Food and Drink

The Best Restaurants in Auckland Right Now

From an Asian cuisine boom to fresh seafood, here are the best restaurants to try in Auckland.

best restaurants auckland

When you think of a dining destination, Auckland is low on the list, but we’re here to tell you it should be at the top of your list. Over the years, Auckland has amped up its food scene, introducing a migration of Asian cuisines, which is currently sweeping the city. Although, if you wander the streets and duck into alleys, you will find everything from Italian to North American.

Finding the best restaurants is an adventure in itself. Some are hidden in shopping malls, and others are disguised as warehouses. There’s even a list of 100 iconic places, which Aucklanders vote for every year. You can check out the list here. 

With that said, the next time you’re in Auckland, skip the hotel buffet for one of the best restaurants in Auckland. 

best restaurants auckland

Hello Beasty

CBD
Auckland is experiencing a huge wave of immigration, and Asia is at the forefront. This has introduced late-night dumpling joints next to high-end degustations. Hello Beasty is a small, neon-lit modern fusion restaurant bringing a taste of Japan, Korea, and China. The menu is laid back and focuses on indulging. There are snacks such as Sichuan tuna tartare on a nori cracker and big plates for sharing. If you eat only one thing, it has to be the prawn toast—it’s legendary and our favourite. This work of art starts with a slice of crispy deep-fried bread smothered with prawn and crab mousse. On top are slices of wagyu drizzled with a sweet and sour sauce. Although, if you’re looking for other suggestions, the wagyu beef and mushroom potstickers are heaven, swimming in chilli oil. The Korean Fried Cauliflower is also a crowd-pleaser.

best restaurants auckland

Kingi

CBD
Sitting beside the green thumb Hotel Britomart, the Kingi celebrates sustainable seafood. The entire menu is dependent on the seafood that comes in for that week, but on any occasion, the menu is packed with beautiful local produce. The restaurant is hidden in a laneway, surrounded by exposed brick walls, and in the cooler weather, standing heaters keep the atmosphere cosy. A menu highlight would definitely be the cod wings. They’re different, and a must-have especially dipped in the burnt lime ranch. The wine list is extensive and a good place to start. 

best restaurants auckland

Inca

Newmarket and Ponsonby
Chef Nic Watt draws on South American street food and East Asian cuisine at Inca. You would expect this food in an upscale restaurant, but in reality, Inca is located in a giant shopping centre. The top floor is occupied by restaurants, including Inca, which is ideal for everything from a quick bite to meeting friends for dinner. The tacos and tostadas are hand-pressed corn masa and topped with tempura prawn, pork cheek, and the crowd-pleasing spicy tuna. The menu is split into sections: sashimi, ceviche, tempura, BBQ, sides, and salads. Don’t forget to give the drinks menu a look, you will find cocktails, wines and beer. 

best restaurants auckland

Deli de Bossi

CBD
Venture down a narrow lane on Commerce Street to find this little slice of Italy. Deli de Bossi is relatively new and exactly what Auckland needs. For breakfast, pick up an espresso, mortadella and mozzarella toasted sandwich or fresh pastries. There’s also calzone, salads and sweet treats from midday. The idea is to take away, although there are a few seats in a modern urban space with high ceilings and exposed brick walls. The fridges accessible to diners are filled with Italian cheeses, cured meats, and more to take home.

best restaurants auckland

Miann

Britomart
If you find yourself in Britomart, slip into Miann—you won’t regret it. Miann is a cafe filled with locals getting a coffee fix in the morning, but patrons satisfy their sweet tooth with delectable desserts in the late hours of the night. The moment you walk in, a glass case filled with glistening desserts invites you in. Although choosing just one treat is near impossible. There’s a tasting platter with four or five desserts from the case, which allows you to try a range of their addicting sweets. They are also the first patisserie in the Asia Pacific to have its own bespoke blended Valhorna hot chocolate, which is exclusive to the store.

best restaurants auckland

Parade

Ponsonby
Whether you’re shopping in Ponsonby or making the trip out for its epic food offerings, be sure to stop by Parade and bite into a pretzel burger. The American-inspired dining experience focuses on soft stuffed pretzels and burger buns made from pretzels. Yes, it’s a thing. Apart from being Instagram-worthy, the burgers are delicious. Some are filled with smashed beef patties, others with Southern Fried Chicken and a vegetarian option. You can get extras on the side, including salt and pepper shrimp, triple-cooked spuds, and loaded fries. Grab a seat outside if the weather’s nice, and enjoy the atmosphere.

best restaurants auckland

Ahi

CBD
Ask any local where to eat, and they will always recommend Ahi. From seafood to locally caught game, Ahi celebrates all things New Zealand, including wine. A set menu is recommended, but if you don’t have nine or more people, explore the a la carte menu. For snacks, the wallaby tartare is great, but the ahi scampi corn dog is legendary and comes with a burger sauce. The starters include a miso BBQ’d octopus and clam chowder and for mains, try the buffalo rib eye from Marlborough. If you still can’t decide, opt-in for the four snacks and four-course menu, which costs $165 per person, and the chef chooses the dishes.

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Food and Drink

Red Rooster Is Serving Free Chicken and Piping Hot Cash This Christmas in July

Get your early dose of festive cheer.

Red Rooster Christmas in July
Instagram / @redrooster_au

The cold weather in most parts of Australia coinciding with EOFY celebrations is the closest thing that we’ll get to snowy Christmas vibes. And if you’re in dire need of some festive cheer after the first six months of 2023, grab your ugly sweater and head to your nearest Red Rooster for Xmas in July deals.

From June 29 – July 31, 2023, Red Rooster is serving up free food items, a chance to win $10,000 or one of 10 merch packs valued at $400 and other fun prizes. All you have to do is sign up as a Red Royalty member and spend $5 on at a location near you or online.

Each week there’ll be new delicious deals and prizes to win. The week one deals have already dropped and they’re looking pretty tasty. You can get access to them via your Red Royalty account. The more you purchase, the more chances you have to win.

Spoiler alert: you can get 10 chicken nuggets for free, right now. Brb running to Red Rooster.

Terms and conditions apply. Visit Red Rooster’s Christmas in July to see all the deals.

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