We all know Newmarket as an incredible shopping destination, but what about its many epic eateries? From Peruvian tacos and schnitzels the size of your face, to perfect coffee and cocktails in bongs (for reals!), this suburb certainly has plenty to eat out on.
So without further ado, here's our pick of the best restaurants and cafes in Newmarket.
Best Restaurants In Newmarket
Tucked away on Teed Street is Pearl Garden, the Kan family's authentic Chinese eatery that's been bringing its deliciousness to Newmarket for more than 45 years. Yip, Mama Kan started the business way back in 1975 with a vision to hero unique Chinese cuisine and she's clearly succeeded because this spot is still humming in 2021 and was even voted Best Chinese Restaurant by Metro magazine. Using fresh ingredients and a menu reminiscent of Mama Kan’s cookbook, this is the spot for seriously good dim sum including their much-loved pork and cashew dumplings.
If, like us, you need no convincing when it comes to trying out a new pasta joint, be sure to visit Nonna. More than just a cute moniker, this all-day spot dishes up unassuming yet flavour-packed Italian fare, just like your (imaginary) Nonna would make. Their lamb ragu is fab—as is their red risotto—and we cannot tell you enough how delish their tiramisu and cannoli are (the latter of which, you can actually buy by the box). And if carbs are a no-go, you're in luck, because they also offer zoodles.
The Candy Shop
When 50 Cent bragged about taking us to 'The Candy Shop', we sure hope he was talking about the one in Newmarket because honestly, we'll settle for nothing less. With a strong Korean influence, this is one of the best restaurants in Newmarket and you'll want to stuff your face with at least one of everything on the menu. Get amongst breakfast burgers and croffles in the AM, wrap your mouth around fried chicken and bibimbap for lunch, then chow down on wagyu chopped cheese sliders and beef dumplings in the PM. The only thing that could possibly make this situation any better is coffee, wine or a cocktail and guess what? They have all three.
KHYBER PASS ROAD
Get ready for a flavour explosion at Baha Betty, an eclectic and highly delicious spot found on Westfield Newmarket's rooftop dining precinct. Blending Mexican and Californian cuisine, their menu is jam-packed with flavour—think fried chicken, nachos, burgers (basically, all of our dream dishes in one place). However, if you have room for only one thing, make it their juicy signature beef tacos. Bonus points for their on-point drinks offering, which includes everything from ice cream floats right through to bubbles.
Acclaimed chef Nic Watt (who you'll recognise from SkyCity's award-winning restaurant, MASU) and Darren Johnson are the brains behind INCA—a lively Nikkei-style eatery located on the rooftop at Westfield Newmarket. Meshing together South American and East Asian flavours, you know that when you dine here, the grub is going to be seriously tasty. Tuck into everything from crispy prawn tacos and kingfish sashimi to woodfired baby back pork ribs and cedar-roasted chocolate and raspberry pudding for afters. We also love the exotic fit-out, which includes an open-plan kitchen where you can watch the chefs in action—flames and all.
Let your appetite loose (and probs your belt, too) at The Bavarian—Westfield Newmarket's very own German dining hall. These guys certainly know their way around comfort food, serving up everything from baked pretzels and roast pork belly to schnitzels the size of your face (if you really wanna go to town, check out the legendary Sohweineschnitzel). These should of course be enjoyed from the comfort of their wooden benches, a stein of beer in hand. Don't leave without trying their delicious apple strudel (though be warned, this may require a second stomach).
Khao San Eatery
Khao San Eatery is your go-to for Thai food with a fusion twist and by that, we mean South East Asian flavours paired with premium Kiwi ingredients like South Island salmon and locally sourced wagyu. Slurp on down a bowl of tom yum noodle soup, spice up your day with one of their hearty curries (the Massaman is a fave) or give yourself a food baby proper with their whole fresh market fish. And the best bit is, you can have a cocktail while doing it.
V.T. Station made quite the impression on us when it first opened in 2019, and we're sure your own visit will have you feeling a similar way. Not only does this spot boast an incredibly memorable fit-out, styled after the famous Mumbai train station from which it takes its name—the fare here is off the charts. Expect beautifully presented Indian street food (a paradox, we know, but trust us when we say it works), paired with insane cocktails, including one served inside a bong. From the team behind Federal Street's popular 1947 Eatery, you just know it'll be amazing.
The Flying Burrito Brothers
We'll never say no to a taco, especially one with a margarita on the side. That's where our friends at The Flying Burrito Brothers come in. Their colourful Mexican cantina on Davis Crescent is a total vibe and is definitely not the spot for a quiet one. Round up the crew and take your taste buds on a delicious journey south of the border with small bites aplenty alongside quesadillas, fajitas, enchiladas—the whole shebang. They also have a crankin' dessert menu and yes, plenty of bevvies up for grabs including a range of speciality margs.
Our love for Burger Burger still runs deep after all these years, and their Newmarket spot never fails to disappoint. Tucked away on Osborne Lane, it's always buzzing and is particularly useful for dealing with those post-shopping munchies. Smash back one of their famous beef burgers (some of the best in the city, don't you know), eat your body weight in potato skins, and even sink a cocktail or two if the occasion calls for it. Just remember to save room for something from the dessert bar (hellooo, ice cream sandwiches).
Best Cafés/Other Eateries In Newmarket
Now might be a good time to mention Camper Coffee, The Candy Shop's much loved, coffee-swilling sibling which is located within the second of The Candy Shop's spaces. This is the spot for freshly roasted brews made with single-origin beans, which experience tells us you should enjoy with one of their strawberry danishes. P.S. We really appreciate that logo.
Eggs bene? Check. Smashed avo? Check. Purple yam French toast? CHECK. These are just some of the goodies you'll find on offer at Newbie, a popular haunt amongst Newmarket locals. Along with these incredible brunch-time finds, you'll also have the choice of some outrageously good cabinet food (their doughnuts are especially delish). Find them hidden inside the Mercury Plaza building on Broadway.
Bought to us by the legends behind popular burger and stuffed-pretzel joint, Parade, Mutual Friends was an obvious choice for this list. Not only do they sling a damn fine cup of Allpress coffee, but they also offer some seriously tasty cabinet food and brekkie options, which have been known to include acai bowls, waffles, and smoothies. Look for them on Morgan Street, inside the swish QB Studios workspace.
If coffee's your poison, you can't go past L'affare, whose name you will have seen emblazoned across packets of coffee beans at your local supermarket. And this spot in Newmarket is where some of those same beans probably originated, being that it is their Auckland HQ (the brand is originally from Wellington), a roastery, café and 'bean store' all in one. The smell of coffee beans roasting is nothing short of euphoric and will make you want to settle in permanently amongst the spacious, contemporary setting, where we recommend fuelling up on the eggs bene with cured salmon and housemade muffins, and the fried chicken waffles with bourbon syrup and sour cream. However, just know that they also do burgers and beers, if that's more your jam. Don't forget to pick up a bag of beans and any coffee-related equipment you need before you leave.
Little & Friday
Ever since they launched onto the scene many moons ago in Belmont, Little & Friday has held a very special place in our food-loving hearts. Their Newmarket branch is, therefore, a welcome addition to the neighbourhood and is a treasure trove of old-fashioned goodies, including their gorgeous single-serve cakes (a meal unto themselves), mouthwatering pies, and OTT doughnuts—which you'll find on each of our respective 'best of' lists. Yes, you'll want to take the whole cabinet home with you, along with some of their prettily packaged gifts for good measure.
Even the icy chill of winter won't put us off visiting Duck Island, the pale pink ice cream parlour on Osborne Lane. Joining a second store in Ponsonby (along with others in Hamilton and Wellington, as well as space in the freezer at your local supermarket), there's something utterly irresistible about this particular brand of ice cream. Perhaps it's the nod to nostalgia (with flavours like fairy bread, ambrosia and peppermint slice), their inclusiveness (that means dairy-free and vegan options)... or perhaps it's simply their sweet-as-pie fit-out. Whatever the reason, you'll want to check out this spot lickety-split. Bonus points for sharing a wall with the aforementioned Candy Shop.
Daily Bread (the venture from German baker Patrick Welzenbac and Orphans Kitchen/kingi duo, Tom Hishon and Josh Helm) has a number of bakeries across Auckland, including this gem inside Citta Design's Newmarket store. For freshly baked pies, pastries and of course bread, you won't find better. Being the sweet-toothed peeps that we are, we can never go past one of their cardamom buns, while their doughnuts and hazelnut croissants are also rather glorious. Wash down your choice with a cup of Coffee Supreme (custom-blended, no less), then grab a couple of loaves to take home.
Archie Brothers Cirque Electriq
Sure, Archie Brothers is more of an arcade than it is a restaurant or café, but that shouldn't discount them from a mention on this list. Why? Because not only do they know how to make some pretty tasty grub (think burgers, pizzas), their milkshakes and cocktails are all kinds of insane. Topped with cookies, candy and in some cases a whole ice cream, there is no way we couldn't include them. Sipping on your chosen tipple amongst Archie's buzzing, carnival-like atmosphere only adds to the experience.
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Image credit: Main image and noodles by The Candy Shop, INCA and V.T. Station by Wono Kim, Newbie Newmarket, L'Affare Newmarket by Wono Kim, Duck Island Ice Cream.