Know as 'the city of sails', Auckland is home to waterfront restaurants, award-winning menus and bustling food hubs.
Check out some of the best restaurants, markets and eateries in Auckland and Waiheke Island.
The fairy lights of Federal Street(opens in new window) will lure you into some of the finest restaurants in Auckland. Book a table at Huami(opens in new window) for authentic Chinese dim sum, live crayfish and dumplings. Jam-packed of umami flavours, the Japanese inspired menus at MASU(opens in new window) are cooked on an open charcoal grill. Take the lift to the top of the Skytower to The Sugar Club(opens in new window) for three elegantly prepared courses or tasting menu.
The tastiest island of New Zealand, Waiheke Island is great for short getaways, honeymoons and hens-party weekends. With over 30 wineries and it's own micro-climate the island is a great year-round destination. Sample gourmet cheese, breads and wines with Ananda Tours as you visit an olive oil farm and two wineries. Celebrate a long lunch in style with Onetangi Valley Progressive Lunch(opens in new window), start with an entrée at Stonyridge, your main course at Te Motu and dessert at Tantalus Estate.
A food and drink hub in central Auckland, The Viaduct area is a mecca for excellent restaurants, roof top bars with a relaxing outlook of the harbour. Get stuck into some traditional Italian dishes and wines at Baduzzi(opens in new window). Grab some friends and share a tomahawk steak at Oyster and Chop(opens in new window), who specialise in rich grass-fed meats and freshly shucked oysters. Basked in the sun and overlooking the water, the roof top of Dr Rudi's(opens in new window) is great for after work eats and weekend drinks.
Think you're the better cook among your friends? Well, take on the challenge of social cooking schools in Auckland. With a homemade mojito in hand, get involved in the team building burger cooking challenge at Social Cooking(opens in new window). Or, learn new culinary skills from internationally recognised chef Peter Gordon at Homeland(opens in new window) cooking school. Join in on the most fun you can have in a day at Sachie's Kitchen(opens in new window), it's a hands-on combination of MasterChef and The Greatest Race during their fast-paced Asian cooking classes, and loads of fun for all ages.
Gone are the days when hotel restaurants were frequented by guests only. Today, some of the best restaurants in Auckland can be found hidden beyond the hotel lobby. Take a culinary journey to the Mediterranean as Esther restaurant at QT Hotel Auckland(opens in new window) showcase the subtle flavours of the sun-kissed regions of France and Italy - complete the night with cocktails at Rooftop at QT. Take the lift up to level 52 of the Skytower to dine high above Auckland city at Orbit 360° Dining at Skycity(opens in new window), the dining room rotates once every hour providing you with full views of New Zealand's largest city. Check out East restaurant at Sudima Hotel(opens in new window), the menu showcases flavours from Japan, Hong Kong, China, Thailand, India and Sri Lanka. East restaurant is vegetarian, sustainable and prides itself on health-conscious eating without sacrificing taste.
The Matakana Farmers’ Market is a Saturday ritual for both locals and visitors. Bring your baskets and reusable bags because this market focuses on sustainability and zero waste. Baked breads, freshly shucked oysters and hand crafted gin and ciders await. Auckland's French inspired market, La Cigale, in Parnell is open both Saturday and Sunday. The Parnell Farmers Markets, are held on each Saturday morning or check out the ever popular Auckland Night Markets(opens in new window).