Crayfish in Kaikoura has ranked number seven on the list of 500 Top Food Experiences in the world by Lonely Planet’s new publication the Ultimate Eatlist.
Outranking the likes of pizza in Naples and dim sum in Hong Kong, Crayfish in Kaikoura was New Zealand’s highest entry in the book which also included whitebait fritters (#54), hangi (#304), Hokitika Wildfoods Festival (#346), manuka honey (#438), and the hotly contested pavlova (#429, joint AU and NZ entry).
Lonely Planet’s Ultimate Eatlist travels the world with an insatiable appetite to present the definitive foodie bucket-list and rank the world’s top 500 food experiences. The team of expert food editors were aided by a panel – made up of chef and TV presenter Adam Liaw and food blogger Leyla Kazim – that evaluated the entries according to the taste of the dish, its cultural importance, and the special atmosphere of the location.
Best places to experience New Zealand’s ultimate eats
- Crayfish – Kaikoura, the town named after the crayfish, is the obvious choice when tasting these local delicacies. Check out Kaikoura Seafood BBQ, the food caravan by the sea which serves them freshly cooked with a stack of bread and butter and a slice of lemon. Just how it should be.
- Whitebait Fritter – Whitebait fritters can be found all over New Zealand when in season, but there are none better than those at Curly Tree Whitebait on the West Coast of the South Island.
- Hangi – The hangi is the traditional cooking method of the indigenous Māori people of New Zealand. Meat like pork, chicken or mutton is cooked alongside traditional veggies like cabbage, potato and, of course, kumara. The food is cooked in baskets that are placed on hot stones, covered with wet cloth and a mound of earth that traps the heat around the food. The result is an earthy, smoky meal and a testament to the phrase, good things takes time. Visit Nativ Connectionz in Whakatane for a truly authentic Māori hangi experience.
- Hokitika Wildfoods Festival – The Hokitika Wildfoods Festival is an annual celebration of the weird and wonderful cuisine of New Zealand. Try huhu grubs, snails and mountain oysters (sheep testicles). A fantastic festival for the adventurous foodie.
- Manuka honey – Packed full of healthy stuff manuka honey is often a prized souvenir for visitors to New Zealand. Visit Comvita in the Bay of Plenty to see how the honey is made and try some of the liquid gold out for yourself.
- Pavlova – Our friends across the ditch in Australia will tell you that this is an Aussie entry but we will politely beg to differ. The controversial pavlova is fluffy marshmallow, encased in meringue, covered in cream and often adorned with kiwifruit and berries. You can buy one from any supermarket in New Zealand or befriend a local and ask their nana to whip one up for the real deal experience.
The top 10 food experiences in Lonely Planet’s Ultimate Eatlist are:
1. Pintxos in San Sebastián, Spain
2. Curry laksa in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
3. Sushi in Tokyo, Japan
4. Beef brisket in Texas, USA
5. Som tum in Bangkok, Thailand
6. Smørrebrød in Copenhagen, Denmark
7. Crayfish in Kaikoura, New Zealand
8. Bibimbap in Seoul, South Korea
9. Pizza margherita in Naples, Italy
10. Dim sum in Hong Kong
About Lonely Planet Food:
Lonely Planet Food – an imprint of the world’s leading travel authority, Lonely Planet – was established in 2016 to enable travellers (both on and off the road) to discover the most local, authentic and delicious foodie hotspots around the world. Lonely Planet believes food and drink are an intrinsic part of travel, so now we’re sharing our foodie knowledge with titles that serve up unforgettable, mouthwatering food and drink experiences across the globe. Explore the culture behind local cuisines, where to find them and how to enjoy them.