The beautiful country of New Zealand is a coveted place to travel; with its sprawling landscape full of mountainous views, it’s definitely a place you will want to add to your travel list. But if you ever do decide to travel to this gorgeous place, I definitely recommend you try some of their most popular local dishes.
New Zealand’s cuisine is filled with options I just love. From several types of meat to fish and seafood, you’ll certainly find something to your taste. The most famous dishes contain lamb, oysters, venison, and mussels or scallops.
A barbecue, especially in the summer, is something very common to find in this country. And it’s also worth mentioning the Māori hāngī style of cooking, where the food is cooked underground.
But now I want to explore in detail some of the top favorite foods hailing from New Zealand.
Bluff Oysters are a tasty treat that locals love to indulge in. Since New Zealand is known for its fresh seafood, the Oysters are always plump and juicy, making them a staple in New Zealanders' diets.
I love the taste of these with lemon zest and olive oil. But this recipe is also very simple to make. You only have to mix all the ingredients and pour them over the oysters.
Fish and Chips
Fish and chips are another popular dish in New Zealand I love to enjoy for lunch or dinner.
Just like Oysters, fish is also a popular find in this environment, which is why New Zealand is known for making some of the best fish and chip recipes.
Hangi is a dish made with roast beef, lamb, beef stock, carrots, and sometimes sweet potatoes.
It’s a traditional dish that “heals the soul” and is the perfect warm, tasty meal for a cold winter night. Some like to enjoy Hangi with rice or bread, but I personally like it plain as-is.
This is a very simple recipe to make, but you have to patient when it comes to the cooking time because it will take around three hours to be finished. The meat is wrapped in tin foil and cabbage leaves to imitate the Māori hāngī style of cooking at home.
Hokey Pokey Ice Cream
Hokey Pokey ice cream is a unique ice cream flavor that is only common in New Zealand.
It’s made with vanilla ice cream and has chunks of honeycomb toffee mixed throughout. It has a sweet yet creamy flavor and has long been a staple in the New Zealand community.
I recommend this dish for a delicious after dinner dessert!
Manuka honey is a honey from the nectar of the manuka tree.
This type of honey is found solely in New Zealand and is often used for medicinal purposes. It helps heal wounds, reduce inflammation, and protect against viruses and bacteria like E-coli.
I like it smothered over pancakes or in a cup of hot tea, or you could try out this manuka honey butter to spread on toast!
Paua is a pasta dish that encompasses the flavors of garlic, cream, and onion. It consists of chorizo sausage, pasta, heavy cream, garlic, onion, and spices.
This dish is known as a comfort food to New Zealand locals and will definitely fill your belly up good.
You’ll be able to make this recipe in 20 minutes, so it’s perfect for a weeknight. While the pasta is cooking, you prepare the paua mince together with the cream, chorizo, onion and other ingredients in a frying pan.
Pavlova is another popular New Zealand food that gives a bit of sweetness to your palate. It’s a meringue-type dessert made with fruit, vanilla extract, and whipped cream.
This dish is most commonly enjoyed after your meal and can sometimes be an addition to a celebration like a birthday or an anniversary.
I also really love to indulge in Lamb when visiting New Zealand. Lamb is a tasty meat that’s tender and flavorful.
In New Zealand, lamb roam free all over the country, so naturally, they become a popular dish.
This recipe blends rosemary, thyme, mustard, and garlic to create a delicious-tasting lamb chop you won’t forget.
Whitebaite fritters are common in New Zealand because the Whitebait fish is native to their country.
With this recipe, you mix the fish with eggs and seasonings for a tasty breakfast, brunch, or snack.
They are salty, crunchy and have a gritty texture, I like them dipped in marinara or tartar sauce.
In New Zealand, meat pie is comprised of stewing steak, garlic, cheese, onions, and puff pastry.
It is a tasty dish that is perfect for a weeknight dinner. There are many variations to this recipe, but stewing steak is the most popular.
Maori Fry Bread
This popular New Zealand food is a simple, yet delicious snack, somewhat similar to donuts.
It’s made by simply mixing together flour, yeast, water, and sugar to create a crunchy and sweet dish. I enjoy eating Maori fry bread as a quick bite between lunch and dinner.
Kumra Salad is the perfect side salad for your main meal.
It has a tangy vinaigrette taste with crunchy pine nuts, creamy sweet potatoes, and salty goat cheese.
This is often enjoyed alongside lamb or beef stew. I like to add walnuts to it too for an even crunchier taste.
Another great side dish served in New Zealand is corn salad.
Corn salad is simply corn, peas, and other crunchy veggies or legumes you like, tossed in vinegar seasoning. It goes well with a hearty dish like beef pot pie or lamb chops.
It’s also great on salads if you like a tangy crunch to your greens.
Chicken and Roasted Root Vegetables
What could go wrong with a slow-roasted chicken topped with tasty root vegetables?
This tasty, hearty dish is perfect for a cool fall night and is sure to warm the soul. Try this dish with a combination of different veggies if you want to switch it up, but I find that carrots truly are the star of this dish.
This is not a difficult dish to prepare. You’ll need to put the chicken and the rest of the ingredients in a roasting pan and then put it in the oven for an hour.
As its name suggests, kiwi bread is made with fruits such as kiwi, lemon, and lemon juice.
It’s a moist, tangy bread that is native to New Zealand and often enjoyed as a dessert or side dish. I like to add vanilla ice cream on top for an even more decadent dessert.
Kumara Manuka Crunch
Kumara Manuka Crunch is a staple dessert in New Zealand.
It is comprised of many different ingredients, but honey and ginger surely steal the show.
This flavorful New Zealand favorite is popular for special occasions and holidays.
Another staple dish to discuss while listing the best New Zealand foods is Hunter’s pie.
Hunter’s pie incorporates wild game into a delicious, wholesome dish. It’s often made with venison but you can also use rabbit, pig or lamb.
Venison Sliders with Tomato Chile
Venison Sliders with Tomato Chile are another great New Zealand dish. They are tangy, savory, and super delicious.
You can make these with venison, ground beef, or lamb, but I personally prefer it with the traditional venison meat.
Bacon and Egg Pie
The Bacon and egg pie is another staple in New Zealand cuisine.
It’s perfect for an early morning breakfast or even a brunch you can enjoy outside while admiring the gorgeous landscape. It’s very similar to a quiche, except its made with puff pastry instead.
You’ll need to line a skillet with puff pastry, then add the bacon and six eggs. You whisk the other two egs and pour them over the bacon and eggs. Put the skillet in the oven and wait around 35 to 40 minutes. It’s easy enough to do it for breakfast.
Hokey Pokey Biscuits
Another New Zealand food I love is Hokey Pokey biscuits.
Although the name “biscuits” makes you think they’re fluffy bread, this rendition of biscuits are more like cookies.
Hokey Pokey biscuits are sweet, flavorful, and make a great dessert for after your main meal.
The Pineapple Lumps in New Zealand truly are iconic. They’re a major staple in New Zealand cuisine, and for good reason, as they are delicious!
They are made with dried pineapples, marshmallows, and powdered sugar and then dipped in creamy chocolate. I love how sweet and creamy these tasty little bites are!
Another staple food we must talk about when discussing the best New Zealand foods is Jaffa Slices.
Jaffa Slices are a sweet treat that mixes together some basic ingredients to create a creamy and delicious chocolatey wonder.
They go great with your evening coffee or wine and satisfy your sweet tooth.
The New Zealand Green-lipped mussels are a phenomenon.
They can be eaten or used in supplements for medicinal purposes, which is why they are so coveted.
In this recipe, they are cooked with olive oil, garlic, white wine, and butter, which makes them taste creamy and burst with flavor.
I love trying new foods! When trying out some of the best New Zealand foods, these recipes are just the tip of the ice burg.
New Zealand is full of delicious foods and flavors that really bring together the best spices and ingredients. Have you tried any of these tasty New Zealand favorites? If so, leave a comment in the section below!
Check out other foods from around the world, like Icelandic food or Kenyan dishes!
23 New Zealand Food Dishes
Whether you’re visiting New Zealand or just learning about their cuisine, check out these popular dishes from New Zealand and make them yourself!
- Bluff Oysters
- Fish and Chips
- Hokey Pokey Ice Cream
- Manuka Honey
- Whitebait Fritters
- Meat Pie
- Maori Fry Bread
- Kumara Salad
- Corn Salad
- Chicken and Roasted Root Vegetables
- Kiwi Bread
- Kumara Manuka Crunch
- Hunter’s Pie
- Venison Sliders with Tomato Chile
- Bacon and Egg Pie
- Hokey Pokey Biscuits
- Pineapple Lumps
- Jaffa Slices
- Green Mussels
1. Choose your favorite recipe.
2. Gather the necessary ingredients.
3. Prep and cook your recipe.
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