Where to Eat, Drink, and Shop in Auckland, New Zealand
The harbor city of Auckland sits atop an active volcanic field, so a connection to nature permeates through all aspects of life here. New Zealanders pride themselves on their sustainability credentials: the country is staunchly nuclear-free; weekends are spent on the beach or hiking in the bush; many use farmers market produce or vegetables from the garden in their daily home cooking.
It’s only fitting that Auckland produced a restaurant like Pasture, with its focus on fermentation, local produce, nose-to-tail butchery, and natural New Zealand wines. But there are plenty of other places in Auckland to experience New Zealand-made, sustainable goods.
Start at Karangahape Road, also known as K Road, a main thoroughfare in the Central Business District. Here you’ll find a slew of vintage shops, as well as the famous Flying Out record store, home of iconic Kiwi label Flying Nun. Grab some vinyl, then stop for a glass of prosecco and a bowl of polenta fries at Coco’s Cantina: a local institution known for supporting independent businesses and the broader K Road community.
You’ll find some of the city’s best boutiques, cafes, bars, and restaurants just outside city center on Ponsonby Road. Peruse unique vintage finds, like salvaged signs and retro ceramics, at Flotsam & Jetsam, then head a few doors down to Curio Noir, which sells rich, complex fragrances and candles poured into handblown glass. Women’s-wear store Widdess stocks garments made with natural materials; all pieces from the namesake line are manufactured within a 12-mile radius of the shop. Wrap up your day of retail at Annabel’s, which offers an excellent list of New Zealand and international wines in a slick, high-ceilinged space, then head over to Orphans Kitchen, housed in a 1912 Victorian villa, for sustainable dining with indigenous ingredients.
A visit to Auckland wouldn’t be complete without time at a beach — and if there’s one spot that locals recommend for out-of-towner friends, it’s Piha. Head west out of the city, and be sure to stop by Te Uru Waitakere Contemporary Gallery along the way for work by local artists and vistas of the surrounding countryside through the gallery’s floor-to-ceiling windows. Once you hit the coast, take a walk along the black-sand beach before climbing to the top of Lion Rock for magnificent ocean views.
Read about Pasture and the rest of the World’s Best Restaurants here.