Food mag Cuisine has just revealed its much-anticipated list of New Zealand’s top 100 restaurants for 2017 and the are more than a few surprises!

The only nationwide restaurant awards of its kind, every year the New Zealand Cuisine Good Food Awards identify and celebrate the very best dining experiences the country has to offer.

Yesterday’s announcement, which has sent Kiwi foodies into a bit of a spin, is effectively the first cut of the rigorous judging process, which has been under way around the country for months. The next step for the judges will be the awarding of “hats” (a rating system of 1, 2 or 3) for each restaurant on the list and announce the winners at an awards dinner in early August.

A new category, ‘Best Casual Dining Restaurant’, has been added to the awards this year in recognition of a growing trend in restaurant excellence found in more casual settings.

Cuisine editor Kelli Brett says: “We felt we weren’t recognising the casual sector enough. There are so many places serving up excellent food and wine and craft beers, but not necessarily in a formal setting. They still have that level of excellence of food and drink and service, but you are not going to walk in the door and get linen table cloths.”

Another encouraging sign is that the regions are closing the dining gap on their metropolitan counterparts.

“What we typically see on offer in urban areas we are now seeing appear in regional areas too. Travelling Kiwis don’t all just come home to the cities, they go to the regions, and they are demanding more variety. Restaurants are popping up to meet that demand,” commented chief judge Kerry Tyack in a recent interview.

“Whereas the trends used to be led by the urban restaurants, now the regional restaurants are much more in tune with what is going on.”

This trend is reflected in the top 100 list, with new additions such as Wairarapa’s Pinocchio and Taranaki’s Social Kitchen putting their respective regions on the Cuisine Good Food Guide’s map this year. Other smaller regions have also seen an increase in representation, including Northland, Taupo, North Otago and Nelson.

More information can be found at:

 THE TOP 100 FOR 2017

1. Duke of Marlborough
2. Quay
3. Apero
4. Amano
5. Artwok
6. Augustus Bistro
7. Azabu
8. Baduzzi
9. Beirut
10. Bracu
11. Cassia
12. Cazador
13. Cibo
14. Coco’s Cantina
15. Clooney
16. Cocoro
17. Culprit
18. Depot
19. Euro
20. Gemmayze Street
21. Gusto at the Grand
22. Hallertau
23. Harbourside
24. Ima
25. Kazuya
26. Masu
27. Merediths
28. O’Connell Street Bistro
29. Orphans Kitchen
30. Pasta e Cuore
31. Pasture
32. Phil’s Kitchen
33. Ponsonby Road Bistro
34. Saan
35. Sidart
36. Soul Bar & Bistro
37. The Engine Room
38. The French Café
39. The Grill by Sean Connolly
40. The Grove
41. The Sugar Club
42. True Food & Yoga
43. White + Wong’s
44. Poderi Crisci
45. The Shed at Te Motu
46. Tantalus Estate
47. Alpha Street Kitchen & Bar
48. ChimChooRee
49. Crudo
50. Hayes Common
51. Palate
52. Victoria Street Bistro
53. The Bistro
54. The Brantry
55. Macau
56. Bistronomy
57. Pacifica
58. Elephant Hill
59. Malo
60. Te Awa Winery Restaurant
61. Terroir
62. Social Kitchen
63. Pinocchio
64. Amaygen
65. Capitol
66. Chameleon
67. Charley Noble
68. Field & Green
69. Hillside Kitchen & Cellar
70. Hippopotamus
71. Jano
72. Logan Brown
73. Noble Rot
74. Ortega Fish Shack
75. Shepherd
76. WBC
77. Whitebait
78. Hopgood’s Restaurant
79. Urban Oyster Bar & Eatery
80. Arbour
81. Black Estate
82. Chillingworth Road
83. Gatherings
84. King of Snake
85. Pegasus Bay
86. Roots
87. Saggio di Vino
88. Twenty Seven Steps
89. Fleurs Place
90. Riverstone Kitchen
91. Amisfield
92. Botswana Butchery
93. Fishbone
94. Kika
95. Madam Woo
96. Rata
97. Sherwood
98. Bracken
99. No 7 Balmac
100. Two Chefs Bistro

About The Author

Shawn Moodie
Managing Director & Entertainment Editor

Shawn has pretty diverse interests and enjoys writing on about whatever happens to take his fancy at the time. A seasoned entertainment reviewer and interviewer, Shawn has also seen every band on his 'Musicians to see before I die' list.

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