Top of Mt. Eden - overlooking the city
Auckland for Gourmets
Auckland for Gourmets
Auckland is a gourmet’s delight – hundreds of restaurants, locally grown specialties and award-winning wines to match. “Pacific Rim” cuisine is an Auckland specialty, fusing Pacific and Asian flavours with the freshest of produce.
Waiheke Island, 35 minutes by ferry from downtown Auckland, is making a name for itself as an olive-growing haven, as well as being home to many vineyards. A number of estates on the island press award-winning olive oil, including Rangihoua Estate run by olive press owners Colin and Anne Sayles.
Clevedon Coast Oysters sell the Pacific oysters farmed in the adjacent Kawakawa Bay and harvested daily. Match them with a fine wine from one of Clevedon’s emerging wineries.
The fast-growing Puhoi Valley Cheese Factory, north of central Auckland, produces a range of award-winning cheeses.
There are many sources of good supplies for picnics or at-home eating. The central Auckland delis popular with Aucklanders include The Essential Deli (Mt Eden Village), Kapiti Cheeses (Fanshawe St, downtown), Pandoro bakery (Parnell and Mt Eden), Zarbo (Morrow St, Newmarket) and Sabato (Normanby Rd, Mt Eden).
For complete decadence, try the Chocolate Boutique in Parnell, the City Cake Company in Mt Eden, Ponsonby or Takapuna, and the cakes and desserts at Rocket Kitchen in Ponsonby.
The weekend markets at Otara (Saturdays in south Auckland) and Avondale (Sundays in west Auckland) offer Asian, Indian, Pacific Island and European fruit and vegetables, alongside fresh seafood, baked goods and ready-made foods. The Avondale markets, in the grounds of the local racecourse, also have a wide variety of second-hand goods and collectibles, as well as cheap watches, toys and other imported goods.
At the Otara markets, the air is filled with traditional Pacific Island music as well as modern hip hop. Pacific Island arts and crafts - including printed cloths, carving and jewellery - are available alongside mainstream clothing and other goods.
On Sunday mornings the centre of Takapuna on the North Shore also hosts a bustling market. Expensive antiques are sold alongside cheap bric-a-brac, and the range of goods on sale often includes second-hand clothing, home-made preserves and plants.
In the heart of the city, the upmarket Aotea Square Markets are open on Fridays and Saturdays. Stall holders operate from a range of specially-made, brightly coloured tents where shoppers can browse for organic food, Pacific Rim arts and crafts, hand-made pottery, traditional carvings and fashion by up-and-coming designers. Live music also keeps visitors entertained.