The Best New Restaurants in Auckland

Updated 5 months ago

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“What good new restaurants should I try?”

Broadsheet’s editors field this question, or a variation on it, almost every day. While we’d just as soon recommend one of Auckland's straight-up best restaurants or a long-standing institution, the pull of a hot new place is hard to deny.

So here it is: our edit of the best new restaurants in Auckland from the past 12 months, updated monthly. Some of these places are redefining the way we eat and will go on to become classics. Others will be shorter lived. Either way, these are the spots we’re enjoying eating and drinking at right now.

  • Handmade pasta, small plates, homely desserts and cocktails that’ll transport you to Sicily – Jordan and Sarah MacDonald’s second venue brings Italian flair to the North Shore neighbourhood.

  • Josh and Helen Emett's all-day brasserie on O'Connell Street, with a menu that melds timeless touches with contemporary execution.

  • Dip your birria taco in deeply flavourful consommé at Kentucky-born chef Sean Yarbrough's Auckland taco shop – the follow-on from in-demand pop-ups and becoming a social media sensation.

  • Head to this airy 40-seat spot on Dominion Road for seasonal specials like fried whole snapper in house-made chilli sauce and mango sticky rice, and signatures like the jumbo krapao and som tum platter.

  • Head to Newmarket for free-range tonkatsu sets and soul-warming udon at Jason Lee and Makoto Tokuyama's Japanese diner on Khyber Pass Road.

  • The smash burger sensation's bricks-and-mortar shop blends simplicity and nostalgia in its 15-seat space on Great North Road.

  • Run by Dan Gillett of Everyday Wine, this natural wine bar promises over 200 bottles and rotating glass pours, as well as inventive small plates by chefs Tushar Grover and Josh Letele.

  • Having started life as a set-menu restaurant on Symonds Street, Plabita Florence’s 30-seater is now on Dominion Road. The focus is still on creative dishes with a low-waste, vegetarian ethos – and it’s evolved to à la carte ordering with a breakfast menu, too.

  • Visit this orange-accented venue in City Works Depot for hand-pressed corn tortilla tacos with traditional Mexican fillings, sides such as chilaquiles and chips with guac, and drinks including Margaritas and horchata.

  • The Britomart branch of one of Auckland's most-loved bakeries, this 177-seat cafe is in a 300-square-metre heritage space. Order scrambled eggs on rye, filled bagels, toasties and subs, and wholesome salads along with your favourite pastries and loaves. And there are cocktails, beers and wines to pair them with.

  • Mor gained a devoted following after it started as a by-delivery and pop-up bakery. This is its first bricks-and-mortar store, a pared-back and relaxed space where you can sit with a Supreme coffee and enjoy the famously skilful almond croissants, seasonal fruit danishes and fresh sandwiches.

  • The first New Zealand venue from Brazil-born chef Fabio Bernardini, whose CV boasts some of the world's finest restaurants. Settle in for Latin dishes that encompass influences from Mexico, Portugal, Brazil and more, and a casual, approachable vibe.

  • The spacious Newmarket sibling of David Lee's Ponsonby restaurant is designed for lingering over quintessentially punchy dishes like Korean pizza and yukgaejang ragu on homemade pappardelle.

  • Head to urban cellar door Somm and discover top New Zealand wines with a wine flight, paired with sharing plates, local cheeses and crispy pizzas. The water view from its Princes Wharf location is a bonus.

  • This 100-seater cafe and bistro is open seven days. Slide into a booth table or sit street-side and order from a menu of ranging European flavours and a 36-strong glass-pour wine list.

  • Stock up on Middle Eastern pantry staples and grab a shawarma to go at Elie Assaf’s Pitt Street shop.

  • This intimate corner bar serves a pared-back menu of East Asian flavours – dumplings, spring rolls and plenty of cocktails. Come for the punchy flavours and stay for the refined atmosphere.

  • Chef Dan Freeman and team evolved the popular Ragtag pop-ups into a relaxed restaurant and wine bar on Garnet Road. They serve more inventive takes on Freeman’s non-traditional tacos, along with sharing plates, natural wine, and New Zealand-brewed beer.

  • Find this destination eatery in a light-filled historic building fronted by a cheerful courtyard. Tuck into chef Reginaldo Richard’s inventive farm-to-table dishes with an emphasis on open-fire cooking.

  • At this polished Italian restaurant in Auckland's CBD, sit at the marble bar and snack on baby calamari and pesce crudo with cocktails, or settle into a booth for lasagne and tiramisu with made-from-scratch ladyfingers.