Christchurch’s CBD is being rebuilt at a rapid pace. It feels like every time I drive through the city there are new buildings up, changes to one-way avenues, more road works in different areas and, best of all, new businesses up and running. It used to be a treat to try out “the” new restaurant or cafe within the four Ave’s, but the pace has picked up and it is a mission to get around all the new restaurants.
Amidst the heart of the CBD, there is a flurry of activity happening. The outrageously over-sized video game Super Street Arcade projected onto the side of the Vodafone building takes at least 2 people to play. This game is hilarious to play, as you control, hop and shoot at road cones while driving through the streets of Christchurch. It is a huge success, potentially due to its close proximity to the Polytech, and Gap Filler has even created a website designated to this game for high-scorers.
Last spring, Christchurch City Council, in partnership with Anzco Foods, opened a new community barbecue picnic area at Margaret Mahy Playground. This area holds four electric barbecue grills under a roof that are free to use, including bench space, water supply and gorgeous outdoor seating area. This is a fantastic area to hold birthday parties, group picnics or even just a family day out. The amazing playground & landscaped picnic area that back onto the Avon are more signs of a growing, vibrant city in the heart of Christchurch.
If you are in a pinch for a meal in the CBD, but haven’t made a booking, try the Little High Eatery. It opens for breakfast at 7am and serves every meal of the day, closing at 10pm. The truly amazing part is the fact that it is a permanent and indoor location for some of Christchurch’s favourite food stalls, however still retains a buzzing, street market feel. If you are paralyzed for choice, here are some of my favourites: If you feel like a thin, cracker crust pizza, go for the “Sir George Pizza” (with Chipotle Mayo) at Base Woodfired Pizza. Or if you’re feeling mighty hungry, go for the “Shane” at Bacon Bros, which has Pure Angus Beef, Bacon, Hash Brown, Cheese, Egg, Sausage, Chorizo + Empowering Handshake…now that is a bacon butty! Also, if you’re keen for some espresso, the coffee at A Mouse Called Bean is exceptional.
While you’re at the Little High Eatery, sample the incredible grilled meat from the Argentinian Barbecue El Fogón, churros from the Caribe Latin Kitchen, or the bao garden from Eightgrains Japanese kitchen. Make sure you give yourself plenty of time when arriving before you will want to eat, as tables are in hot demand!