If you’re anything like us, the absolute BEST part of travelling abroad is the food, oh glorious food! And while we’d love to eat our way around the world 365 days of the year, this isn’t really feasible.
But don’t you worry your little head about when you’re gonna get your next pad Thai. Thanks to our wonderful multi-cultural population, you can get your fix without leaving Auckland.
In a wonderful three-part series, we’re uncovering the best international cuisines in Auckland. This week we’ve uncovered the best American, Mexican, Thai, Vietnamese, Middle Eastern, Indian, Italian and Japanese eats. No expensive plane ticket required.
We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again—Orleans know their American tucker. A meal at this Britomart restaurant will have you feeling like you’ve been magically transported to the Deep South. Feast on their signature fried chicken waffles, potato skins and a big ol’ bowl of gumbo starring sausage, fried chicken, clams and mussels. Finish the night off with a slice of key lime pie and/or white choccy cheesecake.
For more American eats, check out these finger-lickin’ eateries.
The Lucky Taco
Keeping the hunger real by not knowing where or when you’ll see each other next, we love Mexican food truck, The Lucky Taco. The friendly amigos serve up a mighty fine selection of tacos including our fave spiced fish offering with spicy avocado cream, lime sauce, red cabbage and coriander. While it might be our favourite, we’d happily eat any one of their fresh and flavoursome tacos. They’ll rock your world—holla!
Nestled in Ponsonby you will find Saan. While dark and dingy restaurants are all too common when it comes to Thai cuisine, Saan is quite the opposite—here you’ll find a cream colour palette and large, floor-to-ceiling windows welcoming in the daylight. Interior aside, the food is divine. Think picked crab with spicy green papaya salad and chargrilled chicken rubbed with Thai spices and lemongrass. Don’t leave without trying their moreish pork crackling.
2010 was the year Vietnamese hole-in-the-wall restaurant came a knockin’. The bangin’ eatery is all about them Vietnamese herbs we know and love. At Café Hanoi mint, dill, perilla and coriander are perfectly paired with green papaya, bok choy, shiitake ’shrooms, free-range meat and seafood. We’re nuts about their pork and shrimp summer rolls as well as their traditional crispy pancake with sautéed pork belly and shrimp—yass please.
While Petra Shawarma isn’t much to look at from the outside, the Middle Eastern restaurant makes up for its lack of interior design with its divine eats. The small eatery dishes up all the classics such as homemade hummus, tabbouleh, fafa beans and baba ganoush. For your main, choose between dishes starring the likes of grilled beef, minced lamb and spiced chicken. If you’re all about dat vege lyf, there are more falafel dishes than you can poke a stick at.
Oh how we love you, Oh Calcutta. The Parnell restaurant has been dishing up some of the best Indian cuisine in Auckland for a casual 21 years—so yup, they how their butter chicken from their beef vinadaloo! We’re big fans of their cumin-flavoured banarasi samosas stuffed with spiced potato and green pea curry, served with their famous tamarind chutney. Finish the night with a creamy mango kulfi featuring mango-infused ice cream with flavours of almond and saffron.
Me Ne Frego
If you’re all about authentic Italian food, look no further than Epsom’s Me Ne Frego. Translating to “I don’t care”, the quaint restaurant doesn’t care for prompt service or printing proper menus. But don’t let that put you off—it’s part of the unique charm! Me Ne Frego serves up the best pasta in town with handmade penne, spaghetti and fettucine varieties all available.
For more of the best Italian restaurants, check out our round-up here.
Visit Britomart’s Ebisu to feast on the best Japanese food in town. You’ll be pulling your hair out as you choose between steamed prawn dumplings, beef tataki, kingfish sashimi and tuna ceviche sushi. Still can’t decide? Work your way through one of their set menus. Vegetarians are well catered for here with numerous vege-friendly dishes up for grabs.
Stay tuned for next time when we uncover 10 more delicious Auckland cuisines. In the meantime, check out Auckland's best restaurants and cafes in the Directory.
Image credit: Ebisu