Francesco Acri of New Lynn pizzeria Settebello. Photo / Babiche Martens

Off Duty: Settebello's Francesco Acri Shares His Top Spots To Eat & Drink In Auckland

Francesco Acri, owner of popular pizzeria Settebello, shares his favourite places to eat around the city

Serving a tasty slice of Napoli in New Lynn is pizzeria Settebello. Owner Francesco Acri originally honed his skills at the renowned Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana in his native city of Naples. He moved to Auckland in 2012 and opened his west Auckland gem.

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It started out as a takeaway and grew to become of our city’s most favoured pizza joints, with his Neapolitan margherita crowned the 2015 winner in the New Zealand Pizza Championship. At Settebello everything is authentic, from the slow-proved dough, scorching wood-fired oven and minimal toppings to the red gingham tablecloths.

Find Settebello at 3/1 Rata St, New Lynn

Your favourite pizza on the Settebello menu?
The margherita affumicata. I love the smoky cheesy flavours of buffalo and smoked mozzarella. Sometimes I like to add a few slices of prosciutto crudo to it.

Where else do you go for pizza?
To be honest, I don’t go out for pizza. However, I can recommend Napoli Central — I have tried their pizza at various markets and festivals and they do excellent pizza Napoletana.

The handmade pasta at Mt Eden's Pasta & Cuore. Photo / Michael Craig

What is your favourite Italian restaurant in the city?
Pasta & Cuore, in Mt Eden. I love the buffalo ricotta-filled tortelloni.

A fine dining experience?
Soul Bar & Bistro. It’s set in a beautiful spot and has a great ambience. Superb service and food.

Indian food at Sandringham's Paradise. Photo / Babiche Martens

A quick and tasty dinner out?
Paradise Indian in Sandringham is exactly that. I can’t go past the Hyderabad lamb biriyani.

Your favourite takeaway joint?
Mr Zhou’s Dumplings, New Lynn. Delicious food at a great price. I usually get steamed vegetarian dumplings.

Your favourite local in New Lynn?
Bunga Raya. It’s a lovely, friendly family-owned restaurant that serves great food. My favourite is the curry lamb with veges. It’s so fragrant and rich. Also the XO squid.

Olaf's, Mt Eden. Photo / Jason Oxenham

A go-to coffee spot?
Olaf’s is an absolute favourite. It serves great coffee and perfect pastry and sweet treats to go with it.

For a loaf of bread?
Crafty Baker in Glen Eden. It’s a lovely local bakery that does sourdough bread. I like the walnut sourdough and ciabatta rolls.

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Your favourite spot for dessert?
My favourite dessert is Italian gelato. I love Giapo’s Giapo Buono and the nocciola and pistachio gelato from Giorgia Gelato in Onehunga.

How about food markets in west Auckland?
I quite regularly go to Titirangi Market. It’s more of a craft market than produce but there are delicious food trucks there to grab lunch. Hapunan does a great Filipino-style bao bun with pulled pork and pickled cucumber.

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