Best Cheap Bars in Christchurch

The 9 Best Cheap Bars in Christchurch (Based on Experience!)

I remember my college days like they were yesterday. Money was always tight, and my pals and I were always on the lookout for the best deals on a pint. We quickly became experts at sniffing out the cheapest places to grab a drink, turning it into a sort of game. 

Now, I’m passing on that knowledge to you, young apprentice. Get that skinny wallet of yours ready and join me on a budget-friendly bar-hopping adventure in Christchurch!

1. Birdie’s Bar & Bistro 

Birdie’s Bar & Bistro 

Address: 401 Worcester Street, Linwood, Christchurch 8011, New Zealand

Hours: Monday to Sunday – 8:30 AM to 11 PM

Phone: + 64 3 260 0325

If you’re looking for a bar experience that’s easy on the wallet but still delivers on quality, then look no further than Birdie’s Bar & Bistro. From their selection of RTD classics like Jack Daniels to Coruba or their beers on tap, all are less than 15 NZD.

They have an extensive collection of Scottish, Irish, and Canadian whiskies for the whisky connoisseurs among us. However, if you’re more of a wine enthusiast, they have excellent value picks of both red and white wines that don’t skimp on taste.

Pro Tip:
If you’re planning on having a private event with friends, call ahead of time to book the bar. Yes, they will cater to your budget!

2. The Sideline Sports Bar 

Address: 331 Stanmore Road, Richmond, Christchurch 8013, New Zealand

Hours: Monday to Sunday – 10 AM to 11 PM

Phone: +64 3 381 7566

The Sideline Sports Bar offers a wide array of drinks at prices that won’t hurt your wallet. If you’re into beers, they have a diverse selection ranging from classic lagers to craft ales.

For those with a taste for spirits, you can’t go wrong with their house spirits, which are not only affordable but also surprisingly good. For a truly local flavour, try one of their signature cocktails.

Our recommendation? Get their Moscow Mule. It’s the perfect drink to enjoy while you soak up the lively atmosphere and watch a game on one of their many screens.

Pro Tip:
If you visit on a Tuesday, you can take advantage of their ‘Two for One’ deal on all drinks.

3. Schroeders Tavern 

Address: 680 Barbadoes Street, St Albans, Christchurch 8013, New Zealand


  • Monday to Tuesday – 10 AM to 10 PM
  • Wednesday to Saturday – 10 AM to 11 PM
  • Sunday – 10 AM to 8:30 PM

Phone: +64 3 385 1090

Schroeders Tavern is the embodiment of a local pub. It’s the kind of place where everyone knows your name, and you’re always greeted with a warm smile.

When it comes to drinks, Schroeders offers a variety that caters to all tastes. For beer lovers, the house lager is a must-try. It’s crisp, refreshing, and surprisingly cheap.

If you’re more of a cocktail person, don’t miss out on their Cosmopolitan.

Pro Tip:
Every Tuesday night, Schroeders has their legendary ‘Two Dollar Tuesday, where all tap beers go for just two bucks. Yes, you read that right. Just make sure to get there early, as it tends to get pretty packed!

4. Glenbyre Tavern

Address: 111 Keighleys Road, Bromley, Christchurch 8062, New Zealand

Hours: Monday to Sunday – 10 AM to 10 PM

Phone: +64 3 381 0330

Glenbyre Tavern stands out among the city’s watering holes, not just because of its reasonable prices but also due to its unique drink offerings.

If you’re a beer lover, you won’t want to miss out on their tap beer, which simply screams Christchurch. Alternatively, for wine connoisseurs, their house red is a delightful blend that pairs well with any meal, and it’s a steal for the price!

Pro Tip:
Make sure to check out their happy hour. It’s the best time to visit if you’re on a tight budget.

5. The Opawa Bowl and Jack

Address: 15 Opawa Road, Opawa, Christchurch 8023, New Zealand


  • Sunday to Tuesday – 10:30 AM to 8 PM 
  • Wednesday & Thursday – 10:30 AM to 10 PM 
  • Friday & Saturday – 10:30 AM to 12 AM 

Phone: +64 3 377 6223

The Opawa Bowl and Jack has a laid-back vibe that makes it perfect for a casual night out. They also have a few screens showcasing a variety of sports every night—perfect for when you need to root for your home team.

Whether you’re a sports fan or not, though, this bar is the place to be if you’re a fan of a good old pint. They have a wide range of beers on tap, all of which are reasonably priced. And for those who prefer something stronger, the spirit selection is impressive.

Pro Tip:
Order any of their hoppy IPA beers on tap! They’re worth it.

6. O’Shea’s Public House

Website: O’Shea’s Public House

Address: 124-134 Marshland Road, Shirley, Christchurch 8061, New Zealand


  • Sunday to Wednesday – 10 AM to 10 PM 
  • Thursday to Saturday – 10 AM to 11 PM 

Phone: +64 3 385 3080

This charming Irish bar transports you straight to the Emerald Isle with its warm, cosy atmosphere and traditional decor.

For beer enthusiasts, their on-tap selection is an exciting mix of local brews and imported Irish classics. No visit to O’Shea’s would be complete without a pint of their perfectly poured Guinness, offering a taste of Ireland right in the heart of Christchurch.

From Jameson to Bushmills, they offer a whisky for every palate. If you’re new to Irish whisky, the Tullamore D.E.W. is a smooth, triple-distilled blend that’s a great introduction to the spirit.

Pro Tip:
If you’re feeling daring, come grab a pint with breakfast—they serve breakfast until 11 AM.

7. Smash Palace

Website: Smash Palace

Address:  172 High Street, Central City, Christchurch 8011, New Zealand


  • Tuesday – 3 PM to 9 PM 
  • Wednesday & Thursday – 3 PM to 10 PM 
  • Friday & Saturday – 12 PM to 11 PM 
  • Sunday – 12 PM to 6 PM 

Phone: +64 3 366 5369

Smash Palace has affordable drinks that cater to every kind of drinker. If you’re a beer enthusiast, you can’t go wrong with their house beer—Boodgie Beer. This craft beer is full of character and won’t empty your wallet.

For wine lovers, Smash Palace’s house wine, sourced from the Waipara region, offers excellent value for money.

But the standout at Smash Palace has to be their burger and beer deal. For a very reasonable price, you can get a pint of your choice and a gourmet burger.

Pro Tip:
If you find yourself there on a Friday or Saturday evening, you’ll be treated to live performances from talented local musicians. And the best part? There’s no cover charge.

8. Celtic Arms Inn

Website: Celtic Arms Inn

Address: 308 Selwyn Street, Spreydon, Christchurch 8024, New Zealand


  • Monday to Friday – 9 AM to 11 PM 
  • Saturday – 10 AM to 12 AM 
  • Sunday – 11 AM to 11 PM 

Phone: +64 3 982 1811

Celtic Arms Inn is an authentic, cosy bar that will transport you straight to the heart of Ireland without leaving New Zealand’s shores.

They have a range of beers, both local and imported, that won’t stretch your budget. Their Guinness draft, served at the perfect temperature, is a firm favourite among patrons. If you’re a fan of cider, don’t miss their Magners Irish Cider—the sweet, crisp taste is truly refreshing.

And their whisky selection here is impressive, especially considering the price. Don’t miss out on their Jameson Irish Whisky—it’s smooth, slightly sweet, and very affordable.

Pro Tip:
Don’t miss their happy hour from 4-6 PM from Monday to Friday. You can enjoy significant discounts on your favourite drinks. Plus, if you’re lucky, you might even catch some live traditional Irish music to accompany your pint.

9. Retropolitan Social Club

Website: Retropolitan Social Club

Address: 255 Saint Asaph Street, Christchurch Central City, Christchurch 8011, New Zealand

Hours: Tuesday to Sunday – 4 PM to 3 AM 

Phone: +64 508 473 876

Retropolitan Social Club offers an eclectic mix of retro charm and modern sensibility, all while serving up some of the most cost-friendly drinks in town.

Although they have 12 beers on tap, varying from ciders to craft IPAs, many come here for the retro cocktails alone. While not as cheap as the beer or wine, they are still a steal considering their quality.

Get their take on an Old Fashioned or their Belgian Biscuit.

Pro Tip:
Make sure to stick around for their live music. From pop DJs to soulful funk bands, this place is a vibe.