Where to Dine in Auckland During The Holidays
Delight in less crowds (and more parking) and make the most of your city time by dining at some of the best
The beautiful restaurant of Amano is a Viva favourite. The rustic, Italian-inspired fare, which includes handmade pasta, seafood and incredible cheese plates will have you transported out of Britomart and to the Italian coast.
• 66-68 Tyler St, Britomart. Visit Amano.nz. Closed December 25-26
South-Indian restaurant Satya will be opening their doors this Christmas to offer diners a deliciously spicy alternative to the traditional fare. On Christmas Day, Satya’s three restaurants, in Ponsonby, Sandringham and Mt Eden, will be hosting lunch (12-2pm) and dinner (6-9pm), and in the generous spirit of the season, the tab will be picked up by Santa (aka owner Swammy and the Satya family) - bookings are essential. If you don't get there on Christmas Day, fret not. Satya's Sandringham and K'Rd restaurants plan to be open through the holidays.
• 515 Sandringham Rd, Sandringham. Visit Satya.co.nz. Open December 25 and right through
Eight at Cordis
Enjoy a traditional Christmas lunch or dinner with roast ham and turkey along with all the potato and pudding trimmings at Eight Restaurant, located in the Cordis hotel. There will also be Christmas decorations and music. Also open New Years Eve.
• 83 Symonds St, Grafton Christmas special on until 31 December. Bookings are essential. Contact 09 300 2924 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Open December 25 and right through
For some of the best high-end Chinese food in the city, head straight for Huami. Enter the dining room woven with dark lacquered screens and see live crayfish floating in a two-tier wall. It's the glamour of old Shanghai, right here in Auckland. The wood-fired Peking Duck is a house speciality along with meat, seafood and vegetable dishes and delicate handmade dim sum.
• 87 Federal St, City. Visit Skycityauckland.co.nz. Open December 25. Closed January 1-2. Lunch only January 3
The food at Simon Gault's newest venture Giraffe is all brilliant. classic standards with Japanese twists, spiked with fresh produce from the chef's garden table. Leave the light and airy space feeling satisfied and virtuous, a holiday in itself.
•85-87 Customs St, Viaduct Harbour. Visit Girafferestaurant.co.nz. Open for December 25 for lunch and right through
The Sugar Club
Embrace being stuck in Auckland during the holidays by taking in one of the best views of the city at The Sugar Club. Located on the 53rd level of the Sky Tower, the fine-dining restaurant serves up chef Peter Gorden's crafted seasonal-inspired plates packed full of flavour.
• Level 53, Sky Tower, cnr Victoria & Federal Sts, City. Visit Skycityauckland.co.nz. Open December 25 and right through
At this contemporary Greek restaurant, the light-drenched space with velvet booths and marble tabletops sets the scene for a feast of wood-fired, flame-grilled specialities.The eggplant is unmissable, served with tahini and cauli puree, pine nuts and white raisins.
• 269 Parnell Rd, Parnell. Visit Gerome.nz. Closed December 25-26, January 1
The excellent Sunday Brunch menu at Masu which offers an array of delectable Japanese dishes is available throughout the holidays. It's great value at $68 a head and Masu is, bonus, child-friendly, with a kids private dining room with books, toys and a flat screen to keep them entertained.
• 90 Federal St, City. Visit Skycityauckland.co.nz. Closed January 4-6
The Blue Breeze Inn
If you missed out on the cheap flights to Hawaii earlier in the year, The Bluee Breeze Inn could be your next best bet. Fun, busy, sexy and friendly... and all the staff wear Hawaiian shirts. Don’t miss the bang bang chicken or house-made wontons and slurp down with a cocktail out of a coconut.
• 146 Ponsonby Rd, Ponsonby. Visit Thebluebreezeinn.co.nz. Closed December 25-26, January 1-2
Al Brown's famous fish sliders with pickled lemon mayo & rocket are good anytime of the year but must taste even better when on holiday. The Depot will be pumping at its usual level most of the summer.
• 86 Federal St, City. Visit Eatatdepot.co.nz. Closed December 25-26, January 1- 4
Next door The Fed will also be open during the holidays, serving its signature New York Deli dishes day and night. Start your day with a cream cheese bagel and a bottomless cup of Jo or go back for the late night shift of choc-cherry pie or cheesecake.
• 86 Federal St, City. Visit Thefed.co.nz. Closed December 25-26, January 1- 2
In the jazzed up Orakei Bay Village is Ampersand, a modern European eatery serving up exciting and unbelievably delicious dishes. Chef Mikey Newlands (ex-Bracu) is cooking the stuff he loves and the results are impressive.
• 228 Orakei Rd, Orakei. Visit Ampersandeatery.nz.Closed December 25-26, January 1-2
While all the locals are away on holiday, enjoy all the Ponsonby Central has to offer with, perhaps, a reduction in any wait time. Dantes Pizzeria, Burger Burger, Chop Chop and HoneyBear are some of your options.
• 136-146 Ponsonby Rd, Ponsonby. Visit Ponsonbycentral.co.nz. Closed December 25-26, January 1-2
The charming Augustus transports you to an elegant French bistro the instant you step inside the former post office in Three Lamps. Classic and clean French fare streams from the kitchen, matched with local and French wine and the wait staff are mostly from the region. It's the kind of place you forget your worries and indulge in three courses. Tres bon!
• 1-3 St Marys Rd, Ponsonby. Visit Augustusbistro.co.nz. Closed December 25-26, January 1-2
Indulge in the leisurely hour of the aperitivo at Annabel's tucked in Three Lamps end of Ponsonby. The elegant wine-bar has become a go-to place to leisurely snack and sip while watching the world go by. The European menu features cheese by the gram, cured meats sliced to order and plates of Caprese salad and sardines on rye. The bites complement well-priced international wines, Estrella on tap and a succinct cocktail list.
• 277 Ponsonby Rd, Three Lamps. Visit Annabelswinebar.com. Closed December 25, 26, 31, January 1-2
Mission Bay Pavilion
Built on the shorefront heritage site of Mission Bay, alongside The Stonehouse, Mission Bay Pavilion is a picturesque place to dine during summer.The eatery combines a Kiwi seaside vibe with Italian inspiration to produce a menu that offers both bistro-style dishes with international flair and takeaway options that diners can enjoy while taking in the beautiful beach surrounds.
• 44 Tamaki Dr, Mission Bay. Visit Missionbaypavilion.co.nz. Closed December 25-26, January 1-3