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Iconic Auckland Eats: Latest List Of Top 100 Dishes In The Region Announced

The 2024 Iconic Auckland Eats list, with the top 100 dishes in Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland as nominated by the public, releases this Wednesday. Developed annually, the list is a culinary celebration, highlighting unique and beloved dishes that can only be savoured in Tāmaki Makaurau.

Now in its fourth year, Iconic Auckland Eats is a significant marker of Auckland's culinary scene. With 1800+ submissions, the competition ran at the end of 2023 and attracted more than double the number of submissions from the previous year, up from 800.

An initiative by Tātaki Auckland Unlimited, the region’s economic and cultural agency, Iconic Auckland Eats showcases Auckland's vibrant food scene, featuring legendary dishes that range from fine dining establishments to affordable cafes, food trucks and hidden local gems. These dishes capture the essence of Tāmaki Makaurau, embodying the cultural melting pot and richness that makes the region so special.

Mayor Wayne Brown says, "Iconic Auckland Eats is a celebration of Auckland's culinary scene, its many cultures, our local chefs and hospitality industry. I enjoy taking people to Gemmayze Street restaurant, it's a local spot for me, and I encourage visitors and Aucklanders to get out and try some of these dishes and all Auckland has on offer." 
 

Gemmayze Street is a Lebanese-inspired restaurant located on K Rd, which was recently voted one of the world’s coolest streets and has eight eateries with dishes selected in the top 100 Iconic Auckland Eats for 2024.

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Annie Dundas, Director of Destination at Tātaki Auckland Unlimited, says, “As always, the variety of cuisines in our Iconic Auckland Eats list reflects the incredible mix of ethnicities here in Tāmaki Makaurau. What makes the list truly unique is every dish featured is supported by an original or heartwarming story, highlighting how food can evoke culture and emotions, from happiness, a feeling of belonging, to good old nostalgia. Reading the stories is a great reminder of how special and memorable sharing a meal can be, whether they serve as a comforting taste of home or a reminder of the international food adventures on our own doorstep.”

Two dishes have earned the honour of being named in all four Iconic Auckland Eats lists since the awards' inception in 2020: the fish sliders at Depot and the lamington at Sugar at Chelsea Bay. Gemmayze restaurant, which has now featured in three of the Iconic Auckland Eats lists, stands out as the sole eatery with more than one dish on the 2024 list, with its handmade hummus and the Jazar, a stuffed carrot dish.

Over the past three years, several favourites have consistently delighted and made the top 100, including the Ahi scampi corndog, Tiger Burger’s unique kimcheese burger and Sneaky Snacky’s decadent hot chicken donut burger.

One of the judges for Iconic Auckland Eats is food influencer, Nic Chan of @Chan_Can_Eat who says, "Auckland's diverse food scene, with its unique melting pot of cultures and cuisines, is what makes our culinary landscape so unique. Exploring this year's entries for Iconic Auckland Eats has been truly exciting. In the top 100 you'll discover new, innovative eateries and long-standing favourites."

To culminate the celebration, one lucky foodie who submitted their favourite dish and story was chosen as the winner of the Iconic Auckland Eats prize, receiving vouchers to enjoy all 100 dishes over the coming year. Tracy Berno, a university professor who lives in Auckland CBD, nominated Homeland’s delicious ika mata dish alongside a touching personal tale.

Tracy’s winning story: “I have lived and worked in the Pacific for over 30 years. I've researched Pacific food; I've written books on it. The ika mata at Homeland is hands down my favourite ika mata out there. Not only is beautiful to behold, itis delicious, with amazing textures and colours; it places our Pacific heritage and culture literally in the centre of the plate. The inclusion of unexpected elements such as the curry leaf oil and chilli ginger jelly are evocative of Auckland's multiculturalism and unique and sophisticated food scene. Whenever I have out of town/country guests, I always take them to Homeland and I always order (at least one) ika mata for them to try. It's everything that Auckland is, on a plate. I can't imagine a dish that better represents our beautiful city.”

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