Rotorua Canopy Tours Blog

Best kiwi foods you have to try in New Zealand

Friday, 10 July 2020

New Zealand is home to a bunch of quirky, delicious food. We're proud of these highly unique best kiwi foods and love to get visitors to try these when they're travelling around.

Best kiwi foods you need to try

  • Whittakers Chocolate 

  • Pineapple Lumps 

  • Marmite

  • White Bait Fritters

  • Pies

  • Classic Sunday Roast

  • Hangi 

  • French Fry Sandwich

Whittaker’s Chocolate

As the winner of such illustrious honours 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 L&P, it's hard to beat this best kiwi food. Not only is Whittaker’s delicious, it’s also kiwi as.



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 things are so popular, KFC started giving away bags as a promotion. Whatever your end position on these sweet, chewy nuggets, they’re one of the best kiwi foods and a must-try of kiwi cuisine.


Vegemite’s kiwi cousin, Marmite is a yeast extract spread, popularly served on buttered toast or combined with cheese to make a sandwich. 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.  My advice is to smile and nod – Sorry.


The fat kid’s foodie dream come true! New Zealand savoury pies are where butter-laden pastry gets together with a gravy-y meaty filling and throws a party in your mouth.  The only thing better than the meat pie itself is the ubiquity of the meat pie – available anywhere from your local bakery to supermarket to gas station, as one of the best kiwi foods a good pie is never far away. Check out our top picks of where to eat in Rotorua for the best pie shop!



White Bait Fritters (corn fritters if you’re chicken)

Anything is delicious if you mix it up with batter and fry it in butter, right? Meet the white bait fritter: A classic kiwi concoction 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’ve got to try.  Slapped between a couple pieces of buttered bread, this savoury snack will tide you over.

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 best 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 heaven.  There’s some real magic in every classic kiwi-mum’s kitchen. If you’re extremely lucky, they’ll also have made a Pavlova for dessert.




A traditional New Zealand Māori method of cooking food using 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 traditional practice, keep an eye out for stacks of buttered white bread to shuttle all that delicious best kiwi foods right into your face.

French Fry (Chip) Sandwich

Last on our best kiwi foods list is the french fry/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 chips 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, and laugh in the face of all the low-carb dieters of the world.  You’ve got better things to do – you’re in New Zealand.



Along with tasting all these delicious best kiwi foods, check out locals favourites, our top places to eat in Rotorua or other things to do in New Zealand.

Topics: Things to do in NZ