Eating out in Auckland is always a grand ol’ time. There are, however, some places that put the quirk in quirky and deliver a dining experience a bit outside the box. There are airplane-themed bars, bright, funky dumpling dens and cafes that will bring out your inner science nerd in the most delicious way.
Without further ado, here are the quirkiest places to eat in Auckland.
The Lab Eatery
If you’ve never drunk from a beaker or test tube, then now is the time. The Lab Eatery in Takapuna has a crazy scientist things going on and we dig. A dinner there will have you munching on Small Experiments of buffalo and plum, sauced chicken nibbles and pan-fried garlic butter prawns before moving onto an Independent Discovery. Our picks are the Vitamin C lamb and date syrup glazed salmon fillet. The Burger Lab is also a hit.
This That Café
Half art hub, half café, This That is a welcome escape from the hustle and bustle of the concrete jungle. Exhibitions change regularly but you can always expect an excellent tea range and tasty cabinet food. An upcoming artist yourself? Get in touch with the This That crew and see if you can showcase your talents on their walls.
Morningside’s favourite little, hidden bar is full of surprises. While Flight 605’s chicken wings and loaded fries are 100 per cent worth a visit, it’s the airplane-themed fit out that has got us hooked. From old school suitcases, actual airplane seats and airline gear to play dress up, Flight 605 is one of the coolest, quirkiest places to spend an evening in A-town.
Shaolin Kung Fu Noodle
In the sea of Balmoral’s dumpling and noodle restaurants, you’ve got to have something spesh to stand out from the crowd. Luckily, Shaolin Kung Fu Noodle pulls out all the stops when it comes to being a quirky eatery. Not only do they make some of the best hand-pulled noodle dishes in Auckland, there are cosy bright orange booths and tablecloths with some of the funkiest designs out. You’ll be gobbling up dumplings and other Chinese eats with The Powerpuff Girls, Elmo and of course, Hello Kitty.
Lucky Lucky Dumplings
There’s nothing boring about Lucky Lucky Dumplings. From creative cocktails and tasty food to epic music and a balloon lady (!), Lucky Lucky has really pushed the boundaries when it comes to dining in Auckland. It was only going to be a short-lived pop-up but Lucky Lucky is going to be around until the end of the year—hurrah!
What’s not to love about Kiss Kiss? Stepping into this Balmoral restaurant is like being transported to a buzzing food court in Thailand, but with a few groovy extras. For starters, the bright tablecloths and cutlery set the vibe and you can see the cocktail menu through a View Finder—they even have bucket cocktails! Food wise, there’s Northern pork belly curry, Chiang Mai noodle soup, Pad Thai and a zingy beef salad. It’s totally worth the wait.
St Kevins Arcade
St Kevins Arcade has had quite the makeover as of late and while we were worried it might ruin the character of the place, it’s turned it into a bustling dining hub. The St Kevins Arcade crew includes Bestie, sandwich haven Fort Greene, The Burger Bar, Middle Eastern gem Gemmayze St and Acho’s, a Japanese food truck turned restaurant. The beats are spot-on and after a couple of bevvies, The Wine Cellar is continentally one floor down.
Image credit: Kellie Blizard