photos by ResDiary
Best Restaurant Venues in Christchurch
by Raashka Mannie | 25 Jun 2020
It’s foodie central when it comes to Christchurch and its ever-expanding list of popular restaurants. Innovation is not just the foundation of this city’s infrastructure but at the very heart of so many of its core values. There are a host of restaurant venues to be found, whether they’re overlooking the Avon River or tucked away in the heart of the CBD. Each of these venues offers a distinct atmosphere and seemingly endless menu options, so be sure to check them all out when making your decision! Below is a handy list of the best restaurant venues in Christchurch. For a more complete guide, check this out.
Little Neighbourhood Garden Bar & Eatery
Image by Stuff
A garden bar and eatery located on Victoria Street in Christchurch’s city centre, Little Neighbourhood Garden Bar & Eatery is a favourite when it comes to restaurant venues. Formerly known as Revival Bar, this space is constructed from shipping containers and upcycled materials immediately following the 2011 earthquakes, reflecting Christchurch’s tenacity and strength. They’ve undergone a renovation over the years, changing their name to Little Neighbourhood Garden Bar & Eatery in the process. With a fresh new menu and a dazzling new look, this restaurant venue now offers what they deem to be the best pizza in the city - and so much more. As a function space, they lean towards a more informal, relaxed ambience, catering for groups as small as 50 to ones as large as 300. They offer bespoke menus and drinks services, tailoring everything to your event’s needs. Little Neighbourhood Garden Bar & Eatery is one of Christchurch’s best restaurant venues, with a knack for hosting feel-good functions.
Image by Booking
Christchurch’s best bar in 2017, 2018 and 2019, OGB has made its mark as one of the best restaurant venues in the city. Located in a heritage building on Cathedral Square, OGB is a speakeasy-style bar boasting three spaces: Parlour Cocktail Bar, Woodwards Barber Shop and the OGB Suites. As a function space, you turn towards Parlour, a sumptuous cocktail bar with a golden ambience, available for exclusive hire for your Christchurch event. Inside the Old Government Building and through a secret bookcase, this is one of the most unique and exclusive venues you could hire. Perfect for any event type and with an expert team on hand for planning, organising and running your event, it becomes crystal clear as to why OGB is one of Christchurch’s most opulent venues for hire. With canapés and platter-style dining options available, a private bar and bartender, and period jazz music filling the space, you and your guests will be transported to another time with OGB.
Botanic Garden Bar & Dining
Image by Botanic Garden Bar & Dining
Botanic Garden Bar & Dining is a dining hotspot in Christchurch, swanky and suave in the midst of the city. The setting is casual and contemporary, filled with local food and drink for all guests. The space overlooks Avon River, with a sun-drenched balcony and a sleek interior with pockets of indoor seating, right beside a rooftop garden tucked beneath a modern glasshouse. All in all, Botanic Garden Bar & Dining makes for one fantastic Christchurch venue. With a light, diverse menu that focuses more on health and freshness, they are happy to cater to up to 100 people in their Front Room and 70 in The Glasshouse. The Front Room has bench seating, a modern interior and gorgeous views from the balcony, whereas The Glasshouse is draped in greenery and light, with a private bar and enclosed space for more intimate events. With both canapé and set menu dining options, Botanic Garden Bar & Dining is fast becoming one of Christchurch’s most stylish restaurant venues.
Image by Casa Publica
South America’s finest in Christchurch - that’s Casa Publica, centrally located and thriving. They specialise in South American flavours and rum, making for a colourful venue choice that will lend your function an undeniable spark. With plenty of personality and an incredible menu to boot, Casa Publica has a myriad of event options for you to choose from. Flexible in their hosting, their menus and their beverages, they are seasoned professionals when it comes to functions, with multiple spaces to pick between, including their Covered Courtyard, upstairs Colombian Lounge and Balcony, main restaurant and Hugo’s Rum Lounge. Each space offers a unique ambience and capacity, hosting up to 75 people. Catering options include shared menus, set menus, platters, tailored menus and more. Casa Publica is a vibrant restaurant venue in the middle of the city that will undoubtedly have your function standing out from the crowd.
The Lakes Restaurant
Image by First Table
Set against the backdrop of the polished and luxurious Peppers Clearwater Resort in Christchurch, The Lakes Restaurant offers a tranquil experience for you and your guests. Overlooking Kaikainui Lake and the 18th green of Clearwater Golf Club, this restaurant venue is designed to soak up the beauty of Christchurch’s countryside, paired along with a selection of fine wines and homegrown ingredients to complete the feeling. As a function space, The Lakes Restaurant offers the restaurant and adjacent deck for your use, equipped with its signature sophisticated air and mouth-watering catering options. You’re welcome to book The Lakes Restaurant exclusively, or to use The Kaikainui Room just next door for your event, hosting up to 200 guests cocktail-style. The Lakes Restaurant is an example of one of Christchurch’s most beautiful restaurant venues, showcasing nature and fine dining at its height.
Image by Dragon’s Den Social Lounge
Dragon’s Den is as exotic and thrilling as it sounds, serving as a wonderful space to enjoy fun and flavorful cocktails, international wines and beers, as well as a delicious menu that will have your guests raving. With friendly and efficient staff on hand to help with planning and organising your Christchurch event, Dragon’s Den is one of the most highly rated restaurants in the city. The space is available for exclusive or partial hire for your function, with mouth-watering catering options and an exciting ambience. Featuring a wood-burning fireplace, licensed bar and much more, they are located in Sydenham and specialise in small plates. Dragon’s Den considers themselves a sophisticated events lounge, blending the atmosphere of a modern speakeasy with the rich culture of Hong Kong, resulting in a unique venue that can cater for up to 100 people.
Langdale Vineyard Restaurant
Image by Sensational Selwyn
Langdale Vineyard Restaurant is a country restaurant that’s barely 15 minutes from Christchurch and brings with it an earthy, fresh appeal. With French doors that allow for natural light to flood the space, and the Winery Hall adjacent to the restaurant, this Christchurch venue is a flexible option for any event. The blooming gardens feature sheltered spots to grant you an indoor/outdoor flow if desired. The main restaurant can host up to 130 guests, whereas the Winery Hall seats 60 and opens onto a verandah bordering the garden. Both spaces are available for exclusive hire and can be combined if required. Langdale Vineyard Restaurant offers a series of tailored menu options for your event, whether you’re looking for a buffet or set menu, with options to dine indoors or outdoors. Their wine list is available for perusal, with varied choices, and plenty of dedicated staff to help you make the best of their venue.
Fiddlesticks Restaurant & Bar
Image by Picky Piggies
Fiddlesticks Restaurant & Bar is here to offer you local produce, an exciting events space and sumptuous catering all in one neat package. Featuring recycled wooden tables, splashes of colour and a fully enclosed courtyard, this restaurant venue is centrally located and is a favourite amongst tourists and locals alike. They’re happy to cater for any event type, whether you’re having a cocktail party or a small dinner amongst coworkers, offering both exclusive use of their bar and/or restaurant. Equipped with audiovisual facilities, Fiddlesticks Restaurant & Bar is also happy to host corporate events, with crafted menus for your function and high-speed WiFi available. If you prefer to lounge outside or have dinner and drinks under the stars, their cosy courtyard comes with built-in fireplaces to keep you and your guests toasty. Fiddlesticks Restaurant & Bar has a team dedicated to ensuring your Christchurch event is a hit, with oodles of experience and good eats to match.
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With core beliefs of hospitality and homeliness, 27 Steps is a Christchurch restaurant venue that provides local, fresh cuisine. In a heritage space, 27 Steps has taken up residence at what used to be one of Christchurch’s first restaurants (The Coffee Pot) and made the place their own whilst honouring the old. They specialise in hearty, healthy meals that taste like home, with a local wine list to pair. Since opening in 2015, they have won several awards and accolades, including the Zest Food Awards in 2015, Best Restaurant in the Chevrons (Christchurch Hospitality Awards) in 2016, Cuisine’s Top 100 restaurants in the country in 2017 and more. As an event space, 27 Steps can accommodate up to 75 guests, offering bespoke menus and beverage lists, as well as a bar downstairs for your guests to mingle and unwind. Enjoy good food and conversation with 27 Steps, a venue that does its utmost to be a home away from home in its comfort and presentation.
Image by First Table
A bar, a grill, a space for private dining - Bloody Mary’s is here to fulfil every aspect of being an ideal restaurant venue in Christchurch. Featuring some of Canterbury's best produce, Bloody Mary’s boasts hearty meals and a warm atmosphere. Their steakhouse, brasserie and bar are complemented by a secluded whisky library and private dining hall. Hugh’s Whisky Library seats up to 30 in a sheltered den ideal for meetings and dinners; Master Ridley’s Private Dining Hall is the largest space available, hosting up to 70 guests; Chef’s Table is a private dining experience for up to 10 lucky guests; and The Brasserie is designed for up to 50 guests, both sophisticated and private. The team at Bloody Mary’s specialises in creating a dream catering experience for you and your guests, allowing you to choose between à la carte, buffet, cocktail or roaming menus. You’ll be spoiled for choice with Bloody Mary’s, a Christchurch venue with a taste for creating bespoke events and lasting memories.
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Dux Dine has a yen for creating menus with fresh seafood and vegetables, earning them the title of Christchurch’s favourite seafood and vegetarian restaurant. Set in a historic, turn-of-the-century villa that was once the Station Master’s House for the Riccarton Railway, the venue has been lovingly restored and renovated over the years to give it its unique and charming atmosphere, featuring enormous Kauri tables, a sun-soaked conservatory and sheltered courtyard garden. Dux Dine can cater for over 35 guests, experienced when it comes to dinners, cocktail parties and so much more. They are happy to lend their expertise in planning and running your Christchurch event, tailoring menus to your requirements and fine-tuning the ambience to suit your function just right. Dux Dine offers both exclusive and partial hire of their space and is a premier restaurant venue option in Christchurch.
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With tranquil views of Avon River, Terrace Tavern is a fun restaurant and bar that has made a name for itself and a home for many. From their sunny courtyard to their pretty bar, this Christchurch restaurant is a venue not to be missed. Their menu has been inspired by local produce and farmers, alongside an eclectic drinks menu. In the style of a contemporary bistro, Terrace Tavern can host up to 32 guests and makes for a lovely option for a restaurant venue. With its laid back atmosphere and modern look, it has recently established itself as a hotspot on The Terrace. For casual dining, including intimate meetings, soirées and more, Terrace Tavern is a premier restaurant venue in Christchurch.
Image by First Table
If exoticism is what you’re looking for to add flair to your event, Spice Paragon is the answer. Catering up to 150 guests, this colourful venue delights in creating the perfect menu and atmosphere for your event. Combining traditional Thai spices and modern touches, this space rests between a passionate expression of the Far East and the traditionality of Christchurch. Unwind at their bar, Khao San Road, with a delicious cocktail, before taking over the restaurant for your event. With menus tailor-made for your evening, Spice Paragon is a restaurant venue in Christchurch that outdoes itself when it comes to hosting gala dinners, cocktail parties and so much more.
Salt on the Pier
Image by Salt on the Pier
Welcome to the only eatery located on the New Brighton Pier, with waves lapping nearby and the scent of the sea in the air. As a café, bar and restaurant, this Christchurch venue is versatile in its uses, whether you’re after an intimate gathering of a few or a corporate event for more. Choose between the cosy interior or the stunning exterior on their outdoor deck for your event, with gorgeous views all around of the Pacific Ocean. Salt on the Pier can host up to 120 guests, offering both bespoke or set menus, as well as 2 different spaces for hire: their café or restaurant, located respectively on the upper and ground floors. Situated right on the edge of the beach, this restaurant venue is on Marine Parade, just on the outskirts of the heart of Christchurch.
Sugarhorse Bar & Eatery
Image by Queenstown i-SITE
Sugarhorse Bar & Eatery pays homage to the ethos of Christchurch. Aiming to create a stylish, inner-city bar with an easygoing vibe, this modern venue offers a space for fundraising, galas, product launches and the like. This restaurant venue is the perfect place for more casual functions and offers audiovisual assistance, a full music system so you and your guests can dance the night away, and even disco lights to add some flair to your event. Sugarhorse Bar & Eatery has good eats and great beer, specialising in beverages and a good time. They cater up to 130 guests and offer several menus to suit your taste, from finger food options to set menus for you and your guests. With their laidback aura and gorgeous, open-air patio, they’ve crafted a truly Kiwi experience.