Base Woodfired Pizza (Christchurch, New Zealand)

128 Cashel Street
Christchurch Central, New Zealand
+64 22 182 1921


Christchurch. Once a beautiful city filled with hanging gardens and cathedrals, the largest city in New Zealand’s South Island has since reduced to rubble no thanks to a nasty earthquake last year.


So far, our New Zealand road trip had been full of adventures and laughter but sadness gripped on us as we drove from Christchurch airport and into the city, which reminded us of far away war-torn regions. The place was deserted and many zones around the city still remain ‘no go zones.’ In fact, our hotel (Hotel Ibis) was the first hotel in the CBD to re-open since the earthquake, having only accepted patrons a week or two before we arrived.


Amongst the devastation, however, there was light. And that light came in the form of Re:START, a shipping container pop-up mall on Cashel Street in the city. And the source behind that light? A swarm of good-hearted Kiwis who, despite all they’ve endured, still manage to not only go about their daily businesses but do so in a warm and friendly manner. There was not one Kiwi we encountered in our very short stay in Christchurch who didn’t go out of their way to be hospitable to us weirdo Aussies and for that, I loved Christchurch just that little bit more.


Re:START has everything from a post office to a bank to countless clothes stores. Yep, all in shipping containers. They also have several stores dedicated to local arts and crafts items and designer stores stocking stuff by Trelise Cooper and Karen Walker. In other words, I was in Dave Dobbyn’s heaven (don’t worry, this won’t be the last New Zealand post that mentions his name).


They also have food trucks! (unfortunately none of them were open for business that day)

With our appetites sufficiently worked up after some shopping, we decided to stop by colourful pizza place Base Woodfired Pizza.


To me, Base looks like one of those places that don’t have a permanent restaurant per se but only pop up during music festivals and the like. That said, Base seems to have made a semi-permanent home at Re:START to feed hungry shop assistants and shoppers alike, which can only be a good thing. Each pizza is on a thin base and cooked at 400 degrees Celsius which means that your pizza will always come out crispy and hot.


Marty ordered the Sir George (NZD$15/AUD$11.90), which was described as ‘a feast of bacon, pepperoni and mini meatballs with lashings of smoky BBQ sauce – WHAM!’ I gave them points for the George Michael reference alone, though the pizza was also delicious. I don’t normally go out of my way to order meat-only pizzas but I thought this one was pretty good. It also helped that the pizza was jam-packed full of good quality meat (like Mr Michael himself, heeeh!) rather than the cheap bulk cuts and the  BBQ sauce was perfectly balanced between sweet and smoky.


I really wanted to try Base’s butter chicken pizza but was severely disappointed to be told that they had sold out. On a whim, I ordered the Vegie Supreme (NZD$15/AUD$11.90) which was topped with capsicums, zucchini (they called it ‘courgettes’ here), onions, pumpkin and mushrooms. It was tied together by a ‘Tuscan seasoning’ (read: tomatoes and Italian herbs) with mozzarella. I didn’t particularly enjoy this one as I’m not a fan of pumpkin or zucchini (that’ll teach me not to read the ingredients list properly) and naturally, they were the dominant ingredients. We did manage to eat it all (Marty even said that it wasn’t bad for a vegetarian pizza) but in hindsight, I would have had a better time with the pepperoni pizza which they called the Sgt Peppers.

Base is a welcome addition to Re:START, which, in turn, is a great addition to Christchurch city while it rebuilds itself. I sincerely do hope that both Base and Re:START become permanent fixtures once Christchurch v.2 is completed as I believe both places add something positively different Christchurch, let alone any city.

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  1. Apparently all my South Island Kiwi mates on the Gold Coast say that any Christchurch-ian (or Canterburians if you wanna be all, y’know, ‘correct’ about it. Whatever…) worth their salt would go to Dimitri’s souvlakis first chance you get. It is the choice place to eat, bro.

    So annoyed they were closed!

      1. Meh, I reckon the kebabs and souvlakis of Melbourne would be better, but it would still beat the dross they serve on the Gold Coast.

  2. Christchurch was such a beautiful city and I certainly hope it will rebuild because as a city to live in it had so much to offer. I’ve heard of these restaurants and it’s good to see businesses starting up again and even better to see people supporting them – the people in this city certainly need all the support they can get!

  3. I’m sad that I never got to visit Christchurch before the earthquake but it does sound as though they are getting back on their feet which is good. I like the innovation behind using shipping containers as stores :). Pizzas look amazing – definitely giving me some good choices, Libby! Thanks 😉

  4. These are good news! It’s great to see that Christchurch’s rebuilding is in progress.
    Thanks for keeping us updated,Libby!
    The pizza looks amazing.:)

  5. I am so proud of the people of Christchurch, really. And I actually remember one of the best pizzas I have EVER heard was on a little strip of shops in between Christchurch and Queenstown. This post def has me feeling nostalgic and want to go back. Good stuff, Lib!

  6. I felt so bad for the people in Christchurch when the earthquake hit their town 🙁 It’s really not fair and there’s not explanations to why it happened >_< but I agree with Wince very proud of the town and people, they're so resilient 😀

    The pizzas look super yummy and I also hope they become permanent 🙂 awww you don't like pumpkin? Damnn cuz I'm a HUGE fan of it, eat so much of it that I think I'm gonna turn orange hahaha

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