Christchurch is one of the largest cities in New Zealand. Located on the South Island, it also happens to be one of the most popular places to visit in New Zealand, especially among coffee lovers. Christchurch is home to several famous cafes and coffee shops that I love!
In fact, whenever I visit the city, the first thing I do is start my day with freshly roasted coffee – usually a cappuccino. Of course, where I go depends on my mood, but one thing is for sure, finding great coffee in Christchurch isn’t hard! In fact, one of the best things to do in Christchurch is to check out the unique and specialty coffee shops.
With that said, there are a ton of coffee shops in Christchurch, and not all are created equal. So if you love coffee, this list of the best coffee shops in Christchurch is just what you need!
The Best Cafes in Christchurch
1. Black Betty Cafe
- Location: 3/165 Madras Street Central Christchurch
- Hours: Monday – Friday: 7 am – 2:30 pm, Saturday – Sunday: 8:00 am – 3 pm
- Types of Food: Baked goods and freshly prepared meals
- Why We Love It: Delicious food and espresso coffee, relaxing ambiance in the CBD.
Black Betty Cafe is a well-known establishment that can be found in the middle of Christchurch CBD. The cafe offers a pleasant ambiance with a warm interior and sophisticated lighting effects, meant to provide guests and customers with a relaxed setting.
Black Betty Cafe is the spot to go to get a sophisticated cup of coffee. This coffee shop is one of the best locations to hang out because it has both a beautiful interior design and a wonderful staff. Oh, I almost forgot to say that in addition to that, they provide wonderful meals! This cafe offers a diverse selection of food that, no matter what, will never fail to gratify your taste buds.
When I am in Christchurch, I always stop by Black Betty Café. While I watched the people go about their day in this busy cafe, I put in an order for their Eggs Benedict, which has won multiple awards! An added plus is that they serve their food extremely quickly.
Black Betty Café is also conveniently located in the heart of Christchurch city center. This is the area of Christchurch with the most hotels, so chances are you are staying not too far away.
This bustling café provides you with everything your hungry heart could ever desire, including delicious cuisine, flavorful coffee, and an atmosphere that is nearly impossible to top.
2. Table At Monks
- Location: 282 Madras Street, Christchurch
- Hours: From 7:30 am to 3:30 pm Tuesday – Friday, 8:30 am to 3:30 pm weekends. Closed Monday.
- Types of Food: Baked goods and freshly made meals
- Why We Love It: Free parking at the door, outdoor seating, and delicious food are hard to beat.
Table at Monks is a beautiful café that is ideal for those who are seeking something different when it comes to cafes in the Christchurch area. Table at Monks is definitely worth a visit for anyone who is interested in experiencing what the cafe has to offer because it has an inviting and stylish surroundings, serves wonderful coffee, and has a menu that makes your mouth water.
Because the wait staff are warm and welcoming, and the atmosphere is sophisticated without being stuffy, this restaurant is an excellent choice for families. The menu at this cafe is highly enticing, with a variety of selections ranging from light breakfasts to lavish meals, as well as everything in between.
You can’t go wrong with one of their well-known morning dishes, such as pancakes, eggs Benedict, or French toast, as well as sandwiches and salads for lunch. Any of these meals would make for a wonderful way to get the day started off on the right foot.
Desserts are a specialty of this restaurant, which is one of the reasons why it’s one of my favorites. Table at Monks offer delicious baked goods as snacks in addition to coffee (their mocha has won quite a few awards). However, due to the fact that EVERYTHING is excellent, it is really tough to choose just one thing.
You can check out Table at Monks’ menu here.
3. Unknown Chapter Coffee Roasters
- Location: 254 Saint Asaph Street, Christchurch Central city
- Hours: From 6:30 am to 4 pm every day of the week
- Types of Food: pastries and fresh meals
- Why We Love It: Warm and relaxed atmosphere, great coffee!
In Christchurch city center you’ll find Unknown Chapter Coffee Roasters. The vastness of this cafe is one of its advantages. While there can be a short wait for a table, the cafe’s open layout makes it possible to sit wherever without feeling crowded. It’s also a great spot to get some work done while sipping on a cup of joe. I often visit with my laptop to get a little writing done with my cappuccino.
If you want just a coffee-to-go, this is your coffee shop in Christchurch! Taking a morning stroll and enjoying a coffee right next door to Hagley Park makes this a great spot.
Coffee enthusiasts will enjoy Unknown Chapter. Known for its selection and unique method of brewing coffee, it is a popular destination for coffee lovers worldwide. If you’re hungry, they also have a decent size breakfast menu. I personally love their avocado toast!
4. Sign of the Kiwi Cafe
- Location: 1700 Summit Road Dyers Pass, outside of the city
- Hours: From 8:30 am to 3:30 pm Mon-Fri, 8:30 am to 4 pm weekends
- Types of Food: Baked goods and delicious fresh meals
- Why We Love It: Its delicious delicacies, coffee, and let’s not forget a breathtaking panoramic view.
Sign Of the Kiwi Cafe is the place to go if you want to enjoy a coffee with a view! Located a short drive from the city center, this spot offers breathtaking vistas. In fact, this cafe is located near the start of some of the most popular hikes on the South Island, so you can enjoy a trail and then spoil yourself with a coffee and a meal afterward!
The cafe’s lovely interior and inviting furniture make it a wonderful place to spend time with loved ones. It’s a great location to meet up with a friend over a cup of coffee and a delicious scone (the scones are seriously good!)
It’s understandable if you’re thinking, “How can a restaurant so far away from the city deliver delicious food and have a beautiful view?” However, I can assure you that this is the best there is. There is a homey feel to the establishment, and while the menu selection may be restricted, the food they offer is tasty nonetheless.
- Location:195 Marine Parade, New Brighton on the beach
- Hours: From 9 am to 4 pm on Mon-Fri and 8 am to 4 pm on weekends.
- Types of Food: Baked goods and fresh meals
- Why We Love It: The beachside location sets this Christchurch cafe apart from the others.
As you probably already know, New Zealand has some very beautiful beaches. Why not enjoy the beach with a coffee in hand? Saturdays Cafe is tucked away just in front of the beach in the area of Brighton in Christchurch. It is in the ideal location, directly in front of the water, and it features a nice outdoor dining area with a good number of umbrellas.
If you want, take your coffee-to-go and enjoy a peaceful stroll taking in the sights and sounds of waves crashing.
You don’t need to look much farther if you’re searching for a fantastic place to hang out or even a place to take a date. The atmosphere at Saturdays is both relaxed and elegant. Warm light beams, wooden benches, and an overall rustic appearance adorn the interior of the building.
On top of all that, the food is of the highest quality, and the service is always kind and welcoming. Visit this cafe and indulge in their delicious hot food, delectable desserts, and refreshing beverages right next to the beach.
6. Addington Coffee Co-op
- Location: 297 Lincoln Road, in Addington just outside of the CBD
- Hours: From 7:30 am to 4 pm Mon-Fri, 8 am to 4 pm weekends
- Types of Food: Freshly made meals and pastries
- Why We Love It: Mouth-watering food added with great coffee.
One of the most charming spots in Christchurch’s Addington district is the Addington Coffee Co-op. As hip as it gets, the inside features soaring ceilings, white flooring, and wall-to-wall windows, making it look more like a gallery than a coffee shop.
They have one of the best coffee specialties in town, as well as a gift shop and even a vegan part on their menu for those who prefer that option. Freshly brewed coffee fills the air as soon as you enter, luring you in. Even if you’re not in the mood for a meal, you’ll be tempted by the many options on the menu and the many baked goods on display, both vegan and non-vegan alike.
Friendly waiters and waitresses are the glue that binds this oasis model together. In addition, you can purchase bags of freshly roasted beans that will make you wish you had come sooner.
7. Hello Sunday Cafe
- Location: 6 Elgin Street, Sydenham
- Hours: 7:30 am to 3 pm Mon-Fri, 8 am to 3 pm on weekends
- Types of Food: Pastries and freshly made meals
- Why We Love It: Open-air cafe with a super creative (and delicious!) food menu.
At Hello Sunday Cafe, you’ll be able to experience a lively and welcoming environment. Nice food in a casual setting for all kinds of situations is what you’d expect from a good cafe, and this one has it all. A visit to Hello Sunday is like entering another universe, complete with soft lighting, delicious food, and a cozy atmosphere ideal for a romantic date or some quality time with friends.
An open-air food court atmosphere and a wide variety of cuisine options are the features of this cafe. Both the meal and the service are top-notch. As a café, it’s usually quite modest, but it has an outside food court area that is entirely exposed to the sky – so bright and airy!
In addition, this cafe has one of the most creative menus! You won’t find any plain pancakes here, everything is a fusion of unique flavors. One taste of their Beek Cheek Hash (yes, slow-cooked beef for breakie served with hollandaise!) and you’ll be in heaven. They also have plenty of gluten-free, dairy-free, and vegan options too.
8. Black & White Coffee Cartel
- Location: Several locations around the city
- Hours: Open from 8 am to 4 pm every day of the week (may vary per location)
- Types of Food: Baked goods and freshly prepared meals
- Why We Love It: Black & White coffee has numerous options for practically everyone
A great cafe is one that not only delivers tasty coffee but also creates a pleasant, relaxing, and all-around excellent environment for its patrons. When you visit the Black & White Coffee Cartel, you won’t find anything missing because they’ve thought of everything.
Black & White Coffee Cartel has several locations throughout the city, so no matter where you are staying in Christchurch, chances are one of these cafes is just around the corner. In fact, it is New Zealand’s very first micro-roasting coffee franchise!
Every Black & White cafe has its own onsite coffee roaster, meaning the coffee is as fresh as it gets! You can watch them roast the beans right in front of you. This small-batch coffee makes it that much better! And if you love the coffee that much, you can buy a bag of beans to take away with you.
When it comes to food, they always have a cabinet full of fresh baked goods. Or if you want a sit-down meal, they offer both extensive breakfast and lunch menus, too.
Must-do Activities in Christchurch
During your visit make sure not to miss out on the best activities Christchurch has to offer! Here are some of my top recommendations.
- Ride the gondola – The Christchurch Gondola is famous both for sightseeing and as a way to transport hikers up to one of the many walking tracks on Mount Cavendish. So whether you’re in it for the views or are looking to pick a track to walk along this is a must-do while in Christchurch for just about anyone!
- Ride or fly a helicopter – In Christchurch you can enjoy the views from above in a 20-minute helicopter tour overlooking the pretty Sumner Beach and Lyttleton Harbor or for a unique experience book this YouFly Trial Flight where you will learn how to take off, hover, fly, and land!
- Tramway City Tour – This is perfect for seeing all the key landmarks including the Botanic Gardens, Avon River, and New Regent Street! Just sit back and gaze out your window. Since it’s a hop-on hop-off style tour you can choose to get out and explore any of the sights!
- The International Antarctic Center – Take a glimpse into life in Antarctica! There are a lot of unique experiences here, from learning about and snuggling with Huskies to seeing blue penguins in the rescue center before stepping inside the Storm Dome for a feel of the extremely cold Antarctic weather this place will have all your senses stimulated.
Where to Stay in Christchurch
Although not a large city by international standards, Christchurch is big for New Zealand. As with any large city, picking the right place to stay is really important.
There are lots of different areas to choose from when deciding where to stay in Christchurch. To help you narrow it down, I’ve included my top choices near the airport, in the city center, and just outside the city.
By the airport
One of the best places by the airport is the Lylo Christchurch. It’s actually within walking distance of the airport! It’s also 2 minutes from a retail center and the International Antarctic Center. They have luggage storage, laundry, and a communal area with a kitchen. There are a variety of rooms with prices starting at $117 NZD. You can book this super convenient hotel through Booking.com.
Another cool hotel close by is the Commodore Airport Hotel Christchurch. Although a short drive away, it has a free shuttle, free parking, and amazing reviews. Rooms come with a balcony or garden access to get that fresh air before a flight. They also have a restaurant, bar, and indoor pool. You can expect to pay between $250-$350 NZD per night. For luxury right by the airport, reserve a room at the Commodore Hotel online.
In the city center, the Crown Plaza Christchurch is perfect for a luxury stay. It’s a large hotel with amazing views of the city. You can grab a coffee at the on-site cafe or cozy up by the bar’s fireplace with a cocktail. It has a gym, restaurant, and spacious rooms. You can snag prices as low as $209 NZD when you book in advance online.
For budget travelers, the social but comfortable Urbanz is a good option. Although cheap, it’s located in the heart of the city and only a couple of minutes from Hagley Park and New Regent Street, which is full of bars and restaurants. It’s a trendy, modern space with a pool table, kitchen, laundry, and on-site bar. Dorm rooms cost about $41 NZD, and private rooms are $109 NZD. You can book this budget-friendly hotel on Booking.com or through Hostelworld.com.
Just outside the city
If you don’t mind staying a few minutes outside of the city center, I recently stayed at Tasman Holiday Parks Christchurch and loved it! It’s a holiday park, so perfect for those with a campervan or motorhome, but they also have newly renovated rooms and apartments available for a great price! There are plenty of facilities, including kitchens, BBQs, and a pool. Stays start at $114 NZD and can be booked online here.
Renting a Car, Campervan, or Motorhome in New Zealand
Let’s face it, you’re going to need wheels to get around New Zealand. Although a small country, buses between destinations are infrequent and expensive. Plus, some of the best experiences you can have in NZ are on road trips!
You have three options when it comes to getting wheels in New Zealand; a car, a campervan, or a motorhome. Here’s what you need to know about each and where to get them:
- Car – A normal car is the cheapest rental vehicle you can get in New Zealand. It’ll get you around to all of the best destinations with ease. The only downside to a car is that you will need to stay in hotels or Airbnbs during your travels (no camping.) The easiest place to rent a car in New Zealand is on Discover Cars where you can compare cars, companies, prices, features, and more very easily.
- Campervan – A Campervan is a large van that has a bed and a small kitchen in the back. It is what most budget backpackers get for traveling around New Zealand since it allows you to camp comfortably and for free (most) nights. Campervans are best for couples or solo travelers who are happy to live in a small space. You should also love the outdoors and camping! You can easily compare campervans, prices, and book on the website Motorhome Republic. We also have a 5% discount code (QUEEN5) with Mad Campers, which you can use at checkout.
- Motorhome – A motorhome is larger and more comfortable than a campervan. Many motorhomes will comfortably sleep 6 or more people – perfect for a family visiting New Zealand. Motorhomes are the most expensive option, but with one, you won’t ever need to stay in a hotel and you’ll save money that way. Motorhome Republic is my suggested website for booking a motorhome in New Zealand simply because they are a reliable company and the website is super easy to use! We are also partnered with Kiwi Motorhomes, which is well known as the top motorhome rental company in New Zealand. You can get 5% off using the code Queen5. For more detailed info, read my complete guide to renting a motorhome in New Zealand!
Travel Insurance Has Your Back!
Life can be unpredictable and when you’re traveling abroad the last thing you want to worry about is getting sick or injured and having to pay out of pocket for treatment.
If this concerns you, SafetyWing can help! SafetyWing specializes in very affordable and comprehensive medical and travel insurance that is aimed at digital nomads, remote workers, and long-term travelers. It costs just $45 USD per 4 weeks!
To start coverage you must purchase it after leaving your home country, so we usually purchase it as soon as we land in the airport.
Since using SafetyWing we’ve been reimbursed thousands of dollars when we’ve gotten sick. During the pandemic, they’ve even gone as far as to pay for our last-minute flights back to Canada before the border closed!
Thanks for reading!
As you now know, there are some really special coffee shops and cafes in Christchurch. At these cafes, you can get your caffeine fix, satisfy any sweet tooth, as well as fuel up for the day with a huge meal! For me, starting the day at any one of these cafes is ideal!
If you liked this blog, be sure to check out some of my other blog articles including: