Get ready, because this post is chock full of the best places to eat in Auckland. From cheap eats to desserts to the best Auckland restaurants, I’ve got you covered.
Man, did I do some eating in Auckland 😏. There are so many excellent Auckland restaurants and cafes – if only I had more than four days! Here’s a packed post featuring all the places I ate in Auckland, plus recommendations I just didn’t get the chance to enjoy.
Where I ate in Auckland
Auckland Night Market
There are multiple Auckland Night Markets weekly across the city. I stumbled upon the Elliott Street location on a Saturday afternoon and there were quite a few delicious food options. I honed in on the Chinese food stalls, where you could get two dishes with noodles/rice for under $10. Cheap eats for the win!
Here’s a Viator tour in Auckland that features local night markets
Another place I stumbled upon, Bacon Brothers was set up at La Cigale Market on a sunny Saturday afternoon. Located in Takutai Square in Britomart, definitely stop by if you get the chance, as this has to be one of the best brunch/lunch spots in Auckland. The bacon burger I had was EPIC.
Oh my goodness. If there is one thing you eat in Auckland, let it be an ice cream from Giapo. They’re a total (expensive) treat, but I think it was definitely worth it. Apparently sometimes there’s a wait, but I visited at about 1pm on a Saturday and went straight in. You get to try all the different flavours, but I had to go for the iconic ‘Kiwi as’ Afghan Cookie. The ice cream was covered in this hardened corn flakes deliciousness, with a cookie on top for good measure.
You can also choose different ways to hold your ice cream, like a selfie cone (complete with chocolate frame), a yorkshire pudding lined with chocolate and even hot chips in a cone. Like I said, it’s an experience you must try in Auckland.
Here’s a different food lover’s walking tour that includes a stop at Giapo!
Best Ugly Bagels
You can’t go wrong with an ugly bagel for breakfast or lunch. I just got crunchy peanut butter on mine, but they have a selection of toppings. For lunch I would 100% go for the Fricken Chicken. Best Ugly Bagels is also located in Wellington.
Sal’s is apparently New Zealand’s only 100% authentic New York pizza. One franchise was located around the corner from my hostel, so I went there one night for a quick bite and this Nonna slice was pretty good.
To see more Queen Street food highlights, check out this food tour.
A burger at Orleans was my reward after walking up Mount Eden and back into the city. As it turns out, they also have a Chicken & Waffles outlet at the airport. I visited mid-afternoon on a Monday and I was the only customer, but I can imagine they get busy at night. The menu told me the Sloppy Joe was not to be missed, so I went for it. Firstly, it was a very reasonably priced burger – $14 with a side of curly fries. Secondly, it was delicious and the perfect amount of sloppy.
Speaking of burgers, I visited Little Easy in Ponsonby for lunch one day and tried their Chicken BLT Burger. This was surprisingly more messy than the sloppy joe, but still good.
Another burger place recommendation was Burger Burger. It has a few locations across Auckland, but I went to visit their restaurant in Ponsonby Central. This place is a cool collection of various restaurants, but I could NOT find Burger Burger. I walked around a couple of times before heading to Little Easy. Hopefully you have more luck than me 🙈.
Little & Friday
Little & Friday has four locations across Auckland. I visited their Newmarket cafe while out and about exploring the suburb. Although it’s located away from the main shopping area, I visited on a weekday around lunch and there was only one spare table. I was obviously interested in the pastries (this chocolate/hazelnut slice was ridiculously good) but they also have a cabinet filled with handmade savoury treats as well. Another Newmarket recommendation is Petal Cupcakes. It’s a small store with a lot of interestingly flavoured cupcakes (golden syrup or lavender and honey anyone?).
If you don’t already know, I am a huge fan of Mexican food. I actually went to a Mexicali franchise close to my hostel one night, but then someone told me later that Mexican Cafe (which is located a block away from Mexicali) is a good alternative. To be honest, I had a delicious taco salad (complete with edible bowl) at Mexicali and it made me miss my beloved Chipotle in North America.
For more Auckland info, check out these posts: my ultimate guide, day trip recommendations and the best things to do!
Other Auckland restaurant & cafe recommendations
Cakes n Ladders
I heard about Cakes n Ladders through my hostel, as it was a recommended rainy day activity. Fortunately, I was treated to beautiful weather in Auckland. But Cakes n Ladders is the city’s premier gaming cafe. It’s full of plenty of card and board games.
I walked past this cafe in Parnell and their pastry cabinet was something else. I would go on to learn that New Zealand is very serious about its baked goods. Every cafe I popped into in both Auckland and Wellington had an overflowing cabinet filled with the most scrumptious-looking biscuits, slices and cakes. The lunch menu at Winona Forever looked good too.
I was going to go to Food Alley, but I went to the Night Markets instead. It’s a food court that specialises in Asian cuisines. You’ll find Thai, Indian, Malaysian, Korean, Vietnamese, Japanese and more. YUM.
Another one of the many Auckland restaurants I didn’t get to check out. However, Depot seems like the kind of place you want to visit with friends, as their charcuterie board looks very impressive.
Two more cute cafes…
Chuffed and Major Sprout are both cafes that are worth visiting for either brunch or lunch in Auckland city centre. I’ve heard the lamb dish at Chuffed is an excellent lunch option, but the sandwiches at Major Sprout caught my attention as well.
The Hangi Shop
The Hangi Shop is located out of the CBD, so I didn’t get a chance to visit. According to their website, they “want to bring their knowledge of a good harvest combined with traditional Maori flavours and contemporary cooking styles to your plate”.
Karangahape Road is known locally as just K Road. Apparently it’s home to a lot of excellent Auckland restaurants and cafes. I really wanted to check out Bangkok Ice Cream Rolls. If only I had more time…
If you want to get real fancy, Orbit 360 is actually the rotating restaurant located at the top of Auckland’s iconic Sky Tower. It’s a little pricey, but I would think the 360° views make it worthwhile.
Another district I didn’t get to check out, Dominion Road is home to plenty of Auckland restaurants. However, it’s known for its plethora of restaurants focused on serving the most delicious dumplings.
Where to stay in Auckland, if you’re on a budget
I treated myself to a very reasonably priced private room at Attic Backpackers. The small award-winning hostel is located in the heart of Auckland’s CBD and I would definitely recommend it to fellow solo travellers. But check out my Auckland travel guide for more accommodation recommendations, which suit all budgets.
So basically, I need to return to Auckland immediately to do more eating and nothing else 😉. Just one more thing… I found most of these places thanks to suggestions from friends, Google searches and good old Pinterest. Happy eating!
Don’t forget to check out my post on all the things to do in Auckland. I also have a similar post for Wellington, if you’re city hopping in New Zealand like I did!
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