Culinary hotspots in New Zealand’s largest city
As far as location and climate go, you can’t ask for a much better place to create (and taste!) superb fresh produce than New Zealand. Auckland’s gastronomic scene has been built on this foundation: a whole host of superb places to eat have made central Auckland a real joy for foodies. Superb locally-sourced meat and fish and a crop of innovative young chefs have made it exciting times for your taste buds on the North Island.
Kerry Swan, who runs Zest Food Tours in the city, recommends the Britomart area close to the center for a wealth of great restaurants. “I love an evening stroll to Britomart where I’m spoilt for choice of where to eat. My current favorite is Cafe Hanoi. The team greets everyone like family and their modern take on Vietnamese fare, with its zingy clean flavours, always hits the spot,” she says. “If it’s not a school night I might start with a drink and appetizer over the road at Café Hanoi’s sister bar Xuxu, offering amazing Asian-inspired cocktails.”
Asian cuisine and its off-shoot fusion style is a popular theme in Australasian cooking, taking sweet, sour and spicy notes from Oriental menus and injecting new life into Western dishes. Auckland also has a strong Italian influence, Prego and Toto being popular examples of traditional trattorias serving authentic delights.
Back in Britomart, Swan is keen to extol the wonders of Hotel DeBrett and its Michelin-starred pastry chef Kim Jansen. She’s just one of the reasons to stop in at the 25-room boutique hostelry, with others being the highly-rated Kitchen Restaurant and its courtyard and glass roof. The restaurants’ clean and simple modern fair is surprisingly reasonable, like much of the dining on offer in Auckland.
More information on Britomart and its restaurants can be found on the area’s website here.
The wine from the outlying city regions is also excellent, as you would expect. A trip out to one of the many vineyards within an hour’s drive can also be a rewarding experience, both for what you’ll find on your plate as much as in your glass. Mahurangi River and Poderi Crisci are great examples of such taste delights.
Read more about Kerry Swan’s tips for great Auckland foodie experiences here.