A Weekend Guide To Auckland

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AUCKLAND | New Zealand’s largest city, Auckland, has long been overlooked by tourists in favour of South Island adventures and the food and drink delights of capital city Wellington. In recent years, however, the city has undergone a rejuvenation and here’s an energy about Auckland that’s great. With fantastic food and drink, art, culture and shopping, Auckland offers a lot to first time and return visitors.

If you’ve only got a day or two in the city, our weekend guide to Auckland will help you get the most out of your time there.

Eat

Auckland is a multicultural city and the influences of these different cultures can be seen in the city’s food. Dizengoff has been serving up Jewish inspired fare long before Ponsonby became one of the trendiest neighbourhoods in Auckland. Go there for delicious, no-nonsense breakfast – the eggs with fried pastrami and toast is one of our favourite ways to start the day. Britomart’s Oaken is another great spot for breakfast, with a produce driven menu complimented by coffee roasted by multiple independent roasters.

For lunch, Depot Eatery And Oyster Bar in the CBD offers mouthwatering seasonal, simply cooked share plates, featuring produce that’s mostly been cooked over charcoal or hard wood while nearby MASU is the place to go for contemporary Japanese food, with an emphasis on dishes also cooked over charcoal. If it’s American BBQ you’re after, Miss Moonshine’s in Ponsonby offers some of the best Texas-style BBQ in town, with a bit of a Kiwi twist (for example native woods like manuka are used for smoking).

For a quick and easy lunch option check out Boy & Bird, also in Ponsonby, which offers some of the best charcoal chicken you’ve ever tried.

Lovers of gelato should head over to Giapo in Britomart. The place is famous for their delicious gelato, and offer flavours ranging from the traditional to the experimental. For cakes and pastries, you can’t go past the delicious creations at Little & Friday, where only locally sourced, fresh, free-range and organic (where possible) produce is used. They have locations in Newmarket and Belmont, and their doughnuts are must try.

Come dinner time, head to Orphan’s Kitchen, which is all about the philosophy that fresh and local is best, and less is more. Here you’ll find dishes that really showcase what’s best about New Zealand produce, unique dishes that have a real sense of place. The popular “wild boar boil up” is a must – a rich stock surrounding braised razorback pork cheek, wild boar terrine and trotter, spelt and blood sausage doughboys, puha and kumara.

Apero Food & Wine, a cozy wine bar on Karangahape (“K”) Road with a food menu full of simple French bistro food made using using sustainable and free-range produce, is also worth checking out as is Food Truck Garage, a former food truck now bricks and mortar affair which offers simple, fresh food that tastes good.

Drink

For wine, the aforementioned Apero offers about 30 wines from New Zealand and abroad available by the glass. If it’s craft beer you’re after, our Auckland Craft Beer guide features several top venues worth visiting – particular highlights are Brothers Beer and Vultures Lane in the CBD, and 16 Tun in Wynard Quarter. For cocktails, check out Mea Culpa in Ponsonby, a tiny bar with a cocktail list that rotates weekly, and XuXu, a Britomart bar that offers great cocktails inspired by Asia, along with some very tasty dumplings.

Do

Two of our favourite areas in Auckland are Ponsonby and K Road. We’ve written two guides full of things to do in both areas. Go to Ponsonby for shopping, dining and bars, and K Road for art galleries, quirky and independent boutiques, excellent bars, and night spots.

In the CBD, check out the permanent collection and rotating exhibits at Auckland Art Gallery Toi O Tamaki, and explore the streets for some fantastic street art. The Auckland War Memorial Museum, which features and impressive collection of Maori and Pacific artifacts and taonga (treasure) is also well worth visiting, with a focus on New Zealand, natural, and military history. If you have time, take the 30 minute ferry out to Waiheke Island for beautiful scenery, walks, wineries, restaurants, and cafes. It’s so close to the CBD but feels a world away.

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Paul
Paul
Paul founded The City Lane back in 2009 as a place to share photos of his travels around Europe with friends and family. The City Lane might have changed quite a lot since those early days but one thing that’s remained constant is Paul’s passion for food, travel and culture, and a desire to photograph and write about his experiences. Paul has a strong inquisitive nature that drives him to look beneath the surface in order to discover what really makes a city and its people tick, and what better way to do this than over a good meal or drink, with a city’s locals, at places that people who live in that city actually frequent. Paul is also a co-host of The Brunswick Beer Collective, a podcast that may or may not actually be about beer.

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