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Cheap Eats in Christchurch

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Where to get cheap food in Christchurch?

We know the cheapest way to save money on food when you are on the road in New Zealand is to get to the supermarket and cook your own meals in your hostel. However, it’s likely that after a while, the smells of food as your walking down the streets in Christchurch will get all too tempting. We don’t blame you! Luckily, Christchurch has plenty of affordable food deals that means you can get great value you for money when looking to eat out.

We’ve compiled some of the best cheap eats in Christchurch while trying to hit all tastes and situations. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are covered. What’s more, Christchurch is full of international flavours, so don’t be afraid to experiment! Try something new, because, well, you can afford to!

Remember, the best way to save money on food is to cook for yourself, so take a look at our Hostel Recipes and Food sections for inspiration.

5 Foodie experiences in Christchurch

Before we get onto the cheap stuff, why not match your yearning for food with an activity? Good food and drink come hand-in-hand with awesome experiences so here are some of the foodie activities you can do in Christchurch…

  • Try some specialty cheeses (and even a cheese sandwich for under $10) at the Canterbury Cheesemongers (Arts Centre)
  • Head down to the Christchurch Farmers Market every Saturday, 9am-1pm at Riccarton house
  • Then do it all again on Sunday at the Downtown Farmers Market (Sunday, 9.30am-2.30pm at The Commons, 70 Kilmore Street, with live music and heaps of food stalls.
  • Taste the local beers of Christchurch with Craft Beer Tours or Scoff & Quaff.
  • Do some wine tastings in the various vineyards surround Christchurch.
Base Hostels

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Cheap eats in Christchurch – $10 and under

Cheap lunches in Christchurch

Not only does Lower 9th Diner, 89 Lichfield Street, do “cheap as” burgers but they have a creative menu! There’s the standard $8 cheeseburger, a $12 waffle burger and the creative explosion of flavours in the $10 No Meat Burger  black-eye beans, thyme, feta, peanuts, ranch dressing, beet, fennel sauce and pickled chillis. Another comforting meal deal both on the wallet and the stomach is the $8.90 bowl of kampua at Shirley’s Kitchen, 72 Waimairi Road. The eatery offers all sorts of meals for under $10, especially Malaysian food. A popular joint is Steampunk Laboratory, 270 St Asaph Street, where you can try a $10 pork Cup-bops (a type of Korean takeaway) and add your own sauces at the counter. A super filling wrap awaits at Mosaic by Simo on Lincoln Road where you choose a meat/salad/sauce combo for $9.50 (and a large one at that). Every Wednesday, get a $10 ramen bowl from Dragon’s Den on Colombo Street.

A Mexican meets Kiwi food combo can be found at  Mexicanos, 131 Victoria Street, with their $10 pulled-pork tomatillo and drunken salsa torta. For more Mexican delights, find Loco’s Tex-Mex foodtruck often parked up somewhere in the city centre and easy to spot with its street art decoration. Here, you can get a beef chipotle wrap for $10.

Indian restaurants are renowned for lunchtime deals in New Zealand but you won’t find cheaper than Chanakya South East Indian Cuisine Takeaway and Dine In, New Brighton Shopping Centre. Their lunchtime lamb rogan josh and rice is a measly $7.90! They have a whole lunchtime menu of curries under $10. For something a little different, try the Kottu Rotti from Ceylon Kitchen at 620 Colombo Street – the $10 options features vegetarian flatbread mixed with vegetables and spices.

Cheap Healthy Lunch Deals in Christchurch

For a healthier lunch, you can always rely on sushi. Hachi Hachi, 177 Victoria Street, offers an 8-pack of mixed sushi for $9.90! You can also get an 8-pack of sushi at Sushi Time at South City Mall, for $8.50. Another healthy option is are the $10 spring rolls (three in a lunch box with dipping sauce) at the Thai Container, 151 Bealey Ave. Another good midday lift can be found at The Nook Thai Eatery, 24 New Regent Street, with their $10 lunchtime deals on weekdays.

Cheap hangover cures in Christchurch

It’s a bit of a fancy hangover cure but who is complaining when it’s $10? Try the eggs benedict and salmon at the 3 Cows Cafe, Bar and Restaurant on 71 Victoria Street. In fact, there are plenty of $10 options on the brunch menu between 11am and 4pm. For a more no-nonsense cooked breakfast, try the scrambled eggs on toast at  C1 Espresso on Tuam Street for only $9.90.

Street Food in Christchurch

There are heaps of street food to be found around Christchurch for a quick snack to delight the tastebuds. Try the somosas from the Guruji Indian Supermarket, 103 Gasson Street, where you can get three samosas of any flavour for $5 (there is even a pizza flavour). Or how about an 6-pack of dumplings freshly made in front of you at  Potsticker at The Colombo Mall for just $9.50? For a more local speciality, try a famous Southland Cheese Roll from Bun Runners Cafe, Fitzgerald Avenue, for $5 each! Finally, a good feed can be found at Urban Gourmand, New Regent Street, especially in the $8 ciabatta bread with grilled pastrami, melted cheese, and relish.

Match your cheap eats with some of these 10 Free or Cheap Things to do in Christchurch.

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Cheap eats in Christchurch – $11-$20

Cheap Asian restaurants in Christchurch

Coriander’s Restaurant, 76 Edgeware Road, doesn’t look like much on the outside but it is often booked out thanks to its popular Indian food. For an evening meal, try the Palak Paneer for $18. What’s more, it’s BYO. Another great place for a cheap evening meal is the Samurai Bowl, 574 Colombo Street, with an extensive menu of Japanese cuisine. Try the kara-age combo (kara-age chicken, rice, salad and miso) for $15. A small but cheap venue lies in Saigon Star, 184 Clarence Street, which specialises in Vietnamese food, such as Lemongrass and chilli fried noodles for $12.50. Or keep it ethical and tasty at the Welcome Vegetarian Cafe, 2 Wharenui Road, where you can get hearty dish like a large Malaysian curry with potato, cabbage and mushroom balls  for just $18.00. Popular with the university crowd for its selection of cheap eats, Yummy Chinese Restaurant, 380 Riccarton Road, is as no-nonsense as the name suggests with classic delights such as Sliced beef with ginger and spring onion for $14.

Cheap Thai Meals in Christchurch

As mentioned in the section above, the Thai Container, 151 Bealey Avenue, has plenty of cheap and cheerful items on the menu. Spending a little more will get you a Chicken Larb Gai for $13.50, for example. More great Thai food can be picked up at Zab Thai, 30B Yaldhurst Road, where you can get classic favourites like Chicken panang curry for $12.50.

More cheap international dinners in Christchurch

El Camino Mexican Grill, 74 Harris Crescent, is where you can get a taste of Mexico for under $20! You get a decent-sized pulled pork chimichanga for $18.50 leaving some money spare for a drink. Finally, Casbah Moroccan Grill, 114 Marshland Road, offers alternative international flavours, slightly healthier and large hearty meals. Try the Grilled Beef Meatball Tagine with Arabic Rice and Beetroot Salad for $12.90.

Check out more things to do in Christchurch with Christchurch City – Guide for Backpackers.

More about Christchurch

Now that you know you are going to be well-fed in Christchurch, here are more articles to help you with you itinerary, as well as finding cheap accommodation in the South Island’s largest city.

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