13 Foods you should try in New Zealand

While you're traveling in New Zealand, there are a few kiwi classics that it'd be great to try. Check out each of these 13 dishes and see if you like them!

1. Fairy Bread

Perhaps not as well known on the list of New Zealand foods, fairy bread is a party classic that’s been around since ages ago. The ways it’s made is by slicing white bread with margarine (soft butter works too) and then covered with hundreds and thousands. Most of the time it’s served cut into two triangles.

2. Hāngi

A traditional Maori recipe, a hangi is a pit oven (also referred to as an umu) in which food is cooked on heated stones. As a traditional Māori method of cooking, it is still often used around the country, especially for special occasions.

The basic process involves digging a pit oven in the ground, heating stones in the pit with a fire and then putting baskets of food on top. After that, you cover everything with earth for several hours and then lift the hāngi out. Choice!

3. Crayfish

A New Zealand seafood delicacy, folks around the country love crayfish. Perhaps the most popular (and one of the most expensive) seafoods in New Zealand, crayfish is most often consumed when it’s given to others by those that go diving for it.

That means, it’s not very often you’ll come across fresh crayfish at the supermarket! Choice.

4. Hokey pokey ice cream

Another timeless New Zealand classic, you’ve got to love Hokey Pokey ice-cream! Made with a touch of golden syrup, condensed milk and cream, hokey pokey has that awesome crunch and is a purely New Zealand recipe!

You can either buy it at the store or have a shot at making it yourself!

5. Lolly cake

You’ll find this in most classic New Zealand bakeries around the country. Us Kiwis love it! Quite literally, cake with lollies in it, lolly cake is also a popular kids birthday party treat.

It’s quite easy to make too (and often with another popular NZ lolly, Eskimos).

Here’s a recipe if you don’t see it around one of New Zealand’s many bakeries!

6. Kina

Another dive for it delicacy, Kina is found in many areas of the country. It’s reasonably easy to dive for, but be careful as it has a spiny outer layer!

The way that it’s eaten is that it’s cracked open to reveal the edible parts inside. By the way, the parts you eat, are totally orange!

You can buy Kina in the supermarket, but typically it’s in a tub rather than in its natural form. But hey, that makes it a lot easier to eat!

7. Kiwi burger

A typical hamburger just wasn’t enough for us Kiwis, so we decided to slap an egg and a few other things into the mix!

Typically you’ll find an egg, meat pattie, beetroot, sometimes avocado along with all the other good stuff like tomato, lettuce, cheese, onions, mustard, and tomato sauce!

8. Jaffas

Not only are Jaffas a Kiwi lolly favourite, they also have their own race! You can read about it here.

Basically, a ton of people get Jaffas, and roll them down New Zealand’s steepest street! It’s glorious to watch and there are quite literally thousands of Jaffas.

The race is typically around July and organised by a New Zealand chocolate favourite, Cadbury.

9. Pavlova

Pavlova is a meringue-based dessert with a saucy history! Contested across the Tasman in a custody battle (not the dessert), you’ll find Pavlova at all New Zealand traditions like Christmas.

The dessert is crispy and crunchy on the outside, and soft on the outside. It has a very unique texture!

By the way, it’s often topped with another kiwi favourite, whipped cream and kiwifruit!

10. L&P

We love our L&P! Lemon and Paeroa has been around since 1907! Named after a small town, Paeroa, in the North Island, they’ve even made a giant L&P bottle to celebrate!

Make sure that you stop for a photo on your next New Zealand road trip.

11. Kumara

Brought over by the early Maori settlers (over 1,000 years ago!), Kumara, a sweet potato is a popular root vegetable found in all great supermarkets.

There are a few variations of the vegetable, with the most common being orange or purple! It definitely makes for a colourful Sunday roast.

You’ll also often find Kumara in a Hangi!

12. Whitebait fritters

We love whitebait fritters! Isn’t New Zealand just full of delicious food to eat? Whitebait fritters are

13. Manuaka honey

Our native manuaka honey is made by bees all around the country! It has powerful medicinal properties and is popular both here in New Zealand and overseas.

Have a few other foods you'd recommend trying? Let us know!