For an authentic Canterbury culinary experience, visit an artisan producer, or get yourself to one of the region's flourishing farmers' markets.
By going direct to source, you'll access some of the area's freshest produce, finest foods and homemade treats. You'll also get the lowdown from the passionate people behind these gastronomic joys.
Enjoy a buzzing atmosphere in a charming setting at Christchurch Farmers' Market. Held at historic Riccarton House every Saturday morning. Meats, cheeses, fruit and vegetables sit alongside superb coffee and goodies to enjoy while you're strolling around.
With over 300 stalls Riccarton Market is Christchurch's largest market. Held every Sunday from 9am - 2pm there's always a bargin or tasty treat to be found.
Waimakariri & Hurunui
Soak up the casual country atmosphere at the Amberley Farmers' Market every Saturday from 9am to 12pm. The market is made up of a passionate group of growers and producers from across the Hurunui. You’ll find delicious food and locally-produced products such as olive oil, sausages, bacon, cheese and honey right in the middle of town on State Highway 1.
Ohoka Domain comes alive every Friday morning with the Ohoka Farmers' Market supporting up to 55 growers and food artisans with a focus on “local, seasonal, independent, eco-agriculture in the Waimakariri and beyond”. The market starts at 9am in summer and 9.30am in winter, always finishing up at 12.30pm. Ohoka is a 25 minute drive from Christchurch.
Or head to Oxford for a leisurely Sunday morning filled with a wide range of meats, fruit, vegetables, flowers, preserves, sauces and coffee from more than 15 stalls. The Oxford Farmers' Market operates year round, come rain or shine.
The Akaroa Farmers Market brings a bit of Southern France to Banks Peninsula every Saturday from 9.30am to 1pm. Stock-up the picnic basket with delights such as olives, baguettes, croissants, cheese and freshly-caught fish and enjoy a day exploring the stunning seaside village of Akaroa – a former French settlement just 1.5 hours' drive from Christchurch. Please note: The Akaroa Farmers Market runs from October - April.
Saturday mornings are a hive of activity in the historic portside town of Lyttelton. Its thriving Farmers' Market attracts a host of locals and visitors every weekend, with a colourful array of local produce and handmade eatables. Local musicians often provide entertainment, and there are lots of tempting treats to enjoy with a good coffee as you soak up the atmosphere.
Mid & South Canterbury
Further south, bring a hearty appetite to Ashburton's Saturday morning Farmers' Markets, or the rural townships of Methven and Geraldine – both hosting summertime weekend markets. In Timaru, Community House carpark, Strathallan Street is the place to be each Saturday from 9am-12.30pm. Rain or shine, impassioned local producers offer delicious food, produce and drinks.
The weekly Waimate Market includes fresh farm produce along with arts and crafts. It's held each Saturday from 9.30am at the Waimate Community Centre (135 Queen Street, Waimate).
Travelling around Canterbury
Throughout the region you'll often see small roadside signs for the products of artisan producers – so keep an eye out, and stop in and get yourself some unique local delicacies. Whether it's honey, free-range eggs, organic fruit and vegetables, handmade chocolates or preserves, flavour triumphs in fresh food that’s been produced with love and care, and a commitment to quality. Your taste buds will certainly thank you for it!