50 Meals You Should Have Eaten In 2016 (So Far)

By Natasha Van Der Laan
15th Jun 2016

best restaurants auckland

Get your knives and forks at the ready, we’ve got many a meal from Auckland’s best restaurants (and cafes) you should have eaten so far in 2016. From finger-lickin’ nachos and moreish dumplings to flavoursome ceviche and divine curry, here are 50 meals you should have eaten so far in 2016.

Please note: The below are in no particular order. Picking a favourite would be harder than choosing a favourite child.

  1. While we love pretty much errything on the menu at The Blue Breeze, it’s their pork belly steamed buns that have us coming back time and time again.
  2. You haven’t lived until you’ve tried Woodpecker Hill’s fourteen-hour smoked beef brisket.
  3. Speaking of brisket, we also rate Citizen Park’s beef brisket nachos with all the trimmings (sour cream, salsa, jalapeno and spiced guac). 
  4. Love crispy flaky goodness? Try one of Madam Woo’s roti canai-style hawker rolls.
  5. For the best damn ceviche in town, look no further than Miss Clawdy
  6. You’ll find some of the best dumplings in town at Love Dumplings. We’re all about their pork, chive and prawn offering. 
  7. Everybody’s has a strong platter game. Round up your squad, order some dranks and get feasting. 
  8. Chinoiserie has not one, not two, not even three but FIVE gua bao steamed buns on offer—and they’re all equally good.
  9. Oh how we love Miss Moonshine’s pork belly. Enjoy with a sides of deep-fried mac’n’cheese balls and jalapeno poppers. 
  10. Vegetarian kids will revel in the menu at Greenleaf Organics. We heart their bean tacos topped with pea guacamole. 
  11. So it’s not TECHNICALLY a meal but Cereal Killa’s freakshakes will leave you full, satisfied and with a smile on your dial.
  12. Fill your belly with Kiss Kiss’ pork belly curried baked beans. Oh, and get a side of pork crackling while you’re at it. 
  13. Shor Bazaar serve some of the best (and most affordable) chicken tikka masala in Auckland. 
  14. We can’t fault a single dish on Nanam’s menu, but their inasel beef has gotta be our fave. 
  15. Love mushrooms AND pizza? Prego’s funghi pizza with three types of mushrooms and gorgonzola will make you a happy camper. 
  16. Speaking of pizza, we also lurve Non Solo Pizza’s margherita prosciutto cotto e funghi (a.k.a. wood fire pizza topped with tomato, mozzarella, ham, mushroom and basil). 
  17. The Portobello benedict from Little Bird is hella delish. The secret behind the vegan-friendly hollandaise? Cashews and turmeric. 
  18. Cibo does a mighty fine beetroot salad served with coffee soil, burnt apple and goat’s curd.
  19. You can’t call yourself an Aucklander until you’ve tried a Big J’s burger. Their signature ‘special burger’ is particularly, err, special. 
  20. The flavoursome panang tofu curry from Joy Bong is a good time. Afterwards, treat yo’self to a serve of hot banana fritters.
  21. Dig into a chocolate pancake from No. 1 Pancake and brace yourself for a food coma. It’s worth it—promise.
  22. This isn’t a meal either, but no list would be complete without mention of Giapo. Try the vegan-friendly coconut caramel siamu popo gelato. 
  23. Pop into Ralph’s for cheeseburger goodness. It comes served with a side of curly fries—holla.
  24. We also dig Corner Burger’s Mexican beef number with lashings of guacamole, corn salsa and chipotle aioli. 
  25. Big Fish Eatery know what’s up when it comes to sushi. Finish with a baked cookie dough dessert—it’d be rude not to. 
  26. We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again, @Bangkok does a wicked pad Thai. 
  27. There’s no doubt about it, Orleans’ buttermilk fried chicken waffles make the world a better place. 
  28. If it’s a comforting pie your heart desires, pay the friendly team at The Mustard Kitchen a visit and get your mitts on a classic mince and cheese.
  29. Love ya tacos? The spicy prawn tacos from Food Truck Garage are sweet as. They’re best enjoyed with a side of kumara fries. 
  30. Ain’t nobody do meatballs better than Baduzzi. Think crayfish, venison and braised beef.
  31. Those with a sweet tooth will appreciate The Fed’s three-way dessert pie combo. Yeah, it’s not a meal but whatcha gonna do about it? 
  32. Crumpets are very much a thing in Auckland. Homestead does a delightful smoked kahawai, caper beurre blanc and poached egg crumpet. 
  33. The raw West Coast trevally dish from Little Jimmy is pretty bad ass with its flavours of coconut, lime and chilli.
  34. Middle Eastern eats are super delish at Petra Shawarma. Every time we visit, we order the mandi rice with grilled lamb. Don’t forget to get a side of baba ganoush! 
  35. Visit The Glass Goose in the morning for Agria potato waffles and in the evening for pan-roasted market fish—with a side of duck fat potato skins, of course.
  36. Everything is currylicious at Paradise Indian. Their signature chicken masala is popular in our books. 
  37. PSA: Fried chicken eggs bene is a thing at The Block Café. It’s as delicious as it sounds. 
  38. The moorish baked eggs from Casablanca are very—you guessed it—moreish! They’re served with meatballs in an onion and tomato sauce.
  39. The ever-popular Eden Noodles does INSANE dumplings and noodles. Work your way through the menu.
  40. Next time you’re having a BYO at Canton Café, order their sweet and sour hapuka. You can thank us later.
  41. We know we harp on about pork belly, but we love the stuff! The braised pork bel dish from Mekong Baby is not to be missed.
  42. We’re big fans of Burger Burger—particularly their Cajun chicken burger featuring red pepper salad, tomato jam, cheddar and rocket aioli.
  43. If you’re lucky enough to nab a table at Depot, make sure you order the lamb ribs...oh, and their hapuka sliders. 
  44. A trip to Ebisu is always a good time—especially if you order their prawn dumplings and karaage chicken. 
  45. The hand made pasta from The Garden Shed. Pro tip: stick around for dessert. 
  46. Providing that west really IS best is The Tasting Shed. Let’s be honest, their entire menu is incredible but it’s their beef cheek dish that has our name written all over it.
  47. Ima Cuisine promise to “warm your soul” and that they do. Their shakshuka starring slow-roasted tomatoes with Moroccan sausages and poached eggs is especially good for the soul.
  48. The confit duck from Ponsonby Road Bistro should be on your to-try list.
  49. The Culpeper’s pork belly corn dogs and skillet mac’n’cheese are sure to bring joy to your belly. 
  50. Last but in no ways least, we love Saan. Our top three dishes? The duck curry, crispy crab and chicken rice noodles.

Need a dessert to finish things off? Check out 30 Desserts You Must Try This Year.

Image credit: Miss Clawdy via Facebook

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