The Best Restaurants In Auckland Right Now (Updated 2024)

By Armelle Frimpong

At Urban List, we've spent a lot of time thinking about what makes the difference between a good restaurant and Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland's very best. What's the secret sauce that has you singing its praises to everyone you meet and thinking about that stand-out dish long after your last mouthful?

For us, there are a few key boxes it needs to tick. From the ingredients and menu to the chef's execution and plating, first and foremost the food needs to be exceptional. But we reckon a restaurant's decor, vibe and service are all just as important—you feel the difference straight away. These are the sorts of restaurants that turn into absolute favourites.  

It’s an incredibly tough list to narrow down, especially with all the stunning new restaurants popping up around Auckland on the reg. However, we've eaten our way around town to bring you our list of Auckland's best restaurants—in no particular order—so dig in.

The Best Auckland Restaurants At A Glance


210 Symonds Street, Eden Terrace, Auckland

Banana parfait, a white chocolate, black-pepper and hokey-pokey dessert at Anise.Image credit: Anise | Supplied Babiche Martens

The latest venture of Sid and Chand Sahrawat, at Anise, the food centres around not one, not two but a myriad of Asian cuisines—Pan Asian to be exact. As a result, the menu oozes excitement, giving subtle nods to a rich tapestry of traditional flavours from the East, wrapped up in the most picture-perfect plating settings under the guidance of head chef Tommy Hope. With incredible cocktails, on-point service and a gorgeous courtyard and open kitchen, you'll be thinking of your trip to Anise long after you've savoured your last bite. Make a trip back to try Auckland's famed French Cafe, which is now housed in an intimate, 35-seater dining room across the courtyard.


235 Parnell Road, Parnell, Auckland

Henry working in the cool open-plan kitchen.Image credit: Tala | Urban List Vanessa Zhao

Date night just got a whole lot more delicious with the uber-chic Tala, Parnell’s new hidden gem, opening its doors and slinging sleek, contemporary yet traditional Samoan fare. Perch by the bar and get a full view of the Umu—a traditional Samoan open-fire oven—or nestle on the banquettes for a more intimate, but just as fabulous dining experience. You won’t find traditional courses here. Rather, dining here is more about the journey, from the welcome drink at the door to the final collection of bittersweet desserts, Tala is an experience for all the senses.

Gilt Brasserie

2 Chancery Street, Chambers, Auckland CBD

300g Wagyu sirloin with sauce au poivre at Gilt Brasserie.Image credit: Gilt Brasserie | Instagram

One of the most highly-anticipated new restaurant openings of the year has come to fruition. Gilt Brasserie by Josh and Helen Emett is a European-style Brasserie nestled into the corner of Chancery and O’Connell Street. Inspired by the European dining scene, you can indulge in hearty unpretentious food any time of the day. Think triple cheese souffle, pork & duck bolognese, crumbed lamb cutlets, and a dessert menu to die for. Guilty as charged.


Unit 4/2 Robert Street, Ellerslie, Auckland

A selection of half finished, delicious dishes at Ellerslie's Bianca.Image credit: Bianca | Urban List Wono Kim

Ellerslie's just scored a legit new spot for exceptional pasta and other Italian delights. Meet Bianca—helmed by renowned ex-Cotto and Ada Chef Hayden Phiskie—which is slinging outrageously good pasta dishes like a rich pork shoulder ragu mafaldine and a delicate ricotta-filled ravioli. The stripped-back aesthetic featuring a clean fit-out and semi-open kitchen pairs perfectly with the food, which adopts the same no-fuss approach. Beyond pasta, Italian delights like housemade focaccia and delectable desserts such as a chonky cannoli and an incredible tiramisu tart are also highlights.


352 Karangahape Road, Auckland CBD

Dishes from Tempero's weekly FEIJOADA NIGHTImage credit: Tempero | Instagram

Meticulously and deliciously melding together flavours and influences from Brazil, Mexico, Portugal, Peru (and then some), chef Fabio Bernardini and his tight-knit team have created an intimate space where authenticity shines and Pan-Latin dishes delight at Tempero. Think Brazilian bite-sized bread morsels stuffed with cheese, sweet yet smokey crispy black-eyed pea cakes (acarajé) stuffed with okra and palm heart and smooth passionfruit mousse to finish.

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The Nightcar

44 Queen Street, Auckland CBD

We dive into the Li Li Ya at The Nightcar.Image credit: The Nightcar | Urban List Wono Kim

The Nightcar is the answer to Aucklanders' prayers: generous late-night opening hours, stackable portions, exquisite Chinese cuisine, a champagne trolley, and a wine and cocktail list as meticulously crafted as its sleek interior. Oh, and nestled away from plain sight in the heart of the city. Noodle hankerings are covered—chicly—with small cold and noodle dishes that are encouraged to pair, or top with their smaller plates. Chomp away on thick sweet and savoury noodles or gooey and savoury Gan Lao Mian, heavenly duck spring roll cups, and vegetable dishes that are far from boring. And for the final touch? Everything, from cocktails and wines to sweet and savoury are listed in order of gentle to punchy flavours—the lifehack we didn't know we needed.


90 Federal Street, Auckland CBD

Michael Meredith plates up two delicious looking dishes at Metita.Image credit: Metita | Instagram

Culinary mastermind, Michael Meredith, is back with his third venture, Metita—a Pacific-inspired restaurant named after his late mother, who taught him everything that he knows. Metita has brought its reimagined Pacific cuisine to the heart of SkyCity with a menu which is filled with delectable delights, made from fresh, flavoursome ingredients showcasing Pacific cuisine at its finest. While the fare is inspired by Samoa (where Michael grew up), it’s not traditional Pacific food as you know it. It's reimagined with a modern twist. With an extensive drinks menu to match, Metita is a masterpiece.

Broke Boy Taco

964 New North Road, Mount Albert, Auckland

We dip our tacos into consomme at Broke Boy Taco.Image credit: Broke Boy Taco | Urban List Vanessa Zhao

If you're wondering how a neighbourhood taco joint has made it onto the list of Auckland's best restaurants then you obviously haven't tried Broke Boy Taco. Finding a permanent home on the Mount Albert strip following sell-out pop-ups around the city, this is THE place to try Birria tacos that are unlike anything you've ever tasted this side of the Atlantic. The brainchild of Kentucky native Sean Yarborough who spent many years in the Mission district of San Francisco (affectionately known as Little Mexico), he's brought his fully loaded tacos, quesadillas and the off-menu Broke Boy secret noodles to the grateful people of Auckland and boy do we love him for it.


131 Main Highway, Ellerslie, Auckland

We twirl a fork of noodles at Bonita.Image credit: Bonita | Urban List Vanessa Zhao

Bringing Korean and Spanish sensibilities to a sleek Ellerslie bistro, Bonita dishes up a new level of food obsession. Think succulent steak with doenjang butter, creamy sheets of pappardelle dripping with mushrooms, Bo Ssam pork with jalapeno. One look at their drinks menu (or prosecco, cocktail and quirky sangria-filled taps) and the obsession intensifies: from beer to soju, natty wines to classics from Spain and near, or best white Sangria in Auckland (hello Aloe, Green Apple, Elderflower and Soju).


454 Great North Road, Grey Lynn, Auckland

Sous Chef Patrick Markus and Head Chef Kia Kanuta prep on the long table.Image credit: Ada | Supplied

Nestled inside a former nunnery, Ada uses uniquely local, indigenous ingredients that champion Aotearoa under the leadership of head chef Kia Kanuta alongside Sous Chef Patrick Markus. Dishes that seem simple at face value have been considered, and revised to such an intricate degree that to hear the personal stories behind how they came to be is simply captivating, not to mention out-of-this-world delicious. Now open for breakfast and lunch on Saturdays, this is without doubt one of Auckland's best restaurants.

Osteria Uno And Duo Eatery

140 & 138 Hinemoa Street, Birkenhead, Auckland

The Pork Tomahawk Freedom Farms belly on rack, rubbed in spices with a smoky tomato, paprika butter, apple mustard & pickled courgette.Image credit: Duo Eatery | Instagram

Osteria Uno may be a newbie on the Italian restaurant scene but it's already shaking up the North Shore as only a joint venture by hospo dream team Jordan and Sarah MacDonald could do. Nestled right next door to their other buzzing bistro Duo, expect exceptional small plates, inventive pasta, a banging cocktail list, and dessert to die for. While you can book a table at Duo, Osteria is a walk-in-only restaurant so you can rock up on a whim and enjoy a meal you won't forget.


1/90 Wellesley Street West, Auckland CBD 

Someone dips into the queso fondu at Tacoteca.Image credit: Tacoteca | Instagram

A real-deal taqueria in the heart of Auckland CBD. Tacoteca deals in sublime guacamole and corn chips with grilled pineapple and charcoal oil, queso fondu and tacos dripping with juicy fillings like 12-hour slow-cooked lamb, grilled market fish, and even beef slow-cooked in pork confit. And let's not forget about the dedicated Margarita menu with drinks spiked with everything from plum wine and tamarind syrup to coconut liqueur and chilli and even a non-alcoholic number.


87 Kitchener Road, Milford, Auckland

Chef Jason Kim enjoys noodles at his Milford restaurant Tokki.Image credit: Tokki | Supplied

Chef Jason Kim of Gochu fame has opened Tokki, a dreamy Korean eatery on the North Shore complete with metre-long noodles, crispy chicken prawn dumplings, and even a whisky trolley for the perfect finish. Tucked away on the main stretch at 87 Kitchener Road, this number also happens to be the year of Jason's birth, which if you're familiar with the Chinese zodiac, you'll know is the year of the rabbit (aka the luckiest of the signs). And tokki, of course, is the Korean word for rabbit. Talk about auspicious. To those of you who live in the area (or anywhere north of the bridge, for that matter), permission to brag is now officially granted.


162 Garnet Road, Westmere, Auckland

We tuck into duck tacos at Ragtag, one of the best restaurants in Auckland.Image credit: Ragtag | Urban List Eric Jang 

Shaking up the taco game is Ragtag. Enjoy '100% unauthentic tacos' (their words, not ours) alongside natural wines and a selection of other South American-inspired treats. Run by the talented Dan Freeman (ex-Alma and once upon a time, a contestant on My Kitchen Rules), Ragtag will have you dreaming of their slow-cooked duck, drenched in a peppery sauce and apricot salsa, all poured into a soft duck-fat flour tortilla. Or perhaps the chocolate mousse, dripping in olive oil and sprinkled with salt. Or how about the crunchy beef 'nuggets', stuffed with juicy meat and dressed in a punchy green chilli sauce? Get in our mouths already.


357 Dominion Road, Mount Eden, Auckland

Fraser finishes a pizza at Ooh-fa on Dominion Road.Image credit: Ooh-Fa | Urban List Jamin Drupsteen 

From the masterminds behind Karangahape Road's phenomenally popular pasta joint Pici, Ooh-Fa has nestled onto buzzing Dominion Road in the form of an intimate neighbourhood haunt. Slinging a small but perfectly formed menu of exceptional 70-hour proofed sourdough pizzas whose toppings change on the reg, a focus on divine natural wines and sides and desserts that will leave you reeling, Ooh-Fa is always a good time. 

Underground Bistro

Shop 11/183 Karangahape Road, Auckland CBD

We try out the skewers at the fantastic Underground Bistro, one of Auckland's top restaurants.Image credit: Underground Bistro | Urban List Anna Goh 

If seafood's your thing, you're gonna be happy as a clam about what Underground Bistro has in store as its menu is dedicated almost entirely to kai moana. The emphasis at Underground is on fresh, clean flavours that speak for themselves making it a legit pescatarian paradise tucked away inside the always charming St Kevins Arcade. These guys get extra brownie points for their thoughtful selection of natural wines and cocktails.


171 Ponsonby Road, Ponsonby, Auckland

Someone sits down to a selection of dishes at Ockhee on Ponsonby Road.Image credit: OCKHEE | Instagram

Coupling authentic Korean fare with cool-kid vibes, OCKHEE on Ponsonby Road is always buzzing. We're low-key obsessed with their hot pots or jeon gol, arguably the most popular item on the menu as these bubbling stews loaded with beef, tofu and other goodies are nothing short of game-changing. Keep an eye on their Instagram for some seriously covetable merch to rock while you're sampling all the mouth-watering menu has to offer.


183 Karangahape Road, Auckland CBD 

People inside and outside buzzing restaurant Pici on K' Road.Image credit: Pici | Instagram

The bijoux eatery that punches well above its weight, Pici in St Kevin's Arcade is so much more than its hero dish of cacio e pepe. With vibes for days, friendly service and consistently epic dishes that will send your taste buds into a spin, you can even pop into their bar next door, Tappo, to further explore their conscious wines pre- or post-dinner. 

Federal Delicatessen Aka The Fed

86 Federal Street, Auckland CBD

People cheers their wine over three pies at Fed Deli.Image credit: The Fed | Instagram

CBD institution Federal Delicatessen is always a good time. A retro NYC-style spot, this is home to pastrami, poutine, and pumpkin pie alongside bagels, matzo ball soup and other US deli classics including a three-way pie. Helmed by celebrated restauranteur Al Brown and with cosy booths inside and tables outside under the twinkling lights of Federal Street in the shadow of the Sky Tower, everything on the menu is next-level and we should know, we've tried it all.


322 Karangahape Road, Auckland CBD 

Someone serves up a platter at Java, one of the best restaurants in Auckland.Image credit: Java | Urban List Eric Jang 

One of Auckland's most beloved Indonesian restaurants has new digs on Karangahape Road so follow the red neon lights to Java and enter an eclectic, pastel pink and pistachio world devoted to epic Indonesian dishes. Trust us when we say you’re in for a treat here: the size and flavour of each dish are all but rivalled by the prettiness of the presentation. But what do you expect from the legends who are also behind Ponsonby hotspot, Bali Nights


1 Westhaven Drive, Auckland CBD 

The Ika Mata by @chefdineshpm at Homeland has been named an iconic Eat.Image credit: Homeland | Instagram Babiche Martens

Peter Gordon's gift to Auckland, Homeland is a legit triple threat (it's a restaurant, cooking school AND a retail space). The country's first-ever 'food embassy' with local, sustainable produce at its heart, this gorgeous eatery on the water is also open for dinner from Thursday to Saturday. Pop in for one of Peter's famous three-cheese scones, his beloved Turkish eggs, next-level pork belly or even a cocktail or two. The Ika Mata pictured above has even been named one of Auckland's Iconic Eats for 2024 so we're clearly not the only ones who know that this is one of the best restaurants in Auckland. 


292 Karangahape Road, Auckland CBD 

Someone holds a french love cocktail at Atelier.Image credit: Atelier | Instagram

This classy French bistro brings its A-game to Karangahape Road with delightful cocktails like the goblet-like French love pictured above, inventive tapas like the unforgettable smoked trevally rillettes, chicken cordon bleu with mushroom ketchup (yes, really), and divine mains like the roasted rosemary camembert. Don't miss Atelier's mille-feuille dessert—layers of crisp, golden pastry woven with vanilla custard and topped with salted butter caramel and chantilly cream—which has already reached legendary status. As the French would say, magnifique! 


193 Symonds Street, Eden Terrace, Auckland

KAZUYA’s Signature dish “Texture”Image credit: Kazuya | Instagram

If you're after fine dining at one of Auckland’s best Japanese and European fusion restaurants, then Kazuya hidden away on Symonds Street is where you want to be. Head chef and owner Kazuya Yamauchi whips up dishes that are so delightfully presented, they almost look too good to eat… almost. Enjoy a seasonal five or seven-course set menu or go all out and indulge in Kazuya’s nine-course degustation menu. Whatever you decide on, we promise you’ll leave Kazuya with a belly full of goodness and a smile on your face.


Commercial Bay Level 2/172 Quay Street, Auckland CBD 

The stunning interior of Origine Restaurant in Auckland CBD.Image credit: Origine | Instagram

Origine serves exquisite French cuisine paired with next-level wines and cocktails, and a prime waterfront view. With a lavish menu inspired by la France's most beloved dishes, using only the finest local ingredients, you should come expecting seriously good (and seriously delicious!) things. Head up to the mezzanine for nibbles (and by this we mean a heaping charcuterie board) and sumptuous wines. All in all, Origine is a 10/10 but can we really expect anything less from top chef Ben Bayly and his team? Non. 

Mr Morris

Corner of Galway & Commerce St Britomart, Auckland CBD 

The legendary chicken skin at Mr Morris, one of the best restaurants in Auckland.Image credit: Mr Morris | Urban List Wono Kim

Renowned chef Michael Meredith's exceptional restaurant Mr Morris slings modern Pacific and NZ flavours in the heart of Britomart. Just like the simple and beautiful space, the high-quality yet unpretentious menu is also a masterpiece filled with delectable delights, showcasing New Zealand’s incredible produce with a Samoan flair. Pro tip: the kitchen counter is the best seat in the house.  

Bar Céleste  

146b Karangahape Road, Auckland CBD

Someone pours the wine at Bar Celeste.Image credit: Bar Céleste | Facebook 

A French-inspired neo-bistro and wine bar that is sure to have your taste buds tingling and your toes tapping way into the night, Bar Céleste is where the cool kids hang out. Pull up a perch in their cosy interior or watch the world go by from the front of the space, and order up the gnocchi with crème de comté & fermented chilli, freshly shucked oysters and something from their finely curated wine list. Try and catch their famous Filet O' Market Fish burger too if you can. A great spot for pre-, post and everything in between, Celeste is a jewel on Karangahape Road's crown.


Commercial Bay Level 2/7 Queen Street, Auckland CBD 

The Clam Chowder from Ahi.Image credit: Ahi | Instagram @tezmphoto

A true garden-to-table restaurant, expect innovative, delicious locally sourced NZ cuisine from well-known chef Ben Bayly, served up in an exquisite dining room with on-point service. With fruit and vegetables grown in the Ahi Garden (we're not kidding, it's even got its own InstagramAhi is an absolute class act.

Bali Nights

4 Williamson Avenue, Grey Lynn, Auckland

A table bursting with Indonesian goodness at Bali Nights.Image credit: Bali Nights | Instagram

Java's sibling, Bali Nights is a slice of Indonesian paradise in the heart of Ponsonby. From fried vegetable fritters and skewers with peanut dipping sauce to a whole grilled snapper and fried banana with coconut ice cream for afters, these guys have this flavour-packed cuisine on lock and it's all served in a fun, lively atmosphere that's primed for good times. P.S. We ain't vegan, but Bali Night's tofu and tempeh skewers could be just the thing to convert us.


9 Princes Street, Auckland CBD 

The famous Crayfish Eclairs at Onslow Restaurant in Auckland CBD.Image credit: Onslow | Instagram

Celeb chef Josh Emett doesn't disappoint with the classy Auckland CBD gem, Onslow. Get the party started with some of their treats—the fried bread with whipped goat cheese and truffle honey and the crayfish eclairs pictured above are a must, before moving onto exceptionally plated, delicious fare such as the butter poached snapper with Marlborough mussels, prawn mousse and tomato butter sauce. Woof. Delight in the highly entertaining Salmon Trolley, whereby your waiter will carve you beautifully thin slices of Big Glory Bay salmon, tableside. This is also the only restaurant to do a hot buttered rum trolley come the cooler months. No wonder this makes our list of the best restaurants in Auckland.


10 Commerce Street, Auckland CBD 

People feast at the bustling interior at BOSSI.Image credit: Bossi / Jono Parker

BOSSI is the real-deal Italian eatery in the heart of the city that does absolutely everything right. The brainchild of Jenna Carter, this eatery has famiglia and hospitality at its heart, with warm, friendly service and nods to Jenna's late Italian-born Nonna featured throughout (we especially love her portrait behind the bar—just look at those incredible shoes!). A constantly evolving menu of beloved Italian fare will keep you coming back for more. Executive Chef Shaun Dowling and the team keep their finger on the pulse of creativity and are constantly reinventing their menu while keeping some classics—why mess with perfection—while offering new iterations on previous favourites. 

Beau Wine Bar  

265 Ponsonby Road, Ponsonby, Auckland

Someone sips wine sitting outside Beau Wine Bar.Image credit: Beau | Instagram

Elegant wines come together with tasty bites at this friendly neighbourhood gem, which is never not busy (says it all really, doesn't it). Beau Wine Bar is a classic with two alfresco spaces and a cosy dining room within. With a European-inspired menu that's designed to share, Beau keeps things simple with an array of modern plates—now just because they’re simple doesn’t mean they lack in flavour. It’s quite the contrary—we like to think of it as simple yet extremely satisfying. 


155 Karangahape Road, Auckland CBD 

Ceviche with aji amarillo & kūmara crisps at Candela.Image credit: Candela | Instagram

There are so many reasons to love Candela—Spanish wine. Grilled octopus. Basque cheesecake. Basically, all of life's greatest culinary pleasures rolled into one buzzy, busy eatery slap bang in the middle of the Karangahape Road action.

Jervois Steak House  

70 Jervois Road, Ponsonby, Auckland

A fine spread at Jervois Steakhouse.Image credit: Jervois Steak House | Instagram

Jervois Steak House is the steak house to rule them all, with some epic sides to boot (seriously, we could live off their candied kumara). The Herne Bay restaurant uses premium beef and lamb cuts, served on their own or drizzled in sauce (the truffle chipotle and horseradish béarnaise paired with Black Angus sirloin will blow your mind). Meat-eaters won't find a classier spot than this.

The Oyster Inn

124 Ocean View Road, Oneroa, Waiheke Island

A table full of food at The Oyster Inn.Image credit: The Oyster Inn | Instagram

An obligatory pitstop on any self-respecting visit to glorious Waiheke Island, The Oyster Inn perched in a historic Waiheke spot with views for days delivers every time. Helmed by celeb chef Josh Emett and situated in the beachy village of Oneroa, the restaurant’s menu is inspired by coastal classics and made with fresh, locally sourced ingredients. And if you really want to go to town on The Oyster Inn's menu... they even offer accommodation.

Paris Butter

166 Jervois Road, Herne Bay, Auckland

Toasted coconut sorbet/ ginger and coco “cookie dough”/ chocolate cheese cake/ Nutri Grain Miso butter scotchImage credit: Paris Butter | Instagram

If Michelin were in New Zealand, Paris Butter, under the guidance of Cuisine's Best Chef award winner Zennon Wijlens, would likely earn a star or two (as co-owner Nick Honeyman has just achieved in France). While the signature Evolution Menu offering is, naturally, always on the change, each visit to Paris Butter will trustily supply five things: convivial service, one of the best wine selections and the glassware to boot (important, we say), endless inventive courses, a full belly at the end of your night (always a plus with fine dining). Not to mention, in a sleek, dimly-lit fit-out that simply oozes charm. 

El Sizzling Chorizo  

136/138 Ponsonby Road, Ponsonby, Auckland

Meat on a bread board at El Sizzling Chorizo.Image credit: El Sizzling Chorizo | Instagram

Forget what you know about barbeque and let El Sizzling Chorizo show you how it's really done. Their Argentinian take on the practice will stoke your appetite in a way you didn't know was possible. A small but perfectly formed menu of different cuts and also empanadas is complemented by a cheeky red or two.

Cassia At SkyCity 

90 Federal Street, Auckland CBD 

Someone picks up a delicate dish at Cassia,Image credit: Cassia At SkyCity | Instagram

You can't keep a good spot down. Cassia continues to prove that Indian cuisine is so much more than curry (seriously, where else can you get oyster pakora?). Under the direction of renowned chef Sid Sahrawat (who also owns Anise, The French Cafe and Ponsonby's restaurant and cocktail bar, KOL), this glam hotspot is dishing up some of the most groundbreaking Indian cuisine around. The cocktails alone are worth a visit. 

Khu Khu  

171A Ponsonby Road, Ponsonby, 91 Kitchener Road, Milford & Snickel Lane, Level 7/23 Customs Street East, Auckland CBD

We tuck into an absolute feast at Khu Khu Milford.Image credit: Khu Khu | Urban List Dave Marano

There's no better place for punchy Thai cuisine than Khu Khu, and you won't believe that everything here is vegan. Seriously, bring along your carnivore friends and see if they don't agree. Think all of your fave Asian classics coming together with a vegan twist for one big party in your mouth. You’ve got flavoursome curries, fresh papaya salad, crispy spring rolls, oodles of noodles and so much more, now in PonsonbyMilford and Auckland CBD.

Gemmayze Street  

St Kevins Arcade, 183 Karangahape Road, Auckland CBD 

People dip into nibbles and snacks at Gemmayze StreetImage credit: Gemmayze Street | Instagram

Get schooled in real-deal Lebanese food washed down with legit Lebanese wine at the acclaimed Gemmayze Street. Tucked away in a cosy corner of St Kevins Arcade, this spot is a true treasure. With fabulous cocktails up for the taking we also strongly suggest you take a punt on the highly popular set menu, you won't regret it.


Wynyard Quarter, 10/26 Jellicoe Street, North Wharf, Auckland

Image credit: Baduzzi | Instagram @helenas.kitchen_

Believe the hype, Baduzzi is home to some of the most delicious meatballs that will ever cross your plate and is one of the best restaurants in Wynyard Quarter. And with the romantic vibe dialled right up, your very own Lady & The Tramp moment is all but guaranteed. A stalwart on the Auckland dining scene, this pretty-as-a-picture restaurant is always a good time.


108 Surrey Crescent, Grey Lynn, Auckland

Croydon at the smoker at Smokin Cole BBQ in Grey Lynn.Image credit: Smokin Cole BBQ | Urban List Wono Kim

If you haven't been to SMOKIN COLE BBQ—a low 'n' slow meat fest from Sir Richard Branson's former personal chef, Croydon Cole—what the hell have you been doing with your life? With everything from ribs, brisket, wings... the whole hog to absolutely divine truffle mac 'n' cheese, grilled green salad and legendary slaw on the side the only problem you'll have here is deciding what to try next. Hint: the meat candy sells out on the reg.

Madame George  

490 Karangahape Road, Auckland CBD 

The street ceviche with fried squid at Madame George.Image credit: Madame George | Instagram

Hats off to Madame George for helping to bring modern Peruvian food to our attention. This popular spot is always pumping and for very good reason. With 10/10 cocktails, service and of course, food, we'll take the arroz con mariscos (Peruvian seafood rice) with a frozen pisco sour for afters.

Tantalus Estate  

70/72 Onetangi Road, Onetangi, Waiheke Island, Auckland

Tantalus Estate is seen at dusk.Image credit: Tantalus Estate | Instagram

Quite possibly our fave winery on Waiheke or beyond, Tantalus Estate ticks all the right food and booze boxes. This spot oozes charm from its impossibly stunning dining rooms to the outdoor terrace overlooking the vines. A menu stuffed full of seasonal delights made from the highest-quality ingredients this has your next long lunch all over it. Want to keep it casual? Pop into Alibi Brewery down the stairs where the beer is on tap direct from the microbrewery above. Be sure to squeeze in a stroll through the vines before you leave.

Soul Bar & Bistro

Corner of Lower Hobson Street and, Customs Street West, Auckland CBD

Soul Bar & Bistro is seen from the outside.Image credit: Soul Bar | Instagram @lukefmphotography

A place to be seen, yes, but also a place to eat damn good food, Soul Bar & Bistro has been a long-standing resident of Auckland's buzzing Viaduct since its inception. Every meal here feels like a celebration which is just as well as their Rose Month, Bluff Oyster Season, Mother's Day events and other seasonal hurrahs are always a great time. Our only complaint is that Soul doesn't serve their mac 'n' cheese in bigger portions (bucket size would be ideal).

Nanny's Eatery 

492 New North Road, Kingsland, Auckland

Someone pours alcoholic ginger beer at Nanny's Eatery in Kingsland.Image credit: Nanny's Eatery | Urban List Wono KIm

There's always a vibe at Nanny's Eatery, a Jamaican restaurant that serves up next-level food for the gods in the heart of Kingsland. If you like your food exotic and with a decent hit of heat, this could be your new fave spot, with authentic Jamaican and Mexican-infused fare the order of the day.

Inspired by owner and head chef JP's Jamaican upbringing (special shoutout to his GramMa, who taught him much of what he knows in the kitchen), you'll be hard-pressed to find anything here that's not bloody delicious. Think melt-in-the-mouth chicken and pork belly, rubbed in jerk seasoning (a Jamaican staple), plus-size jalapeño poppers, a punchy five-cheese mac and cheese, cauli bites slathered in BBQ sauce, creamy slaw with lime, coriander and jalapeño dressing and golden waffle fries to mop it all up... honestly, how much time do you have, because we could go on about this food for days.


90 Federal Street, Auckland CBD 

Sashimi served up on a block of ice at Masu.Image credit: MASU | Instagram

A longtime entry as one of Auckland's best Japanese restaurants, at MASU you'll get dinner AND a show thanks to their insanely epic robata grill. Here, the contemporary Japanese dishes are cooked in a traditional style over the hot coals of the grill and served up right before your eyes. One of Chef Nic Watt's greatest Auckland restaurants (no shade, INCA), MASU is the place to come for authentic Japanese fare, sake and incredible cocktails.


280 Karangahape Road, Auckland CBD

Wild Australian Prawns & Scampi Bisque at K' Road's AperoImage credit: Apero | Instagram

Celebrating an incredible 10 years on the K' Road strip this year, cheese, charcuterie and fine wine are the order of the day at the always-excellent Apero. This cosy bar/bistro is giving true (red white and) blue French vibes, the menu consists of daily specials and a standard menu that includes anything from a bag of bread and butter to rib eye beef to sweet treats to finish off your meal.

Bar Magda

25b Cross Street, Auckland CBD 

The stunning red-hued interior of Bar Magda.Image credit: Bar Magda | Urban List Wono Kim

Make no mistake, Bar Magda is just as much a bistro as it is a bar, with exciting and inventive Filipino plates aplenty. The menu certainly doesn’t disappoint, just like the space, it is a beautiful affair that is home to a variety of hot and cold plates with sour, salty, sweet and spicy flavours. Showcasing the best of New Zealand seasonal ingredients with a Filipino twist. And did we mention it's underground, found behind an unassuming black door with a white cross? Amazing.


375 Karangahape Road, Auckland CBD 

Tortelli eggplant parmigiana smoked mozzarella cherry tomato at Otto on K road.Image credit: Otto | Instagram

Recently reopening with a new name since the Karangahape Road fave Cotto abruptly closed at the end of last year, Otto is back better than ever. Combing the triple threat of excellent food, vibe and service, Otto lays on the carbs with dishes like kumara gnocchi and beef-cheek lasagna. Can't decide? The seemingly bottomless set menu is one of the best-priced in town and will see you rolling out of the door with a fat smile on your face, guaranteed.

Ki Māha  

1 Fourth Avenue, Onetangi Beach, Waiheke Island, Auckland

The dining room at Ki Māha on a stunning sunny day on Waiheke island.Image credit: Ki Māha / Supplied

Ki Māha on Onetangi Beach brings together beautiful food, world-class wine, and stunning Waiheke views—what more could you possibly want? The answer we believe you're looking for is nothing. Absolutely nothing. Pop in for a long, languorous lunch after a frolic in the waves or sidle in for dinner wearing fancy threads, the experience at Ki Māha is unsurpassed.


26 Ponsonby Road, Grey Lynn & 44 Tamaki Drive, Mission Bay, Auckland

A selection of fine dishes at Azabu Ponsonby.Image credit: Azabu | Instagram

Proving that Peruvian-Japanese fare is a match made in heaven is Azabu—do yourself a favour and try their life-changing tostadas, ceviche and dumplings. The volcano sushi is an especially good time. Now in both Ponsonby and Mission Bay.  

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Main image credit: Pici | Instagram @kroadnz 

Urban List Best Of: has our highest stamp of approval—curated lists of the very best recommendations for you to eat, do, see, buy or book, carefully chosen by our Editors.

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