Image: The Ahi Chefs putting the finishing touches on the dishes Source: Ahi

The Top 10 Places to Eat in Lonely Planet’s #1 City

Having recently been named the best city to travel to in 2022 by Lonely Planet’s latest Best in a Travel book, Auckland has captured the world’s attention for a number of reasons, with its rich gastronomic culture being right up the top. As the cosmopolitan gateway to New Zealand’s diverse North Island, the city’s dining is largely based around the best of the island’s local produce with a few international twists. Here are the best ten restaurants to try.

Mudbrick

Embracing island-style cooking, Mudbrick Restaurant is renowned for its spectacular views over the Hauraki Gulf and indulgent seafood dishes. The dish that scored Mudbrick a place in the top 100 Iconic Eats list is the beloved Seacuterie. Best served with a cold glass of white wine, the dish celebrates the local seafood flavours of Waiheke island in an unbeatable setting.

Image: Views from Mudbrick’s Archive Bistro Source: Mudbrick Vineyard and Restaurant

Azabu

Located in the centre of Auckland on the bustling Ponsonby Road, Azabu serves up some of the best contemporary Japanese cuisines in town. With a clever blow-torched roe technique giving a traditional sushi dish a deliciously smoky crunch, it’s the restaurant’s Volcano Sushi Roll is the dish that sent Azabu into the top 100 iconic eats list this time around.

Image: Azabu’s Volcano Sushi Source: Azabu

Ahi

In Te Reo Māori, Ahi means fire, emulating the restaurant’s passion for New Zealand food, wine and hospitality. The fine-dining restaurant that looks out over Waitemata Harbour has earned its top 100 placement for its delicious corndog scampi. Hailing from New Zealand waters, the so often underused ingredient is cleverly served as a corndog and sure to be one of the most favoured dishes on the menu.

Image: Ahi’s waterfront dining room Source: Ahi

Homeland

This cooking school, restaurant and innovation hub is a place where community, food and culture collide. Headed by Peter Gordon, Alastair Curruthers and Head Chef Nagaraju Sunkara, Homeland introduces people to good food and unique New Zealand produce. Earning a place in the list for their beloved Triple Cheese Scone, you’re probably going to want to spend a little longer here than the scones may require.

Image: Homeland’s renowned cooking school Source: Homeland

Delamore Lodge

While this luxury lodge is renowned for its beautiful accommodation facilities, you may not know that it’s also serving up some of the best dishes in the region. With a passion for local produce, Delamore Lodge Chef, Erik Tasker has earned the restaurant a place in the top 100 list with his poached blue cod with grilled fennel, onion, chicken and dashi jus. We recommend pairing with a local Waiheke Island chardonnay.

Image: The decadent Poached Blue Cod from Delamore Lodge Source: Delamore Lodge

The Living Room

Situated in Auckland’s Park Hyatt, The Living Room’s stylish High Tea Degustation is the restaurant’s winning dish. Served with a cup of tea or sparkling wine, guests enjoy multiple courses of sweet treats and desserts with a view over the Auckland waterfront and Rangitoto island. This is one to treat your grandmother to.

Image: High Tea at The Living Room Source: Iconic Eats

Cocoro

Located on a quiet street off Ponsonby Road, Cocoro expertly combines traditional Japanese cuisine with fresh local seafood. Drawing Auckland locals in with their indulgent Sashimi Platter, you’re guaranteed to feel like a king or queen with this decadent dish. Seating just 40 people, you’re going to want to get there early for a chance to try this one.

Image: A Sashimi Platter made for a king at Cocoro Source: Iconic Eats

Amano

Amano is a European-inspired eatery and artisan bakery located on the waterfront. While the loaves of sourdough, ciabatta, Miche and sweet pastries may draw you in, it’s the Pulled Lamb Shoulder that you have to try. The hearty dish is served alongside a refreshing courgette and mint salad and palette cleansing yoghurt. We recommend taking a couple of pastries home for breakfast the next morning.

Image: Pulled Lamb Shoulder at Amano Source: Iconic Eats

Café Lincoln

Café Lincoln’s delicious French Toast is the dish that earned them a place in Auckland’s Top 100 Iconic Eats. While the cafe serves up some closely rivalled brunch dishes and hearty salads, it’s hard to go past the cafe’s renowned French toast. Pair with an extra hot flat white and there’s no better way to start your morning.

Source: French Toast from Cafe Lincoln Source: Iconic Eats

Crunch Tower Desserts

If you really want to treat yourself then head to Crunch Tower Desserts for a Summer Pavlova Freak Shake. Topped with meringue, strawberries, passionfruit sauces, ice cream and fairy floss, this pavlova milkshake is one that you will need to make room for. Pop down the brick laneway in Parnell and we guarantee you won’t regret it.

Image: Indulgent Summer Pavlova Freak Shakes Source: Iconic Eats

Looking for more places to eat? Check out the best Asian fusion in Melbourne, cocktail bars in Sydney and fine dining restaurants in Launceston.

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