Data gathered from a nationwide survey has revealed that New Zealand’s favourite meal is a classic roast lamb with potatoes.

The result comes as part of the ‘Dinner Debate Survey’, which polled 1900 Kiwis on their mealtime preferences. After all the votes were tallied, roast lamb triumphantly emerged with 33% of the vote. As for what is served with it, 60% prefer to have mint sauce rather than gravy accompany their lamb.

77% of respondents agreed that their favourite mealtime was dinner, with 43% saying their drink of choice was wine while 29% saying they preferred water instead.

It comes as no surprise that our tastes are becoming increasingly international, even our national cuisine is best described as fusion. Paired with the lack of travel continuing to impact lives in 2021, it’s clear that Kiwis are keen to bring a taste of the world into the home instead.

Canterbury and Northland prefer Thai food; Southland, Bay of Plenty, Auckland, Nelson and Wellington chose Italian; traditional British fare is the go-to for Otago, Waikato, and Hawkes Bay; Gisborne and Marlborough prefer Chinese; Tasman wants a taste of the Mediterranean; while the West Coast prefers the flavours of Japan, and the most loyal of the bunch, Taranaki, will stick to their trusted Kiwi favourites.

The poll also served to answer some long-standing dinner table debates, such as whether pineapple belongs on pizza – 65% of participants agreed that it does. Lovers of the Kiwiburger united with 74% of participants agreeing that egg does in fact, belong on a burger. The most unanimous vote of the survey belonged to mince on toast – a whopping 78% of respondents believe it is always a winner.

Kiwis are sure to blow on their Steak & Cheese pie, which took out the pie battle with 32% of the vote. Mince & Cheese (21%), Potato Top (16%) and Steak (13%) pies followed behind.

The nation is all curious where Hilary Barry sits on the pie spectrum, as a close vote saw that most respondents would want to invite her over for dinner.

Regardless of your mealtime favourites, or Hilary Barry’s pie preferences, we can all agree that the kitchen is the best place to find, show and share aroha.


* Italian won the battle for favourite cuisine with 14% of the vote, followed closely by British (13%), Thai (12%), Chinese (9%) and Mediterranean (8%).

* 20% of Kiwis would want to invite Hilary Barry over for dinner.

* When asked if they had to pick one meal to eat for the rest of their lives; the most popular responses were roasts, lamb, eye fillet, tacos, fried rice, roast veges, burgers, and cottage pie.

* 60% of respondents prefer mint sauce (60%) rather than gravy (40%).

* 77% said dinner was their favourite mealtime, 9% said brunch, 8% lunch, and the least favourite was breakfast with just 6% of respondents.


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