Whether they're honey glazed, rubbed in spices or extra saucy—you simply cannot beat a plate of sizzling hot ribs. Even those with the finest dining etiquette have difficulty eating these in style because no matter how hard you resist, you have to get your hands dirty. That’s why we take a more ‘go hard or go home’ approach eating them. We’ve rounded up where to find the best ribs in Auckland, just be prepared to get messy.
Deep Creek Brews & Eats
This Browns Bay hub does not fool around when it comes to a classic rack of BBQ pork ribs. Deep Creek Brews & Eats is renowned for their confit pork ribs as they are no doubt, some of the sauciest ribs in town. The juicy, succulent pork passes the point of being just glazed as it’s drenched in a Jack Daniels sauce. The pork is rich while the marinade is thick and sticky and, to make it even better, the rack of ribs lie on top of a bed of chunky potato fries. Ketchup is unnecessary at Deep Creek as there’s enough Jack Daniels sauce to dip your fries into as well. Don’t bother taking a napkin break, embrace the dirtiness and get amongst the saucy experience in full force.
Just by the name of this restaurant, you already know that their BBQ ribs game is one of the strongest in this city. Morepork BBQ offers both pork and lamb and there really is no reason why you shouldn’t opt for both. The sampler platter lets you choose up to four types of meat, two bread rolls, pickled vegetables and three sides. Morepork BBQ’s ribs are tender and smoky and their side dishes are just as good. We suggest you go for the macaroni salad, coleslaw and tater tots for an American feast which will make you feel like you’re dining in Texas.
Slow-cooked, tender meat that melts in your mouth is a good way to explain Bluestone Room’s smoky BBQ baby back ribs. The juicy meat falls off the bone with ease and sauce gets everyone licking their fingers to get every last bit because it is too good to let it go to waste. Bluestone Room doesn’t just stop with ribs—they serve the meat with crunchy potato cakes and coleslaw doused in creamy mayonnaise. Pro tip, pull the meat off the bone, put it on top with of the crispy potatoes and drench it in the mayonnaise and thank us later.
If you want some ribs but not too keen on getting dirty, hit up Depot on Federal Street. Depot likes to alter their menu depending on the seasonal availability of their ingredients but the lamb ribs are a staple crowd favourite. They may be small but do not be fooled as they are packed with flavour. They're coated with cumin seasoning and the dish becomes full circle with the side of potato puree drizzled with spicy paprika oil.
This Italian restaurant is capable of more than just cooking up fresh, handmade pasta. Cotto’s lamb ribs may not be the sauciest of all but they don't fall short in flavour. Cooked to perfection and lying on top of a pool of a semi-sweet and sour honey balsamic, the lamb ribs at Cotto are a one of a kind. To make up for the lack of sticky glaze and sauce, the ribs are cooked to be juicy and moist enough on their own. The dish is finished off with a sprinkle of cumin seasoning which contrasts the sweetness of the honey balsamic sauce.
Miss Moonshines is basically a paradise for carnivores as they know how to work their magic with meat. From beef briskets, pulled pork, chicken legs and of course their signature beef and lamb ribs they are a meaty delight. Their beef ribs are smoked for as long as eight hours to ensure maximum tenderness and go down a treat with their hangi kumara. The lamb ribs spend a good four hours in the smoker to have them falling off the bone without any struggles. Pair with their mash and bacon gravy—it's a match made in heaven. Go all out and add some cornbread to the order for a true Southern-style feast.
Lucky Buddha put their own twist to the classic BBQ sauce by replacing it with a sweet and sour black vinegar caramel which no other restaurant can replicate. The lamb ribs are freshened with a squeeze of lime and topped with a sprinkle of toasted peanuts for some crunch and nutty aroma. Lucky Buddha also does a killer eggplant dish with melted parmesan cheese which, we can assure you that is a banger.
Want more meaty goodness? Here's where to find Auckland's Best Pork Belly Everything
Image Credit: Miss Moonshines