Auckland is simply gorgeous, says chef Peter Gordon, who picks his favourite places to wine and dine in this major city on New Zealand's North Island.
Auckland restaurants and wine bars
The Gypsy Tea Room
An old favourite in Grey Lynn. An ever-changing, smallish wine list on the blackboard, simple tasty snacks and good beers – all you need from a neighbourhood wine bar.
Within a few hours of arriving in Auckland I head here to buy fresh fish from Lorraine (the city’s best purveyor of fish), locally made sorbet, wines from around the world (very fair prices) and fresh fruit and veg. A perfect mini-superstore.
This shop is the face of the online homewares store I love to browse – a place to buy those things you never knew you needed. Katie Lockhart Ltd (the studio behind the store) helped me with essential finishing touches at The Sugar Club.
My favourite Japanese restaurant outside of Japan. Chef Makoto is a genial master, creating subtle dishes packed with flavour. The sake tasting menu is the best I’ve had.
Located in the fabulous Ponsonby Central Market, this outlet sells Auckland’s best selection of small-producer cheese. If Callum is working, ask him for his choice. And right opposite is Eighthirty Coffee – my favourite roaster in town.
Ponsonby Road Bistro
The restaurant I eat at most frequently. Owner-operators Melissa, Blair and Sarah (who also runs the stove) have created this fabulous neighbourhood restaurant. The wine list showcases the best of New Zealand, but also features terrific bottles from across the globe.
The Sugar Club
My newest restaurant, with panoramic views across Auckland. The wine list is a mix of Italian and New Zealand, and the food is fusion. I know I’m bragging, but it’s truly is a special place!
Skycity Grand Hotel
This five-star luxury hotel has spawned the Federal Street Dining Precinct – 14 eateries! The rooms face either the city or the harbour bridge, and are all being renovated to a gorgeous new design.
O’Connell St Bistro
Chris Upton has created one of the best wine venues in town, with a kitchen delivering great food to match. Drink at the bar or sit down to a terrific meal – you’ll be well looked after.
Auckland Art Gallery Toi o T−amaki
A must-do while in town: a fabulous collection of NZ and overseas artists, from Colin McCahon to Dalí, Matisse and Mondrian.
The French Café
One of the best (some say THE best) restaurant in Auckland. Michelin quality and very wine friendly, and the design and atmosphere is beautiful, contemporary New Zealand. Run by husband and wife team Creghan Molloy (a Kiwi) and Simon Wright (a Brit).
Great Little Vineyards
If there’s one wine shop that sells the best of New Zealand (and the world), this is it. You’ll be in heaven when you set foot in here.
Avondale Sunday Market
This racecourse becomes a huge farmers’ market on Sunday, combining secondhand junk alongside delicate handmade silken tofu, Cambodian salads and Boil-Up (a Maori stew of pork bones, potato and puha – a native weed).
A visit by ferry to Waiheke Island is a must for any wine lover (vineyards include Man O’War, Te Motu, Stonyridge, Te Whau and others), and this place has been getting rave reviews since opening in summer of 2012. Looking like a cross between the Hamptons and modern NZ, the food and wines are fab.
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