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Famous food in New Zealand

New Zealand cuisine is known for its unique dishes which adapted from various cultures around the world, including British, European, Asian, and Middle Eastern.

Enjoy reading

Manuka Honey

This is actually a world-famous New Zealand & Australian food.

Manuka honey comes from the manuka tree which is native to New Zealand. The honey has a much richer, heavier flavor than regular honey quite a distinct smell too, it is also very expensive but very delicious. Kiwis* use manuka mostly as medicine. They are also believed to have healing properties for sore throats, allergies, gingivitis, and digestive illnesses.

The purer the manuka component of the honey is, the healthy and more expensive it is.

* Kiwi doesn’t refer to the fruit, it refers to the New Zealander's people.


Marmite is a paste made of yeast extract combined with different herbs & spices, it is best eaten as a thin spread on toast bread, or crackers, with a bit of butter or margarine to it.

Marmite is served as a snack or at breakfast.

It’s been eaten in New Zealand since 1919 and is considered a weird New Zealand food by many tourists.

Possum Stew

Possum stew is a dish traditionally associated with New Zealand and the American South. The possum animal is mainly cut into pieces and cooked alongside potatoes, carrots, onions, and various spices.

Though it is traditionally prepared as a home-cooked meal, it is also found on the menus of local restaurants that serve it as an authentic delicacy. The stew is usually served with bread on the side.

Boil up

Boil-up is a unique traditional Māori food.

It is prepared of meat (pork, beef, chicken, goat, and lamb) and vegetables like watercress, potatoes, carrots, cabbage, and sweet potatoes that are known as kumara, then boil them in a large pot filled with water.

The meat should be cut into large chunks. When served, boil-up looks like a thick soup or a thin stew.

Meat pies

A classic NZ pie is always hand-sized filled with mince, finely chopped vegetables, mushroom, onion, and a thick meat sauce. A mince pie is available nearly everywhere, in bakeries, supermarkets, and cafes.

Another popular flavor of pie is steak and cheese, potatoes and mince, bacon and eggs, vegan pies, and more.

It is usually a favorite food for a quick lunch or even breakfast.

Cheese Roll

Cheese roll is also known as Southland Sushi, it is a popular New Zealander snack special in the South.

It is consisting of rolled-up pieces of white bread rolled with cheese, and onions. The combination is then grilled and topped with butter.

Kiwi Burger

Despite the name, the kiwi burger consists of a juicy beef patty, lettuce, tomato, onion, cheese, beetroot, tomato sauce, ketchup & mustard, and a fried egg.

The Kiwiburger is a feature in many burger joints including McDonald’s across the country.

Sausage sizzles

A sausage sizzle is a grilled or barbecued sausage served on sliced bread with grilled onions and various condiments, most commonly tomato sauce, barbecue sauce, or mustard.

Sausage sizzles are served as a snack.

Spaghetti on toast

Spaghetti on toast is a unique New Zealander food.

It is prepared of canned spaghetti covered a piece of toast, then sprinkle it with cheese and then place it under the grill till the cheese melted, then served it.

The dish is regularly served for breakfast or lunch.


A Hangi is traditional Maori food that is cooked in the ground.

The meal itself contains meat and vegetables slow-cooked in an underground oven, the vegetables are usually potatoes, sweet potatoes (kumara) and carrots, all ingredients are wrapped in leaves then placed in a basket then placed in a deep hole in the ground which is then covered with rocks and a fire is started on top.

This usually cooks for at least a few hours until the food practically can melt in your mouth.

Rewena bread

Rewena is a traditional Maori bread with a sweet and slightly sour flavor.

The bread is made with flour & potato and follows a recipe similar to that of a sourdough.

Roast Lamb

New Zealand is world-famous for its beef and lamb industry as Lamb is even cheaper in New Zealand given that the population of sheep is greater than the population of people.

Lamb is traditionally roasted with garlic & rosemary and is served with steamed vegetables on the side.

Whether you like your meat roasted or grilled, you’ll find that most restaurants will have this quintessential item on their menus.

Fish & Chips

This dish is a New Zealander version of the classic English fish and chips.

It is believed that it was a traditional British meal but it's also a staple food of New Zealand Cuisine that was introduced to New Zealand before World War I by British settlers.

Fish & Chips is a simple meal of fried battered or crumbed fish, deep-fried and served with chips. The fish is usually Tarahiki, Hoki, red cod, blue warehou, or elephant fish (elephant shark).

The dish is traditionally served wrapped in newspaper, and it's typically eaten on a Friday night as a takeaway treat.

Seafood Platters

Bluff Oyster

Bluff Oyster is a dish related to a small town called Bluff, they are more juicer and larger than regular oysters and said to be the tastiest in the world.

The Oyster can be served raw with a dash of lemon, or fry with a light layer of flour and a sprinkle of salt and pepper.

Green-Lipped Mussels

Green-lipped mussels are characterized by their green shells.

They are used in the preparation of various dishes when they are paired with saffron, tomatoes, and parmesan to white wine, creamy sauces, garlic, and butter. You can enjoy eating them steamed with white wine, garlic, and bacon, or place them under the grill with a topping of cheese and garlic.

This dish is low-fat and low-calorie so it’s a pretty healthy meal, especially when you’re on a diet.


Tuatua are a kind of shellfish that you won’t find anywhere else in the world, they are milder and softener than any other shellfish.

They are creamy, milder, and meaty in texture and taste great in pasta dishes or served raw.

It’s also believed to be a Maori traditional food but all kiwi people enjoy them. Sometimes they’re also served as chowders or fritters.

Whitebait Fritters

Whitebait fritters are crispy transparent tiny fish omelets cooked with egg and flour, and then topped with lemon, salt, pepper, and tartar sauce.

These fritters are served as a snack, enjoyed as an appetizer, or even a main meal when served with a fresh salad on the side.



Lamington is a square-shaped sponge cake covered in chocolate sauce and coated with coconut. Other variations include two layers with a layer of cream or jam in the middle.

Lamington is a very popular snack enjoyed during the morning or afternoon with tea or coffee.


An extremely popular dessert created in honor of a Russian ballerina who toured New Zealand and Australia in the 1920s.

Pavlova is a popular meringue-based dessert that has a crisp crust and a soft, light inside. and crispy outside. It's often decorated with whipped cream and fresh fruit and served at celebratory meals.

Its ingredients are four egg whites, white sugar, lemon juice, meringue discs, icing sugar, and red berries. A dessert with a creamy texture, light on the inside and crispy on the outside.

Fairy Bread

Fairy Bread is simply white bread is cut into triangles, covered with butter or margarine, and topped with multi-colored balls of sugar called "hundreds and thousands" in Australia or which is known as sprinkles in the rest of the world,

Fairy bread remains a staple of birthday parties throughout Australia and New Zealand.

Anzac Biscuits

Anzac biscuits are sweet cookies made from a combination of flour, oats, golden syrup, butter, sugar, coconut, and soda bicarbonate. Although the origins of these cookies are not clear, both Australia and New Zealand claim to have invented Anzac biscuits.

Anzac stands for the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps that fought together during WWI.

Afghan Biscuit

The Afghan biscuit is a traditional New Zealand biscuit made from a chocolate cookie baked with cornflakes mixed in, then baked until firm, each cookie is garnished with a dash of chocolate icing and halved walnut or almond flakes.

It has a unique texture as it’s both crunchy and smooth, despite all the chocolate it’s not actually as sweet as you might expect.

Chocolate Fish

A chocolate fish is made by Cadbury, it consists of white or pink marshmallows with a strawberry flavored, covered with milk chocolate, and shaped into a fish.

It is a favorite of numerous children from New Zealand and also represents a reward for a well-done job.

Hokey Pokey Ice Cream

Hokey pokey is one of the most popular ice cream flavors in New Zealand; a vanilla ice cream filled with small bits of honeycomb toffee, consume with a flake or chocolate fish for the ultimate experience.

Also, it goes well with everything cake, waffles, cones, banana splits. The name hokey pokey refers to the New Zealand term denoting honeycomb toffee.

Tip Top is the biggest and most popular ice cream manufacturer in the country.

Lolly Cake

A lolly cake or lolly log is a New Zealand cake or confectionery that features "lollies" as a key ingredient.

It is made of crushed malt biscuits, melted butter, colorful marshmallows, sweetened condensed milk, and topped with crushed coconut.

It is best served sliced besides a cup of coffee

The exact origins of this cake are not really known. Lolly cakes are known to have been consumed in the 1940s, but were not commonly available until the 1960s in supermarkets.

Pineapple Lumps

Pineapple Lumps is made of a chocolate with a soft & chewy pineapple inside.

The sweet treats were first made in the 1950s by Charles Diver, a confectionery chef at the Regina Confectionery Company.

Custard Square

A custard square is a layer of pastry then set custard, then pastry and finally a sweet icing on top.

It’s gooey, delicious and one of the most loved New Zealand desserts.

Caramel slices, custard slices, rocky road slices, and lolly cakes are some of the most common of these delectable Kiwi indulgences.

They’re perfect for a mid-morning treat or as a quick dessert on the go and they’re even better with a fresh cup of coffee.


Flat White

It is believed that the flat white originated in the 1980s, but it is still disputed whether it originally appeared in Australia or New Zealand.

Flat white is a coffee variety that couples a double shot of freshly brewed espresso and milk, which is usually steamed to create a light, silky microfoam.

A perfect flat white should have an intense coffee flavor, and milk should only be a compliment, not a predominant element, while the froth on top should be less airy and bubbly than in the classic cappuccino or caffe latte.

The Flat White, however, is probably the most popular style across the country, that you will find anywhere you go.

Long Black

A long black is a coffee that considered to be a close relative of Caffe Americano. They both combine an espresso shot with hot water, but unlike its counterpart, long black is prepared by pouring or directly extracting the espresso into a cup of hot water. The result is a full-bodied drink that leaves the cream-thick, creamy foam on top. It is believed that the term and the coffee style originated in Australia or New Zealand.

L & P (Lemon & Paeroa)

L&P is a very popular and iconic soft drink combining lemon and carbonated local mineral water and only available in New Zealand.

The drink was created in the small north island town of Paeroa in 1907. Whittakers even produce an L&P flavored chocolate bar.

It is as common as any soft drink in New Zealand, tasting a bit more lemony and sweet than Sprite.

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