Is Auckland the new gourmet haven for foodaholics? I have to say Auckland I’m so impressed, this is one of the first places I have travelled to where each and every meal was jaw-dropping delicious!
We recently spent two days eating our way around this great city and were blown away and I must admit a little surprised by not only the variety of restaurants but the abundance of good quality food which ranged from handmade saffron & potato tortellini and Asian fused street food to crazy ice cream bars which all had soul and atmosphere.
There are so many restaurants within the new up and coming Wynyard Quarter and Viaduct Harbour precinct that you are spoilt for choice but it’s so hard to choose which restaurant to try first. Here’s my eating out in Auckland Guide to help you on your way to gourmet heaven.
White & Wongs
Asian Fusion which is possibly better than any other Asian restaurant I have ever eaten at… BIG call I know for a dim sum dumpling lover but White & Wongs really makes you say oh yum after each and every bite.
With flavours of Asian street food mixed in with anything mouth-watering good, White & Wongs “eclectic” menu will make you want to go back time and time again. After having dinner one night we went straight back for lunch the next day!
The restaurant works under a share plate philosophy which is a perfect excuse to try a little bit of everything. Of course, you can order your own dish but just be aware that meals aren’t served in the traditional entrée, main and dessert order so your main may come before or after your friend’s entrée.
The front of the restaurant doesn’t do the inside justice, we walked past a couple of times and then thought oh well the reviews are good let’s just go in – so glad we did, this is possibly better than any other Asian restaurant I have ever eaten at!
The inside offers private rooms for groups, a bar and colourful seating inside or out overlooking the Viaduct harbour. If you sit outdoors and it gets chilly the outdoor heaters and retractable roof will warm you right up!
I do have to warn you though at 12pm each day the Maritime Museum fires a cannon in the marina which scares the daylights out of you if you’re sitting on the veranda!
We ordered and highly recommend:
♡ Prawn & coriander crystal skin dumplings
♡ Pork & Spanner Crab Xiao Lon Bao
♡ Roast Pork Belly Bao with red onions & peanut salad
♡ Korean Fried Chicken Bao with pickled cumber, slaw & Sesame seeds
♡ Crispy Fried Chicken with sticky chilli sauce – this is really really yummy!
♡ Chicken, Prawn or Fried Tofu Pad Thai Noodles – highly recommend
♡ Deep-Fried Ice Cream with Butterscotch Sauce
Good to Know
♡ Don’t forget to purchase the White & Wongs Cookbook as a souvenir.
♡ This way once you get home and you’re still craving a bowl of that delicious Pad Thai you can make it yourself!
♡ White & Wongs can also be found in Queenstown and Newmarket New Zealand
Location: 149 Quay Street, Viaduct Harbour, Auckland
Food: Asian Fusion (Various Asian Cuisines)
Price Range: $$
Ready to Eat out in Auckland? Visit White & Wongs
Did someone say handmade meatballs? Oh yes, yes they did and they were “assolutamente delizioso” (said with an Italian accent!) Swanky, authentic and sophisticated in a casual Italian family kind of way. Here you can wear your jeans or wack on your glad rags and feel comfortable and welcome.
Baduzzi is a restaurant that not only has food that tastes and looks good but they also have a great selection of Italian wines, possibly the best tiramisu I have ever eaten, first-class service and loads of atmosphere.
At first glance of the menu we were a little unsure as to what some things were. For example, the spaghetti cacio & pepe – turns out it is spaghetti with cheese and pepper… ha-ha seriously yum though. The staff are there to help and are more than happy to translate the menu for you.
Every dish we ate was so good, we would definitely order them all again despite the prawns being $12.50 each.
We ordered and shared:
♡ Wood-fired king prawns with pancetta & gremolata
♡ Mamma D’s “East Coast” beef meatballs with smoked melanzane (you get three meatballs per serve, we asked for four so there would be no arguing about who would get the last meatball)
♡ Saffron & potato tortellini with goats curd, brown butter, almonds & fig confit – talk about melt in your mouth
♡ Spaghetti cacio & pepe
♡ Tiramisu with Baileys & amaretto
Needless to say, we both loved Baduzzi and wish there was one a little closer to home!
Location: Wynyard Quarter (10 – 26 Corner Jellicoe Street, North Wharf Auckland
Food: Italian Inspired
Price Range: $$$ – $$$$
Ready to Eat out in Auckland? Visit Baduzzi
Is Giapo Willy Wonka’s Ice Cream Shop? Well, it could be as the only way to describe Giapo’s creations is crazy crazy Ice cream art that is mmm-mmm-Mmmmm delicious.
Seriously where else can you buy finger puppet ice creams, ice cream cones with an Instagram photo frame stuck to the side, a pair of lips or a colossal squid?
This obviously is not just your everyday ice cream shop, it’s a sensory experience that you really have to try at least once in your life.
This was the best $34.50 NZD we have ever spent on two double scooped ice creams, and yes we would do it all again.
What to expect:
Firstly, your host will tell you about Giapo and explain all of the ice cream and cone options available.
Secondly, you’ll get to sample each flavour before ordering whatever fantastical creation you come up with.
Thirdly, this is the best part….. YOU EAT IT!
We ordered the Incredible:
♡ Raspberry Cone with Hokey Pokey and Peanut Butter Ice Cream and the
♡ Waffle Cone with Coconut Cookie and Strawberry’s and Cream Ice Cream
Good to Know
♡ Keep your cash in your wallet as Giapo only accepts card payments
♡ Arrive about 15 to 20 minutes before opening so you don’t have to line up
♡ Ask for a tray to put under your ice cream cone, when your ½ way through it and need a break you’ll understand what I mean
Location: 12 Gore St, Auckland, New Zealand (CBD)
Price Range: $$
Ready to Eat out in Auckland? Visit Giapo
Dr Rudi’s Roof Top Brewing Co.
Imagine eating the crispiest parmesan polenta sticks with rosemary, chilli, sea salt and horseradish dressing and drinking an onsite brewed Dr Rudi’s beer while overlooking the spectacular Viaduct Harbour… well, this is exactly what we got when we visited Dr Rudi’s.
Located on the rooftop (level 2) Dr Rudi’s is more than just a brewery with a couple of bowling lanes out the back (that may I say you can use at no cost), it is a place where you can kick back and enjoy good quality food and a couple of fine beverages while soaking up Auckland’s atmosphere.
The good news is that Dr Rudi’s is open for breakfast, lunch, dinner and late-night snacks!
For lunch we ordered and totally recommend the:
♡ Crispy parmesan polenta sticks with rosemary, chilli, sea salt and horseradish dressing
♡ 1-foot Goats cheese and caramelised onion pizza (which can be ordered in 1,2 or 3 feet)
♡ Free ranged fried chilli chicken with coriander, spring onions, peanuts, Japanese mayo and sriracha sauce – this one was pretty dam spicy!
♡ Dr Rudi’s Pilsiner
Good to Know
Pre-book if you can as Dr Rudi’s is very popular
For uninterrupted harbour and marina views ask for a table right at the front of the deck overlooking all the action
Location: Level, 204 Quay St, Viaduct Harbour, Auckland, New Zealand (at the top of the escalator turn right)
Food: Onsite brewery taking pub food up a notch
Price Range: $$
Ready to Eat out in Auckland? Visit Dr Rudi’s
Odettes is located in a peculiar yet popular spot at the city works depot. Walking towards Odette’s I instantly thought of an old American drive-in or diner with the big ODETTE’S sign sitting on top of the roof, the outdoor area within a carpark area and people queuing up to get in – this was nothing short of fabulous and totally unexpected.
Walking inside the décor was beautiful and the atmosphere relaxed. Sitting up to the bar we were able to see all the meals coming out and watch all of the coffee’s, cocktails, homemade sodas and juices being freshly made – the bloody mary was a very popular choice of drink on the day we were there, there would have been at least 10 made just by the time we took the first sip of our coffee!
We made it on time for brunch and ordered the:
♡ Vanilla Waffles that came with hazelnut cremeux, pistachios, strawberries and coconut ice-cream.
Location: Shed 5, City Works Depot (90 Wellesley St, Auckland, New Zealand)
Food: Variety of choices with a Mediterranean flair
Price Range: $$
Ready to Eat out in Auckland? Visit Odettes Eatery
If you are looking for a kick start to your morning, then I highly suggest stopping by Williams eatery and ordering the Avocado Toast with chilli and chimichurri on kumara sourdough and why not add a poached egg and wash it all down with a cup of Flight coffee (brewed by a New Zealand owned family business). The avo toast was tingly hot but not over the top just enough to think wow bam that’s chilli – yum!
Williams Eatery is snuggled towards the back end of the Wynyard Quarter and is a family-owned business that is dedicated to sustainability and serving great food.
I ordered the avo toast and Aron ordered the poached eggs on kumara sourdough, his was delicious but didn’t look as impressive as mine so we went halves.
The staff are very friendly, so friendly actually that I said to Aron as we walked out geez was it just me or were they really really friendly. You have the option to sit inside or outside where you can enjoy the trendy space which has an industrial yet somewhat Scandi feel to it.
Williams Eatery serves up local, organic and free-range food for breakfast, brunch and lunch which can be enjoyed with organic wines, craft beers, speciality coffee and cocktails.
Location: Wynyard Quarter (85 Daldy St, Auckland, New Zealand)
Price Range: $$
Ready to Eat out in Auckland? Visit Williams Eatery
M Social Bar
Located across the road from Princess Wharf and just inside the foyer of the trendy M Social hotel is the Beast & Butterflies Bar. Here you can sit on the comfy couch or at the bar and order from the all-day bar menu.
This was a great place to sit while we waited for our room at M Social to be ready.
With local Emerson Beer and Guinness on tap accompanied with pork and prawn dumplings, we were more than happy to sit back and people watch.
The Beast & Butterflies Bar is also a great place to get your morning caffeine fix! But if you want some a little more substantial the Beast & Butterflies also has a casual dining room with an outdoor terrace which is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
For all you chocoholics out there DO NOT leave New Zealand without tasting Whittaker’s chocolate.
I have become a total fan of Whittaker’s chocolate and even super impressed by the wrapping paper, as you open the thick foil-like wrapping you know the bar of chocolate is going to be nothing less than quality deliciousness!
Now to impress you even more – not only is all of the chocolate made in New Zealand but the company has been owned and operated by the Whittaker family since 1896.
Unfortunately, there isn’t a chocolate factory tour you can take but Whittaker’s is available in just about every convenience store or supermarket – they even export to many countries around the world.
Whittaker’s make so many different flavours and chocolate varieties. All of the ones we tasted were yum but my favourite was the Limited-Edition Honey Bubble Crunch. It was just like eating rice bubbles with nougat and honey – yum!
Make sure you try:
♡ Fruit and Nut
♡ Peanut Butter
♡ Almond Gold
♡ Hokey Pokey
Location: Convenience stores or Supermarkets within New Zealand
Price Range: $
Ready to Eat out in Auckland? Visit Whittaker’s
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Thoughts, opinions and photos shared about Eating out In Auckland are entirely my own.