Top 10 Restaurants in Timaru - Tripadvisor

We love good food and we're spoilt for choice with good eateries in Timaru District.

Online reviews can be a double edged sword for businesses, but we couldn't agree more with this round up based on TripAdvisor reviews.

There are lots more fantastic places to go that haven't yet registered on Tripadvisor - whether it's because they are brand new or are hidden local gems.

Please get out there and support our amazing locally owned businesses.  Don't limit yourself to this list, if you want some in depth recommendations outside of what's trending on Tripadvisor get in touch.


Number 1.

The Oxford - Cnr George and Stafford St, Timaru

A local favourite with a huge following, and now a renowned destination eatery for visitors to Timaru.  The building itself has an interesting architectural history.  Ask Clarissa for wine recommendations.  Brunch, lunch and dinner, all equally outstanding.

Pictured - Salmon and asparagus off the lunch menu

"Three adults dined there for lunch. The Salmon and Sole meals were lovely, along with the Makikihi Fries, cooked to perfection.  We had a window seat looking out onto the main street, which was interesting. The atmosphere was very pleasant with music playing in the background. Yet again, I thoroughly recommend The Oxford."


Number 2.

Bullock Bar and Restaurant - Sophia Street, Timaru

Kids dine free on Monday evenings with an adult.  Every review mentions the generous portion sizes - go there hungry, hangry even.

Pictured - Pan seared venison striploin accompanied with potato gratin , portobello mushroom, roasted balsamic beetroot, sautéed spinach and a juniper berry infused jus

"Make sure you’re hungry as the meals are of a very generous size! Nice fresh veggies and a change not to be served chips with everything. Friendly efficient service added to a lovely meal."


Number 3.

Fusion Eatery - Bay Hill, Timaru

This fabulous eatery has just ceased operations much to the sadness of regulars like ourselves.  This is just a tribute, you gotta believe it....but a new eatery is going in soon......we can't wait to find out more about that!

In the meantime there are still other fantastic places up the Bay Hill to wine and dine.  Read on to discover two more - and let's not forget the Hydro Bar and Saikou Teppanyaki & Japanese Whiskey Bar.

Thanks Lindsay, Suzy and the rest of team Fusion for all the delicious long lunches, the afternoon coffees, the fabulous dinners, the views, and the service.  We hope you are enjoying the next chapter.


Number 4.

Zest Restaurant - 4a Elizabeth Place, Timaru

Where do we start...award winning, fabulous pizzeria with an extensive menu.  Great sunny courtyard that happens to also be dog friendly.  They even do a doggy date night from time to time. The kids menu is amazing.  Roaring fire in the winter.

Pictured - Calamari salad, tender rings of calamari on a fresh garden salad, drizzled with a lemon and garlic aioli, served with roast potatoes.

"I love this place. Whether it's for a coffee and cake or a meal. Food and choice is always great. Went there with friends for dinner and had my fav meal.

Moroccan chicken salad...I recommend it....it's delicious. I love how you can have takeaway meals too....as I have had Moroccan chicken salad as a takeaway....as a wee treat"


Number 5.

Speights Ale House - Landing Services Building, George Street, Timaru

Housed in the historic Landing Services Building, which has been beautifully restored into a fabulous venue.  You can choose to eat inside or out, the courtyard is great in summer, especially when there's a live band or an open mic night.  Sample the great Speight’s beers on tap and enjoy a great relaxed evening with their warm and efficient staff.

Pictured - Asian roasted pork, soy chilli roasted with jasmine rice, fried shallots and asian greens.

"I am a regular visitor to Timaru and to this restaurant, with adult family. It was very busy but the service was excellent. Son had his usual steak, his partner a pork dish, both of which they enjoyed very much. However my slow cooked lamb shoulder was one of the best I have ever had. Beautifully cooked, as was the accompanying mash and green veg. Best meal for a long time! We’ll definitely be back!"


Number 6.

The Bay Hill  Brewery Bar - 54 The Bay Hill, Timaru

With amazing views over Caroline Bay and out to the Pacific Ocean, dining here makes us feel like we're on holiday.  If you're local and planning a staycation then add this place to your list.

The alfresco footpath dining area lends itself to great people watching, and when you overindulge on the amazing food you can cross the road and walk it off at Caroline Bay.

Pictured - Bay Hill Sliders, pulled beef, pork or fried chicken.

"We called in for a casual dinner. Service was prompt and friendly. Meals were excellent...beautifully cooked fish with fresh vegetables, nice curry and a stunning side salad....generous and full of delicious goodies. Most enjoyable."


Number  7.

Little India - Bay Hill, Timaru

While we've yet to meet a Murg Mumtaz we didn't like (butter chicken for the uninformed), the Little India version is absolutely divine.

You can dine in and enjoy the ambience of the Bay Hill eatery, or get some guilt-free takeaways.  Guilt-free in that they not only take their food seriously, their takeaway containers are sustainable and reusable too.

Nice work team, now we can eat curry and not worry.

"Family dined early Monday afternoon & it was perfect. Even our 9 year old son enjoyed the various spices & tastes on offer. Good value to be had here."


Number 8.

Steak @ Custom House

Top quality food here, and not limited to steak, although definitely steak heavy as subtly alluded to in the name.  The wine list is ah-mazing.

There's also a private dining room that caters for up to 18 people for that special occasion.  The steak is cooked to your requirements and you can customise the rest of the meal to suit.

Pictured -  Pressure Confit Duck Leg & Duck Breast

"5 stars is not enough!  Ribeye Steak with Brandy Peppercorn Sauce and truffle mash (Amazing). If my husband and I ever want a special meal out, we go to the Steak house. Perfect food and ambience. Jared's cooking & David's service is second to none."


Number 9.

Street Food Kitchen - Landing Services Building, George Street, Timaru

If you're still reading this blog you are clearly a foodie and a good sort.  And this place will be right up your alley.  Delicious dishes designed to be shared, inspired by street food from around the planet.  For those that don't like sharing, don't.  We don't. We eat it all with a large margarita, or one of the amazing craft beers from their extensive range.

Pictured - SFK fried chicken and tacos.

"Street Food Kitchen has a delightfully chilled out ambiance and really friendly, helpful staff. The food served is exactly what I expected for street food: quality, tasty, and filling with a touch of class that makes the dishes refined. I enjoyed the prawns, but especially recommend the mushroom and vegetable wontons!

I only stopped in Timaru for lunch, and it turned out to be one of the most memorable meals of my holiday! I want to come back again to experience more street food!"


Number 10.

Columbus Coffee -  50 Theodosia Street, Timaru

You know those times when you really want to go out for lunch, but you don't have time, but a cheese roll at the tea-rooms won't cut it?  Those times.  Well for a fantastic breakfast or lunch, served promptly with amazing coffee this is the place to go.  The ingredients are fresh and local, and they cater to all dietary requirements.  The chefs deliver an extensive range of ready-to-eat deli food, and a comprehensive menu too.

Pictured - Chicken, avocado and bacon salad.  Mmmmm bacon.

"Often call in here for coffee, it’s the best in town in my opinion. Had lunch today for the first time - eff me it was delicious! New Menu - Beans, Egg and Mushrooms. Tasty, spicy, filling and very satisfying. Service up a level compared to your everyday cafe. Thanks Cate & Team!"


And there you have it.  In a later instalment of our food blog we'll be Tripadvisor reviewing Geraldine and the rest of Timaru District.