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The Top New Zealand Food, Snacks and Traditional Meals

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Trying the local cuisine is part of the parcel that is travelling, so why not try some of the famous New Zealand food while you’re exploring Aotearoa?

Admittedly, New Zealand isn’t world-famous for its culinary delights, but there are certainly some meals, snacks, desserts and even drinks that Kiwis are extremely proud to claim as their own. As a country with around 15,000 km (9,320 mi) of coastline, it comes as no surprise that seafood is a staple of the Kiwi diet. Additionally, food or “kai” has been a significant part of the Māori culture for hundreds of years producing must-try traditional meals, whether it’s hāngī, fried bread or kawakawa tea.

What food is New Zealand known for?

New Zealand is celebrated for its diverse and https://e-sms.id/ exquisite culinary landscape, featuring iconic dishes such as the traditional Māori hangi, succulent lamb renowned worldwide for its quality, fresh seafood like green-lipped mussels and Bluff oysters, the unique Kiwi pavlova dessert, and the savory meat pie that’s a staple in local cuisine. Our comprehensive list below delves into each of these beloved New Zealand foods, providing insights into their cultural significance, origins, and where to find the best examples of these culinary delights across the country. Stay tuned as we explore the rich flavors that make New Zealand’s food scene truly remarkable.

1. Hāngī

Let’s start with the traditional Māori hāngī! More than just New Zealand cuisine, hāngī is Māori cuisine at its finest. This involves meat and vegetables slow-cooked in an underground oven. Although it was a common cooking method for hundreds of years in New Zealand, today, a hāngī is saved for more special occasions (mainly because it takes all day to prepare!) Prepare to be overfed but extremely satisfied at hāngī buffets served at Maori cultural experiences.

2. Crayfish

Another traditional New Zealand food is crayfish! Crayfish or lobster is a Kiwi favourite mostly because it is something many fishermen and divers pride on catching themselves. Known to sometimes cost up to NZ$80 for a full crayfish, it’s not exactly the most affordable food, but it’s definitely worth a try when the opportunity presents itself. Then you’ll understand why Kiwis go “cray” for crayfish!

Where to try: Try some crayfish in Kaikoura. Restaurants include Nins Bin, Cods & Crayfish, Karaka Lobster and Kaikoura Seafood BBQ.

3. Kina

Ok, New Zealanders love their seafood so we’ll just hop straight onto another foodie delight from the ocean. Kina is the local name for a type of sea urchin with a hard spiky outer shell and thin fleshy (and edible) insides. It has been a New Zealand delicacy for centuries.

Where to try: Boating trips in the Bay of Islands, Kai Caff Aye in Rotorua, Seafood Bazaar in Hamilton and other fish & chips/seafood takeaways around the country.

What is the price of kina? The cost of kina meat from a New Zealand fish shop is approximately NZ$240 for 8 x 200g pottles.

4. Kiwi Burger

You’ll either think it’s weird or genius but it’s still a staple of New Zealand cuisine. What makes a Kiwi burger “Kiwi” is the fact it has beetroot and a fried egg along with your standard burger patties, lettuce and whatever else goes between two burger buns. Don’t knock it until you try it!

Where to try: Just about any pub or restaurant with a burger menu, even McDonald’s. However, they are not always listed as a “Kiwi burger”. Just look out for burgers with eggs and beetroot.

5. Jaffas

Another New Zealand famous food is Jaffas! Jaffas are a confectionery favourite among New Zealanders. Jaffas are small sugar-coated chocolate balls with a subtle orange flavour. You can pick up Jaffas at any supermarket or dairy (convenience store).

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