Over the past few years, Auckland's gastronomic scene has experienced a remarkable transformation, turning into a vibrant hub of diverse flavours and innovative dining experiences.
As someone who's spent almost a decade working with hundreds of restaurants, handpicking this list was difficult. Trust me, with so many amazing options out there, narrowing it down was tough!
Every dish in this article is so incredibly delicious that I could happily only eat them in rotation for years.
So get ready to discover the best of the best that Auckland has to offer. At the end of this list, I have shared a couple of my personal favourites out of this list.
(This list is in alphabetical order.)
1. Ahi: BBQ'd Octopus - octopus chorizo, carrot koji, fermented jalapeno and oregano dressing
2. Alma: Beef Tongue with olive and preserved lemon
3. Amano: Pan-roasted gemfish with cauliflower, chilli and hazelnut
4. Ampersand Eatery: Fresh Spaghetti - king prawns, house-made spaghetti pasta, roasted garlic butter, fresh chilli and parsley
5. Azabu: Soft Shell Crab Tempura - masago-crusted soft shell crab, yuzu kosho mayo and lime
6. Benedict's Cafe: Octopus - crispy agria, jalapeno seaweed aioli, grilled broccolini, pancetta and hazelnut dressing
7. Bread & Butter: Cream Brulee Doughnut
8. Candela: Grilled cabbage, ajo blanco and chilli jam
9. Dumpling Station: Pork Noodle with chilli and hot pepper
10. Duo: Raw Fish on Toast - market fish tartare with horseradish mayo on grilled sourdough
11. Eden Noodles: Wontons with spicy sauce (dry/soupless)
12. Gao Asian Fusion: Peking Duck Pancakes - cherry hoisin, cucumber and bean sprouts
13. Ghost Street: Prawn & Sesame Toast with garlic butter and sriracha mayo
14. Giapo: Christchurch Hazelnut gelato
15. Hello Beasty: Pork, Prawn & Shiitake Potstickers - garlic shoots, ginger, spring onion, crunchy chilli and light soy sauce
16. King Made Noodles: Braised Beef Noodles Soup with medium-thick noodles ("T4" noodle thickness)
17. Kingi: Kina on Toast with pancetta
18. Masu: Chashu Pork Belly with karashi miso and pickled cabbage
19. Melba Vulcan Lane: Breakfast Burger - Manuka smoked bacon, fried egg, hash brown, avocado chile, sriracha mayo, brioche bun
20. Mulan Malaysian Restaurant: Golden Shield - sweet and spicy squid with chilli jam and kaffir lime
21. New Flavour: Salted Fish and Chicken Fried Rice
22. Onslow: Cambridge Duck Breast - mushroom marmalade, preserved cherry, radicchio
23. Origine: Puree de Pommes de Terre - potato puree
24. Our Land Is Alive: Beef & Mushroom Cube
25. Oyster & Chop: Sirloin with mushroom and thyme sauce
26. Ozone Coffee Roaster: Smoked Fish Kedgeree with poached egg and labneh
27. Peach's Hot Chicken: The OG - fried chicken, pickles, aioli and brioche bun
28. Pici: Pici Cacio E Pepe
29. Pocha: Almond Krunch fried chicken
30. Prego: Burrata with tomato relish and red onion agrodolce
31. Receptionist: Almond Croissant
32. Sneaky Snacky: Hot Chicken Donut
33. Tanpopo Ramen: Shoyu Ramen
34. Thaiger: Sweet & Sour Crispy Pork Belly - fresh pineapple, broccoli, capsicum, Thai sweet and sour sauce
35. Xi'an Food Bar: Hand-pulled Noodles with cumin lamb
Almond Krunch from Pocha
One of the most iconic fried chickens in Auckland... Personally, I am a fan of the Hot & Spicy version of this Almond Krunch.
Sweet & Sour Crispy Pork Belly from Thaiger
The crispiest, juiciest, tenderest and thickest pork belly you will find in Auckland. Combined with Thaiger's house-made sweet and sour sauce, it is one of my all-time favourite dishes.
Octopus from Benedict's Cafe
Ever since Benedict's introduced this dish, I've become completely hooked and order it every time I eat there.
Kina on Toast from Kingi
A combination of the buttery, briny and slightly sweet sea urchin and savoury pancetta is definitely something you should not miss out on. Grab a glass of wine or a pint of spicy beer to pair with.
Golden Shield from Mulan Malaysian Restaurant
Nothing much to say other than that this is the best squid dish in New Zealand. You just have to try it.
Founder & Editor | Say Seowon Song
For any media enquiries or questions, please email me. I am also the Director at Caramel, a strategy agency helping restaurant businesses grow.