23 Iconic Popular Food In New Zealand For Your Trip

Sharing is caring!

New Zealand is a beautiful country popular for its breathtaking landscapes, friendly people, and unique culture. But did you know that it’s also a foodie’s paradise? New Zealand has something for every palate, from savory pies to sweet pavlovas.

Here we’ve compiled a list of 23 iconic popular food in New Zealand you must try during your trip. Indulge in the fresh seafood, savor the juicy roast lamb, and cool off with hokey pokey ice cream.

Don’t forget to try the Kiwi Burger and grab a sausage sizzle at a local BBQ. Join us as we take you on a culinary journey through New Zealand’s most popular foods that will tantalize your taste buds.

Popular Food In New Zealand

A List Of Popular Food In New Zealand – You Should Try

Exploring the local cuisine of New Zealand is an adventure in itself, and it isn’t easy to narrow down the must-try dishes. However, some stand out above the rest. The Kiwi Burger is a beloved classic with a beef patty topped with beetroot, egg, and cheese.

It’s a great representation of New Zealand’s unique take on fast food. Additionally, Whitebait Fritters are a tasty option for seafood lovers. The small freshwater fish is mixed with eggs and flour and then fried to create a crispy cake with a flavor punch.

Whether you’re looking for something savory or sweet, there’s something for everyone on New Zealand’s menu. Here are 23 Iconic Popular food in New Zealand you have to try.

1. Crayfish

Crayfish, or rock lobster, is a must-try for any seafood lover visiting New Zealand. This popular crustacean is commonly served steamed or grilled with butter and lemon or in a creamy chowder. The best time to enjoy crayfish is during the summer when it’s in season.

You can find it on the menus of many fine-dining restaurants and casual seafood shacks along the coast. Indulging in this delicacy will give you an authentic taste of New Zealand’s coastal cuisine and leave you wanting more.

2. Kiwi Burger

The Kiwi Burger is a staple fast food item in New Zealand, beloved for its unique blend of flavors and textures. With a beef patty, egg, beetroot, lettuce, tomato, onion, and cheese, it’s a hearty meal that can satisfy any appetite.

The burger’s popularity has even inspired variations such as bacon-topped or pineapple-swapped options. Don’t miss out on this iconic dish during your visit to New Zealand – it’s a must-try for any foodie.

3. Jaffas

Jaffas, a popular candy in New Zealand, is a must-try for anyone with a sweet tooth. These small chocolate balls coated in orange-flavored candy shells have been around since the 1930s and are still a favorite treat.

Jaffas can be found in most supermarkets and candy stores nationwide and are often enjoyed during movie nights. They’re also handy in various desserts and baked goods. Trying Jaffas is an excellent way to taste New Zealand’s unique flavors.

4. Pavlova

Pavlova, a meringue-based dessert topped with whipped cream and fresh fruits, is a must-try when visiting New Zealand. This iconic dessert has become synonymous with the country’s culinary culture and often serves during special occasions and holiday gatherings.

While there is an ongoing debate over its origins, the delicious combination of crispy, chewy meringue, and sweet cream makes Pavlova a favorite among locals and visitors alike. Don’t miss out on trying this mouth-watering dessert during your trip to New Zealand.

5. Whitebait Fritters

This New Zealand delicacy may not be for everyone, but those who love seafood should try Whitebait Fritters. Made with tiny, translucent fish mixed with egg and flour, these cakes are popular in the country.

These cakes serve as a snack or appetizer in most cafes and restaurants, especially during the short whitebait season from August to November. Don’t forget to add a squeeze of lemon or some tartare sauce on top before taking a bite.

6. Manuka Honey

Manuka honey is a must-try for anyone visiting New Zealand, not just for its unique taste but also for its medicinal properties. This particular type of honey comes from the nectar of the manuka tree. It has antibacterial qualities making it a popular choice for treating sore throats, wounds, and other ailments.

In addition to its health benefits, Manuka honey is versatile in cooking and baking, with its sweetness adding a perfect touch to sauces or glazes. Grab an authentic jar with a UMF rating to enjoy the full range of Manuka honey’s benefits.

7. Kumara

Kumara, or sweet potato, is a versatile and nutritious vegetable staple in Maori cuisine. Rich in fiber and vitamins A and C, kumara has been cultivated in New Zealand for centuries. Its unique flavor profile comes in three varieties: red, gold, and orange.

Whether roasted, mashed, or used in savory dishes like soups and stews, kumara is a must-try food when visiting New Zealand. You can find it at local restaurants or purchase it from farmers’ markets and grocery stores.

8. Hokey Pokey Ice Cream

Hokey Pokey Ice Cream is a beloved dessert in New Zealand that has stood the test of time. This classic treat originated from street vendors who sold it in the 19th century, and since then, it has become a staple in Kiwi cuisine.

The sweet and creamy vanilla ice cream mixed with crunchy pieces of honeycomb toffee creates a unique texture that’s hard to resist. It’s no wonder why Hokey Pokey Ice Cream is a popular flavor found in most ice cream shops and supermarkets throughout New Zealand, making it an essential part of any Kiwi food experience.

9. Savoury Pies

Savory pies are one of the most popular foods in New Zealand, and for a good reason. These handheld pies filled with meat, vegetables, and gravy are a staple of Kiwi cuisine.

The most beloved variety is the classic mince and cheese pie, but there are plenty of other delicious options to choose from as well. Whether you’re looking for a quick snack or a hearty meal, savory pies will satisfy your hunger cravings during your trip to New Zealand.

10. Fish & Chips

Indulging in a plate of Fish & Chips is a quintessential New Zealand experience you shouldn’t miss. This classic dish perfectly combines crispy, battered fish and hot chips, making it a favorite among locals and tourists. Freshly caught fish like snapper, tarakihi, or hoki are commonly handy to prepare this dish.

You can enjoy it by the beach or while exploring the countryside. And if you have dietary restrictions, many shops also offer gluten-free options. So why not treat yourself to this delicious Kiwi experience during your trip to New Zealand?

11. Southland Cheese Rolls

Southland Cheese Rolls are a beloved snack in New Zealand, often served as an appetizer or party food. These rolls come with rolling cheese, onion, or other fillings in white bread before toasting or baking until crispy.

Southland Cheese Rolls have become a popular treat nationwide with their unique cheesy and savory flavors. They are a perfect accompaniment to hot tea or coffee on a chilly day, making them an ideal comfort food for Kiwis and visitors alike.

12. Bluff Oysters

Bluff oysters are a beloved delicacy in New Zealand, with foodies worldwide flocking to try them. Harvested from the crystal-clear waters around Bluff, these oysters have a unique flavor that is hard to find anywhere else.

They can enjoy raw on the half-shell, battered and fried, or baked, making them incredibly versatile. If you’re looking for an authentic New Zealand culinary experience, add Bluff oysters to your list of must-try dishes.

13. Real Fruit Ice Cream

Indulging in Real Fruit Ice Cream is one of the best ways to beat the heat in New Zealand. This refreshing dessert is popular among locals and tourists, thanks to its unique blend of fresh fruit and creamy ice cream.

Served at many local ice cream shops and fruit stands across the country, you can choose from various flavors such as kiwi, peach, or strawberry. Don’t miss out on this iconic New Zealand treat during your trip!

14. Golden Kiwi

Golden kiwi is a unique and delicious fruit native to New Zealand. With a sweeter and less acidic flavor than the green kiwi, golden kiwi has smooth, hairless skin and is high in fiber and vitamin C, making it an ideal snack option.

Whether eaten independently or incorporated into fruit salads, smoothies, or desserts, golden kiwi offers a flavor that will surely delight your senses. Don’t forget to try this iconic New Zealand fruit during your trip for a taste of something extraordinary.

15. Sauvignon Blanc

New Zealand is popular for its thriving wine industry, and one of the most popular wines is Sauvignon Blanc. Its distinct flavor profile perfectly pairs with many of the country’s seafood dishes, such as crayfish and green-lipped mussels. The Marlborough region in New Zealand is famous for producing some of the world’s best Sauvignon Blanc wines.

Visitors can enjoy wine-tasting tours and learn more about the unique characteristics that make New Zealand’s Sauvignon Blanc so popular among wine enthusiasts worldwide. Don’t miss out on tasting this iconic wine during your trip to New Zealand.

16. Fresh Seafood

Indulging in New Zealand’s fresh seafood is a must-do for any foodie visiting the country. The seafood is locally sourced and perfectly cooked, from fish and chips to green-lipped mussels. Coastal towns like Kaikoura and Nelson are teeming with seafood restaurants that offer a variety of dishes to choose from.

Don’t miss out on the Bluff Oysters, which are at their prime during the season from March to August. Sushi and sashimi lovers can also indulge in fresh catches at many Japanese restaurants nationwide.

17. Salmon

Salmon is a must-try food in New Zealand for seafood lovers. This fish is renowned for its high-quality and fresh taste, which can be enjoyed in many ways. The options are endless, from being grilled or smoked to being cured with various seasonings.

But that’s not all; salmon is also packed with healthy omega-3 fatty acids, making it an excellent choice for health-conscious diners. Whether you enjoy it as sushi or cooked in a hearty dish, trying New Zealand salmon is a culinary experience that you should not miss during your trip.

18. Green-Lipped Mussels

Green-lipped mussels are a must-try for seafood lovers visiting New Zealand. These unique and flavorful mussels are delicious and packed with nutrients such as omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals. Green-lipped mussels can cook in various ways, including steaming and grilling.

When served, they are often paired with white wine and garlic butter or lemon juice, enhancing their distinct taste. Don’t miss out on trying this local delicacy during your visit to New Zealand.

19. Feijoa

Feijoa is a unique fruit native to South America but widely grown and enjoyed in New Zealand. With its distinct tangy and sweet flavor and gritty texture, feijoa can be eaten raw or added to salads and smoothies. It’s also a popular dessert ingredient such as pies, cakes, and crumbles.

But what many people may not know is that feijoa is also packed with antioxidants, vitamin C, and dietary fiber, making it a nutritious addition to any meal. So if you’re looking for a new fruit to try or want to add variety to your diet, give feijoa a chance!

20. Marmite

Marmite is a well-known spread in New Zealand that has divided the nation for decades. The unique, salty flavor of yeast extract has captivated the taste buds of many Kiwis, while others can’t stand its pungent aroma.

Regardless of which camp you fall in, Marmite is essential to Kiwi cuisine. It’s not just for spreading on toast; it’s also a popular ingredient in cheese rolls and spaghetti dishes. If you’re new to New Zealand, trying Marmite should add to your foodie bucket list.

21. Roast Lamb

Roast lamb is a beloved dish in New Zealand steeped in tradition. This succulent meat is popular for its tender texture and delicious flavor derived from the country’s pristine environment and quality farming practices.

Roast lamb typically serves with seasonal greens, kumara (sweet potato), and potatoes. It’s an iconic dish that Kiwis enjoy on special occasions, especially as a Sunday roast with family and friends. Don’t miss out on this quintessential New Zealand dish when visiting.

22. Sausage Sizzle

Sausage sizzles are a beloved snack in New Zealand, and they’re an integral part of any community event or sports game. These tasty treats consist of a sausage grilled on a barbecue and served in a slice of bread with tomato sauce and onions.

What makes them truly special is the sense of community they evoke – local groups often cook sausage sizzles to fundraise for charitable causes and bring people together. If you want to experience the true spirit of Kiwi culture, be sure to try a sausage sizzle at one of the many markets or fairs in New Zealand.

23. Kiwi Summer Bbq

The Kiwi Summer BBQ is a beloved tradition in New Zealand, bringing friends and family together for delicious food and drinks. Grilled meats like lamb, beef, and sausages take center stage alongside refreshing salads and sides.

The atmosphere is laid-back and casual, making it the perfect way to spend a summer day. And let’s not forget about dessert! A pavlova topped with fresh fruit and whipped cream is the ideal sweet treat to cap off the meal. Embrace the Kiwi way of life and try a Summer BBQ during your trip to New Zealand.

Frequently Asked Questions

1.What Is New Zealand’s Most Popular Food?

New Zealand has several popular food items, including fish and chips, especially in coastal areas. Another favorite is Pavlova, a meringue-based dessert topped with fruit that originated in New Zealand.

2.What Is The National Dish Of New Zealand?

There is no official national dish of New Zealand, but some popular dishes include fish and chips, meat pies, and Pavlova. Another traditional cooking method popular in New Zealand is hangi, which involves cooking food in an earth oven.

3.What Is New Zealand’s Leading Staple Food?

Potatoes are considered the leading staple food in New Zealand, but other common foods include meat (especially lamb), seafood, and dairy products. The country’s diverse food culture incorporates traditional Maori cuisine and international influences.

4.What Food Is Uniquely New Zealand?

New Zealand has several unique foods, including Pavlova, Kiwifruit, and Hokey Pokey ice cream. Other popular dishes include fish and chips, meat pies, and roast lamb. Maori cuisine is also significant, with dishes like Hangi and Rewena bread.

5.What Is A Typical New Zealand Breakfast?

A typical New Zealand breakfast includes cereal, toast, fruit, and coffee or tea. However, there are popular dishes like eggs benedict or a “big breakfast” with eggs, bacon, sausages, mushrooms, and tomatoes.


New Zealand has so much to offer when it comes to food. From crayfish to sausage sizzles, there is something to satisfy every taste bud. Whether you are a foodie or just looking to try new and exciting dishes, New Zealand has got you covered. Don’t forget to indulge in the iconic Kiwi Burger and Pavlova while sipping a glass of Sauvignon Blanc.

The country’s fresh seafood, including Bluff Oysters and Green-lipped mussels, is a must-try for seafood lovers. So pack your bags and prepare for a culinary adventure that will tantalize your senses like no other. Ready to plan your trip? Check out our travel guide on the most Iconic Popular food in New Zealand for more inspiration.

Save And Pin On Your Favorited Board For Later:

Most Popular Food In New Zealand

Sharing is caring!

Leave a Comment

Sharing is Caring

Help spread the word. You're awesome for doing it!