Auckland boasts with a wonderful food scene, anything from cheap eats to gourmet restaurants, and covering it all in three days was impossible. However, we did enjoy a few memorable meals – breakfast, lunch, and dinner – which I would like to share and not hesitate to recommend.
One thing I was really looking forward to while traveling to New Zealand and Australia is trying the local breakfast. The morning fare in the Down Under was nothing like what I’m used to. They take their breakfast/brunch quite seriously and the dishes come out looking like a work of art akin to any fine dining restaurant. We checked out a few breakfast spots in Auckland that we absolutely loved.
Best Ugly Bagels: this is a hipster spot located within a warehouse/garage and is managed by a team of young and charismatic people who work their butt off to serve one of the most delicious bagels I’ve ever tried. Their Montreal-style bagels are hand rolled and cut, and then baked in the custom-made wood-fired stone oven right in front of you. Unlike their New York cousin, bagels here are thinner, crispier and with an airy texture. You have a wide variety of mouthwatering topping to choose from, but no matter which one you go for, don’t pass on their pickles and bacon as a side. Yum!
Mary’s: housed within an old fire station, this cozy place has a vibe of a favorite neighborhood café which you revisit every Sunday for your favorite cup of coffee and a serving of delicious morning fare. We tried scrambled eggs with chorizo, as well as a stunning bacon and blue cheese sandwich. I wish I could back every week.
Ortolana: truth to be told, our family of four had opposing opinions about this place, but I personally greatly enjoyed what I tried: pork belly and scrambled eggs on a sourdough toast. Coffee was on point as well. The menu here focuses on serving seasonal and locally sourced food. I really liked their décor – wooden panels, high ceiling and beautiful light fixtures. Located within a 5-minute walk from the main terminal, it might be a perfect spot for you start your day at before hopping on a ferry to Devenport or Waiheke.
Odette’s Eatery: located right next to the Ugly Bagel at City Works Depot, Odette features simple yet stylish interior. To be honest we stopped by here for brunch but were a bit late as they served us the lunch menu. It did seem a bit overpriced, but then food in New Zealand is quite expensive. I thoroughly enjoyed our order of crispy chicken sliders (which had a delicious spicy kick to it), sweet corn hummus, house smoked salmon salad.
Depot Eatery: helmed by the revered chef Al Brown this spot attracts crowds every day and is always abuzz. They don’t accept reservations, so unless you show up as soon as they open, be prepared to queue. It was worth the wait though, because everything we ordered was finger-licking good! Oysters were excellent and the bone marrow was rich and succulent. It truly is a perfect casual place to end the day.
SideArt: with so many day trips we hardly had any nights free for fine dining, but we did manage to squeeze in one. SideArt deserves a review of its own, and I’ll write up one this week. However, for now, suffice to say that every single dish we tried was inventive, flavorful and cooked perfectly. You won’t be disappointed.
Have you been to any of these spots? Which are your favorite restaurants in Auckland? I’d love to hear more recommendations!
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