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New Zealand Traditional Food | The Must-try Cuisines You Shouldn’t Miss
New Zealand

New Zealand Traditional Food | The Must-try Cuisines You Shouldn’t Miss

Charlotte Koks
Charlotte Koks

Many people have dreamed of exploring new destinations to see their wonders and make happy memories. And New Zealand is one of the best places to travel abroad. With its stunning landscapes, thrilling adventures, and, of course, New Zealand traditional food.

New Zealand doesn’t have the world-class cuisines that are known globally. However, they have some meals, snacks, desserts, and even drinks that you should try. Hence, it would be a great experience to taste some of the best in New Zealand.

In today’s blog, we love to share some of the traditional food in New Zealand. We’ll tour you in a paradise where you can enjoy everything you’ll see and do. So, if you wish to know about New Zealand favorites, scroll down!

Top 20 New Zealand Traditional Food | How Good Are They?


Every destination in the world offers different food with distinguished tastes. But the question that you want to know the answer to is, “How good are they?” Therefore, you can only appreciate the cuisines in New Zealand if you try them.

Moreover, the food in New Zealand is incredibly diverse because of the influence of European, American, and Asian cuisines. Of course, Maori delicacies have played a huge factor in shaping what New Zealanders eat today. So, here is the top 20 New Zealand traditional food that you must try.


Hangi is one of the traditional food in New Zealand, and it’s their finest cuisine. It’s a mixture of meat and vegetables slow-cooked in an underground oven. However, because the process would take days to finish, hangi is served now for special occasions only.

Moreover, the taste of hangi is excellent, and its smoky smell would remind you of home. It has unique and earthy flavors with a distinguished scent. Thus, it’s an experience you must add to your list of the best in New Zealand.


Another traditional food in New Zealand is Crayfish. Crayfish or lobster is a Kiwi favorite because it’s something fishers and divers pride themselves on catching. Sometimes, it would cost up to 80 NZD or 52 USD for a whole crayfish.

A good crayfish has a delicate, slightly sweet flavor. Also, it’s a meaty, juicy texture similar to tiger prawns. Hence, to fully enjoy this great food in New Zealand, a mild-flavored sauce would uplift its subtle taste.


People in New Zealand love seafood, perhaps because of the surrounding water. And one of the delightful food in New Zealand is Kina. It’s a local name for a type of sea urchin with a hard spiky outer shell and thin fleshy insides.

In addition, Kina tastes like the sum of all seafood – it’s rich, sweet, creamy, and oceanic. Lovers of Kina enjoy this exotic food in New Zealand, raw and fresh. Indeed, it has been a delicacy in the country for years.


Another New Zealand traditional food is Jaffas. These are small sugar-coated chocolate balls with a subtle orange flavor. Also, these are so popular that there is even an annual Jaffa race in the country.

Kiwi Burger

You might think it weird, but the Kiwi burger is a staple food in New Zealand. What makes it “Kiwi” is it has beetroot and a fried egg. Moreover, it has standard burger patties, lettuce, and whatever goes between two burger buns.



Pavlova is a much-loved dessert in New Zealand. The ingredients of this sweet delicacy are meringue, whipped cream, and fresh fruit. And while most restaurants serve this for their customers, Kiwis traditionally consume this refreshing dessert for Christmas.

Whitebait Fritters

Whitebait is a collective term for immature fish, usually around one to two inches long. Typically, it doesn’t have any flavor, and even eggs can overwhelm its taste. Also, this delicacy in New Zealand is usually rolled in flour and fried.

Manuka Honey

One of the classic food in New Zealand is the world-class Manuka Honey. It’s very famous in the international market because of its claim of medicinal purpose. Moreover, the purer the manuka component of the honey is, the healthier it is.


The first Maori settlers in New Zealand brought kumara into the country. Up to this day, it’s still one of the favorite food in New Zealand. The best way to try kumara is with a hangi.

Fish and Chips

With the abundance of seafood in the country, Kiwis love eating fish. Thus, one of the delicacies in New Zealand is Fish and Chips. It’s a simple meal of fried battered fish and chips (fries).


Hokey Pokey Ice Cream

Kiwis prefer hokey pokey ice cream over pretty much anything. It’s ice cream with pieces of caramelized honeycomb. So, if there’s only one ice cream flavor you’re going to try in New Zealand, make it hokey pokey!


A seafood delicacy that you shouldn’t miss trying in New Zealand is Paua. Its flavor is very distinct – it’s oceanic and salty, but well-balanced too at the same time. Also, its cooked texture is somewhere between a scallop and calamari.


New Zealand exports quality meat globally, and Lamb is a must-try food in the country. Roast lamb or lamb cutlets are on the menu of most high-end restaurants and even in some pubs. Hence, it’s one of the must-try cuisines in New Zealand.

Savory Pies

Another best in New Zealand is their savory pies. It has fillings like mince and cheese, steak and cheese, and even fish pies. Hence, they are the go-to lunch at any gas station or bakery.

Real Fruit Ice Cream

Real fruit ice cream is another type of ice cream that you should try in New Zealand. You can see stalls on the roadside selling this, especially during the summer seasons. And there’s nothing more refreshing than having vanilla whip mixed with fresh fruits.


Southland Cheese Rolls

A specialty of the south, Southland cheese rolls, is also known as Southland sushi. It’s a slice of bread with cheese rolled up like sushi with a generous helping of butter, then grilled to perfection. Also, it’s cheap and something to warm you up on a cold Southland day.

Bluff Oysters

Another best of New Zealand is Bluff oysters, otherwise known as dredge oysters. Its unique taste is more balanced, like mineral-y seawater shot through with sweet cream. Moreover, its bold flavor is perfect for those who crave all manner of salty food.

Chocolate Fish

As weird as it seems, chocolate fish is one of the favorite delicacies in New Zealand. It’s actually a confectionary food made from chocolate-coated marshmallows. Hence, this sweet treat can boost your energy if you’re feeling tired.

Greenshell Mussels

Again, New Zealand has all sorts of seafood, including its famous Greenshell Mussels. You can do different cooking styles with these shells, and they won’t need lots of ingredients. Thereby, you can bake it, steam it, or make a pesto.

New Zealand Barbecue

Experience a summer vibe and one of the best in New Zealand with Kiwi sizzle up. New Zealanders love the act of cooking sausages, steaks, or whatever meat and fish they have. Hence, you can enjoy either an outside gas barbecue or a hotplate barbecue.


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Experience New Zealand Traditional Food with GrowPro | We Got You


New Zealand is a magical place with stunning sceneries and exciting activities that offers an unforgettable experience. On top of this, the traditional food in New Zealand is something worth trying. You can do all these things and more if you choose to study in New Zealand.

So, why is studying in New Zealand a perfect opportunity to explore the country? Well, it’s the easiest way to travel around the country and enjoy the different delicacies in New Zealand. Hence, choose an experience in New Zealand with GrowPro now because we give nothing but the best service.

So to give you a good start, you can check this most requested experience in New Zealand. Afterward, you can complete the form and wait for a call for further assistance. Also, we give tips on finding the best accommodation, transportation options, and more.

We live with our mission to help international students study and explore abroad. Set aside your fears and worries, for we will be with you every step of the way. So, choose GrowPro now because we got you!

About the author

Charlotte Koks
Charlotte Koks

Hey there! My name is Charlotte, and I'm working as an International Project Manager at GrowPro Experience. My goal is to help students all around the world to live the experiences of a lifetime 🙌🏽. I'm trying to inspire students by means of telling the story of former growers, showing what we are doing at each destination and writing about our cities and tips on our blogs. I got a big passion for adventures, doing sports in the park, learning new languages and seeing new places 🌏. That's one of the reasons why I studied European Studies and why I currently work for GrowPro, to expand my horizons. Hopefully, I can inspire you to do the same!

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