If you’re in Auckland (or heading down there soon) then this one is for you. As regulars in the City of Sails, we know just where to go for good grub so we’ve put together a few of our favourites to get you started.
Tucked away near the civic centre is the quaint Remedy Café. Head here for the best coffee in the city, crafted with precision and care. This little hole in the wall is like no other in Auckland, with books and board games available for use while you relax with your beverage. They also offer a selection of pastries and light breakfast or lunch items. I highly recommend the avocado, chorizo and feta on toast. My favourite!
Breakfast of Champions
If you’re looking for a full spread to set you up for a big day, then the best you can get is at the Langham hotel. The extensive spread laid out at the buffet is more than you could ever wish for, and includes a large selection of proteins so you can go-go-go. Hotel breakfasts are never cheap, but this one is actually worth it.
If you’re feeling peckish and in search of something light to snack on, then head to … and try out the food from the street vendors. Auckland has a large Asian community, so experimenting with the cuisine is hardly a risk. Try a selection of Korean buns; made fresh on the spot with a filling of chicken or pork for less than $10. Winner!
Ice Cream is Art
If you’re an ice cream lover, then Giapo is an absolute must. Now it’s not easy on the wallet; your scoop can set you back anything between $8 and $24. But wait until you see it! They have around 8 gourmet flavours, there is no vanilla and no chocolate. Each individual ice cream is a masterpiece, decorated by hand with anything from gold-dusted hazelnuts to blow-torched meringue. The queue can often be out the door, but no ice cream has ever been more Instagram-worthy.
Like a Local
If you’ve never tried a blue-lipped mussel from New Zealand, you’ve been missing out. Head to the Occidental (a Belgian Beer Café) to get your fill. You can choose a portion size, the cooking technique and the accompanying sauce. Add to that the selection of beers and the lively atmosphere and you’ll see why it’s a locals’ favourite.
The Lions’ Share
If you’re a meat lover, then nothing beats a churrascaria; better known as a Brazilian BBQ. Wildfire has all you can eat meat for a set price, the different cuts and styles coming to your table in a continuous flow of goodness. There is an extensive self-service salad bar so you can choose your sides and fill your boots with a meal bigger than the most ferocious appetite. Add a bottle of New Zealand’s fine wine and you’re all set.
For Big Groups
We all know that eating in large groups is a bit of a challenge. You usually have to make reservations in advance and not all restaurants can cope well with a busy table, especially if you add a bit of raucous spirit into the mix. Enter Elliott Stables. This is one of Auckland’s busiest dining spots, and with good reason. It’s a bit of a food-court setup, in the sense that tables fill the centre and there are restaurant options all around. It’s perfect for large groups because everyone can order what they want, from where they want, and from there on its table service. Think Japanese, tapas, burgers, Italian; literally something for everyone. Its open for breakfast, lunch and dinner and although reservations aren’t required, it might be best to ensure a table large enough is available at your preferred time.
The Best Pub in Town
Down by the harbour is a no-frills Irish pub which becomes the life of the party no matter the day of the week. Danny Doolans starts off chilled, picking up the pace as the evening wears on; this is the final stop for the city’s good-timers. You can expect a relaxed crowd; no dress code or fancy pants required. The live band plays a brilliant collection of varied music 7 nights a week and it’s not uncommon for all the patrons to break into song when a classic comes on.
On a quiet side street stands one of Auckland’s most revered food vendors; the famous White Lady. This is the most sought-after midnight munchies burger in the city. Choose from the menu, take a seat on a bench while it’s freshly prepared, and then sit in silence as you savour the flavour. Open until around 5am most days (or nights, as the case may be).
Got any other favourite food spots in downtown Auckland? Let our readers know by adding it in the Comments section.