Being an island New Zealand is very self-sufficient when it comes to food and drink. Top things to eat and drink - think a lot of seafood, home grown fruit and veg and of course, my favourite, a whole lot of wine. There is also a lot of good Asian food and they seem to do a lot of fusion food. Curry on your pizza - that kind of thing. Generally food is really good quality here and a lot of effort does in to the dining experience. Also, you must experience at some point a Maori Hangi. They steam the food in a purpose built hole in the ground and the results are amazing. Forget Aunt Bessie, the steamed pudding is the best!
New Zealand wine is popular throughout the world and so if you're going to fly all that way, it would be rude not make the most of it. They usually have a large range of wine in all supermarkets but you really should go out to the wineries to really appreciate it. Most of them have restaurants attached with great views of the vineyards and so you an enjoy a spot of lunch in between wine tastings.
You will find beer in the refrigerated section of the supermarket. I know! Refrigerated! No wonder they laugh at us for having warm beer. Speights and Steinlarger are two of the biggest larger brands. There is also Tui which is more of an ale. They have lots of smaller craft breweries in addition to the big ones and so you can find a variety of different independent brands throughout the country. They also have a range of brewpubs throughout the country.
Lemon and Paeroa is New Zealand's own unique version of lemonade. It's world famous in New Zealand. It's tasty but whatever you do, do not have the L&P Whitaker's chocolate - this is not pleasant.
Green Lipped Mussels
Double the sized of your average mussels, these bad boys are big and juicy. They often come in your usual sauces but they are a lot easier to eat and soak up the sauces better.
Opposite to the mussels, New Zealand Whitbait is a lot smaller than we're used to. These tiny little fish are often fried in an eggy batter and then eaten between slices of white bread. Sort of like a salty egg sandwich without the mayonnaise.
Hokey Pokey Ice Cream
Vanilla ice-cream with chunks of honeycomb toffee in it. An absolutely dream and I don't understand why we don't have it here especially with the whole salted caramel hype. Pretty much anywhere selling ice-cream in New Zealand will have this flavour.
New Zealand's very own brand of chocolate. It's somewhere in-between Cadbury's and Milka. There have a huge range of quirky flavours though and that's what makes it so good. Flavours include West Coast Buttermilk Caramelized White Chocolate, Nelson Pear and Manuka Honey and Waikato Grown Aromatic Oolong Tea. I have no idea what Oolong is but it sounds great.
A very tasty biscuit - two layers of biscuit with a chocolate cream filling and then covered in a layer of milk chocolate, not too dissimilar to a Penguin. Again with these, there are so many different flavours, different chocolate, different fillings etc etc. I think Britain needs to diversify it's flavours a bit. Especially when it comes to biscuits - we've been riding high on the Chocolate Digestive for a long time now.
Fish and Chips
A fish and chip shops in New Zealand is quite different to ones in the UK. They are more like a seafood shop that happens to sell chips too. There is often a wide range of different fish to choose from, even battered scallops and mussels as well and the chips come afterwards. Don't expect a Pukka Pie and a Saveloy. The fish is often really fresh and delicious.
So you won't find a pie in your local fish and chip shop but they will be pretty much everywhere else. There will always be a hot pie cupboard in a petrol station, a supermarket or café all of varying quality. The greatest part of all though I personally think is that they have cheese in them! Cheese actually in the pie! It's great! Popular flavour's include Mince and Cheese, Steak and Cheese as well as Butter Chicken.
There are a lot of Asian influences in New Zealand so there are many great restaurants. But they also have a lot of Sushi counters in places like shopping centres and the quality is great. Really cheap and proper tasty and with flavours like crunchy chicken with sweet chilli sauce.
A big must is to experience a Maori Hangi! The easiest way to do this is probably on one of the Maori experience tours but their are restaurants to that specialise in this traditional cooking. All the food is steamed in an oven under the ground, lots of local meats and vegetables. And I'm pretty sure I've mentioned the steamed sponge pudding several times now.
Fergburger is a burger restaurant in Queenstown which has become known for doing amazing really big burgers. I'm not sure why it is they are so good but they are very close to perfection and the onion rings are good too. It is quite small and gets very busy and so try and visit outside of the obvious eating times.
Most common supermarkets in New Zealand starting with the cheapest are - Pak 'n' Save, Countdown and New World. There is also a chain of shops called Four Sqaure which is a bit like Spar. They have pretty much everything you would expect to be in their but for alcohol other than Beer and Wine you'll need to go to an liquor store, they don't sell any spirits at all in supermarkets. Big liquor stores include Liquorland and Super Liquor.