Ask an Aucklander what their favourite food is and chances are dumplings will rank pretty high—and we can’t get enough of these tasty little morsels ourselves! Because the dumpling love is so strong, we’ve eaten our way down Dominion Road and beyond to round up the best dumpling spots in Auckland (tough gig, right?). So, follow this list, embark on your very own tasting adventure and get set to devour the best dumplings in Auckland!
We say dumpling, you say Barilla. Barilla is synonymous with dumplings in the 09—it’s a true classic and serves some of Auckland’s best dumplings. Boasting two restaurants on Dominion Road, Barilla is renowned for their perfect dumplings that come in lots of 20 (!), and their signature service. But let’s be honest, you’re here for these delicious morsels, not silver service. You’ll wanna hit Barilla with your whole squad to maximise their long list of dumplings options. Try them steamed, it’s a revelation and well worth the extra buck.
The buzz is real—and well deserved. Just look at the queue outside Eden Noodles and you’ll see what we mean. As you enter the much-loved Mt Eden takeaway joint, look to your left and you’ll see an elderly Chinese woman making dumplings with such speed you’ll find it hard to look away. The dumplings come in one option—pork—swimming in your choice of sauce or soup. Order the dumplings in spicy sauce for a taster of that famous Sichuan numbing spice. Earning a rep as some of Auckland’s best dumplings, these bad boys are more addictive than your latest Netflix obsession.
Balmoral and Parnell
Another Dominion Road fave, New Flavour pumps out bloody good dumplings—they’re some of Auckland’s finest. What’s more, the non-dumpling options are equally incredible. The fried pancake dishes are a must-try—as is the vege fried rice. As for the dumplings, the pork mince with prawn and chives is a no-fail order or hit the pork and beef mince for an all-out meat attack. Pro-tip: the sweet red bean pancake makes the perfect post-dumpling dessert.
XuXu Dumpling Bar
XuXu Dumpling Bar is in a league of its own. This sleek inner-city spot offers beaut little steamers of dumplings (six pieces per order) alongside their signature cocktails. The smaller portion sizes mean you can order as many or as few as you like—perfect for a drink accompaniment or a full dinner. We’re partial to their prawn with ginger har gao and the fried chicken number with shiitake mushrooms. Leave room for the show-stopping dessert dumplings including a pumpkin delight packed with oozing chocolate fondant—oh my!
House of Dumplings
The capital’s very best dumpling purveyors now have an Auckland presence and we’re damn happy to hear it. Hong Kong native Vicky has a truckload of personality and major dumpling skills. Her market stall, House of Dumplings, is a regular sight at markets Auckland-wide. What makes their dumplings so incred is the premium-quality ingredient and the tender love and care put into each and every beautiful parcel. Vicky’s dumplings are also available to from the frozen section of supermarkets including Farro Fresh, Nosh and selected Countdown.
Top Café gets points in our book for their cooking style of their dumplings—perfectly steamed and lightly fried, so you get a good crunch in every mouthful you shove into your gob. They also go up in our book given the massive amount of ingredients that seemed to be shoved into each dumpling—you certainly get bang for your buck. It’s a simple place—a short list of classic dumpling fillings, very simple interior and killer dumplings. Go for juicy pork and don’t look back as you feast of some of Auckland’s best dumplings.
The Blue Breeze Inn
The Blue Breeze Inn has that Hawaiian-Asian thing down-pat and their food is glorious. We’re yet to try something substandard from their menu, and the dumplings are particular standouts. Here you’ll find two steamed offerings: black tiger prawn and sesame or pork and black truffle. If you’re more of a fried dumpling guy or gal, they’ve got you covered with a spicy chicken number. We can’t go past the juicy prawn variety that’s bursting with flavour. And, of course, no visit is complete without munching your way through Blue Breeze’s signature pork belly steamed bun.
Shaolin Kung Fu Noodle
Balmoral, Auckland City, Howick & Albany
Shaolin Kung Fu Noodle not only serve epic noodles, but they also serve epic dumplings. You can choose to have ‘em serve in steamed, poached, pan fried or in sour soup. Pan fried is our go-to with the dumplings arranged to fill a pan before being flipped and served like a massive dumpling pancake—amazing, right? They’re filled with combos such as lamb and fennel, chicken and corn as well as beef and celery. Luckily for us, Kung Fu Noodle has four locations Auckland-wide, meaning you’re never far from your next dumpling (and noodle!) fix.
With a name like Flavour House, it’s no surprise the Dominion Road dumpling joint dishes up flavoursome dumplings. Be sure to try their signature xiao long bao (aka soup dumplings) that come from the Jiangnan region of China. Starring a juicy inside, half the fun is trying to consume the morsel without squirting dumpling juice on the person sitting opposite. Stick around for dessert because hot toffee-covered kumara is on the menu. Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it for yourself—it’s surprisingly delicious.
Owned by the same people behind Flavour House, it’s no wonder Xiao Dan is so delish. Located in the heart of Ponsonby (just opposite Ponsonby Central), we’re miffed as to how this place remains a hidden gem. Xiao Dan serves all your dumpling faves alongside some more innovative numbers such as duck with bean sprouts and a not-to-be missed squid and chive option. You can nab 15 dumplings for just $12 here. Balmoral prices in Ponsonby? Yes, please!
The Lantern Alley
K Road newcomer, The Lantern Alley, shook up Auckland’s dumpling scene with the arrival of their tangbao—aka a giant-sized soup dumpling. Filling an entire bamboo steamer, the iconic dumpling comes packed with either chicken or seafood. Served with a straw for your slurping pleasure, devouring this bad boy is a messy (but delicious) feat. The modern Korean restaurant takes inspo from Western and Chinese cultures (hence the tangbao) with a flavoursome menu unlike anything you’ve seen before. Come for the epic dumpling, stay for the braised beef bao and Korean spicy pork ribs.
White + Wong’s
For fancier-than-your-average dumplings, visit White + Wong’s stunning waterfront restaurant. The Asian fusion restaurant has three creations to choose from: beef, shiitake and cumin shumai, chicken and lemongrass xiao long bao as well as prawn and coriander ha gao. They’re all about quality over quantity with four pieces per serve. Rest assured, every mouthful is packed with flavour and there’s no denying these are some of the best dumplings in Auckland. While we’re at it, Malaysian-esque hawker rolls are out-of-this-world delicious!
While Jolin Shanghai isn’t much to look at from the outside, don’t let that put you off—they have a strong dumpling game. It’s no secret, either—this Mt Eden joint is always bustling with hungry dumpling-goers. They’re known for their juicy xiao long (those are the soup dumplings, remember?). Choose between pork or pork with crab and get slurping—they’re the best soup dumplings in town! Better yet, Jolin Shanghai serves alcoholic bevvies so you can wash it all down with a vino or beer.
Lucky Lucky Dumplings
At the helm of K Road’s Lucky Lucky Dumplings, you’ll find ex Ebisu chef, Yukio. It’s no wonder, then, that the dumplings are all sorts of awesome. The quirky eatery is equally awesome—it’s situated down a dark alleyway in the Las Vegas Club, they make balloon animals and have rude fortune cookies. Yep, it’s fair to say this is dumpling experience like no other! The inventive flavours include the likes of prawn with lotus root (our fave) as well as cumin-spiced lamb with shallots and black beans.
When you think of dumplings, Russia probably doesn’t come to mind. However, Russian dumplings (better known as pelmeni) are a thing and a very delicious thing indeed. Stuffed with minced meat and spices, they’re similar to the Chinese dumplings us Aucklanders all know and love. Curious to try ‘em for yourself? Moloko is putting a Russian twist on cafe fare with their mouth-watering menu starring lamb pelmeni. This unique dish features flavoursome combo of mushrooms, garlic yoghurt and herb salad. Wash it down with kvas (a fermented drink similar to kombucha) and you’ve got a Russian meal to remember!
Mr Zhou’s Dumplings
New Lynn and Mt Eden
A firm fave with New Lynn locals, Mr Zhou’s Dumplings also has a store in Mt Eden. And they’re not just some of the best dumplings in Auckland—they’re also some of the cheapest. Mr Zhou has a seemingly endless dumpling menu with pork, beef, chicken and vege morsels (the prawn fried noodles are also incred!). Choose to have your dumplings boiled, fried or in a flavoursome broth. They even sell them frozen so you can make them at home—dumplings for breakfast, anyone?
Get amongst the hustle and bustle of yum cha at Newmarket’s Pearl Garden. The much-loved eatery has all the Chinese treats—skewers, soups, noodles, rice, peking duck and a dedicated dim sum menu. Here you’ll discover a wide range of dumplings including prawn and spinach, pork and cashew nut as well as duck and mushroom. Round up your nearest and dearest, order a countless number of dishes and make dig in!
Tianze Dumpling House
There’s more to Sandringham than curry, y’know? Tianze Dumpling House knows a thing or two about—you guessed it—dumplings! The BYO-friendly joint serves all your faves (pork and chives, lamb and cumin, spicy beef etc) in exceptional style. Opt for boiled, steamed or fried and brace yourself for a dumpling coma. And they’ll be no holding back when you can get 20 dumplings for just $12. Pro tip: the sizzling eggplant stuffed with pork mince is also not to be missed.
Coloured dumplings, people! They’re a thing and you’ll find them at Newmarket’s Tao. Serving new-age Chinese fare, the creative folk have given dumplings a colourful makeover. How so? The black morsels are coloured with squid ink, while the orange beauties are stained with carrot juice—incredible! The fillings are equally innovative with the latter packed with tender chicken thigh, mushrooms and sweetcorn. The black dumplings are a seafood lovers dream with scallops, tiger prawns and calamari. These Instagrammable numbers are some of Auckland’s best dumplings.
The Rolling Pin
If there’s one thing Aucklanders love as much as dumplings, it’s food trucks. It was only a matter of time before a dumpling food truck entered the city’s food scene…and that time is now. Say hello to The Rolling Pin! Made with the very best ingredients and topped with vibrant slaw, their morsels are better than your average. Look out for the friendly folk at a market or festival near you to get amongst their exceptional, hand-crafted dumplings—the beef brisket is one of our all-time faves!
Joy Restaurant will bring you, err, great joy (sorry, we couldn’t help ourselves). Situated at the top of an unassuming staircase on Dominion Road, this authentic Chinese joint is one of Auckland’s best-kept secrets. While there might be a bit of a language barrier, it’s all part of the memorable experience. Serving some of Auckland’s best dumplings, we can’t go past their steamed pork creations with a perfectly juicy inside. While you’re at it, the pork pancake noodles are not to be missed. This cheap and cheerful gem will leave you fill, satisfied and with money in the bank—winning!
Image credit: Jaiden Bhaga, Lauren Matilda Matthews, Kellie Blizard, Andrew Wilson