What can I expect to pay for food in New Zealand?
New Zealand food is internationally renowned. A wide range of cuisine and styles are available to suit every budget. Dining out in the larger cities you will have a plethora of options while in the smaller towns you may only have one or two choices.
There is a far more extensive range of cuisine in our larger cities. Typically international eateries and fusion restaurants are the go-to fare. Most New Zealand fusion restaurants will offer at several ‘typical’ Kiwi dishes such as lamb or salmon. As a guide, you can expect to pay between NZ$25 and NZ$35 for a main dinner course at most restaurants. However, at a high-end restaurant, you can expect to pay between NZ$40 - NZ$100 for a main dinner course. For lunch, prices range between NZ$12-NZ$25 at most cafes. Tipping is not required in New Zealand and in no way expected. Hospitality staff are paid (at the very least) a living wage and are not reliant on tips.
Take-away/ fast food
If you're in need of a quick fix, New Zealand has an abundance of fast food options. Again, in the larger cities, there is more choice. In New Zealand ‘take-away’ or ‘fast food’ goes beyond the general ‘burgers and fries’ and includes all manner of cuisines including Indian, Thai, Japanese, Mediterranean and classic Kiwi fare, fish and chips. A take-away dinner for two people costs anywhere between NZ$20-NZ$30, and a breakfast is anywhere between NZ$15- $NZ25 depending on the style and location
When travelling New Zealand, the most cost effective way to dine is to self-cater - particularly if you are staying in motel or apartment style accommodations that contain a kitchenette or kitchen so you can prepare your own meals. Most towns will have a main supermarket or a general grocery store. New Zealand grows much of its own produce - and local farmers markets are a great source of fresh fruit, vegetables, honey and eggs.