The delicious ramen from Zool Zool is contributing editor Johanna Thornton's favourite. Photo / Babiche Martens.

The Viva Team Share Their Favourite Menu Picks In Auckland

These delicious dishes are our failsafe picks time and again

Beau 

"I recently fell in love with the shoestring fries at Beau. Perfectly crunchy and with a little kick, they're the perfect indulgence when you're catching up with a friend after work, accompanied by one of the many great wines on the menu. The staff are also unpretentious and efficient which helps." - Dan Ahwa, fashion & creative director 

Federal Delicatessen

"Federal Delicatessen is one of my go-to food spots in the central city. We don't dine out often, but if we do, we nearly always head to "The Fed". Good for lunch, dinner or just a coffee (bottomless filter) the staff are friendly and the food is fast and, most importantly, really good. Without fail I order the chicken salad sandwich, untoasted. The poutine is great, so is the iceberg wedge, and the potato salad is good too. If I'm particularly hungry I'll get a reuben, and if I want something lighter I go for the matzo ball soup. I also appreciate that they serve their wine in tumblers." - Emma Gleason, commercial editor

Fenice cafe & restaurant

"Chef Tim Pickering at Fenice in Oneroa, Waiheke, never fails to deliver no matter what you choose from his menu in this cosy and friendly restaurant. Right now my favourite is the Pesce Del Giorno - fish of the day with new potato, new season asparagus and lemon butter. Mmm. Delicious." - Amanda Linnell, Editor 

READ: Where To Eat, Drink & Shop On Waiheke

The Farmhouse Deli

"The menu at The Farmhouse Deli in Clevedon features a few dishes done really well. The organic farm grows and harvests its own greens, seasonal fruit and honey, and sources other produce from local suppliers. Toast toppers include a selection of vegan and dairy-free options, as well as my new go-to: buffalo marinated cheese, smoked fish and sprouts. It’s even more delicious when washed down with a cup of organic Kokako coffee." - Ash Cometti, beauty editor  

Zool Zool

"Ramen from Zool Zool in Mt Eden is bringing me a lot of joy lately. It's become a Friday night tradition to sit at the window seat with a bowl of tantan or paitan ramen and a chilled sake. The staff here are so welcoming and attentive and the hot bowls of handmade noodles have a welcome reliability about them during a crazy year." - Johanna Thornton, contributing editor 

The Buttermilk Brioche French Toast from Crave Cafe. Photo / Supplied.

Cotto restaurant 

"Cotto's effortless and delicious Italian menu is my top pick by a mile. Starting with their mouth-watering goats cheese, sage and spinach dumplings which you absolutely must order - hungry or not. Moving onto mains... for a vege option the kumara gnocchi with gorgonzola, walnut and watercress is simply divine and melts in your mouth. But if you're going all out, the classic favourite is the maltagliati lamb shoulder chilli ragu, need i say more? Polish off with a bottle of Montepulciano d'Abruzzo and you will have yourself a very splendid evening." - Annabel Dickson, editorial assistant

The BBQ pork and wonton noodle soup from Golden Express. Photo / Supplied.

Crave cafe

"The buttermilk brioche french toast from Crave Cafe is probably one of the most photogenic dishes I've ever had. It is a delicious coupling of brunch and dessert and that is fine with me! A fluffy slice of buttermilk french toast topped with a petite panna cotta with the perfect wobble, fresh seasonal fruits, a brandy snap AND sea salt mascarpone, this is one delightful plate." - Andrea O'Hagan, commercial integration manager 

The Chicken sandwich and poutine fries are favourites on the menu at Federal Delicatessen. Photo / Supplied.

Golden Express

"If I'm going to Ponsonby International Food Court for dinner, I can't stear away from the BBQ pork and wonton noodle soup from Golden Express because it's just that good. The broth comes out steaming and full of flavour in just a few minutes, ideal for a quick and warming weekday dinner that always leaves me satisfied. For the greens, a couple of florets of steamed broccoli are simply placed on top of the soup, which I find quite humorous, however, I feel no more is required with the full bowl of pork, wontons and noodles, plus spring onion for flavour." - Lucy Casley, designer 

Gorilla Kitchen

"I'm a sucker for a sweet treat and as a vegan - you don't come across your 'normal' breakfast options very often (other than granola or avo on toast.. Yawn). Once I found Gorilla Kitchen I was hooked as everything on their menu is incredible, but the Apple Pie pancakes are hands down, the best pancakes in Auckland (vegan or not). Fluffy, sweet and satisfying... If I could eat them all day every day for the rest of my life I would die a happy woman." - Samantha Glasswell, commercial integration manager 

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