While we're being treated to warmer weather, why not opt for a dinner under the stars? Al Fresco dining is the answer, and there are so many hospitality institutions which fit the brief, offering delicious food in an outdoor setting!
The Conservatory | 17 Jellicoe St
For Al Fresco dining, a great destination is The Conservatory, with a relaxed setting, outdoor flow, and delicious menu. Their infamous pizzas are a whopping 18 inches long, and each one of them are packed full of flavour. We recommend the Southern Flame Pizza, which comes with Cajun chicken, caramelised onions, roasted capsicum, coriander, and sour cream. To wash it all down, try the Long Island Iced tea, a boozy but refreshing cocktail.
Soul Bar and Bistro | 16-18 Crn of Lower Hobson St and Custom St
Head to Soul Bar and Bistro for good vibes and delicious food. The vibrant restaurant is located on the Viaduct Harbour and is the perfect little spot to see stunning sunset views while grabbing something to eat. Try out their classic macaroni cheese and one of their irresistible hand-crafted cocktails, plus enjoy the beats.
Baduzzi | 10-26 Jellicoe St
One of the most popular and acclaimed Italian restaurants in the heart of the city, Baduzzi is famous for their sophisticated decor, highly hospitable staff, and mouth-watering Italian food. The menu is packed with amazing choices, from hand-crafted meatballs, pasta, and artisan meats. The Vongole alla Tarantina features Cloudy Bay clams, white wine broth, chili, and lemon. A perfect pairing to go along with the fresh seafood is the Baduzzi Spritz cocktail, a twist on the Italian classic.
Pilkingtons Restaurant and Bar | 41 Shortland St
Pilkingtons is an award-winning restaurant nestled in an abundance of greenery, hand-blown glass fittings, and natural stone. Al Fresco dining exemplified, Pilkingtons serves European bistro style fare, along with a carefully curated selection of wine, beer, and cocktails. A dish full of flavour is the gnocchi, with ajo blanco, pickled golden raisins, macadamia, cauliflower, kale, finished with almond butter dressing. Our drink pairing of choice is the Bogle Chardonnay, and oaky and fruity full-bodied wine.
Miss Clawdy | 12 Jellicoe St
Head on down to the North Wharf to Miss Clawdy, a Southern American soul food haven. Be aware, Miss Clawdy doesn’t hold back when it comes to big bold flavours. From their signature dish of Southern fried chicken, their 12-hour bourbon beef ribs, or their jambalaya, you will consistently receive delicious food cooked with love and passion. The Jamaican Jerk Chicken is worth an order, as the chicken is marinated with a mix of 20 different herbs and spices. To satiate your thirst and cool the flavour bomb, order the Mint Julep, a Southern cocktail with wild turkey bourbon, fresh mint, and sugar.
Auckland Fish Market | 22-32 Jellicoe Street
Having served up the freshest seafood for over 100 years, the Fish Market is a great place for families and groups with an array of eateries to choose from, to be enjoyed in a wider courtyard that often has great live music and activations.
The Crab Shack | Shed 22 Princes Wharf
For a coastal themed dining experience on the water, then make your way to Princes Wharf and try out The Crab Shack. With a focus on being casual and affordable, The Crab Shack is ideal for families or those who want to enjoy delicious food at a fair price. Though crab is their specialty, there are other amazing options on the menu, including beer battered fish and chips, a classic Kiwi staple. The Aku Aku cocktail is a fun one, with wild turkey bourbon, aperol, ginger beer, honey and lime. To make it even more lucrative, The Crab Shack has a happy hour daily from 4-7pm, with $5 beer and wine, and $10 cocktails!