We’ve rounded up the 30 cafes and the 30 bars you should have been to if you call the City of Sails home and now, the time has come to tackle the biggest of three beasts—Auckland’s best restaurants. With so many top-notch eateries dotted around the city, the struggle was real when it came to compiling this list. And the hardest part? Narrowing it down to just 30.
But we’ve done it! Here are 30 of the best restaurants in Auckland. Eat up!
- Paris Butter: With Chef Nick Honeyman at the helm, this Herne Bay eatery has cemented itself as a standout French bistro in A-town.
- Gusto at the Grand: Rustic Italian dining with a sprinkling of fancy. We’re all about the duck parpardelle and salted caramel popcorn semifreddo.
- Orphans Kitchen: Constant innovation is at the heart of this Ponsonby restaurant and Manager Josh Helm and Chef Tim Hishon are at the forefront of it. Expect very good things.
- The French Café: One for the Auckland fine dining bucket list, suit up and experience beautiful food in a beautiful setting.
- Baduzzi: Italian food executed to perfection by Ben Bayly. Come for the meatballs, stay for the buzz and the tiramisu.
- Saan: This Northern Thai restaurant swept us off our feet. From the design to the service and the fresh, bold flavour combos, our love for Saan ain’t going anywhere.
- Beirut: Chefs Javier Carmona and Jacopo Crosti’s take on Middle Eastern cuisine is mind blowing. Try the smoked labna with scorched flatbread and slow braised goat.
- The Blue Breeze Inn: Home to those addictive pork buns and so much more. The Blue Breeze Inn combines kitschy Hawaiian shirts with modern Chinese food and slurpable rum cocktails—and it. is. good.
- Coco’s Cantina: Sisters Damaris and Renee Coulter have created a homey haven on K Road and it’s everything we could ask for. Coco’s serves hearty, rustic meals including slow roasted pork belly, celeriac ravioli and spaghetti and meatballs. It’s good for the soul.
- Depot: There’s a reason why there’s usually a hefty wait time for this eatery. Knock back an oyster or two before tucking into a selection of shared plates. Our picks are the hapuka sliders and crispy pork hock.
- Odettes: This stunning space will fill your belly with mushroom donuts, wagyu dumplings and a gingered yoghurt and nut lamb leg. We’re hooked.
- MASU: Contemporary Japanese doesn’t get much better than this Federal Street restaurant. Go from fresh sashimi and maki rolls to robata grill delights, washed down with a shochu tonic.
- Merediths: Eat My Lunch co-owner and degustation master, Michael Meredith works culinary magic out of his Dominion Road restaurant. Book in for a nine-course degustation on Saturdays evenings.
- Cassia: Sid Sahrawat takes traditional Indian flavours and merges them with modern culinary techniques for a unique dining experience in his beautiful Fort Lane restaurant.
- Ortolana: With a focus on farm-to-table fare, this tranquil Britomart spot provides a perfect indoor-outdoor flow and serves seasonal dishes that are almost too pretty to eat.
- Ponsonby Road Bistro: A Ponsonby institution that has earned its rightful spot as one of Auckland’s best bistros. The chicken live pâté is a standout.
- Cazador: A must-visit for meat lovers. This family owned and operated restaurant does wonders with game meat and fresh Kiwi ingredients.
- Apero: Providing good food, good wine and good company, Apero creates three daily specials alongside an already divine menu.
- The Sugar Club: Fine dining at the highest heights. Peter Gordon’s Sugar Club pairs spectacular views with even better food—you can’t beat it when a special occasion is in order.
- Prego: You can’t call yourself a true Aucklander unless you’ve long lunched at Prego. This Italian eatery has well and truly stood the test of time and continues to cater to hungry diners looking for great pizza, pasta and wine.
- The Fed: Poutine, cheesecake and aaalll the retro American diner vibes, The Fed is your pit stop whenever you need a decent feed in the city. The milk-fed veal schnitzel is a fave as is the matzo ball soup.
- Clooney: A fiercely glamorous restaurant where Des Harris continues to push the gastronomic boundaries. Clooney’s seven-course tasting menu will never disappoint.
- SPQR: SPQR is all sorts of legendary. From their express lunches to espresso martinis and unrivalled Italian food, this Ponsonby institution always delivers the goods.
- Ebisu: Ticking boxes left, right and centre, Ebisu is a dark yet buzzing space in Britomart, where every type of diner is catered for. Tuck into miso-glazed eggplant cocktails with your loved one or rally the whole gang and order half the menu.
- The Grove: Nothing beats wining and dining in St Patrick’s Square. The Grove is a platform for Ben Bayly to showcase his creativity through degustations.
- Euro: Known for its seafood, particularly the oysters, Euro is situated on Princes wharf so you can eat your kaimoana looking out to sweeping ocean views.
- Bracu: Destination dining doesn’t get much better than Bracu. Enjoy a leisurely lunch in a breathtaking Simunovich Olive Estate and try not to pinch yourself.
- Cibo: Cibo has been doing its thing for a long time now so you can set your expectations high. The service is impeccable and the pavlova will be the best you’ve ever had (yes, even better than your Nana’s).
- The Tasting Shed: Another restaurant totally worth the drive, The Tasting Shed in Kumeu has the outdoor eating concept down pat. Settle into one of the four dining spaces and go on a foodie adventure via shared plates and vino by the glass.
- Poderi Crisci: This list wouldn’t be complete without a Waiheke restaurant. The rustic menu and smooth service comes together perfectly with the stunning setting—you won’t want to leave.
All about the cheap eats? Here are 25 Ultimate Cheap Easts To Try In Auckland.
Image credit: Ebisu