Explore the best of Auckland's food & wine

New Zealand's biggest city has a huge reputation for exceptional restaurants, bars and cellar doors. Auckland is simmering with culinary creativity that stems from its many cultures. Here's a quick guide to some of the best.

For Auckland's latest and most much-loved dishes, dive into Iconic Eats 2024 to see and find the most recent iconic eats in Auckland as nominated by the public at the end of 2023.

Discover some of the best restaurants in Auckland

While you're exploring Auckland, check out these perennial favourites:

  • Ahi represents the New Zealand's food story within a bustling, sophisticated environment at Commercial Bay, in central Auckland. Overlooking Auckland's waterfront, the menu changes according to season and pays particular attention to indigenous ingredients.
  • Kingi, located in the Britomart Hotel, celebrates seafood. Local, sustainably caught seafood that tastes like the ocean it came from. Savour the terroir of New Zealand's oceans, dunes, river mouths and reefs, and enjoy a good glass of wine.
  • Esther brings the authentic tases of the Mediterranean's sun-soaked shores -inspired by travels chasing the sun, renowned head chef Sean Connolly uses home-grown ingredients to share flavours that transcend Sicily to Southern France.  Esther is in the QT Hotel on Viaduct Harbour Avenue.

This list of the best Auckland restaurants is just the tip of the iceberg. Other visit worthy establishments are covered under the location headings below.

Eat at Auckland's newest lifestyle precinct: Commercial Bay

Nestled in the city's vibrant heart, this lifestyle hotspot bursts with a dazzling array of dining experiences. Whether you're craving gourmet restaurants, lively bars, laid-back eateries, or harbour-side bites, they've got you covered. And for the café enthusiasts and sweet-toothed adventurers, they serve up coffee and treats that will make your taste buds dance with delight.

Eat fish and chips at the Auckland Fish Market

Often described as 'the best place to eat fish and chips in Auckland', the Auckland Fish Market in Wynyard Quarter is part shop, part restaurant, and managed by Sanford and Sons, one of New Zealand's largest fishing companies, it's a multi-purpose venue where food from the sea gets top priority.

There are many options to eat from the source with Auckland Fish Market, from The Store to Bang Bang Kitchen to Lobster & Tap and more.

Enjoy the best wineries in Auckland

Auckland's semi-subtropical climate is well-suited to several classical grape varieties, including syrah, chardonnay, pinot gris, cabernet and merlot. Within the region, there are three distinct sub-regions - Waiheke Island, West Auckland and Matakana.

Waiheke Island has numerous wineries, which make the most of the island's maritime climate and is known for exceptional Syrah. The best cellar doors to visit include Cable Bay, Mudbrick, Goldie Estate, Casita Miro, Obsidian, Te Motu, Batch Winery and Man O' War. Most of them have a café or restaurant. Getting around the vineyards is easy if you book with a local Waiheke wine tour operator, like Ananda Tours.

West Auckland is the traditional home of winemaking in the Auckland region. Some of the wineries are still family-owned, such as Soljans, Estate Winery, that's been family owned and operated since 1937. When visiting West Auckland cellar doors, make it an outing and book ahead at their restaurants or get an Auckland wine tour operator to zoom you around.

Just a short drive north of Auckland CBD, you'll find our Matakana vineyards. These boutique vineyards are a haven of wine tastings, luxurious stays, delectable dining, and breathtaking venues. Perfect for weddings, conferences, or a delightful day trip. Another highlight is Brick Bay Wines, which has a fabulous glass house restaurant and a contemporary sculpture trail.

Auckland wine tours

The easy way to discover some of Auckland's best cellar doors is with a wine tour operator. Even if you're not usually a group tour person, these guided trips are famously fun because you don't have to worry about transport, driving under the influence or getting lost. You also get the back story of every vineyard you visit, which makes the wine tasting experience more interesting.

Grazing the best Ponsonby restaurants

Ponsonby Road is nearly two kilometres long and there are fantastic restaurants from one end to the other. If you're ever confused about where to go for great food in Auckland, a taxi ride to Ponsonby will soon have you sorted. There are too many eating places in for a comprehensive list, but here are some of the highlights:

  • Azabu, at the K Road end of Ponsonby, serves award winning modernised Japanese cuisine.
  • Ponsonby Road Bistro, where the menu changes every three to 4 weeks with daily specials.
  • Prego, for traditional Italian food that never goes out of style.
  • Mekong Baby, for Southeast Asian food that makes it hard to stop eating.
  • Miss Moonshine's, for finger-licking slow-cooked smoky dishes from the deep south
  • Ponsonby Central, where there is too much choice and something yummy for everyone.
  • Blue Breeze Inn, a popular favourite showcasing modern Chinese cuisine.
  • ELMOS, a bold pizza joint with the ultimate wow-factor

Exploring Britomart restaurants

The renewed Britomart area above Auckland's underground train station has become a hub for outstanding food experiences, especially if you like to stay up late. If you find yourself drifting around Takutai Square or Britomart Place, watch for these names:

  • Kingi (short for king fish) where you can experience the fresh and sustainable seafood. Located in the historic Masonic House, Kingi offers a diverse range of New Zealand flavours and a cozy atmosphere. MoVida where you can indulge in the exciting flavours of Spanish cuisine, located in the iconic Seafarers Building in Britomart. Cafe Hanoi for lively flavours of Vietnamese cooking in a beautiful contemporary space.

Focusing on fun at Viaduct restaurants

Viaduct Harbour is one of the buzziest places in the Auckland CBD area. Whether you're looking for breakfast at the harbour's edge or a swept-up Auckland dining and bar-hopping experience, the Viaduct is fully loaded with places to see and be seen. Here's an across-the-board sample:

  • Soul Bar & Bistro, one of the Viaduct's originals and it gets better with every year.
  • Giraffe, local legend Simon Gault's new place. His food is famously creative and delectable, but also healthy.
  • Industry Zen, for some of the best innovative Japanese food in Auckland
  • Oyster & Chop, a steak-focused chargrill restaurant that really knows what it's doing.
  • Hello Beasty, for the ultimate sharing plates of New Zealand fusion cuisine.


Wynyard Quarter restaurants by the sea

Wynyard Quarter is downtown Auckland's newest dining area. The area was historically used by the timber and petro-chemical industries, so it has an appealing industrial-chic look and plenty of shoreline for sea views.

You'll find a good mix of places for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, including:

  • Onemata at the Park Hyatt Hotel celebrates New Zealand and its plentiful fresh products, premium farm meats and supreme seafood.
  • Baduzzi, for contemporary Italian food orchestrated by one of NZ's most admired chefs
  • Feriza's, for delectable mezze cuisine from Turkey and Greece
  • The Good Luck Coconut, with sharing plates of Pacific and Asian deliciousness
  • Wynyard Pavilion Bay & Eatery, a place for any occasion

Takapuna restaurants you should try

When you find yourself on the northern side of the Auckland Harbour Bridge, the urban seaside suburb of Takapuna is ready to roll out the welcome carpet. There are numerous excellent eating and drinking places here, such as:

  • Tok Tok, which fuses Filipino, Singaporean, Thai and Vietnamese traditions.
  • Regatta Bar and Eatery, a nautically themed seafood venue
  • Takapuna Beach Café, a relaxed place for breakfast, brunch, or lunch with a water view

Wet your whistle at the best bars in Auckland

When you're on the hunt for a watering hole, there are specific parts of Auckland to aim for. Here's a quick location-based introduction to some of the best.

Down at Viaduct Harbour, there's the Parasol & Swing Company and Saint Alice. Alternatively, combine your sipping with putting at Holey Moley, Auckland's crazy mini-golf bar.

In Ponsonby there's the Chapel Bar & Bistro, which is always pumping, as is the Ponsonby Social Club. For a classy cocktail, head for Clipper.

Around the CBD you can check out the Glass Goose in Federal Street, which has a menu that's as exciting as its drinks lineup and Housebar in High Street, for contemporary cocktails.


Keep exploring Auckland

Wynyard Quarter image courtesy of Todd Eyre; Kingi image courtesy of Tātaki Auckland Unlimited; Esther Restaurant image courtesy of Tātaki Auckland Unlimited; Wine and platter image courtesy of Brick Bay; Dr Rudi's image courtesy of Tātaki Auckland Unlimited; Ohinemutu Village image courtesy of Paul Michael; Auckland Art Gallery image courtesy of Tātaki Auckland Unlimited; Hauraki Gulf harbour cruise image courtesy of Fullers360