Wherever you are in Auckland, you’re never far from breathtaking scenery, beautiful beaches, idyllic islands, boutique shopping and invigorating nightlife. One of Auckland’s true appeals is the world-class food that’s on offer – the city is overflowing with restaurants, café and bars, all waiting to be discovered. So the next time you’re looking for a bite to eat check out these hot spots.
Breakfast in Devonport
Devonport is the historical maritime village nestled on Auckland’s North Shore. You can take in Devonport’s unique heritage and spectacular views simply by strolling around the many beaches and admiring the colonial architecture. Devonport village boasts a wonderful range of cafes and restaurants that are easily accessible – the ferry trip from downtown Auckland takes a mere 10 minutes.
For a brilliant breakfast try the Stone Oven Bakery and Café – famous for its organic sourdoughs and other speciality products from its bakery. The cafe is a popular eatery – it offers a great big breakfast for hungry eaters and is a great place to sit down and have a coffee.
It’s open seven days a week from 6.30am-4.30am. Menu options include: Breakfast Bruschetta – freshly sliced tomato, basil and olive oil, served on Turkish flatbread with poached eggs and shaved parmesan, drizzled with balsamic reduction and a warm toasted bagel with Salmon, cream cheese, tomato and capers.
Vineyard lunch on Waiheke Island
Just a 35 minute ferry trip from downtown Auckland, picture perfect Waiheke Island makes for a great escape from the hustle of the city.
Boasting beautiful beaches, vineyards, restaurants, olive groves, farmland, forest and a regional park, something always seems to be happening on Waiheke. The island plays host to various weekend events such as the International Jazz Festival, the Wine and Food Festival and the Winter Blues Festival.
Whether you’re staying for the weekend or on a single day mission, it’s hard to pass up Cable Bay Vineyards if a vineyard lunch is what you’re after.
Set in beautiful surroundings, Cable Bay has an award winning restaurant and wine bar with an enviable reputation for great food and wine. Dine a la carte in the restaurant or enjoy a more relaxed experience in The Wine Bar, which serves small plates matched with Cable Bay and other fine wines.
Open from 12pm for lunch and 6pm for dinner. The lunch menu includes Seared Scallops with French style peas and Serrano ham and Roast Rump of Lamb with a warm aubergine salad, buffalo yoghurt and bulghur wheat.
Dinner in Ponsonby
Located just two km west of the Auckland’s CBD, Ponsonby is now a quirky suburb renowned for its dining and shopping establishments. It’s home to many restaurants, cafes, art galleries, up-market shops and nightclubs.
One of Ponsonby’s best kept secret is Cocoro. This Japanese restaurant is located on a quiet side street off the busy Ponsonby Road, in an old brick building. It recently won the Best Specialist Restaurant in the Cuisine magazine NZ Restaurant of the Year 2011 awards. The food is a mix of traditional Japanese dishes combined with a more contemporary approach. All dishes use the best Japanese ingredients and are presented with a high class attention to detail.
Open Tuesday–Saturday 12-2pm for lunch and 5.30pm-10pm for dinner. Menu options include the slow cooked ‘Kakuni’ free range pork belly, crispy prawn tempura and fresh sashimi.
Dessert and drinks in Parnell
New Zealand’s oldest suburb is famed for its galleries, cafés, restaurants and charming boutique-style stores. Enjoy the special unhurried village character of Parnell’s shopping centre and become enthralled in the suburb lifestyle. Wander a little further to explore Parnell’s beautiful parks and remarkable historic buildings.
But be sure to visit Cibo, where most guests end their meal with a cocktail or a tempting delight – the famous Cibo Chocolate Brownie. Open for lunch Monday through Friday and dinner Monday through Saturday, this establishment has consistently proven itself to be one of Auckland’s top restaurants.
Other mouth-watering desserts include Banoffee Pie, with glazed banana cream, toffee banana, condensed milk ice-cream, almond praline, chocolate crumble and Gold Rush, with warm fry-pan brownie, hokey pokey, vanilla bean ice-cream.
Best of the rest
Cru Restaurant at Sale Street – Cru provides some of Auckland’s most innovative and contemporary NZ-French cuisine. www.sale-st.co.nz
Clooney – is Auckland’s fine dining experience – beautiful food with exceptional service: www.clooney.co.nz
Soul bar and Bistro – a perfect place to enjoy a delicious lunch overlooking the Viaduct Harbour: www.soulbar.co.nz
Besos Latinos – offering a selection of dishes from across Latin America this restaurant has become one of Auckland’s favourties: www.besoslatinos.com