Our love affair with Italian food in Auckland begins with Baduzzi. Although Baduzzi is the Sicilian word for meatballs, the restaurant is far, far more than just meatballs—however, they’re a very good place to start.
Nestled in amongst the other great restaurants on North Wharf, Baduzzi is a collaboration between Michael Dearth and MKR’s celebrity judge, Ben Bayly (the same pair that run The Grove, so you know it’s gonna be good, right?)
Warm and inviting, Michael describes Baduzzi as ‘all of me’ and seeks to create a space of laughter, long dinners, great food and the deep unshakable knowing of belonging...and this he does in abundance. Step inside and you can instantly feel the friendly warmth of both the décor and staff. Everything is super sophisticated but there’s nothing snobby about it.
Don’t be disconcerted by the menu—with headings like ‘Piccolo’, ‘Polpette’ and ‘Primi’, it would be easy to feel out of your depth. The staff are well-trained, and offer help without making you feel like an idiot. They even make wine suggestions to match your food.
With dishes made for sharing, the small tables quickly fill up with delicious Italian fare. It would be seriously remiss not to try the meatballs—there’s crayfish, deer, beef and lamb options. Add some of their hand crafted breads which are perfect for soaking up any extra sauce. If you’re vegetarian, don’t worry, you won’t go home hungry because Baduzzi serves up a range of delicious meat-free options.
They make their pasta daily, and its delicate softness almost melts in the mouth, allowing accompanying flavours to shine. We loved the spanner crab and sagnarelli nero, panna da cucina with broccolini and pinenuts.
Make sure you save room for dessert because not only are they gorgeous to look at, they are like heaven for the taste buds. There’s sorbet and gelato options but the tiramisu with Baileys and amaretto ladyfingers and chocolate cream is so good we know even The Godfather himself would approve.
Everything about Baduzzi makes it a memorable experience that will have you coming back again and again for everything from business lunches, to catching up with friends to special occasions—indeed we at The Urban List know of at least one marriage proposal that took place there! Without a doubt, Baduzzi is one of (if not the) best Italian restaurants in Auckland.
Want the location, opening hours, and all the details? Find Baduzzi on The Directory here.
Want more Italian? Find The Best Italian Restaurants In Auckland
Image Credits: Kellie Blizzard