Spoilt for choice of places to wine and dine, we thought we would make your decision easier with a quick guide on the best casual eats, restaurants and cafes of Auckland.
1. Burger Burger
Burger Burger is one of Auckland’s most popular burger restaurants. With a focus on making “simple, honest burgers,” Burger Burger is reasonably priced, simple and delicious, made with fresh produce from local suppliers. Match your burger up with a side of potato skins, kumera fries or the delicious broccoli doused in garlic and almonds and you wont be disappointed. Head to New Market or Ponsonby Central but be sure to go early to get a table or put your name down and pop to one of the nearby bustling bars for a drink while you wait.
2. Bird on a Wire
If your seeking a rotisserie chicken and seasonal salad connoisseur, look no further. Bird on a Wire is the destination for nutritious, guilt-free and mouth-watering food, located in the buzzing hub of Ponsonby central. You can even ‘Book your Chook,’ which means you can call ahead for that night’s dinner, and they will freshly roast you a chicken to take home to the family!
3. Sal’s Authentic New York Pizza
Sal’s Authentic New York Pizza will undoubtedly cure your pizza cravings with their authentic family recipe and New York style Pizza’s. Sal’s is spread across Auckland city in more than 11 locations so visit their website for the restaurant closest to you. While your there, don’t forget to leave room for the tasty mozzarella sticks – our personal favourite!
4. Coco’s Cantina
If your looking for a sensational, authentic, Italian then Coco’s Cantina is definitely the place for you. Located on the infamous K road, this family run restaurant offers simple yet outstanding Italian food in a funky, relaxed and rustic settling. Coco’s is perfect for a cute and cosy date or a relaxed catch up with friends. Nab a table outside to enjoy the bustling buzz of K road and give the arancini balls a taste!
There are few more belly-rumbling aromas than the Indian spices wafting out of Paradise. Located in Sandringham, this restaurant has been rated one of the best authentic Indians in town, specialising in Hyderabadi cuisine of south/central India. Auckland locals are commonly found queuing for this slice of heaven but there is the option to dine in or take-out.
6. New Flavour
There are great dumplings to be had all over Auckland, but New Flavour (Dominion Road, Mount Eden) has to be the best dumpling house. There are pork, chicken, lamb and beef dumplings all made on site and available until the early hours of the morning (3am)! If you love a bit of fire, make sure you accompany your dumplings with the scorching hot chilli oil for dipping.
7. Fish Smith
After tasting Fish Smith for the first time recently, I won’t be going anywhere else. This place is a slightly up-market spin on the classic kiwi fish and chips and is absolutely delicious! The spicy fish tacos and kumera fries are to die for. Head down to Herne Bay beach for a picnic with your Fish Smiths.
For those of you with a sweet-tooth, Giapo (on Queen Street) is the place to go. This boutique ice cream store is simply the best. Their works of art are crafted fresh daily with organic ingredients and local seasonal fruit. With friendly, bubbly stuff and organic gelato in every flavour imaginable, there is nothing not to love. There are irresistible flavours like dark chocolate brownie and Banoffee Pie and then there are the crazy, but astonishingly delicious, flavours such as Hokey Pokey and bacon. Giapo is a serious yet fun treat for the tastebuds and must not be missed!
1. Blue Breeze Inn
Since it opened in 2011, Blue Breeze Inn has been recognised for its innovative take on Thai cuisine and techniques. It is now a “modern Chinese restaurant with an island breeze” in the heart of Ponsonby, serving sensational Chinese flavours . It is also home to The Rum Jungle: New Zealand’s premier rum and cocktail bar. So get your chopsticks ready and head here for a taste sensation!
2. Moo Chow Chow
Moo Chow Chow makes Thai food party-in-your-mouth. Funky atmosphere, delicious fusion Thai food, friendly staff and great service… what’s not to like?! There is seriously good soft shell crab and the Goat Massaman curry is definitely worth a mention too. The menu is perfect for sharing so head there with a group of friends and perhaps indulge in the extensive wine list.
3. Woodpecker Hill
Parnell’s Woodpecker Hill is a barbeque you want to attend. With duck, tender beef rib, fresh prawns, salmon and amazing pork cuts all charred, smoked and flame-grilled there is something for everyone. The food comes to you the moment it’s ready, and it’s made to be shared – a BBQ your whole table can pass around and enjoy together. The energetic atmosphere compliments the brave and unimaginably delicious food perfectly, making this place extremely popular so we recommend booking in advance.
4. Jervois Steak House
Jervois Steak House in Herne Bay is quite possibly the best authentic and premium steak house in New Zealand. With 4 and a 1/2 stars on TripAdvisor this steak house is ranked the 9th best restaurant in all of Auckland, showcasing an extensive range of fine meats sourced from some of the best beef and lamb producers.
1. Dear Jervois
Dear Jervois is an renowned Auckland cafe located in Herne Bay. There is an endless array of vegan-friendly and dairy and gluten-free options that are sure to satisfy. The Matcha waffles with Nicecream, paleo nuts & quinoa crunch, raspberry mascarpone and maple syrup are my personal favourite. The organic superfood smoothies are also extremely scrumptious.
Dizengoff cafe has been part of Ponsonby road for over 19 years and with an extensive breakfast and lunch menu there is something for everyone. It is consistently busy and all for good reason: the staff are charming and friendly and it is reasonably priced, generous portions of delicious food. However, if your a bacon lover then this place probably isn’t for you!
3. Little Bird Organics
If your looking for something light and healthy, Little Bird Organics makes nutritious, fresh, unrefined, non-pasturised, pure and delicious wholefoods. It has recently been named in the Metro top 50 cafes and has been named ‘Best of the Best’ for ‘Best Raw.’ The unbakery cafes are located in Ponsonby, Kingsland and Auckland central. We recommend the raw cheesecakes for dessert!
Rival (Richmond Road, Ponsonby) is hands down one of the best places to go for innovative and tasty salads. Then there are also the overflowing cabinets of other gourmet delights that are just so irresistible you can’t leave without trying something. This place is a truly impressive delicatessen.
5. Little and Friday
Little and Friday makes everything from scratch with fresh, free-range and organic produce. It began as a little kitchen in 2007 but now operates from four bustling stores: Belmont, Newmarket, Ponsonby and the CBD. Little and Friday also does event catering or delicious gift boxes of cakes, donuts and tarts.