It may seem like an oxymoron, but it took a rugby ball to kick Auckland off into a new stratosphere of dining—the Rugby World Cup put the host city u... Read More
It may seem like an oxymoron, but it took a rugby ball to kick Auckland off into a new stratosphere of dining—the Rugby World Cup put the host city under the spotlight in 2011. Since then, the field has broadened, continued to flex new culinary muscle and refine its restaurant offerings, which have never been better. The central city has also grown up and matured with interesting restaurants, cafes, bakeries, bistros, fine-dining establishments, and more. While historic High Street and its central-city surrounds have always had their charms, Fort Street, Fort Lane, and the Britomart precinct have developed as foodie havens and are home to some of New Zealand’s best restaurants. New Zealand doesn’t do celebrity chefs to the magnitude of other countries, but there’s a generous handful of locals who influence the dining sphere with their restaurants. Peter Gordon has huge influence in London with the Providores and Tapa Room, but he returns home regularly to oversee his two offerings, the Sugar Club and Bellota. There’s also much-loved Al Brown, with his clutch of restaurants and the generous smile and warmth that have made him a hit for TV.
When AA Gill visited New Zealand in 2011, he noted the country’s twin obsessions—flat whites and rugby. He wasn’t far off the mark; the fixation with coffee has fuelled a highly competitive café culture. With the number of roasters disproportionate to the population, everyone has their favourite. This has also ensured the food delivered alongside your macchiato is excellent. Innovative, interesting, sustaining, and often sustainable, Auckland café food is easily among the best in the world.