The best bars in Christchurch

There’s no better way to celebrate a great holiday than by raising a toast to great memories from one of the best bars in Christchurch.

Christchurch may be full of breathtaking natural beauty, but spending time outdoors isn’t the only way this city can take your breath away. Christchurch has a busy and vibrant nightlife scene full of hidden and quirky cocktail bars and restaurants guaranteed to serve up a mean negroni or cosmopolitan.

From hidden alleyways and neon signs to rooftop bars with the best views of inner-city Christchurch, visiting these watering holes is sure to put olives in your martini and leave you feeling like you’ve captured the essence of this vibrant city after dark. Raise a glass and read on for a full list of the best bars in Christchurch.

1. The dirty countryVictoria Street

A cocktail that is finished with a garnish of lemon peel.

If you want a really cool and mysterious place to drink the night away, head over to The Dirty Land. Priding themselves on their selection of sophisticated cocktails, this edgy bar has quickly become the go-to spot for tourists and local Christchurch-ians alike. But cocktails are not their only specialty.

With mood lighting, exposed brick and a pressed tin ceiling, it’s easy to while away the hours perusing an extensive wine list and sipping your favorite imported beers.

2. Smash Palacemain street

The outdoor seating area at Smash Palace in Christchurch.

Now we know that Smash Palace sounds more like a hard rock band name than it does a trendy bar, but trust us when we say it’s one of that places to be when the sun goes down. Rebuilt after the 2011 earthquake, Smash Palace offers revelers the perfect burger + bar combo, offering freshly made burgers and a large selection of beers and spirits.

Welcoming tourists and members of the local community alike, this family-run bar is considered a hub for the ‘new’ Christchurch and won’t disappoint if you’re looking for a rowdy but warm atmosphere.

3. Gin GinRegent Street

Cocktails, food, live music and a good atmosphere make up Gin Gin; a bar so visually appealing it should be on every interior design magazine cover for years to come. Mixing a color palette of emerald green, baby pink, deep burgundy and dull mustard with velvet textures, hanging plants and circular features has given this trendy bar an old glamor feel.

A complete gin lover’s dream, this bar serves fun cocktails such as the ‘tropic n’ tonic’ and the ‘naughty beak’ in goblets and glasses for a truly magical experience.

4. Austin ClubCathedral Square

The bar set up at the Austin Club in Christchurch.

If you’re looking for one of the best bars in Christchurch, forget the rooftops and head down to the basement. This super-exclusive local drinking spot is password-only (check their website for details) and is home to the best cocktails around.

With all the traditional cocktails you could ever want and some fancy ones you never knew you had to try, this bar has an Insta-worthy decor, outfitted with 19th-century pieces and a neon sign or two.

5. Boo Radley’sVictoria Street

A collection of bar snacks and drinks at Boo Radley's in Christchurch.

Styled with a certain southern US charm but with a distinct injection of South Island flair, Boo Radley is an extensive spirits menu from traditional cocktails and a mix of domestic and international craft beers to New Zealand’s largest selection of bourbon whisky.

Located on Victoria Street and up a hidden staircase, this bar’s decor features walls adorned with American newspapers, exposed brick and dimly lit candles for a vibe that’s both old-school and trendy.

6. The Pink Ladycorner of Manchester and High Street

Pink Lady's rooftop terrace with Christchurch's mountain ranges in the distance.

When you think of the best rooftop bars in Christchurch, you should automatically think of The Pink Lady. A place where relaxation and pampering come into play, The Pink Lady offers full 360-degree views of Christchurch and is favored by tourists and locals alike.

Although it’s on the smaller side, trust us when we say there’s no better way to enjoy an impressive Christchurch sunset than relaxing with a ‘Peach better have my money’ cocktail on this insta -worthy roof terrace.

7. AND BCathedral Square

The old school bar at OGB's in Christchurch.

OGB was crowned Christchurch’s best bar 4 years running and once you step inside the speakeasy style bar and enjoy its grungy decor, it’s not too hard to see why. OGB’s is housed in the beautiful listed building in Cathedral Square and boasts a menu of 40 different cocktails from the classic margarita to the more daring ‘cabaret club’, a tasty mix of vodka, vanilla, passion fruit, pineapple and prosecco.

With a charming courtyard to the side and a secret new bar-lounge called ‘Parlour’ behind a bookcase, it’s easy to spend a few hours enjoying the sophisticated atmosphere this bar is known for.

8. Rascalmain street

A selection of appetizers and cocktails from Rascal in Christchurch.

Turn up your night at Rascal, where good times are not only encouraged, but insisted upon. With a cocktail menu designed to minimize waste, Rascal forages and grows their own ingredients to go into their food and drinks from tasty herbs to beautiful flowers.

As if that wasn’t impressive enough, this cheeky bar has a relaxed atmosphere that facilitates good conversation and even encourages you to pull up a chair at the bar to hear more about how this drinking spot came to be and what it’s all about .


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