—you name it!
You’ll be tempted to stock your whole pantry with goods from Frances Nation. (Also – their homewares store upstairs is well worth a perusal once you’ve enjoyed your meal at the grocer).
Address: 28 Worcester Boulevard, Christchurch Central City
Website: Frances Nation Grocer
17. Ilex Cafe
Located within the Christchurch Botanic Gardens, Ilex Cafe is a lovely place to enjoy good coffee and fresh food followed by a plant-filled wander.
This cafe is in a truly great setting in the heart of the botanic gardens, with a sprawling lawn in front of the cafe and an attached plant nursery where you can see budding greenery in action. The cafe building itself is worth a mention—it’s a stunning piece of architecture featuring floor-to-ceiling glass windows and tons of bright light.
They’ve got a full menu at the Ilex Cafe, but it’s a particularly nice spot for a sandwich from the cabinet or a sweet treat and coffee. Their salmon bagel is top-notch, featuring Akaroa salmon on a local bagel from Grizzly bakery.
On a sunny day, sitting outside on their patio is a great call. After enjoying your meal, make sure to go for a leisurely walk through the gardens—there’s something to admire in all seasons (don’t miss the massive fiddle leaf fig tree in the conservatory!).
Address: Christchurch Botanic Gardens, Christchurch Central City
Website: Ilex Cafe
18. Park Ranger Cafe *Top Choice*
This bright and airy cafe in Riccarton is an excellent place to tuck into brunch. With wooden elements, leafy green plants galore, and dried flowers all around, the vibe here is outdoorsy-chic. You’ll want to grab your coffee and food and stay for a while!
Park Ranger has an excellent array of cabinet food and a menu with something for everyone.
Choose from vibrant smoothie bowls, halloumi bruschetta, or our favorite—the big breakfast—which comes with poached eggs, seeded toast, creamy mushrooms, and their special house beans. It’s a filling meal that’s perfect for fuelling a day of adventures.
Address: 114 Riccarton Road, Riccarton, Christchurch
Website: Park Ranger Cafe
Thanks for Reading our Christchurch Cafe Guide!
And there you have it—18 fantastic Christchurch cafes to choose from. We hope this list has made you hungry…now it’s time to go get yourself some delicious cafe food!
More South Island Guides
- Read up on the best way to road trip from Christchurch to Queenstown (there are lots of food recommendations in that guide, too!).
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