We've taken some of the guess work out of Auckland and Christchurch’s dining scene and you'll find our recommendations below. We recommend booking and have hyperlinked the booking page where applicable.
ETHEREAL KITCHEN - Karaka. I had to lead with our own, new restaurant (and Horseshoe Bar) inside the DoubleTree by Hilton Karaka. Easily one of the most convenient spots to eat and relax after a busy day on the Sales grounds, it's also really delicious! Speak to the concierge or contact the hospitality team at NZB to reserve a table.
VOLARE – Manurewa. Just 10 minutes from the Karaka Sales Centre, Volare Italian Restaurant & Pizzeria brings you the finest Italian cuisine in a relaxed, inviting dining environment. The menu features classic dishes assembled from the freshest ingredients.
IZU – Papakura. Located on the main street in Papakura, Izu offers a rich experience of Japanese dining with a European influence. Reservations recommended on 09 296 0499.
AHI - Commercial Bay. A menu to celebrate authentic New Zealand food, wine and spirits. Text or call to book on +64 225 244 255
Mr MORRIS - Britomart. "A place to be served, nourished, and indulged." Book a seat at the Kitchen Counter and don't miss the salt & pepper oyster mushrooms! Book online or by phone on 09 869 5522.
THE LODGE BAR & DINING - Ground Floor, Commercial Bay. The menu is brimming with simple, honest food that allows the ingredients of each dish to truly sing. Reservations online or phone 09 884 4200
BIVACCO - Viaduct. In a huge corner site in the heart of the Viaduct, Bivacco promises "a bold restaurant serving simple, unfussy Italian food". Reservations phone: 09 801 6505 or book online.
CAFE HANOI - Britomart. Busy, bustling Vietnamese eating house in the heart of Britomart. great food and cocktails. Reservations essential, it's that popular. Book online or on 09 302 3478
ALMA - Quay St, Britomart. Delicious, Andalusian influenced small and large plates, ideal for sharing. Don't miss the anchovy and tomato tostada or the pork pinchitos. Food and service here are top notch. Book online or call 09 242 1570.
BAR NON SOLO - Tyler St, Britomart. Another addition to the Britomart scene, Bar Non Solo is primarily a bar, but also serves great pizzas, snacks and aperitivo. They also offer happy hour Tues to Fri 5pm - 7pm. Little sister to the famous Non Solo Pizza in Parnell.
MILENTA - Victoria Park. It's walking distance from the Viaduct and tucked away inside Victoria Park Market (next door to the Swiss-Belsuites), but Milenta - and secret late-night spot The Shy Guy - deserve a visit. Auckland hospitality legend Vinci Gin-Nen will make you feel welcome! Food is seasonal and most dishes are prepared over hot coals in the open kitchen, which adds to the ambiance. Book online.
BOSSI - Commerce St, City. Another new Italian which has opened in the city, just a few minutes from the Viaduct and Britomart. The cotoletta and baby calamari are standouts. Nice vibe, great wine list. Bookings recommended.
Headquarters – Viaduct. Opening 25 Jan. Great food, great location, great host. Text Leo Molloy for bookings and the daily secret password to skip the queue: +64 274 460588.
There are many more great spots around Auckland including an offshoot of Melbourne's own MoVida, Ebisu and Azabu for excellent Japanese, Grand Harbour for traditional Chinese, White and Wong for busy, vibrant Asian cuisine, and Gochu for the best Korean Fried Chicken in town. Also check out Kingi at The Hotel Britomart (the Landing Chardonnay is a game changer), Captain's Bar at Park Hyatt for their rum-based cocktails, and both Esther and the Rooftop at QT Hotel, just off the waterfront in the Viaduct. And lastly, off the beaten track, Daphne's in Ponsonby for gorgeous Greek cuisine. There's a large food court within Commercial Bay too which is great for a quick bite.
FIDDLESTICKS - Fiddlesticks Restaurant and Bar pride themselves on offering a menu of beautifully designed starters, captivating mains and plentiful shared feasts that the whole table can enjoy. Their interior is a blend of retro wooden tables and added splashes of unusual colors creating the perfect atmosphere to catch up or to celebrate that special day.