City Living | My top spots to drink, dine and enjoy a date night!

Captured by Hannah Bird Photography

Captured by Hannah Bird Photography

Baby, it’s getting cold outside and with that comes a bit less outdoor adventuring as we migrate to checking out spots with a bit more warmth and soul food over the winter months.

I love a good date night and better yet - one I don’t have to organise (I know you’re with me!). Today I wanted to share with you some of my favourite local haunts where you can find me enjoying a meal, a coffee or a drink (read: drannnks) with my other half, my girlfriends or just a big group of us on a night out! After all, dates don’t just have to be reserved for our partners. 

Potsticker Dumpling Bar

Why: If I’m not eating Potsticker once a week I’m probably dying and my friends will attest to that statement! Plus, where else can you feed two people on a night out and be bursting at the seems for well under $100 these days?!

My Order: A dozen fried dumps with all of the sauces. Or, a spicy wonton bowl and probably half a dozen dumps to finish it off. Always paired with a good old raspberry and coke or a Black Estate Rose.


Why: Nick and I had our first encounter here offline from Tinder and we’ve never stopped going since.

My Order: Guac, Salsa and Chips, Potato Skins, Chicken Tacos, Beef Skewers and I’ll eat whatever else is put on the table too. Oh, and a Paradiso Margarita.

Riccarton Markets

Why: Do you even live in Christchurch if you don’t visit the Riccarton Farmers Market at least once a month?

My Order: Posh Porridge, duh. Then I’ll pick up some cake from Harpers House, some Salami from Cashmere Cusine, Liquid Geography from Terrace Edge, Bone Broth from The Bone Broth Company and let's face it, anything else I can get my hands on before my cash runs out!


Why: The staff love my baby. I’m not even kidding. It makes it such a nice experience when restaurants are accommodating of little ones!

My Order: Currently it’s the beef cheek Pappardelle and a nice white vino to go with.


Why. Long before the earthquakes, the old Portofino’s was a steady favourite of mine and the Chicken Fettucine has lived on and is just as amazing as ever! Plus, the service is always great.

My Order: A bottle of red, Bruschetta, Calamari and Chicken Fettucine (no mushrooms).


Why: The best steak in town. Don’t fight me on this. You will lose.

My Order: Steak Tartare, Pork Jowl Croquettes, A Tomahawk Steak shared between two and a couple of sides. Better not forget a bottle of red for a match made in heaven.

The Dirty Land

Why: We can’t have a list like this without cocktails, can we?

My Order: “Surprise me” or a Caipirinha, with a few Mexi’s snacks.

Rollickin’ Gelato

Why: No explanation needed

My Order: Whatever I can get my hands on, with brownie of course!

The Last Word

Why: The snacks list is simple and the drinks list is extensive. Plus, in summer you can grab an ice cream next door and pop over to The Last Word to enjoy a drink at the same time outdoors.

My Order: Chip n Dip and a good glass of Rose

Mama Hooch

Why: I tell you what’s not controversial, is the fact that Mama Hooch put on the best platters in town and I’ll happily bet my money on it that you’ll agree with me too.

My Order: Platters are my number one here, but honestly anything on the menu is amazing and the fried chicken is the best in town. There, I said it.

Terrace Tavern 

Why: A nice staple down the strip with good people watching ability.

My Order: A platter and a nice drop of vino or a cocktail

Thai Container

Why: So fast, fresh and relatively healthy, Thai Container is the perfect lunch stop when you’re slightly time poor.

My Order: Chicken Pad Si Eew

Spice Paragon

Why: Since the explosion of the Christchurch foodie scene, I think Spice Paragon has been left underrated, but it’s the bees knees.

My Order: Crispy Pork Balls and Chicken Pad Thai, but most of you will go for the Beef Cheek Curry.

Park Ranger

Why: The owners are the best and I can always get a wholesome meal and good coffee there!

My Order: A coconut milk mocha and usually a sandwich and brownie from the cabinet.

Coq Au Van Rotisserie

Why: The best french fries in town, paired perfectly with delicious meat and salad. Check out their Facebook page for their locations as they move around a bit, but you can’t beat digging into this food on a sunny day in the city centre! Even better still, they cater to weddings and events!

My Order: It used to be beef (starting a movement to bring it back), but either chicken or pork belly with salad and fries with aioli and tomato sauce. The. Best.

While these may be some of my favourite spots, I always try to support the new and I encourage you to as well. As Cantabs we are absolutely spoilt for choice of eateries, but it’s important to share the love and give these amazing businesses the best chance to thrive.

Where are your favourite spots and regular orders? I’d love to hear!

Until next,

__With Love Lucy Black.png