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18 Famous New Zealand Foods (MUST TRY)

18 Famous New Zealand Foods - Must Try!

New Zealand has so much great food on offer! The Kiwis definitely love their kiwi grub.

If you get the opportunity to visit or live in New Zealand, you will want to embrace the culture and enjoy the below list. Be Adventurous. 

Below is a condensed list of the Top 18 Best New Zealand Foods.

1. The New Zealand Meat Pie

New Zealand Pie

Photo Credit To -

New Zealand loves their pies! There is no debate. It was well known that the meat pie is regarded as part of the iconic New Zealand cuisine.

New Zealand even hosts the Bakels New Zealand Supreme Pie Awards each year where the best bakers in the country compete for the coveted best pie title. 

Pies are the perfect belly warmers at any occasion. They are often eaten at any time during the day and are often used as a snack or filler between meals.

Don't forget to blow on the pie and use tomato sauce!

See the funny video below of the New Zealand police officer telling a young kiwi to always blow on his pie!

2. Fish & Chips

Fish and Chips is another great traditional New Zealand food.

It began in London and quickly came to New Zealand with our shores having an abundance of the best seafood in the world.

It swelled with popularity and quickly rose the ranks as one of the most iconic New Zealand traditional foods. 

It would be alongside the Pie as the unofficial National Dish of New Zealand.

They are often enjoyed beachside with some good lol kiwi tomato sauce and lemon wedges.

Be careful of the seagulls as they will try to nab a chip!

They are a relatively cheap eat that fills you up and that you can take anywhere.

As kids growing up we would often have a fish and chips day during winter where the kids would be allowed to order from the local shop.

Wrapped up in newspaper or the classic white paper they were not only a yummy salty treat but the perfect belly warmer for the cold NZ winter.

3. Kiwi Burger.

Kiwi Burger New Zealand

The Kiwi Burger was originally created by the McDonald's Franchise for kiwis and it consisted of a four-ounce beef patty, fried egg, beetroot, tomato, lettuce, cheese, onions, mustard & ketchup. 

Not many foods get their own theme song! But the Kiwi Burger did!

The famous New Zealand ad featured 46 kiwiana items from New Zealand see below.

4. New Zealand Hangi

New Zealand Hangi

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Experiencing a New Zealand hangi is a brilliant way to really embrace New Zealand Culture. This is the real experience of the New Zealand traditional Maori food! 

A traditional hangi involves digging a deep pit in the ground, placing stones inside which are heated up with a large fire. Baskets of food are then placed on top of the stones followed by earth to completely seal the pit. After several hours it's time to uncover and feast!  

Foods usually cooked in a hangi include chicken, pork, mutton, and various vegetables.

An experience you should definitely treat yourself too!


Traditional Maori Food

5. New Zealand Cheese and Wine

New Zealand Cheese and Wine

New Zealand delivers high quality in the wine and cheese department.

Presenting world-class cheeses globally New Zealand is recognised for blue, brie & camembert cheeses. As well as other various creamy cheeses.

This is due to our clean green pasture-based animals which have a high international demand.

The clean green pastures of New Zealand come through to the cheese.

New Zealand Cheese historically didn't start to take off until after the 1950s. 

New Zealand Wine Marlborough

New Zealand for a long time has been best known for its Sauvignon Blanc.

It makes up 86% of all wine exports out of New Zealand.

New Zealand wine has a growing international reputation that includes our pinot noir, pinot gris, riesling, merlot, chardonnay, and cabernet sauvignon.

These wines are certainly a great addition when treating yourself to a cheese smorgasbord!

6. Whittakers Chocolate Milk

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Lewis Road Creamery and Whittakers have teamed up for a special blend of Chocolate Milk which is one hot commodity!

When this product was first released in October 2014 New Zealand supermarkets were hiring security guards to monitor hour-long lines for the milk and some were restricting purchases to only 2 bottles per person.

Alternatively, New Zealanders were making their own versions which were well supported by the creators as long as it wasn't re-sold. 

On the New Zealand equivalent of eBay (Trade Me), a single 750ml bottle was being sold for prices as high as $20! 

7. New Zealand Lamb

Yes, this is a mouth drooling photo. We can't help but just admire how tasty this lamb looks!

New Zealand Lamb holds a very high reputation around the world as it is the most exported meat in the country.

In the month of February 2019 lamb exports alone totaled $319 million.

If you appreciate high-quality tasting meat, treat yourself to a lamb shank next time you're in New Zealand, you won't regret it! 

8. Pavlova 

Pavlova New Zealand

Pavlova is a favourite dessert of many kiwis. They usually include berries, fruit, cream, chocolate, and a meringue base. Try this if you haven't already!

A huge battle between New Zealand and Australia has been going on for decades over the rights of claiming the Pavlova cake creation.

On December 3rd, 2010, announced the pavlova war had been won to New Zealand due to an oxford dictionary definition added in favor of New Zealand.

However new independent research was undertaken to finally settle the dispute between both countries. It turns out that the first-ever recorded 'Pavlova" recipe was in 1918 and came from neither New Zealand nor Australia.

The original pavlova recipe originated in Europe and the US.

We are sure some of us will still disagree however we kiwis did put our own kiwi spin on the classic dessert.

More info about Pavlova see our post: 10 AMAZING PAVLOVA RECIPES (NEW ZEALAND DESSERT)

9. L & P Soda


L&P also known as Lemon & Paeroa is a sweet soft drink manufactured in New Zealand made by mixing lemon juice with carbonated mineral water.

Often described as a fizzy lemon bitters flavour. 

Head to the local dairy and pick up a can or bottle of L&P.

Secret Tip - it goes great with fish and chips.

10. Hokey Pokey Ice Cream

Hokey Pokey Ice Cream New Zealand


Hokey Pokey Ice Cream is famous in New Zealand. Hokey Pokey is plain vanilla ice cream with small lumps of honeycomb toffee. 

Brian Simon created Hokey Pokey ice cream in 1953 at his father's Ice Cream Factory in Dunedin. Brian got an idea from a flavour in America and thought nothing had been done like this in New Zealand.

Vintage Hokey Pokey Ice Cream Stamp from New Zealand


11. New Zealand Candy

Buy New Zealand Candy Online Worldwide Shipping

If you have a sweet tooth you are bound to enjoy the New Zealand candy on offer, just below is a few of our many famous lollies you will want to get your hands on!

Chocolate Fish

Pineapple Lumps


Black Knights Licorice

Buy Black Knight Licorice New Zealand Online

Pascall Milk Bottles

12. Sea Food


New Zealand is one of the world's best fishing countries being surrounded by oceanic borders. Great fishing comes with great seafood which is a huge part of New Zealand food culture.

New Zealand offers such a HUGE list of great tasting seafood!

Here is the list below. 

  • Bluff Oysters
  • Whitebait
  • Mt Cook Salmon
  • Green Lipped Mussels
  • Paua
  • Scallops
  • Snapper
  • Crayfish

13. Cookie Time

Buy Cookie Time Cookie New Zealand Online

Cookie Time is famously known for holding the title 'worlds largest cookie' in the Guinness Book of Records for a whole 12 years!

Worlds Biggest Cookie New Zealand

Cookie Time owners celebrating the New World Record Cookie.

Apart from an amazing achievement, Cookie Time delivers incredibly yummy chocolate oozed filled cookie you just can't resist. Take a look below!

The famous Cookie Time is very easily found throughout most New Zealand stores & supermarkets. Also available at our online International New Zealand supermarket - link below.




14. Anzac Biscuits

ANZAC Biscuits New Zealand

The history and creation of the Anzac biscuits derive from World War 1.

ANZAC is an abbreviation for Australian And New Zealand Army Corps.

The wives and women's groups sent Anzac biscuits to the soldiers abroad during World War 1. The ingredients do not spoil easily and are incredibly durable unlike other foods such as bread which is soft and goes mouldy very quickly.

The biscuits are so durable that it was said the soldiers would even write messages on the biscuits and send over long distances to friends and family. 

Unfortunately, the biscuits don't last long in today's modern age, as the biscuits are too yummy!

15. Manuka Honey

Manuka Honey is unique high-quality honey only found in New Zealand and Australia.

It comes from the plant Leptospermum scoparium which is known as Manuka in New Zealand and Tea Tree in Australia.

Both countries were at loggerheads over the origin and trademarks of Manuka honey.

However, a UK trademark office has awarded New Zealand the Manuka Honey Trademark citing in the hearing that Manuka is a Maori word and native to New Zealand.

Other countries may have the same plant but the plant is known as a different name so the Manuka trademark was rightly issued to New Zealand.

Manuka honey is praised for its unique healing properties and is in high demand, especially overseas.

This rare high-quality honey is exported at around $300 million dollars a year.

In its purest form, it is known to cost 100 times more than the price of normal honey at around $99 per 100 grams. 

Known for being earthier and richer than other honey, this type of honey also has amazing health benefits.

These are some of the supported health benefits from Manuka Honey.

  • healing cuts and scrapes
  • digestion improvement
  • reducing and removing infections
  • increasing the bodies immune system
  • providing energy
  • easing stomach aches

Bee expecting you to try some if the opportunity buzzes your way.

16. Lolly Cake

Lolly Cake is a filling piece of kiwi baking made up of coconut, eskimo lollies, malt biscuits, sweetened condensed milk, and melted butter. 

It is frequently baked for birthday parties and finger food at events.

Griffins Malt biscuits play a major influence on the taste of Lolly Cake. It will be hard to find this brand of biscuits outside of Australia and New Zealand.

If you are looking for the malt biscuits, they are available here - 

Buy Griffins Malt Biscuits New Zealand          

 17. The Original Kiwi Dip

New Zealand's most popular chip dip.

The onion soup mix by Maggi was intended as per the packaging, to be onion soup. Kiwis being kiwis found another use.

Changing New Zealand summers forever!

Rosemary Dempsey discovered by adding reduced cream to the mix it could be converted into a yummy onion dip! 


An Awesome New Zealand onion dip to go with all your favourite chippies or vegetable snacks.

 18. Afghans

The Afghan Biscuit is a delicious chocolate cookie base, covered with more chocolate icing and then topped with walnuts. A must-try for chocolate lovers.

Afghan Biscuits are very popular in New Zealand. Especially after appearing in many editions of the famous New Zealand Edmonds Cook Book. 

Summary : 

New Zealand has a wide range of unique and tasty famous foods.

Kiwis love their food and we are proud of our New Zealand food culture.

We have some unique delicious dishes that are only found in New Zealand and are not only hard to recreate overseas but are dearly missed when we leave home.



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