A good meal becomes a great meal when it’s paired with a glass of your favourite vino. You bring the booze and they’ll take care of the food at any one of these fine Auckland establishments.
Read on to discover the best BYO restaurants in Auckland and get ready to eat, drink and be merry.
The secret to finding a good restaurant is to eat where the locals eat. Campbells Bay residents flock to El Greco for its vibrant and flavourful Mediterranean food and they stay for the staff with a personality to match. A Greek/Italian BYO is a rare find and should be treated as precious. At El Greco, the meze platter is a must for group BYOs—overflowing with colourful dips, cheeses and cured meats. Recent winner of the Best BYO in Auckland award by Lazy Susan and Leftfield wines.
Try It Out
Otahuhu & Burswood
If you want authentic Vietnamese food, Try It Out is the one for you. With two branches to choose from and a huge menu of traditional and delicious dishes, you're spoilt for choice. The relaxed, family vibe guarantees a good time. Try the summer rolls for something light and fresh, or order one of the showstopping sizzling plates to have all eyes on your table.
An iconic stop for visitors and locals alike, Nishiki is hustling and bustling for a reason—the food is excellent and the atmosphere is vibrant. Rocking up with a bottle of wine and ordering multiple rounds of food from their on-table iPads is a quintessential Auckland experience. Make sure you order the miso eggplant, it's divine.
Mount Eden & Newmarket
If you love a hidden gem, Tasca is your place. Tucked away behind the cafe-style storefront you’ll find a secluded outdoor courtyard and olive garden to wine and dine the evening away in. Alternatively, head to their bustling Newmarket spot and dine al-fresco. Serving delicious Mediterranean fare, is there really anything better than abundant tapas and Spanish wine?
Big Fish Eatery
Big, bold, and beautiful – Big Fish Eatery is a hidden gem, but those that get it, get it. It’s your go-to for a modern take on traditional Pan Asian cuisine. While the edamame beans are a must to start, the sushi and dumplings are the stars of the show, and their amazingly crunchy cornflake fried chicken even has a cult following. There are also plenty of options for vegetarians, carnivores and everyone in between.
If the Italians have one thing right and it's pizza and wine. Grab an exotic Tuscan bottle and make your way to Archie’s in Newmarket, which serves gourmet wood-fired pizzas like classic Alla Margarita or the more adventurous Al Salmone with salmon, mozzarella, cream cheese and mesclun. If you're hankering after a healthy serve of pasta this is most definitely your spot.
Bunga Raya Restaurant
Even if you don't have a reason to visit New Lynn, it's worth making the trip for a meal at Bunga Raya Restaurant. Now famous amongst West Aucklanders for its warm, welcoming atmosphere, Bunga Raya has made a name for itself for its downright tasty food. Try their silky-smooth tofu or any one of their delicious noodle dishes; you won't leave hungry.
You can’t call yourself an Aucklander until you’ve scoffed 20 dumplings dressed in your Friday night best at New Flavour. Gather your squad, grab a bottle of Passion Pop from the Liquorland down the road and demolish a plate of tasty morsels before you hit the town.
Sandringham, Mount Eden, Ponsonby
For beautifully spiced curries, a pleasing array of vegetarian options, and sharing plates that you won't actually want to share, you can't go past Satya. A multi-generational affair, the Satya brand has become synonymous with great Indian food in Auckland. With a vibrant and colourful interior, you'll feel like you've been transported to another time and place.
If you love authentic Chinese food, you've got to visit Golden Jade. With a huge menu of delicious traditional offerings, a lively vibe, and the handy lazy susan for passing around your dishes (a must for a group BYO), it's no wonder that Golden Jade is so loved by the locals. Try the unmissable roasted duck or any one of their many noodle dishes, there's something for everyone here.
Conveniently located under Ponsonby’s Countdown (for a last-minute wine run), the owners of Bali Nights are on a mission to bring authentic Indonesian street food to Aotearoa. Its colourful interiors and similarly vibrant food have become somewhat of a beacon—enticing you to try their unique fare. Much of the menu is naturally vegan, so there are options for everyone.
Is it really a list of Auckland’s best BYOs if Canton Cafe isn’t included? It’s a classic for a reason: it ticks all the boxes from food to hospitality to flexibility (see: the ability to BYO almost any drink you want). The hardworking team behind Canton like to fly under the radar, but they work diligently every day to serve authentic and delicious food.
A traditional Korean BBQ tucked away on Lorne Street in the CBD, Faro is worth a visit just for the authentic charcoal grills at each table. The opulent interiors with plush gold walls and sunken booths take the experience to a truly transportive new level. Ordering and cooking meats and vegetables on your own personal, tableside grill is definitely worth the experience in itself.
Located on the bustling Karangahape Road, Sri Pinang is another long-standing BYO option, and for good reason. On top of the food, the service is always top-notch and Sri Pinang has accumulated a lunch crowd that comes in for “the usual” as a result. It’s an old-school BYO with no-frills, cheap corkage and big portions.
Tianze Dumpling House
Tianze Dumpling House has acquired a loyal following for its dumplings. Therefore, it’s crucial to nab the table with the built-in lazy susan so you can snap up the last pork and chive. The menu is chock-full of delicious dishes, so make sure to branch outside of the dumpling—egg pancake, crispy chicken and chilli and sizzling beef; you really can’t go wrong.
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Image credit: Supplied