The New Zealand food felt a lot like back home in the United States. You had your choice or different types of restaurants from Italian, Mexican, Indian, or Asian food. While in Auckland my wife discovered the cheapest sushi she has ever seen and was great. You feel the price increase at restaurants in the city ranging from $15-$30USD per plate. Once out in the rural areas your restaurant selection dramatically decreased. The rural areas tended to be a bit less expensive per plate but you must make sure to arrive before 6pm because they close early. You will find a McDonalds and Burger King in any town with populations as you drive through, but we mostly used these for the free internet.
The local New Zealand plate would be their Minced meat Pie’s. Usually you have the option of beef, lamb, chicken, minced, cheese or vegetarian when ordering a pie. The pie tends to be fairly plain in taste but are one of the cheapest food items you can find ($4USD).
There are a few great wine regions in New Zealand. Make sure if you sit down at a restaurant to try out their local wines or the local breweries beer. We found their beer to be quite good. While shopping at the local grocery stores like Pak-n-save or Countdown we found them to be equivalent to shopping in California. But the seafood and eggs were a little cheaper there.