Weekends are the perfect time to get out of your comfort zone and move on from your local and make the most of Auckland’s budding food scene. We’ve got our ear to the ground and, truth be told, we just love going to restaurants and cafes around town—whether they’re an old fave or a new discovery, we’ve just gotta share with you.
So, if you’ve got a hungry belly and some time on your hands this weekend, here are our top picks of where to go. Bon appetit!
Have you heard? Adrian Chilton, Mimi Gilmour, Stephen Buckley and the team from Burger Burger have branched out and opened Fish Fish in Ponsonby Central. Using fresh ingredients, they’ve created a stellar menu that won’t disappoint. The fish burger is great for a carb fix, but don’t go past the Vongole—fresh New Zealand clams, spaghetti, chilli and fresh herbs. It’s heaven in a bowl.
Two of our faves, Ralph’s and Vinyl Coffee Shop, have joined together and it’s marriage material. A good marriage, that is. Situated just off Dominion Road, order breakfast, lunch or dinner, because they offer all three. The staff are super-friendly and there’s an outdoor area to soak in the vibes, or take a seat in one of the booths while you munch on one of their burgers with curly fries. Yum.
It would be pretty easy for Meadow to become your new local, even if you live an hour and a half away. This restaurant takes a farm-to-table approach, with the fresh ingredients coming from the owners’ Clevedon farm and the results are delicious. The gorgeous courtyard is great for brunch or dinner on a warm summer’s eve.
Don’t be fooled by its unobtrusive exterior, Love Dumplings serves up some of Auckland’s best (you guessed it) dumplings. The staff always have a smile and even remember what you like for next time you visit. You can watch them make the dumplings as you wait, so you know it’s authentic. If you don’t want fresh dumplings, you can buy them frozen and stock up at home for later.
Under head chef and MKR judge, Ben Bayly, The Grove is a great spot for an evening drink and meal. On St Patrick’s Square, grab a table outside if it’s sunny. But if you are indoors, it’s a stunning venue, and will add a taste of luxury to an otherwise ordinary weekend. Choose between a five or nine course degustation for a selection of some seriously mouth-watering dishes, think new season pea and potato risotto with crispy beer battered whitebait or organic lamb lollipop with crispy belly, celeriac, miso and pumpkin seeds. Add the wine matching and you’re in for a total culinary experience.
Want more? Here are 50 Meals You Should Have Eaten If You Live In Auckland
Image credit: Fish Fish