Eating out in Auckland. Rated. 🇳🇿🍽🍸☕️🍰🍕🍱🍳🇳🇿
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Cafe and food market
Ordered: brown rice salad, pork belly, green smoothie
The Boric food market can be found off the main highway just before you enter the small township of Kumeu - it is about 20km from Auckland city. It's a wonderful place full of delicious fresh organic free range produce, with a fantastic range available at the cafe located inside. They have fresh pretzels, a cabinet full of salads, vegan cheesecakes, sumptuous pork belly and a side cabinet full of slices and muffins. They also have beautiful juices and smoothies available as well. The outdoor area is lovely, with ample space for children to run around and play. The food was absolutely delicious - the brown rice satay salad was very tasty and well portioned for how much it was. The pork belly was divine, a melt in your mouth kind of experience, and the pretzels - made fresh daily - were also incredibly tasty too. A lovely place to stop for a coffee or some lunch as you drive out of the city, and a great place to make the most of farm fresh produce at great prices.
Ordered: Acai bowl, Salmon eggs benedict, flat white
Sorry I've been awol lately have had a lot of stuff going on! We're taking aklfoodie down to Tauranga today so apologies for this not being strictly Auckland - you've got to have a holiday sometimes! This is one of my favourite cafes to go to in the mount. Situated on the main drag closer to the beach end, this little unassuming cafe is everything you love about deliciousness and health. With a fantastic menu ranging from eggs bene to fish cakes and acai bowls, you won't even get to the menu before you see the incredible range of tasty - often gluten free, refined sugar free - treats on display at the counter. It was so hard to choose which ones to get - we ended up getting four to share between the two of us for later! The acai bowl was beautiful as you can see and also delicious, a great quantity of all the ingredients. The salmon eggs bene was served on a bun and a fish cake - the best of both worlds. The decor is modern and hip with cute little wooden tables. Staff are very friendly and welcoming. Highly recommended place to visit when you go to Mount Maunganui.
Ordered: roasted eggplant sandwich, poached eggs with apple and pork sausage, agria fries and decaf flat white
This homestead cafe is wrapped around the exterior of the famous historic Pah homestead located in Hillsborough. Beautifully maintained, this building has been preserved by curating a reputable art gallery within its vast walls. The cafe has indoor and outdoor seating with the outdoor verandah looking out onto the beautiful grounds of the homestead, which would be a wonderful relaxing place to eat in summer - unfortunately it was raining today. It can get cold and drafty on the verandah so it is best to find somewhere inside to sit if possible. The staff are quite busy so take their time in taking your order and getting you water and silverware. The coffee was quite a disappointment - very bitter so obviously underdone. The sandwich and fries were great but the eggs were a little overdone and small. Quite expensive for what you get but again in summer you would easily pay for the atmosphere and beautiful outlook.
Hare Krishna eatery with Indian fare
Ordered: Combo meal (rice, dhal soup, veggie curry, pakora with chutney and Halava dessert)
Price: $8.50 or $6 for students
This humble vegetarian restaurant serves up beautifully wholesome simple food with a broad smile. The staff are incredibly welcoming and friendly, making you feel right at home straight away. The menu is simple and easy, allowing you to soak up the beautiful flavours of each dish independently without all the frills to confuse you. The decor is reminiscent of Hare Krishna - they even provide books and other educational tools available to purchase. Their side orders like samosas and roti's are the perfect addition to an already very satisfying meal. You know that when you enter here they want you to leave in a better mood than the one you brought in. It's the perfect opportunity for meat eaters to experience vegetarian food at its best, and for those of you that are already vegetarian or even vegan it's an awesome cheap option when eating out. Very pleasant experience that will leave you full and satisfied and wanting to return again soon.
Ordered: Poke Bowl, Chicken Burger, kumara fries with aioli
This easy indoor outdoor flow cafe is situated just around the bend on the main drag of Devonport, a sleepy seaside town located over the harbour bridge near the NZ navy base. Surrounded by quaint historic buildings hosting a cinema, bookshops and pubs, this cafe is in the prime position for a fancy breakfast with some delicious coffee, or a relaxing mid afternoon lunch with a glass of wine. Their menu is vast albeit a little bit pricey, but you certainly get what you pay for as the meals are delicious and substantial in quantity. The staff can get a bit frazzled when it's busy and forget things in the order, and your meals don't always come out in the order that they were given, but overall this is a lovely place to dine at any hour of the day if you're looking for a good meal and a delicious coffee before a relaxing walk along the peaceful seaside.
Ordered: Avocado, pineapple and spinach smoothie
This quaint cafe nestled in the bustling brand spanking new Orakei bay village, right before Farro's, is the perfect place to go for a health fix. Minimalist in nature with large paper sheets for menus and beautifully polished wooden benches and chairs, this boutique cafe is all about health and well being whole keeping it simple and easy. They have smoothie bowls, smoothies or porridge on offer, with the option of turning your bowl into a smoothie which is what I did. Delicious albeit a little expensive, definitely one of the dearer smoothies I've had, but again incredibly tasty and good for you so it's a win win. Because the menu is so simple it's easy to choose exactly what you want without getting overwhelmed by it, which makes it nice for the indecisive ones out there. There's little seating because it's in the middle of a shopping area, but definitely a couple of tables if you want a quick break from it all. Otherwise their grab and go smoothies are the perfect thing if you're short on lunch ideas and don't have a lot of time!
Ordered: granola, poached eggs with carrot hummus, eggs benedict with bacon, potato hash with bacon
Returning to familiar territory, we are moving on from gelato and trying our hand at rating the food. Situated on the corner right in the heart of St Heliers Bay Village, with a beautiful outlook on the bay and beyond to Rangitoto, this cafe has good food and great vibes. While a little bit pricey, the food itself is absolutely delicious and original in its combinations. The carrot hummus poached egg in particular was a fantastic combination of flavours, additionally because it was such an unexpected one. The decaf coffee was delightful as well, probably one of the best decaf coffees I've had so worth while coming here even if just for the coffee. Despite being run off their feet the staff are friendly and attentive, making you feel relaxed and right at home in this trendy and warm atmosphere. A lovely place to sit and relax over a coffee, a glass of wine or a superfood smoothie.
Ordered: Portobello Mushroom Toasted Sandwich (Vegan), Banana and Choc Chip Muffin
This hip and trendy cafe has started sprouting up locations all around the Auckland CBD area as its popularity has increased. It has replaced the defunct university cafe that you could find just below the short loans library. It has a bright, friendly and bubbly atmosphere, fitting in perfectly with the youthful vibe of Auckland University and its students. The staff are helpful and friendly and it always appears to be bustling and busy, which can make finding a seat somewhat difficult at times. Unfortunately, the prices are a little dearer than expected for a University cafe, most of the cafes located around campus attempt to provide at least a few items that are well within a students budget, however, the cheaper options available are definitely limited here. The food was delicious and caters to all different kinds of needs from vegan to carnivore to gluten free.
Boutique chocolate cafe
Ordered: Salted Caramel Parfait
This old staple of Parnell rise has been around for many years, situated right on the initial central tourist belt of Auckland. It is set out like a tourist chocolate shop - lots of gifts, trinkets and novelty items surround small dark tables where you can sit amongst the sweetness. Personally, however, I find this place to be somewhat overrated. The atmosphere is nice but the staff are a little slack, with many of the tables standing uncleared which makes it hard to choose a seat initially. Additionally, the kitchen is situated in the middle of the shop, where it is easy to overhear personal staff conversations that aren't work related, which can be off putting when one is trying to enjoy a relaxed atmosphere. The desserts were ok, they definitely weren't the best thing I've ever eaten for dessert, and it was hard not to feel like it wasn't something I could've just made at home. However they do have a great selection of lollies in jars to choose from which are only $1.95 per 100g so if you're looking for a trip down memory lane back to dairy store candies and lolly bags, this will fulfil that desire.
Ordered: Paradise special paneer masala x2, garlic naan x2, mango lassi
It's hard to fault a place as good as Paradise Indian. Touted as the Indian cricket team's favourite place to eat when they come through on tour, Paradise is wildly popular amongst the locals of Auckland. Their vast Restaurant is always packed on any given week or weekend night, with a lovely team of staff who are extremely helpful and efficient. Conjoining the Restaurant is the just as equally popular takeaway shop where you can pop in for your pre-ordered takeaway. This two almost always has a long line coming out the door. The food is delicious every time, with generous portions at great prices. The atmosphere is joyous with a lovely mixture of cultures all coming together to enjoy the authentic cuisine of an Indian meal.
Ordered: baby back ribs, seasoned wedges, vegetarian burger, kumara fries, 1x beer
We're going a little bit out of Auckland today to rate some food, so if you're ever in the Whangarei area and want to know where to go, this would be a good start. Located in a stone building that's over 100 years old that requires a medieval descent down two or three flights of steps to get there, the Old Stone Butter Factory is full of character. With a set list full of local and national NZ comics, bands and DJs, this cafe and bar is the perfect place for a laid back lunch or a lively outing on a Friday or Saturday night to mix with the locals. The food is delicious and generously portioned. There is also a great range of craft beers, NZ wines and cocktails as well. A great little piece of Whangarei that reflects the kiwi weekend scene nicely.
Ordered: Berry Bowl
This quaint eatery is so understated it's located in a shipping container on the campus of the University of Auckland. Situated just outside one of the main blocks of buildings on Symond's street, this simplistic place is perfect for a pre or post lecture snack. Extremely minimalist in its approach, it only has four items on its menu - tropical, protein, granola or berry bowls. All served on a bed of coconut sticky rice or natural porridge - or a combination of the two - this simple concept turned eatery is exceptional for students who needs affordable nutritious food they can access while going about a busy day of lectures and tutorials. The helpings are generous and filling, especially on a cold winter day like today. The price is phenomenal considering we're in the middle of the city and the ingredients are quality - every bite is full of nutritious delicious sustenance. It's so understated that it doesn't even come up on locations - you just have to go on an adventure and find it. This is the perfect place to pick up a late breakfast, an early lunch, or just a quick healthy snack that will redefine the definition of student food.
Ordered: Beef burger, chicken wrap, blueberry muffin, fries, pita chips
This gorgeous little outcrop situated on the main roundabout in Matakana is a great attraction for young and old alike. Replacing the old oob (organic Omaha blueberries) but still using them in a lot of their recipes, this quaint little place to eat is all about relying on the tried and true while mixing in modern organic recipes. The decor is delightful, set out like an old train carriage with a roaring fire at the end and blankets on hand if it gets too chilly. They have a great range of food on the kids menu, along with a delicious cabinet section for those of you who prefer a fresh ready made salad or sweet treat. All their slices and cakes are organic, with their burgers made to order and the rest of the menu based around fresh, organic ingredients. A delightful place for lunch or a coffee by the warm, inviting fire.
Ice cream parlour
Ordered: Giant Banana Split
Ollie's is and has been a permanent fixture of Royal Oak for decades, maintaining one of the top positions for best ice cream bar in the city. Situated right on the infamous Royal Oak roundabout, Ollie's has a great range of ice cream that you can order in all kinds of different ways from banana splits to thickshakes to sundaes. All the flavours are Tip Top which keeps it local and Kiwi, and the helpings are more than generous coupled with reasonable prices. They also serve burgers, chips and hotdogs, and while I have yet to go to Ollie's for a meal, I know that when I do I won't be sorry. The atmosphere is fitting too with retro decor lining the walls and checkered floor tiles taking you back to the good old days of ice cream dates. Great ice cream and awesome staff.
Ordered: Coconut and Salted Caramel Choc ice cream
Price: $14 for 2x two scoops
This iconic cafe and bistro found in the heart of st heliers right on the beach is another frequent haunt of ours, for a couple of reasons. Their ice cream bar offers a delectable selection of some of the best ice cream you'll probably ever taste, which you can then take down to the waterfront across the road and sit on a park bench while you admire the view. They are also known for their great breakfast, lunch and dinner menu, while of course serving fantastic coffee. The service is awesome and the staff are friendly and extremely accommodating, making you feel relaxed and at ease. The menu is delicious with a variety of healthy and indulgent. Because they're open for breakfast lunch and dinner, you have the option of popping in for a light lunch while on your walk along the beach or gathering around lit candles as you sip on a glass of wine and admire the setting sun across the way. A treasure of st heliers.
Ordered: Edamame Noodle Salad
There's more to the cafe at the Parenting Place than just coffee and food. As a parent myself it's a really great refuge for when you need somewhere kid friendly to take your children but you also want a good variety of food and some good coffee too. It is big and light with lots of tables, lots of high chairs and the option of sitting in the cafe area or branching out into the lounge area where they have a big corner dedicated to your children's entertainment with toys, books and beanbags. Their cabinet food is cheap and cheerful with a variety of sweet and savoury on offer, along with a big range of muffins and scones on the counter. The coffee is good and can be ordered in takeaway cups to have there so your little ones don't run the risk of a spill. A lovely supportive atmosphere for mums that need a place to drop for a little bit and have the little ones stimulated.
@wagamama.nz Japanese Restaurant
Ordered: Pork Ramen, Katsu Curry
This old staple of the Auckland Japanese fusion cuisine combines traditional Japanese flavours and dishes with a modern twist. They have a vast array of noodle dishes, dumplings, curries - with a twist - and miso soups. Set out like a modern Asian dining experience with long shared wooden tables and a brightly lit room, the dishes come out as they are made which means they might not necessarily come out all together - very typical of Japanese dining. The staff are friendly and helpful and quick, making sure that you have everything you need. While the food is quite simple for how much it is, it's definitely worth a try and guaranteed to be tasty.
Ordered: Pumpkin, ginger & date muffin, decaf flat white
Charlie & George is a place that you could struggle to find a fault in - which is probably why it was one of metros 50 best cafes in 2016. Relatively new in the precinct of Stonefields, this open, modern light cafe is all about decor and delicious coffee. With a hip ambience, Charlie & George is a relaxed atmosphere for an afternoon muffin or something tasty for lunch. My only gripe is that the staff could be friendlier. Organic and free range, they have a variety of cabinet food, a cooked menu, coffee and smoothies. The muffin was delicious - moist, with lots of butter and the subtle pumpkin flavour made a sweet muffin savoury enough to be healthy while still enjoyable. The coffee was really good, definitely one of the better decafs I have had. They have gluten free options and coconut sugar for those of us watching our intake. Would be uplifting and very sunny on a cloudless day. Great food and good experience.
Ordered: Banana Muffin & Decaf Flat White
This new cafe situated in the heart of Cornwall Park is relatively new which makes its aesthetic clean, fresh and appealing. An easy flow of indoor and outdoor seating allows for prams to fit in well without having to be kept out of the way at any point. It has a relaxed, enjoyable atmosphere with people flocking here to enjoy a coffee, something from the cabinet or a delicious sandwich for lunch. Great place to take the kids after playing in the park or to catch up with a friend after a morning walk around the summit. The coffee was good, relatively good for a decaf and definitely not the worst I've ever had. The banana muffin was also nice, if not a bit dry. Definitely keen to come back here and try more of the menu as other items were appealing.
Fish 'n' Chips
Ordered: 3x fish, 2x chips, 1x sausage
A little fish n chip shop that is the staple of St Heliers village. Located on a side street away from the main village area, this humble fish n chip shop warrants a visit. While it has changed hands over the years and its appearance has been altered based around that, it still garners a fierce reputation as being a good go to for fish and chips by the beach. The fish is excellent, crispy and fresh, while the chips are also quite good although not the best I've ever had, but good for fish and chips. Overall a delicious meal that deserves being visited more than once, especially if it's enjoyed on the beach just a stones throw away.
Home Thai Takeaway
Ordered: Panang Chicken Curry and Pad Thai
This underrated Thai takeaways is tucked away around a bend in the road just past Glendowie high school on the opposite side of the road. Friendly, polite and on time, this takeaways gives you the most bang for your buck that I've come across. If I'm ordering for two I usually just get one curry or noodle dish as the portions are so generous that they usually suffice for two people. Very reasonable in price without shirking on quality, their dishes are also incredibly tasty and are fierce competition for any Thai restaurant out there that charges more to dine in. Their Pad Thai is especially delicious, being one of the better Pad Thais that I have tasted. Easy to order and quick to pick up, this has become another haunt of mine that makes choosing what we're going to get to eat in so much easier and tastier.
Ordered: Spinach feta & beetroot quiche, decaf flat white
This cafe is situated on the main drag in Onehunga and has been a fixture of the village for quite a number of years. The decor is quite mix and match but the tables and chairs are nice and matching. One of the best things about this cafe is how child friendly it is. Stocked with ample high chairs and a bathroom that is specially catered to children with a big changing table, a bin just for nappies, and enough space to take your children in with you without being a squeeze, it does have this to its advantage. It also has a play area with plenty of toys and another corner of the cafe is dedicated to books - both for children and adults - so that your time there can be leisurely and relaxed. The staff are also incredibly helpful. The food and drink, however, was less than average. The quiche that I got was hot enough and good in the beginning, but as I got to the end of it there started to be a really bitter taste in it that I couldn't work out - didn't leave a very good taste in my mouth, both figuratively and literally. The coffee wasn't very good at all, and I probably wouldn't spend money on risking another coffee here again.
Ordered: Fish burger, Beef burger and Fries
I've only been to Little Easy once before, but twice is enough for me to decide that it's one of my favourites. With its lively, creative vibes and low lighting to set the scene of a secret cabana in the inner city, it's not hard to find yourself very comfortably relaxed and entertained as soon as you sit down. The evening that we went they had live music and there were people salsa dancing that only added to the good vibes. The staff are outgoing and affable and only too happy to help you out. The food is outstanding - was hard for me not to give five stars but with five stars being the holy grail it's hard to give it away. So if I could the food would be four and a half. Incredible value for what you pay - $10 for a burger is great value in the city, and they are fantastic burgers. My fish burger was perfectly done, dripping with delicious tartare sauce and crunchy with a tasty batter. The fries were also very good, crunchy with just the right amount of salt - some of the best I've tasted I believe. All around a great experience and one I wish I could repeat every week.
Ordered: Banoffee Pie
Another long standing staple of Auckland's cafe scene, Circus Circus invokes intrigue and delight with its lighthearted carnival theme and constant popularity. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, service always goes late into the evening as crowds of coffee and dessert pursuers make it a cosy and inviting atmosphere to relax in even at 9:30pm. From full meals and wine to cabinet cakes, smoothies and side chips, this fun-filled facility creates a very enjoyable cafe experience. The banoffee pie is hard to go past and in my history with Circus Circus I've struggled to order anything else because it feels - and tastes - like you couldn't possibly beat it. Substantial portions for reasonable prices with great service and friendly staff, this cafe is guaranteed to be a great experience at anytime of the day or night
@baldeaglediner American Diner
Ordered: cheeseburger, chicken burger, chill cheese fries, two chocolate thickshakes
This eclectic diner reminiscent of the "happy days" era is all about good food and better atmosphere. While quite expensive, it is located in Auckland's popular mission bay and makes up for any priciness with its good value and quality food. It is bright, clean and a fun place to eat with black and white checked tiles, retro tables and booths, and a working jukebox that plays hits from the 50's and 60's. The staff are helpful and friendly if not a tad on the overbearing side, but still helpful nonetheless. The food is quick and hot and substantial in quantity and quality. The menu has an extensive range of American-esque food to choose from, along with a helpful kids menu and drinks menu, even serving alcoholic thickshakes. A fun little trip down memory lane as you find yourself immersed in the lighthearted funk of the 50's.
This is a wonder smoothie, full of goodness and nutrition. When all the ingredients are available I usually have one everyday as it gives me a lot of my required daily intake, while still tasting delicious and filling me up. I usually drink it as lunch with a couple of crackers and hummus on the side, and it keeps me going throughout the afternoon until dinner. There's not a lot else you could add to this to make it much healthier, it ticks most of the boxes and leaves you feeling much more balanced in your diet!
Blueberries (frozen or fresh)
Place desired amount of blueberries and spinach into blender, with 1/2 cup to 1 cup of water. Add the rest of the ingredients on top, as little or as much as you like depending on your tastes. Blend together until smooth. If too thick add some more water and blend again until desired thickness. Feel free to add other frozen fruit as a base if you prefer your smoothies to be a bit sweeter. Enjoy!
Organic grocer and cafe
Ordered: Green Smoothie & vegetarian pizza
It's pretty hard to flaw Huckleberry, an old haunt of mine, as it's one of Auckland's best and biggest stockist of everything organic which is right up my alley. Additionally in the cafe section the food and smoothies/juices on offer are surprisingly good value, their prices being easily competitive with any other cafe you might stop in for some lunch. My green smoothie consisted of kale, dates, lemon, orange and apple and was delicious with an ideal consistency. My vegetarian pizza was also full of flavour, consisting of coconut oil, milk, coconut flour, free range eggs, mozzarella, tomato paste, Parmesan, kumara, tomatoes, mushrooms, capsicum, onion and basil with the Kumara making up the base. Full and satisfied after this meal, would eat here every day if I could! Staff are friendly and helpful as well and service was prompt and efficient. They also have half price on all their organic pies after 4pm!
Ordered: Silken tofu with satay sauce and red rice, rose water and sun dried banana shortbread
First of all I have to apologise for the photo, I realise that it has been taken after most of what was ordered had been eaten, the restaurant had low lighting and this photo was the best one I could get. However personally I'm not too disappointed at the lack of photography as I wouldn't rate my experience very highly. The atmosphere is one of conceit and confidence, but excessively to the point of feeling uncomfortable. The service was surprisingly average with big long gaps in between - could be a tactic to make us buy more drinks and food. It is generally a shared menu but you can order separately, it is far cheaper to order separately than to share the menu as they recommend a lot more dishes than you need, thus overcharging. The food was underwhelming, especially for how expensive it was. The flavours weren't very strong the the tofu was tough and chewy instead of soft and creamy. I have eaten better Thai food for a third of what I paid for this. Additionally my main came 20 minutes before my rice did - I had to ask for it again - so my meal was relatively cold when I finally ate it. However I did only sample one dish and they do offer quite a variety so others may invoke a different experience. The dessert was a great combination of sweet and salty flavours, however was too sweet to finish. Overall a relatively average experience, I won't be rushing back too soon.
Ordered: Mixed salad, Agria fries and Korean BBQ chicken baguette
Hip and trendy in atmosphere, Bird on a Wire stands out as a desirable yet affordable place to stop in for lunch or dinner. Spilling out onto the Hauraki Gulf inlet in Orakei, it's smooth indoor outdoor flow combined with intimate comfortable bench seating makes for a relaxed place to spend the better half of an afternoon or evening. The staff are efficient and friendly, and helpful in answering any questions you might have about the menu. Food was quick and easily met expectations, providing a beautiful variety of flavours in generous portion sizes. The salad was fresh with a substantial amount of dressing while the baguette was amply filled with chicken, salad and a tasty sauce, even if it was a bit messy to eat. A thoroughly enjoyable experience that left us full, relaxed and satisfied.
Ordered: decaf flat white & GF spinach and feta frittata
This nondescript cafe is situated along the main strip of St Heliers, a small section of shops that lead straight out onto the beach at St Heliers bay. Light and clean with big windows allowing a somewhat hidden view of the pohutukawa trees that line the adjacent street, this cafe is friendly with great customer service. The staff greet you as you enter which makes you feel welcome. It has a modern feel to it with simple but updated decor, plenty of magazines to read, a water station and enough high chairs for a few families. I was notably surprised at how good the GF frittata was, as GF can sometimes be hard to repeat the texture and taste of its gluten counterpart. It was fresh and light, with a combination of potatoes, zucchini and carrots as the base with spinach and feta finishing it off on the top. It was also heated up substantially. My coffee was lovely, and again considering it was decaf it was a very nice coffee - perfect temperature, smooth but strong in flavour. An overall enjoyable experience.