The Best of Fine Dining in Christchurch, New Zealand

Fine Dining | © Pixabay
Fine Dining | © Pixabay
Photo of Thalita Alves
30 November 2017

Christchurch’s restaurant scene is incredibly diverse, and its upscale dining options are no different. The New Zealand city brings a sophisticated flair to a handful of cuisines, from classic European greats to contemporary fusion dishes. If you’re wanting to splurge on a nice treat, make sure to check out these fantastic fine dining options.

Saggio Di Vino

Restaurant, European, Gluten-free, Vegetarian, $$$
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Having been a part of the city’s gastro scene since 1991, Saggio di Vino is very much a Christchurch institution. The restaurant had to relocate after the 2011 Christchurch earthquake, but its concept has stayed the same: refined European cuisine made with the freshest ingredients, complemented by a selection of wines from boutique vineyards and renowned international brands.

Pescatore Restaurant

Restaurant, Seafood, Contemporary, Vegetarian, European, Gluten-free
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Chef Plating Up A Seafood Dish
Chef Plating Up A Seafood Dish | © Pixabay
Pescatore is one of the two restaurants within The George, a five-star hotel right in the heart of the city. It has earned a strong reputation for its luxurious, contemporary flair and seafood-focused creations. Diners can choose from a five-course, seven-course and a plant-based degustation menu, an extensive wine list, plus a limited edition Friday and Saturday set menu that focuses on all the restaurant’s favourite offerings for the season.

Chillingworth Road

Restaurant, Bar, Contemporary, Oceanian, European, Vegetarian, Vegan, Gluten-free, $$$
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Chillingworth Road has all gastronomical corners covered: there’s a bistro section for brunching crowds and lunchtime patrons, a bar for casual visitors, a cooking school for the food enthusiasts and a fine dining restaurant for those extra special occasions. A decadent 14-seating dining room, which can be booked for private functions, offers a degustation-only experience with five-, seven- and nine-course menus that are known for their fresh ingredients and contemporary flavours.

The Happening

Bar, Restaurant, European, Gluten-free, Beer, $$$
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Cooking | © Pixabay
The Happening is a sophisticated bar and restaurant that’s earned a strong reputation for its chic interiors and innovative, European-inspired cuisine. Its signature dish is the Francesinha, a traditional Portuguese sandwich with an in-house twist. A special menu for gluten and dairy free diners is also available. The venue is highly committed to keeping things local and fresh, and proudly boasts that all its tap beers are New Zealand made and most of its wine list, cocktail and food ingredients are sourced from local producers.

Curator's House Restaurant

Restaurant, Spanish, Mediterranean, European, $$$
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The Curator's House, Christchurch
The Curator's House, Christchurch | © Bob Hall/Flickr
Curator’s House is a Spanish restaurant set in the original abode of the curator of Christchurch Botanic Gardens. With a chef that hails from Barcelona, you know you can trust this establishment to produce an array of authentic dishes, from traditional Cordero Asado (slow-roasted lamb shoulder) to Spanish Paella, among various tapas and mains. In the warm days you can dine al fresco with lush garden views while in winter an indoor fireplace and private rooms will keep you cozy and content.

St Germain Restaurant & Bistro

Bistro, Restaurant, French, Vegetarian, Gluten-free, European
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St Germain, Christchurch
St Germain, Christchurch | © Saint Germain
St Germain is an elegant restaurant that was established by two French brothers in 2008. A dedication to bringing a traditional taste of France to New Zealand made this venue a favourite among locals. In fact, the restaurant offers a set ‘French Way’ menu for those wanting to take a six-course journey through all the classics — from onion soup to escargots and a selection of French wines and cheeses.
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Restaurant, European, Contemporary
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Gnocci | © Pixabay

With a name inspired by the French aphorism ‘joie de vivre’, JDV is committed to creating a friendly atmosphere that complements its exquisite dishes. Food is inspired by seasonal ingredients and international influences, with dinner options featuring classic Mediterranean favourites like arancini and gnocci, as well as duck liver parfait and a changing selection of market fish mains.

Strawberry Fare

Restaurant, Cafe, European, Australian, $$$
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NZ Beef
Now that's how you brunch. With a beef fillet | © stu_spivack / Flickr
Strawberry Fare is known for having a sophisticated, yet incredibly inclusive range of dishes (pretty much all dietary requirements are catered for) made primarily from free-range and organic produce. All citrus, olive, feijoas and figs used its food is grown on-site and the venue roasts its own coffee too. Dessert tasting plates are available for the sweet-toothed diners, while the main menu consists of lighter shared meals along with a selection of meat and fish dishes for those with bigger appetites.

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