Taste of Auckland is an annual highlight for the Super City because it means the warmer weather is upon us and we get to spend hours indulging in all of the very best our food and drink scene has to offer. The feature-packed festival turns the beautiful Queen’s Wharf into a foodie paradise—expect signature dishes from top restaurants, live music, appearances from leading chefs and plenty of wine, spirits and craft beers to keep you hydrated.
The festival runs over four days from Thursday 31 October until Sunday 3 November and there are afternoon and evening sessions so plenty of opportunities to head along. If you want a sneak peak into what’s on offer, keep on reading because we've got everything here you don't want to miss.
Signature Dishes From Auckland’s Top Restaurants
Of course Taste of Auckland is all about the food and we are spoilt with some of the city’s finest eateries making an appearance. This year there are 13 restaurants on show which is the biggest line up yet. Each restaurant has a full kitchen set up on the wharf, where you can enjoy the sights and smells and of course dig into their ultra-tasty creations.
New to the festival this year, Nanam is all about bold and rich Filipino cuisine. You’ll smell the delicious flavours before you see them, top tip is to go straight for the signature beetroot steamed bun with sticky pork belly, crispy shallots and pickles—you won't regret it.
The Maori Kitchen
For a contemporary take on Maori cuisine, be sure to check out The Maori Kitchen. Trained chef and hangi master Rewi Spraggon and award-winning Ganesh Raj will create unique and seriously tasty dishes for you, including pulled hangi pork in coconut and horopito dressing.
In such a glorious waterfront setting it would only be appropriate to have some deliciously fresh oysters on hand and who better to provide the goods that The Shucker Brothers. Bringing their locally sourced, ocean-fresh oysters to the party you will be in heaven when served up your shucked to order morsels of delight.
A Herne Bay favourite and experts in all things Italian, Andiamo will be bringing their fresh and modern take on traditional Italian food to Taste of Auckland. Showcasing sensational home-made pastas and the finest cuts of fresh fish and meat, they are sure to be a favourite on the day.
Aucklander’s go particularly crazy for fried chicken and good news for all—Lowbrow are the ultimate fried food masters and will be making an appearance at this year's festival. Their focus on short order food and organic, free range fried chicken makes them a real stand out. Be sure to get a taste of their fresh and seasonal take on contemporary fast food, you won't be disappointed.
After wowing the crowds last year and winning Best in Taste for 2018, XOONG is back for 2019. Serving up mouth-watering and bold flavours of Asia, Executive Chef Cameron Knox’s menu will definitely impress. If you are a fan of contrasting and punchy flavour combinations, you know where to head.
New to the festival for 2019 is Epicer, the modern Indian restaurant that has recently arrived on Ponsonby’s scene and made a big impression. Michelin-starred chef, Manjunath Mural has created a menu full of colour, a little spice and a whole lot of flavour. You are sure to smell it before you see it—we can taste the curry soaked naan already.
Need more foodie goodness? Check out the full line up of restaurants attending here.
Get Up Close and Personal With Marco Pierre White
Dubbed the godfather of modern cooking, Marco Pierre White will be making a special guest appearance at this year's festival. Navigating his way around the Wharf you will spot him judging the Best in Taste Awards and making daily appearances at different stands. Be sure to bring your favourite book by the witty British chef for signings at selected sessions which can be found here.
Sip On Some Gin
Homegrown artisanal purveyors of fine gin, Blush Gin and 1919 Distilling will have two, count 'em, two pop ups at the festival. Kiwis will be given the opportunity to sample their delicious liquid and meet the creative minds behind both 1919 and Blush in an immersive experience. This once-in-a-lifetime pop up will be located Harbourside of the cloud giving you panoramic ocean views while you sip on 'gram worthy cocktails and watch the sunset in an experience not to be missed.
Attend The Four-Course Charity Dinner
The festival will be holding an exclusive dinner event raising money for Make-A-Wish Foundation. With an exceptional four-course dinner created by Marco Pierre White, his executive chef Andrew Bennett and leading local chefs Josh Emmett and Gareth Stewart you will be in the best hands when it comes to a culinary experience. This special one-off event will include a charity auction and the fast-selling tables need to be booked in advance.
Yes, there is so much to love about Taste of Auckland, but for the ultimate experience, why not splash out and go as a VIP? These coveted tickets will give you exclusive access to the elevated waterfront Platinum Lounge with stunning views of the Waitemata Harbour and a glass of No. 1 Family Estate Premium Cuvee on arrival. Also exclusive to VIP ticket holders is the Curiosity Botanical Experience, a masterclass in all things gin.
Sample All The Wines
Taste of Auckland is the place to whet your palate with 20 of New Zealand's top wineries attending the festival. Make sure you purchase one of the glasses on arrival and sip your way around the festival.
Try And Buy Amazing Artisan Food
Taste of Auckland is a great place to not only sample delicious produce but also purchase from more than 80 Artisan producers of beautifully crafted fine food, wine, spirits and craft brews. You'll find the latest and greatest, including Forty Thieves all-natural nut butter, Olive Black’s aromatic olive oils and The Baron’s ethically-sourced and naturally harvested premium snacks. For the full line-up of exciting attendees click here.
Check Out The Speakeasy
Head over to 9K International’s Speakeasy Whisky Lounge where you can get amongst timeless cocktails and soak up the classy atmosphere.