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Auckland’s Latest Iconic Eats Announced

Aucklanders now have an updated ultimate dining guide of iconic dishes hidden in all corners of the region, with the release today of the much-anticipated second annual Iconic Auckland Eats list.

Sweet and Me, Fijian Coconut Buns, Credit Babiche Martens

The new list highlights 100 unique and well-loved dishes that can only be enjoyed in Auckland and will take the taste buds on a tour around the globe.

The list was created following nominations by nearly 1000 food-loving Aucklanders who shared stories of their favourite eats across Tāmaki Makaurau.

Mayor Phil Goff says the list is a celebration of Auckland’s world-class culinary scene.

“Tāmaki Makaurau is renowned for its food, wine and hospitality, and it’s great to be able to highlight some of the best of the best dishes from across the region,” he says.

“This year’s list is also a reflection of Auckland’s diverse population. With over 40 per cent of us born overseas, Auckland is one of the most multicultural cities in the world and that richness in culture extends to the huge range of food choices on offer from eateries across the city.

“Aucklanders love to dine out and with the city moving into the new COVID-19 Protection Framework, we can look forward to returning to a more normal life, with the ability to once again visit the hospitality venues that make our city such a great place to live in and visit.”

Auckland Unlimited programme manager Annie Dundas says the 2021 Iconic Auckland Eats list is testament to a much-loved hospitality industry that can meet any craving – from timeless classics to innovative new combinations, local convenience to spectacular settings, and cuisines from around the world.

“The stories about the final 100 eats are as diverse as the dishes they describe – a true reflection of Auckland’s rich dining scene and ethnic diversity.

“While we can’t travel the world right now, you can certainly eat your way around the world right here in Auckland – from South Africa to the Middle East, Italy to Indonesia,” says Annie Dundas.

“Our hospitality industry has faced incredible challenges through the pandemic, and the stories shared throughout the list are heart-warming and prove how important food and our hospitality industry is on a very personal level,” she says.

The list features dishes from fine dining establishments to cheap and cheerful cafes, food trucks, markets and hole-in-the-wall offerings across the Auckland region. While many are available for takeaway now, others on the list will require planning and patience for when restaurants can welcome guests again.

As a region bordered by roaring ocean on one side, sparkling harbours and islands, Aucklanders’ connection to the sea is clear – with nearly a quarter of the dishes featuring seafood. The list features everything from snapper and chips to seafood chowder, sushi and sashimi, scampi and crayfish, and whole flounder.

There are some clear favourites emerging, with 16 dishes that have made the Iconic Auckland Eats list two years running – including crayfish meatballs from Baduzzi, beef brisket from Blue Ox Babe BBQ, dumplings in spicy sauce from Eden Noodles, lamingtons from Sugar at Chelsea Bay Cafe, and the signature sashimi platter from Cocoro.

A further 21 restaurants made the list again, but with different dishes featured this year. Blue Rose Cafe’s koko Samoa cupcake was selected last year, while this year it’s the hangi pie that caught Aucklanders’ attention. Similarly, last year it was Tiger Burger’s gang jeong burger, but this year it’s the kimcheese burger.

The inaugural Iconic Auckland Eats list was published last year and is an initiative by economic and cultural agency Auckland Unlimited to support local hospitality businesses and build Auckland’s reputation as a food and beverage destination.

To explore the 2021 Iconic Auckland Eats list visit



- Auckland was recently named the best city to travel to in 2022 by Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel book. Read more.

About Iconic Auckland Eats:

  • The Iconic Auckland Eats list is developed by food-loving Aucklanders and the dishes can only be found in Auckland.
  • Following nominations from the public, a team of food moderators enlisted by Auckland Unlimited narrowed down submissions to reach the goal of 100 Iconic Auckland Eats.
  • Each iconic dish was considered against a set of criteria: well-loved, representative of local culture and people, a timeless classic, and/or a ‘signature dish’. The list not only celebrates food, but also in-store experiences, people, history, heritage and culture.
  • The 2020 Iconic Auckland Eats list will remain on the website, alongside the new 2021 list.
  • In 2021, there were 997 nominations for the Iconic Auckland Eats list, up from 350 nominations in 2020.
  • The Iconic Auckland Eats website received more than 56,000 hits in the first six months (1 October 2020 – 28 February 2021)

What areas of Auckland are the restaurants from?

The list has been divided into general areas of Auckland that the restaurant is located in.

Central Auckland includes suburbs such as Remuera, Newmarket, Onehunga, Mt Eden.

Central Auckland62
North Auckland10
West Auckland10
Waiheke Island and Hauraki Gulf Islands7
East Auckland6
South Auckland3

16 dishes were also named on the 2020 Iconic Auckland Eats list:

OutletDish name
AmanoPulled Lamb Shoulder
AzabuVolcano Sushi
BaduzziKaritane Crayfish Meatballs
Blue Ox Babe BBQBeef Brisket and House Pickles
CocoroThe Signature Sashimi Platter
DepotFish Sliders
Eden NoodlesDumplings in Spicy Sauce
Hello BeastyPrawn + Crab Toast
Mekong BabyBraised Pork Belly, Caramelised Chilli & Soy, Asian Slaw
NanamWagyu Sausage “Longganisa”
Soul Bar & BistroMacaroni Cheese
Sri PinangBeef Rendang
Sugar at Chelsea Bay

Strawberry Lamington

(note, the 'lamington' was listed in 2020, with no specific flavour)

Sumthin DumplinBeef n Cheese Dumplin'
The Engine RoomTwice-Baked Goat's Cheese Soufflé
Three Seven TwoWhole Flounder

20 restaurants feature again, with a different dish named on the list this year:

Outlet2021 Iconic Auckland Eats list2020 Iconic Auckland Eats list
AhiScampi Corn DogsTe Mana Lamb and Cheese Savoury
Angus Steak HouseAngus Steak SandwichAngus Beef Dip Baguette
AperoRoasted Cauliflower, Goat curdPork sausage served with pickles and mustard
Blue Rose CaféHangi PieKoko Samoa Cupcake
Cheese on ToastBacon Jam ToastieCreamed Corn Toastie
CottoDumplings - spinach goat cheese sageKumara Gnocchi
CulpritParfait & Donuts, chicken liver parfait, fresh yeasted donuts, pear 'butter'Burnt Brussell Sprouts
FarinaLinguini with Snapper SauceDiavolo Pizza
Fatima’sLamb pita (Takapuna outlet)Lamb Charwarma (Ponsonby outlet)
Federal DelicatessenChicken Salad SandwichToasted Rueben
MellowChocolate Shaved ice creamStrawberry Shaved Ice Cream
Mr. Hao1kg sweet and sour pork ribs (Albany outlet)Hao's Spicy Chicken Wings (Dominion Road outlet)
OckheeChun Sa Chae Noodle SaladOckhee Fried Chicken (Dak Gang Jeong)
Paradise Indian RestaurantLamb BiryaniChilly Chicken
PregoPotato and Burnt Butter GnocchiMarket Fish (snapper) with herb risotto
Linguine alla marinara
SatyaMasala DosaDahi Puri
Sneaky SnackyHot Chicken Donut BurgerOG Wagyu Donut Burger
The White LadyOld Skool BurgerThe Aucklander Burger
Tiger BurgerKimcheese burgerGang Jeong Burger
Ima's Cuisine Fort StShakshukaClassic Mezze

About us: Auckland Unlimited is Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland’s economic and cultural agency committed to making our region a desirable place to live, work, visit, invest and do business. To find out more visit

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