Iconic Kiwi food you must try while in New Zealand

New Zealand is home to a bunch of quirky, delicious kiwi food. We’re proud of these highly unique foods and love to get visitors to try these when they’re travelling around. Check out the Canopy Tours team favs.

Iconic kiwi food you need to try:

  1. Whittaker’s Chocolate
  2. Pineapple Lumps
  3. Marmite
  4. White Bait Fritters
  5. Meat pies
  6. Classic Sunday Roast
  7. Hangi
  8. Hot Chip Sandwich

1. Whittaker’s Chocolate

As the winner of such illustrious honors as New Zealand’s Most Trusted Brand and New Zealand’s Most Iconic Brand, these guys are sort of a big deal. Some may argue, chocolate is chocolate is chocolate. But, with funky, New Zealand-centric flavours like Hokey Pokey and Jelly Tip, it’s hard to beat this as a top kiwi food. Not only is Whittaker’s delicious, it’s also kiwi as – being made by the same family for 5 generations!

kiwi food best chocolate

2. Pineapple Lumps

These strange little confectionary creations are actually some sort of national obsession. Expect any true kiwi questioned on the matter will have a fully-formed, sometimes-bordering-compulsive opinion on the matter of serving methods, storage and ideal consistency of Pineapple Lumps. These sweet treats have actually been around since the 50’s.

pineapple lumps kiwi food

3. Marmite

Vegemite’s kiwi cousin, Marmite is a yeast extract spread. Popularly served on buttered toast or combined with cheese to make a sandwich (or even salt and vinegar chips) . For those not raised eating this unique sandwich spread a first taste-test can be described as stomach-turning experience.  At some point you’ll need to (or be forced to) sample Marmite while in New Zealand as it’s a kiwi food staple.

marmite nz

4. Meat Pies

The foodie dream come true! New Zealand savory pies are where butter-laden pastry gets together with a gravy-y meaty filling and throws a party in your mouth.  You can literally get a pie anywhere! From your local bakery to supermarket to gas station, as this kiwi food is never far away. If you are in Rotorua make sure to check our Patrick’s Pies, it’s our top pick.

meat pie new zealand

5. White Bait Fritters

Delicious white bait fritter. mmm… a classic kiwi food delicacy made from the whole bodies of immature swarms of fish. Ignore those tiny eyes and the idea of chewing up and swallowing another creature whole, this is a true New Zealand delicacy you have got to try if you get the chance. To make it kiwi-er, slap it between a couple pieces of buttered bread. 

whitebait fritter

6. A Classic Kiwi Sunday Roast

Make a kiwi friend and beg an invite to their next family-hosted Sunday dinner. You will not be sorry with this kiwi food. Hulking cuts of meat, lovingly cooked for hours, crispy potatoes roasted to perfection, veggies galore and gravy to die for. This is New Zealand food heaven. If you’re extremely lucky, they’ll also have made a Pavlova for dessert (which is definitely kiwi, not Aussie by the way).

kiwi roast

7. Hangi

A traditional New Zealand Maori method of cooking food. They use heated rocks buried underground in a pit oven. Expect another delicious chunk of meat paired with roast vegetables and a distinctly earthy, smoky flavour. Though it’s not a common way for most kiwis to cook like this anymore, Hangi is usually prepared for special occasions and gatherings. You can try Hangi in Rotorua as part of the Te Pā Tū experience.

hangi new zealand kiwi food

8. Hot Chip Sandwich

Last on our list kiwi food to try is the hot chip sandwich. New Zealanders do not fear carbs. Probably because they’re sure to balance it out with all those hunks of meat. While you’re in NZ, it’s almost a given that you’ll visit a fish and chip shop, but the most important part of the experience is to do it the kiwi way.  Yet again, be prepared with the ever-present buttered white bread and load it up with chips, slather it in T – sauce (tomato sauce), and laugh in the face of all the low-carb dieters of the world.

chip sandwich

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