Pork belly…it’s actually like crack. Crispy, succulent and dripping with tasty goodness, there’s a reason why it’s one of our fave things to eat. And, lucky for us, Auckland dishes it out in a bunch of different and delicious ways. It’s popped in steamed buns, chucked into curries and caramelised to perfection—heck, there’s even a place that serves it up for brekkie!
We’re guessing some of you also have a soft spot for this most glorious cut of meat. So, we’ve fashioned this list of Auckland’s best pork belly dishes for you to trot out and try. Ready for it? Let’s get crackling.
- In case this wasn’t on your radar—pork belly corn dogs exist and they’re a thing of beauty. The Culpeper are responsible for these scrumptious, sinful creations served in a trio and dipped in a sticky sauce.
- Let’s be honest, everything Mekong Baby makes is gob-smackingly good but their braised pork belly with caramelised chilli, soy and Asian slaw is in a whole other league of its own.
- It’s time to get acquainted with Ramen Takara's crispy pork belly spring rolls. These bad boys come complete with shitake mushrooms, bamboo shoots and Japanese mustard making them the perfect entree before diving into a bowl of ramen.
- Next on the list for Auckland's best pork belly is none other than Lucky Buddha. Gracing us with a decadent braised pork belly with charsu glaze, bok choy, mango and tamarind relish and our favourite part, pork 'floss'. We'll take two, please.
- Ever wanted to give Colomobian Barbeque a go? Well you will after hearing what the folks at El Humero do with their pork belly. They take beautifully crispy, yet tender, deep-fried pork and serve it alongside freshly baked pillowy corn arepas—what more could you want.
- When in doubt, go for a pork bun, and you really can't go wrong. Especially when they're as juicy as that at Blue Breeze Inn. Dripping in sticky hoisin sauce, and topped with pickled cucumber, these buns are so tasty you'll be ordering another round before you get to the last bite.
- Known for one of the best pork belly dishes in Auckland, Madam Woo's stir fried pork belly is the dish you need in your life. It comes with asian greens, oyster sauce and wait for it... A spiced crackling crumble! Holy s***
- Boy do we love us some Japanese fusion—the balance of sweet, salty, and fresh, you just can't go wrong. So if there's one dish that ticks all these boxes, it's Ebisu's sticky pork belly covered in hoisin miso sauce, zingy pickled red cabbage, and spring onion to cut through the richness.
- Saan does a moreish braised pork belly dish. It's stir fried in peppercorn and red curry paste with snake beans, chilli and kaffir lime and needs to get in your mouth ASAP.
- Slow braised pork belly seems to be all the rage at the mo. Kura’s version is a rich delight served with English mustard and made to be washed down with hot sake.
- Home of authentic Argentinian barbecue, El Sizzling Chorizo know what’s up when it comes to meat. Their pork belly is crunchy, tender and best gobbled up alongside deep fried Dijon potatoes.
- One Tree Grill’s pork belly dish is nothing short of a masterpiece. Treat yourself to a pretty plate of Freedom Farms pork belly, parsnip, cider apple, sage, onion and crackling.
- We’re forever thankful to the food gods that Vivace’s rolled pork belly stuffed with rosemeary, garlic and caramelized onion is a thing. Can we get an amen?!
- At just $8 a pop, Chinoiserie’s braised five spiced pork belly gua bao with their homemade Gong sauce are a steal and you’re probably going to want more than one. Go on, you deserve it.
- If you've ever needed an excuse to forget your work lunch, then the pork belly pancake at Cafe Hanoi is it. In true Vietnamese style, the pork is served sitting on a crispy coconut pancake, with shrimp, greens, fragrant herbs, and nuoc cham—a sticky sweet and sour dipping sauce.
- If eating slow-cooked pork belly pizza by the foot while watching the sunset over the viaduct at Dr Rudis doesn't get you excited, then we're not sure what will! With added toppings of roast kumara, red onion, and fresh mozzarella, don't even try to pretend you'll stop at one slice.
- You haven't tasted just how good pork belly can be until you've chowed down on the twice baked, caramelised kind from The Good Home. This Mount Eden icon goes above and beyond with this dish; adding fresh asian greens, kumara chips, and a spicy chilli sesame dressing—creating a dish as balanced as it is delicious.
- If you like a bit of interaction on your night out, then Han's authentic BBQ is the place for you. One for the serious carnivores, ordering from the suchbulgu-i menu is an experience not to be missed. Alongside a generous serving of pork belly, there's also skirt steak and venison, veggies, kimchi, and rice. Adding a little fun to the mix, you get to cook the meat over your own personal barbeque; adding a touch of smokiness to each bite.
- Steamed buns may not be new to the foodie scene, but when you find a good one it's hard to beat. If it's not already, then add Fukoko to your pork belly bucket list. The chefs here know how to work a bun like no other—creating a light as a feather dough just begging to be filled with slabs of pork. They're sold separately, but one just won't be enough—trust us.
- Forget your run of the mill pork belly dishes, The Engine Room chefs add a modern twist to the classic. Paired with parsnip puree, fresh peas, greens, poached rhubarb, and a tangy tomato pesto, this is an unexpected stroke of genius that fits together in one delicious flavour explosion.
Go light for breakfast with one of Auckland's best acai bowls.
Image credit: One Tree Grill