(Christchurch) C1 Espresso

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Overall Rating: 73%

C1 Espresso is arguably one of the most famous cafes in Christchurch that’s located in the central city, and is open seven days a week with long operating hours. The cafe reopened in its current location at High Street after the original premise was destroyed in the Canterbury earthquake. C1 Espresso is also huge on sustainability, where you can read more about it on its website. I didn’t get the opportunity to try out the breakfast options, but from what I did, the food was decent, but not fantastic. The interior was creative though, featuring a ‘school’-like theme (crayon-like sugar packs!) and in overall, uniquely decorated with bizarre elements including the pneumatic tubes and a sewing machine water dispenser.

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(Kaikoura) Tutis Restaurant & Bar

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Tutis Restaurant & Bar was one of the most frequently mentioned restaurants I was recommended to go to by the locals at Kaikoura. Located near to the petrol stations and New World Supermarket, and just a few minutes’ drive from the city center, Tutis is hard to miss and is easily accessible by car. The restaurant was quite fancy and expensive, although it wasn’t exactly a fine-dining experience as well. (Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to take a picture of the restaurant’s exterior in the day, so I doubt you can tell how it looks like from the picture above.) Overall, even though most dishes were delicious, I thought some were too expensive in terms of value-for-money.

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(Wellington) The Flight Coffee Hangar

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The best coffee I had in New Zealand was probably here at The Hangar, where the cafe also offered decent brunch (which I didn’t think quite match up to its coffee, unfortunately). Located on the corner of Dixon and Willis Street, The Hangar is easily accessible and around 10 minutes’ walk from the famous Te Papa Museum. A friendly waitress greeted my family and I immediately after we entered the cafe, where it was crowded, lively, and bright. Customers can also purchase its merchandise on its website, including coffee, brewing equipment, and other gift ideas.

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(Wellington) The Crab Shack

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We had a family dinner at The Crab Shack in Wellington on our last night at the North Island, and the restaurant had a beautiful view of the coastline especially in the evening. Even though we thought arriving at 5.30pm was early enough to guarantee us a table (it usually is), the place was packed and many people had reserved a table beforehand. Nevertheless, we thought the wait was worth it as we enjoyed most of the dishes even though its signature dish fell short of expectations. Location-wise, The Crab Shack was easily accessible, and although it was one of the numerous restaurants located on the wharf, it was easily one of the most popular as well.

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(Taupo) Thai Delight Restaurant

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After spending the second day at Hobbiton, my family and I traveled south to Taupo on the third and surprisingly, many restaurants were closed on that day. One of the few places we came across that were still operating was Thai Delight Restaurant, which we ultimately chose to have for dinner. Parking was easy to find and the restaurant itself was located at an accessible area, close to the city center. One of the most noticeable things here was the plethora of potted plants and flowers, and an extremely friendly waiter who welcomed us immediately at the entrance. The food was generally pretty good although I found them a tad pricey for their portion, and on a less important aspect, that their dish presentation were pretty much similar. Nonetheless, we enjoyed the food and warm reception received that evening.

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(Auckland) Chuffed

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A few months ago in winter, I went to New Zealand with my family for a short vacation, and I’d have to say that the scenery were absolutely amazing and beautiful. Our first stop was Auckland, and we went to try out Chuffed the next morning for breakfast. It was located in the CBD so it was easy to find and highly accessible (it’s inside the building at High Street where you’ll find a sign outside that points you to the direction), but I thought it was lacking a bit in terms of friendliness, not that we were exactly treated rudely either. Slightly disappointed with my coffee and decent-quality food, but I liked the cafe’s atmosphere and clean interior.

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(Melbourne) Mamasita

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Mamasita is one of the most popular restaurants in Melbourne, which serves amazing Mexican food and tapas. However, even though the prices may seem affordable on the menu, chances are, you’ll probably buy a lot of dishes if you want to be full. Nonetheless, all of the dishes that I’ve tried at Mamasita (albeit not many) weren’t just mediocre, but all pretty good. It gets crowded really quickly, especially for dinnertime and weekends (since it has a bar), so remember to get there early. The first time I went to Mamasita, I didn’t realize the entrance was actually the little door right beside the 7-11 across the Collins St/Parliament tram station so I ended up missing it. The second time, I got there only 30 minutes after it opened and it was already crowded – I suppose it’s not considered one of the most famous restaurants around for nothing.

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