Ah, romance. There’s nothing quite like it. Cosying up to your main squeeze, cuddles, sneaky smooches and an intimate dinner for two warms the heart like nothing else.
If you’re looking to woo someone special, celebrate a milestone or perhaps even pop a special question, our handpicked list of the most romantic restaurants in Auckland has your next date sorted. Food, wine, romantic vibes, views—they’re all here.
Paris Butter. The name says it all really. Modern European fare is dished up with a sophisticated French spin at this Herne Bay establishment. With avantgarde foodies working their magic in the kitchen, you’ll be treated to fine dining where creativity, lashings of love, and local produce are the key ingredients. From the a-la-carte to their degustation menus, plates are perfectly presented—to the point where they’re almost too pretty to stick a fork in. Speaking of pretty, make sure you try Paris Butter’s cocktails. They’re nothing short of liquid works of art.
Nothing says romance like sharing a big bowl of spaghetti and meatballs, Lady and the Tramp style. At Viaduct hotspot Baduzzi you can do just that—with premium handmade meatballs don't you know. Slink into their sumptuous tufted booths, and sink your teeth into their ‘polpette’ made from everything from red meat to crayfish, along with with a dish or two of fresh handmade pasta. You won’t want to leave without tucking into their tiramisu, torta caprese or ricotta cannoli for dessert. Trust us, your date and your taste buds will love you for it.
Ponsonby and Queen Street
A romantic escape to Paris not on the table at the moment? Not to worry, a table at Le Garde-Manger will certainly do the trick instead. Make like you’re finishing off a day’s galavanting in the city of love, and nestle in for a cosy dinner at either of their Ponsonby and Queen Street locations. Authentic dishes are reminiscent of bistros you’d find dotted around French cities, like onion soup, coq au vin and tartiflette. The authentic touches don’t stop there: cosy interiors, gingham tablecloths, a warm atmosphere keep this place cosy, and will have your partner’s heart melt more than their gooey chocolate dessert crepes.
Pasta e Cuore
Translating from Italian to mean ‘Pasta and Heart,’ it comes as no surprise that Pasta e Cuore is one of Auckland’s most romantic restaurants. Just like the pasta, the dining area at this Mt Eden institution is casually chic and complete with a festoon-lit outdoor area, making for an ideal low key date night spot. You’ll want to spare a moment of looking lovingly at your date, and cast your eye over the wine list instead—an amazing list of fine red, white and sparkling drops await.
Sumptuously decorated with jewel tones, blown glass chandeliers and touches of gold, Feriza’s makes for the most plush dinner date backdrop. As one of Auckland’s most romantic restaurants, you’ll be spoilt for choice with Middle Eastern-inspired plates and platters for two. After all, sharing is caring. From dinner right through to their decadent desserts, each dish will arrive perfectly plated—on glamorous Ottoman-esque crockery to boot. Better yet, it’s right across from the waterfront, so you're perfectly placed for a romantic post-dinner stroll.
Sid At The French Cafe
They say that shaking things up is the way to keep the spark alive, so try something different with your main squeeze and head to Sid At The French Cafe’s Tuesday Test Nights. You’ll be intimately perched around the private dining room table, and be introduced to a series of experimental dishes hailing from chef Sid Sahrawat’s iconic restaurants. Not only that, the legend himself will plate and present each dish to you, as you journey along this exquisite culinary adventure. As one of Auckland’s best fine dining restaurants, you’ll also find a perfectly curated a-la-carte menu, as well as five or seven course degustations.
If Italian is the language of love, then pasta ought to be the taste of love. At K’ Road modern-day institution Cotto, premium pasta is at the heart of their menu. Handmade fresh daily, you’ll find this pasta taking a variety of shapes and forms on their short but sweet dinner menu. Wash it down with or one of their five spritzes or a drop of wine from their curated list, and you’ve got yourself the components for Auckland’s best date night.
Dedicate an entire day to eating and drinking your way around everything Casita Miro has to offer. Start with a ferry to Waiheke, and then settle in for a day of basking in the romantic atmosphere of the rustic Spanish-styled Casita. You’ll be able to indulge in shared platters, tapas or a four course fiesta—with the vineyard's own wine to match, of course. For an extra romantic touch, whisk your date away to the vineyard for a romantic stroll around the vines.
Another impossibly romantic destination on the island is Mudbrick. It’s home to a sprawling vineyard, an exquisite cellar door, luxury cottages and of course, one of Auckland’s most romantic restaurants. Fine dining is at the heart of this menu, so expect exceptional flavours and textures presented as plated works of art. Of course, the real star of the show here is the wine, which is best enjoyed sitting al-fresco in Mudbrick’s courtyard, while watching the sunset over the picturesque rolling hills.
One of the most romantic inner city restaurants is none other than Ortolana. Smack-bang in the middle of Britomart, Ortolana is the perfect date spot for busy city bees looking to settle in for a night of post-work wining and dining. You’ll find an ever-changing selection of Italian inspired dishes on the menu here, all made from fresh produce from their very own Kumeu farm. Twinkling fairy lights, chic comfortable interiors, impossibly fresh food and a stellar wine selection—this place has got the casual romantic vibes down-pat.
The Sugar Club
Take your date game up to the next level—literally—and indulge in a night of fine dining above Auckland’s skyline at The Sugar Club. Whether you opt for a-la-carte or a degustation session, their ever changing, inventive and innovative menu will certainly woo your loved one. Each dish comes out plated to perfection, and boasts only the finest local and imported ingredients as crafted by celebrity chef Peter Gordon. Your taste buds aren’t the only things in for a treat here, as views sweep across all corners of Auckland city. With this backdrop, it’s no wonder this gem is perfect for celebrating milestones and even popping certain special questions.
Warm and cosy, The Grove is the perfect destination for a romantic dinner for two. As one of Auckland’s best fine dining establishments, your date will be dazzled by the top-quality calibre of the dishes. Taste your way through a myriad of textures and flavours, as you settle in for a ‘petit’ degustation of nine courses, or a twelve-course extravaganza. Oh, and we can’t forget about the wine—The Grove has you covered with a highly curated, comprehensive list.
Popular with Aucklanders for snazzy brunches, long lunches, date nights and everything in between, SPQR is undeniably one of the most romantic restaurants in Auckland. Live la dolce vita with your loved one, as you indulge in fresh seafood and grazing platters to start, then move on to fine Italian-inspired surf and turf style dishes as well as pizza and pasta for mains. This restaurant’s iconic Ponsonby-road facing terrace makes for the perfect al-fresco dining spot over summer. Come winter, you’ll want to grab your date and cosy up around the indoor fireplace—vino in hand of course.
Known for fabulous waterfront dwellings, freshly shucked oysters and flowing champagne, it’s no surprise that Soul is touted as one of Auckland’s most romantic restaurants. Take a seat overlooking the promenade and treat your special someone to course after course of top-notch cuisine. There’s freshly caught seafood, premium cuts of meat through to scrumptious desserts on the menu here. To top it all off, you’ll be treated to spectacular views of the sun going down over the viaduct basin.
After a stellar meal, why not up the ante with one of the most romantic things to do in Auckland after dark.
Image credit: Casita Miro, Feriza's, Mudbrick, The Grove