The 8 Best Restaurants
A combination of expats, wanderers, and second generation families have paved the way for the different heritages, cultures and flavours that make Auckland New Zealand’s most cosmopolitan city.
The city’’s subtropical climate, pristine waters and fertile farmland ensure fresh ingredients no matter the meal in question.
Plus, us Kiwis are lucky to be gifted with a natural beauty that sets the tone for an unrivalled dining experience (food may never taste so good as it does when backdropped by the view from atop the Sky Tower).
My favourite thing about dining in Auckland is the sheer variety of options and a quality that’s never sacrificed. Savour for yourself: these are my favourite places to eat.
Blue Breeze Inn
This Asian-fusion eatery sits in the heart of Auckland’s trendy Ponsonby Central, an outdoor strip lined with chic boutiques and gourmet dining.
Sample flavours inspired by China from a menu that sees plates both small are large: from dumplings, wontons and steamed buns to Chinese roasted duck and ground wild boar.
Once satiated, opt to check out their premier rum and cocktail bar, The Rum Jungle, for an island-inspired libation.
Awarded as Auckland’s best fine dining establishment in dining in 2017, head to Sidart for over-the-top food that doubles as works of art (have you ever had your meal served on a bed of rocks?) and a panorama of the skyline to match.
Despite its acclaim, the experience remains relaxed. If I absolutely had to choose, I’d pick here as my favourite spot!
The Sugar Club
The Sugar Club also offers lovely fine dining with a view from its location perched atop Auckland’s famous Sky Tower.
Its kitchen headed by Chef Peter Gordon, who’s been named by some “the ‘Godfather’ of fusion cuisine”, crafts both an à la carte and tasting menu for lunch and dinner.
Keeping up with the times, vegan and vegetarian menus are available upon request, so veggie-lovers don’t have to miss out.
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Everything on Ima Cuisine’s Mediterranean menu is home-made from scratch: from their breakfast selection right up to dinner.
Be sure not to miss their weekend brunch that sees specialties such as the Malawach: a Yemenite dish that consists of a puff pastry pancake, free-range eggs, grated tomato, creme fraiche and green chilli sauce.
For dinner, opt for a mezze of small plates and salads or choose from the market catch of the day, Lebanese lamb shoulder, fried halloumi and more equally enticing options.
Dine on fantastic seafood and Kiwi fare at Amano, a sleek spot housed in an old warehouse with exposed beam ceilings and concrete walls. Take in the waterfront view while you feast on regional catches like Te Matuku Bay Pacific oysters or Chargrilled kahawai.
Vegetarians will drool over their Italian dishes or their selection of anything-but-boring veggie plates. Amano also bears an onsite bakery with French croissants to nosh for breakfast or a slice of pizza for a quick lunch.
The French Café
This is high-end dining at its best, and it’s not just me who thinks so; this is one of Auckland’s most award-winning restaurants and was recently named by TripAdvisor as one of the ten best restaurants in the world.
The French Café take a holistic approach when it comes to offering an unforgettable experience, focusing not only on top-notch food but also impeccable service and an inviting atmosphere.
Drop by MASU for Japanese food cooked robata-style: local fish and meat perfectly flamed over a charcoal grill.
A buzzing yet casual atmosphere, complemented by a refined yet understated decor, allows you to relish in the mouth-watering flavours cooked up by Chef Nic Watt (who at one time worked at the Park Hyatt Tokyo’s famous New York Grill) and his team.
Down the road from Masu is Depot: a laidback eatery with a focus on New Zealand caught oysters. Slurp back salty mollusks or tuck into a plate of their famous ‘Skirt steak’ in a hip and cozy setting.
Note that they don’t take reservations here, but their tables tend to turn over quickly. You can also pop by for a bite in the morning and indulge in warm beignets and a Havana coffee.