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Want to know more about New Zealand food? New Zealand cuisine has an interesting mix of dishes that you can sample during your visit.

There is everything from food prepared in clay and spaghetti on bread to fresh dishes with grilled lamb and seafood.

Below is a list of 10 local New Zealand cuisines along with more information on New Zealand cuisine.

Maori based

Maori hangi is not an actual dish, but a traditional way of cooking. It is similar to the pachamanca of Argentinian cuisine, where the food is prepared underground with hot stones.

Vegetables and meats such as chicken, pork and lamb are usually cooked in a Maori hangi.

green-lipped mussels

A New Zealand delicacy is the green mussel, which is also known in English as “green-lipped mussels”.

They are mussels whose meat is full of nutrients, e.g. calcium and vitamin B-12. In addition, mussels also do not contain so much fat and calories.

If you love seafood, be sure to try green mussels in New Zealand.

green-lipped mussels

Grilled lamb

Grilled lamb, also known as “roast lamb” in New Zealand, is a classic dish. This is a dish that can be found in most of the best restaurants around the country.

Roasted lamb is grilled lamb, often cooked with various spices and served with vegetables. This is a fresh and delicious dish.

New Zealand food

spaghetti on toast

This is probably one of New Zealand’s strangest foods. Spaghetti on toast is exactly what it sounds like – spaghetti served on top of bread.

Spaghetti and cheese are placed on top of the bread and grilled. Spaghetti is served hot on toast and is usually eaten for breakfast.

spaghetti on toast

Kiwi Burger

Kiwi Burger is a popular version of the classic hamburger. It’s simply a regular burger consisting of bread and meat with fried eggs and topped with beetroot.

It might not sound good, but at least try the Kiwi Burger. It’s actually more delicious than you think.

Kiwi Burger

whitebait fritters

Tourists traveling to the west coast of Eteläsaari like to taste whitebait bread.

Whitebait is a collective term for small fish (usually 2.5–5 cm long). The fish is mixed with eggs and flour and fried into a crispy omelette.

It’s good to know that this quintessential New Zealand dish is controversial. If the dish is in high demand, it can lead to overfishing because the recipe uses smaller fish.

whitebait fritters

China (sea urchins)

It’s no secret that New Zealand locals love seafood. A popular dish in the country is sea urchins, known as China.

Sea urchins have a hard outer shell with spines and soft meat inside.

New Zealand food


Fish and chips can be bought in most coastal towns around the country. It is a type of fast food made from bread and fried fish and served with french fries.

It’s really good and a must try when you’re in New Zealand.


parao ruwena bread

Parao ruwena is not a dish, but a traditional sourdough bread that comes from the Maori people of New Zealand.

It is very tasty and worth the taste!

parao ruwena bread

New Zealand meat pie

Meat pie actually comes from England, but New Zealand has created its own version of the pastry. They are wonderful stuffed with meat, tomato sauce and various spices.

New Zealand food

More about New Zealand cuisine

New Zealand cuisine is mainly influenced by British cuisine and Maori culture. However, recently American, Southeast Asian, East and South Asian cuisines have also become popular in the country.

New Zealand cuisine is mainly based on available local ingredients and seasonal ingredients.

Common ingredients in New Zealand cuisine include fish and shellfish, lamb, chicken, pork, potatoes, beets, carrots, asparagus, hyacinth and manuka honey.

An interesting fact about New Zealand cuisine is that the Maori people still prepare food in the traditional way, also known as hangi.

New Zealand cuisine

New Zealand desserts by taste:

  • lamington
  • hokey Pokey
  • Lewis cake
  • pavlova
  • fake cream doughnut
  • chocolate fish
  • lolly cake
  • afghan

New Zealand Pavlova

Have more questions about New Zealand food? Please leave a comment!

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