Want to know the best places to eat in New Zealand?
If you're seeking expert recommendations on where to eat throughout New Zealand, you're in the right place. Cuisine has been the country's best food magazine for 26 years and its prestigious Cuisine NZ Good Food Awards (previously known as the Restaurant of the Year Awards) have long been the benchmark for the best eateries.
- Cuisine Restaurant of the Year
- Vittoria Coffee Chef of the Year
- San Pellegrino Best Metropolitan Restaurant
- European Foods Best Regional Restaurant
- Electrolux Best New Restaurant
- Whitestone Cheese Best Winery Restaurant
- Plumm Glassware Best Specialist Restaurant
- Villa Maria Restaurant Personality of the Year
Stop PressWatch out for these fantastic new restaurants opening in your city
Things move fast in the restaurant world. Yes, we all have our favourite haunts we return to again and again, but check out these exciting new joints that span mod-Japanese to meatballs and everything in between.
The 2013 awards nightsOur 2013 restaurant award evening and Chef's Hat announcement was held at St Matthew in the City. See all the action here, including comments from the judges and excited winners.
Letter from our head judge, Kerry TyackDiners in New Zealand are being treated to the finest food they've ever had. Our chefs are using considerable imagination and skill to deliver well-considered and beautifully crafted food, while those responsible for environment and service are creating world-class dining rooms that ensure our visits are memorable.
Judging the Cuisine NZ Good Food Awards 2013 (previously named the Restaurant of the Year Awards), we noted a wealth of good things.
The connection between wine lists and menus is growing stronger, while the continuing recognition of the value of locally sourced produce is hugely positive. We also commend the contraction of menu choice in favour of greater synergy and balance, resulting in a more complete meal.
Of note too is the maturing of the fusion approach in our kitchens. It's now much more subtle, and seems to be the natural way forward for Kiwi Cuisine. This is exemplified in Kazuya Yamauchi's food at Auckland's Kazuya, and that served by Shaun Clouston at Wellington's Logan Brown.
Innovation is also evident in the dining setting. The French Café's kitchen garden and The French Kitchen show the art of reinvigorating a space, while the Clooney dining room proves that taking risks can pay high and long-term dividends.
Finally, it's wonderful to see the ongoing development of great food and service in provincial centres. Hamilton woos with Chim-Choo-Ree, Palate and Victoria Street Bistro, while visitors to Hawke's Bay have an enviable choice, including top winery restaurants and the fantastic Mister D. Queenstown has the charms of Rata, Wai and Amisfield Bistro, and Oamaru tempts with Riverstone Kitchen.
We have many ways to spend our entertainment dollar, but in 2013, New Zealand restaurants prove that dining out remains one of the most rewarding.
Kerry Tyack, head judge