places to eat
Auckland city offers a range of culinary delights to satisfy even the most discerning palate.
The Downtown area has a generous sprinkling of finger food outlets including sushi and kebab bars and trendy cafes offering good value specialty dishes and snacks.
Aucklanders have adopted the modern cafe culture with unbounded enthusiasm. This is evident in the aggregation of quality cafes in High Street, Lorne Street and Vulcan Lane in the CBD and also in the inner suburbs of Parnell, Ponsonby, Mt Eden and Devonport.
Food halls are popular venues for light meals in the main Queen Street shopping precinct. The Downtown complex and several tower blocks have large seating plazas in the centre of shopping arcades, ringed with vendors that provide a selection of fish and chips, stir-fries, sushi, kebabs and other fast foods. Central hotels and taverns also provide casual meals at a modest $12 to $15 per head.
Fine dining in upmarket restaurants can range from elegantly casual to seriously formal. Interesting options include excellent dining experiences in the Sky Tower, the Ferry Building, Princes Wharf and the Viaduct Harbour. Specialist seafood, steak, lamb, pasta and vegetarian menus are on offer in Fanshawe Street, Wellesley Street and Quay Street. Excellent ethnic restaurants featuring Italian, Mexican, Middle Eastern, Chinese and Japanese dishes are just a block or two apart in nearby Victoria Street and Queen Street.
Cruise the inner suburbs and you will find the culinary scene is spiced up with other exotic eateries embracing the tastes of India, Indonesia, France, Korea, Laos and Thailand. In Parnell there is a good balance between expensive fare and cheaper, trendy establishments catering for backpackers. Similarly, Devonport and Mission Bay cater for all tastes in premises enhanced by the waterside locations. Ponsonby and Herne Bay set the trends with superb quality a la carte and al fresco dining in a variety of fascinating decors often spilling out into courtyards and footpath areas. The atmosphere is usually friendly and relaxed and the food is consistently good quality.