Following the 2011 earthquake that destroyed many of Christchurch’s eating and drinking hot spots, local bar owners were forced to come up with innovative new openings amid the city’s slow but steady rebuild. One such debut was Smash Palace, which was constructed in and around a retro school bus and which combines hipster cool with a sunny beer garden full of quirky urban detritus. It’s known regionally as one of the city’s best craft-beer bars—local Canterbury brewers include Three Boys and Harringtons—and Smash Palace’s damn fine burgers are all made by hand on site. Welcome to an unpretentious and energetic testament to the resilience and tenacity of the fine people of Christchurch.

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