If you live in Christchurch, you’ll know that the quantity of new cafes has totally gone out of control. It used to be the weekend activity to check-out the latest cafe, but these days there are too many new kids on the block to try them all. Whether you’re a local or just passing through, here’s a guide to help you to chose a great cafe.
Staff Only. This quirky, hidden cafe sits on Montreal Street near Bealey Ave and is camouflaged in graffiti. The only sign on the door says “Staff Only” and is intentionally misleading. The food offering includes sumptuous bagels with incredible fillings.
Brigittes. North of the CBD in Merivale is a classy and Art Nouveau styled cafe. The 1910’s styled interiors and staff are charming, topped off with a more than decent cup of coffee. Try to go at off-peak times, such as earlier weekend mornings or mid-afternoons as it is a popular weekend brunch destination.
Supreme Supreme. This minimalistic cafe has great staff, a uniquely delicious menu, and incredible interior design. The old tenant of the building was a Chinese grocer, and Supreme Supreme have worked with the existing checked wired glass windows and red features in the design of the fit-out. Every time we go I notice another design feature that truly exhibits Dieter Rams 8th principle of good design; Good design is thorough down to the last detail.
Caffeine Lab. The cosy nook cafe sits at the cusp of New Regent Street, giving you views to the gorgeous art-deco buildings and tramway. This cafe doesn’t come with may fancy bells and whistles – just a great cup of coffee every time.
Unknown Chapter. On the more civilised side of St Asaph Street in the heart of the city, this cafe has continued to be a popular location since opening in the autumn. With incredible service, a great vibe and delectable cabinet food, you can’t go wrong.
Hello Sunday. My favourite weekend brunch location is in a renovated, cosy chapel in Sydenham, just south of the CBD. The menu is a knock-out, with dishes like Beef Cheek Hash, and Turkish Eggs with Dukkah.
Frobisher Interiors. This design studio and showroom floor has an incredible cafe that makes a mean cuppa. They use Lyttleton Coffee Co beans, which makes up one of my favourite brews. The staff are incredible, and they know all of their regulars by name. You’ll find them in the North-East corner of the CBD, within the four Aves.
A Mouse Called Bean. Recently relocated from the Re:Start Mall, this incredible cafe now serves it’s coffee from Little High Eatery. Amazing, kind staff and delicious coffee, made with beans from Lyttleton Coffee Co.
C1 Espresso. This quirky establishment truly found its feet after the Christchurch earthquakes and re-opening of the city, and found a new home in the old Post Office. The cafe continues to develop in new ways, adding pneumatic sliders to the menu which actually get sent from the kitchen to your table in pneumatic mail tubes. Make sure to get tap water from the sewing-machine turned water fountain, and make sure not to miss the toilets…they’re behind a hidden door dressed as a bookshelf!