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Top 5 Recommended Cafes in Christchurch

Freya Hill
Freya Hill

The Coffee House 290 Montreal St, Christchurch 03 365 6066

As a visitor to Christchurch, I asked a Cantabrian friend to recommended a great cafe, and he came up with The Coffee House. Its proximity to The Christchurch Arts Centre makes it the perfect pit stop for a pre-event meal or post-coffee and cake.

The cafe has been created in a renovated villa, giving it a lovely and quintessentially New Zealand feel. The Coffee House does an excellent selection of homemade sweet and savoury treats, and an impressive breakfast, lunch and dinner menu.

What I was particularly taken with was their selection of 'specialty coffees.' How about a 'Race Horse' (4 shots), or tempt fate with a 'Thunder Thighs' coffee with cream, marshmallows and chocolate sprinkles.

The Honey Pot Cafe 114 Litchfield Street, Christchurch 03 366 5853

The cheesecake at The Honey Pot Cafe will for a long time be a stand out 'food memory'. It was Damson Plum and just so darn good!

The cafe is centrally located, and open until late most nights, meaning it's an inviting place to stop in for anything from a coffee to go, up to a full evening meal. The laid back music, and walls lined with local artists work makes the Honey Pot a very inviting place to while away the hours.

The Cupcake Parlour 48 Salisbury Street, Christchurch 03 377 7443

It's possible that this is not technically a cafe, but instead a 'cupcakery'. Either way, the Cupcake Parlour will satisfy nostalgia for pastel colours, sweet little cakes of temption and sprinkles - all served with a good cup of fair trade Supreme coffee on the side.

This recent new venture offers a wide selection of different flavoured cupcakes, starting at a reasonable $ 2.80. There are a set standard of cupcakes (lemon, vanilla, chocolate) as well as a changing 'Cupcake of The Day'. The tread for Cupcakes that started in New York has most definitely hit Christchurch! The Lotus Heart Level 1, Orginal Chief Post Office Building, 15-31 Cathedral Square 03 377 2727

For something a little bit of the beaten track try the Lotus Heart, a vegetarian cafe and restaurant. The cafe offers an extensive range of dishes for those with big and small appetites (a speciality kid's menu is offered).

While the meals are without meat, they are far from without imagination. The 'hedgehog' for the littles is a nutritionally balanced vege meal, presented to look like a hedgehog! For those wanting something a little more filling for lunch, consider sharing a plater for antipasto, including homemade hummus and delicious vegetarian dolmas (Greek stuffed vine leaves).

Cup Cafe

12 Hackthorne Road, Cashmere, Christchurch 03 332 1270

Cup is a popular haunt of locals, so be in quick for a top stop on the weekends. The cafe's location offers fantastic views, especially from the large outside garden and seating area.

If you're feeling energic and have been up Rapaki for a ride, this is a great stop to refuel (its bicycle friendly)! The coffee is seriously good, befitting a cafe of such name. Grab the kids or some friends and head up here one weekend for their excellent brunch options, including French Toast with berries, or pancakes.

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The coffee at the Lotus

The coffee at the Lotus Heart is not grand.

Excellent coffee is served at Ris'tretto's on Barbados Street (close to Warrington Street). They offer fairly traded organic coffee that is roasted in the caf. I like the coffee there as well as the friendly service.