Wednesday, August 21, 2013


Auckland is a budding culinary scene, with new restaurants popping up all over the city and plenty of hidden away secret gems, it's the city that turned me into the foodie that I am.

Inspired by having spent the week back in my home city Auckland, discovering new restaurants that have sprouted up all over the city, and revisiting some of my all time favourites, I thought I would put together a list of must-eat restaurants for travellers visiting, or Aucklanders who haven't given these a go.

There will be restaurants that are missing on this list, and I'd love to hear about them! These are just what I consider to be my 9/10 - 10/10 restaurants in Auckland. Here goes (in no particular order):

Hidden away in the depths of Parnell is a top-tier restaurant in an old chocolate factory. Put on your best shirt as you'll often find yourself rubbing elbows with celebrities and those in the know - I've once sat back-to-back with Rob Fyfe.
Must try: the lamb and the duck liver parfait
Price range: $$$$
Address: 91 St Georges Bay Road, Parnell, Auckland

Widely touted as Auckland's best fine dining restaurant, the tasting menu at The French Cafe is definitely an experience for a very special occasion.
Price range: $$$$
Address: 210 Symonds Street, Auckland

I'd like to think I know a thing or two about Chinese food, since I am Chinese after all. Golden Jade is my family's most frequented Chinese restaurant, after years of experimenting at different Chinese restaurants. Be warned, it will be noisy like any other Chinese restaurant and the service will be completely rubbish, but I'm more than happy to sacrifice those for the best Chinese in Auckland.
Must try: salted egg prawns
Price range: $$-$$$
Address: 417 Manukau Road, Epsom, Auckland

Yes, Ponsonby Central isn't exactly one restaurant - but that's what so great about it. It's a collection of eateries, homeware, clothing and other random knick knack stores all under one old warehouse. It's a recent addition to the restaurant and culture scene of Auckland, and it is still adding new stores and eateries monthly.
Must try: Bread & Butter Bakery
Price range: $-$$$
Address: 136-138 Ponsonby Road, Ponsonby, Auckland

One of my favourite spots for a lazy special occasion Sunday. Take the ferry over to Waiheke and stay for an extended lunch with the most drinkable of wines from Cable Bay. The food is certainly comparable to the wines - and don't miss out on the dessert at the end either.
Must try: the lamb, the scallops, cheese plate
Price range: $$$$
Address: 12 Nick Johnstone Drive, Oneroa, Waiheke Island

This is my best kept secret - one that I only ever took my bestest friends to, because it was much too serene to share. Overlooking the water at Westhaven, Bill Fish Cafe is the perfect way to spend a sunny day gazing at yachts that you wish you could sail and nibbling on a delightful platter of fish and chips.
Must try: fish and chips
Price range: $$
Address: Z-Pier, 31 Westhaven Drive, Westhaven, Auckland


Easily the best Turkish/Middle Eastern cuisine in Auckland, just across the road from the bungy ball in the city. The intimate setting with Turkish lamps and the best hummus and dips makes it a fun first date restaurant. I've only ever gone there with the same friends, and we only ever get the set menu - you really can't go wrong with that combination.
Must try: set menu
Price range: $$-$$$
Address: 59 Victoria Street West, Auckland

Euro is an oldie but a goodie. It's not uncommon to rub elbows with bankers and accountants here out for a post-work celebration. A colleague of mine liked this place for its steaks so much that he would often order two for his main course.
Must try: the rotisserie chicken or any of the steaks
Price range: $$$$
Address: Shed 22, Princes Wharf, 147 Quay Street, Auckland

I'm a little bit biased here as one of my good friends from school worked here for years, and I got treated to still what I consider the best takeaway fish and chips I've ever had. It's a tiny little shop on the corner of Remuera Road and Upland Road, but they do the most delicious beer battered fries.
Must try: beer battered fries
Price range: $-$$
Address: 612 Remuera Road, Remuera, Auckland

A very popular spot for casual dining, attracting the masses even on a quiet Monday night. The oysters are delicious if you're into them, and the fish sliders are quite a crowd-pleaser to according to the waitstaff (although I can't say that I'm the biggest fan-girl of them).
Must try: oysters, roast chicken with cous cous
Price range: $$$
Address: 86 Federal Street, Auckland


This is one of my absolute favourite places to go after dinner for coffee and cake to catch up with friends. There is definitely a late-night coffee and cake culture missing in Sydney, and Frasers fills this gap perfectly whenever I'm in Auckland.
Must try: banoffee pie and chocolate mousse cake
Price range: $
Address: 434 Mt Eden Road, Mt Eden, Auckland

5 years ago, this was Auckland's best kept secret and it's no surprise as to why everyone has been sharing this sweet little spot with their friends and family since then. Perfect end to a morning walk in the weekend, the markets are packed with pastries, crepes, baked goods and coffee. You can also pick up fresh produce here too!
Must try: roll from the chorizo BBQ stall, freshly baked croissants, freshly squeezed juice
Price range: $-$$
Address: 69 St Georges Bay Road, Parnell, Auckland

This is my absolute favourite cheap eat in Auckland. Not only can you get yourself a great big meal for under $15, there are also a million food and drink options on the menu. Despite the huge selection, my default is always C13 - panfried chicken with lemongrass on vermicelli.
Must try: C13, taro and sticky rice with coconut cream
Price range: $
Address: 55 Nuffield Street, Newmarket (and branches in Glenfield, City, and Panmure)

You haven't had high tea, unless you've had this high tea. Previously known as the 1920s themed Prohibition, Brownstone is the second name change since I left 18 months ago. Despite its fickleness with its name, the high tea is still excellent, especially in the low light, plush chairs, prohibition-era setting.
Must try: high tea
Price range: $$$
Address: 108 Ponsonby Road, Ponsonby, Auckland


With a view overlooking St Heliers Bay (the far superior neighbour to Mission Bay), you would be a fool to sit inside the restaurant. Annabelle's has a very standard breakfast menu with all the items you'd expect to see, but they are known for their beef and lamb.
Must try: eggs benedict
Price range: $$-$$$
Address: 409 Tamaki Drive, St Heliers, Auckland

I think this is the best hand-made ice cream in all of Auckland. Better yet, you'll find it in this tiny little shop off the main strip. This is exactly what NZ ice cream is all about - definitely on par with Kapiti ice cream, if not, dare I say it, better. Pick up an ice cream and go for a stroll along the beach. Bliss.
Must try: butterscotch fudge
Price range: $
Address: 8 Maheke Street, St Heliers, Auckland

It's probably the most hyped restaurant in Auckland in the past 18 months since I've left. For good reason too. They've opened up the same chain in Sydney in Surry Hills, and having tried both I can say that it is definitely done better in Auckland than in Sydney. The fried chicken is fun, and the tacos are pretty damn tasty. Wash it down with some margaritas and that's considered a cheap and fun meal.
Must try: fried chicken
Price range: $$
Address: 23 Britomart Place, Britomart, Auckland

1 comment:

  1. Questa è la mia prima volta andare a vedere di qui e io sono veramente piacevole da leggere tutto in un unico posto.

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