It's been a while since we've grappled with that inevitable 11:59 am question, hmmm what to get for lunch? We've missed the ease of grabbing a delicious option from any one of the amazing city centre eateries, and now we've started to emerge from our homes, it seemed like a good time to round up our favourite lunch spots to help you with some inspiration for your next midday meal. From fried chicken, to pasta, sandwiches, soups, salads and dumplings, there is something to satisfy everyone's cravings. Make the most of the sunny weather we are being treated to and enjoy your lunch hour outside - see our list of the best outdoor lunch spots in our city centre, here.
$10 and under
Savoury Pancake, $6 | No.1 Pancake | Corner Lorne Street and Wellesley Street
If you don't have a lot of time over your lunch break, No.1 Pancake is a great option. Specialising in Korean style pancakes filled with cheese and your choice of beef, chicken, ham, bacon, vege or potato! Or if its for after lunch, grab a chocolate or red bean filled pancake to settle any afternoon sugar cravings!
Bolognese pasta, $7.90 | NEEDO | 7 Elliott Street
For a hearty lunch, try the scrumptious pasta dishes at NEEDO on Elliott Street. Fresh pasta is made right before your eyes and then served with a variety of traditional Italian sauces and your choice of cheese. It’s a simple lunch, but an extremely satisfying one.
Tacos, $8 | Mexico | 23 Britomart Place
Call up Mexico when it's almost time for lunch and they'll have your meal all packaged up and ready for take-away when you arrive. All of Mexico's favourites will be available for takeaway, so if you're feeling like fried chicken, a jackfruit quesadilla, or a pork belly taco, Mexico is the place to go.
Cheese burger, $8 | Better Burger | Vulcan Lane & Britomart Train Station
You can never go wrong with a burger and chips for a quick takeaway lunch, and Better Burger is definitely the place to go for this tasty classic. The menu is simple, with just 4 different burgers to choose from - cheese, double cheese, chicken, or mushroom. Whichever you choose, we recommend that you "Superstar it" by adding a crumbed mushroom.
Croque-Monsieur, $8.50 | La Petite Fourchette | Daldy Street
What could taste better than champagne ham, bechamel sauce and emmental cheese? Nothing! That's why a lunch favourite of ours is La Petite Fourchette's amazing croque-monsiuer. If you'd rather not have ham, they also do a vegetarian one made with spinach and goat cheese.
Chorizo, feta & caramelised onion roll, $9.50 | Rushworth | Wynyard Quarter
Rushworth's cabinet options are great for a quick lunch! Our go to is the chorizo feta and caramelised onion roll, the perfect combination of tasty ingredients, or the roast pepper foldover with goats cheese and beetroot relish.
Coconut Pumpkin Soup, $10 | The Botanist | City Works Depot
The Botanist in City Works Depot is always a delight to stop into during a lunch break for a gourmet salad, soup or all day breakfast. We love the Malay inspired coconut pumpkin soup (pictured above) that's on the menu right now. Hence the name, The Botanist doubles as a florist so while you stop in for lunch get yourself a gorgeous bouquet to brighten up the office.
Gourmet sandwich, $10 | Amano Bakery | 66-68 Tyler Street
Amano is the place to go for a quick sandwich, salad, or pasta dish to pick up and take away. The gourmet sandwiches are amazing, and the meatball sandwich deserves a special mention - pide bun filled with smashed meatballs & cucumber pickles. Don't forget to grab one of Amano's delicious mouthwatering golden pastries, we absolutely love their creative doughnuts ($5) and we highly recommend trying their rhubarb and custard filled creation.
Bowl of soup, $10 | Good Life Juice Co. | 47 Fort Street
With the weather getting cooler as we move into winter, a bowl of homemade soup is just what you'll need to warm you up on your lunch break. If you're not feeling soup, the Goodlife Juice Co. are masters at salad and smoothie making too, using only fresh and sustainably sourced ingredients.
Rice Paper Rolls, $10.50 | District 5 | 28 Shortland Street
This little eatery on Shortland St is perfect for a "grab-and-go" lunch on a busy work day. How does flavourful rice paper rolls filled with either prawn pork or tofu sound for a gloriously fresh lunch? District 5 is the hub for Vietnamese street food right in the city centre.
The OG Dumplings, $10.50 | Sumthin Dumpling | 12 O'Connell Street
We are big fans of dumplings in the Heart of the City office, and Sumthin Dumplin never fails to satisfy our cravings of these tasty morsels. Favourites of our office are the OG (premium pork and cabbage in original wrap) and The Monk (tofu, shitake mushroom and bok choy in a spinach wrap). Whether you douse yours in chilli and soy or simply enjoy them plain, these authentic dumplings are the uncontroversial answer to your midday belly rumbling.
The White Rabbit, $10.90 | Best Ugly Bagels | City Works Depot
Opt for Best Ugly Bagels' authentic Montreal style bagels for your next lunch run. We love the range of topping options to choose from and find it hard to go past the White Rabbit - Zany Zeus cream cheese is spread across each half, then layered with tomato, basil and a drizzle of lemon fennel olive oil.
$20 and under
Sandwich, $11 | Chuffed | 43 High Street
The selection of cabinet sandwiches at Chuffed will absolutely blow your taste buds! From Poached Chicken to Grilled Cheese and the classic Reuben, Chuffed executes each sandwich to utter perfection. What's best is that you can quickly grab and go if you’re pushed for time.
Poke Bowl, $13.90 | Shaka Bowl | 5 High Street
Hawaiian poké bowls are hard to beat. They're quick, healthy and full of flavour. Shaka Bowl have mastered the art of a perfect poké bowl with raw salmon or tuna and a mix of fresh vegetables served on rice or salad. Vegetarian options are also available.
Dan Dan Noodles, $14.80 | Sunny Town China Taste | 10-14 Lorne Street
Bringing the authentic Chinese experience with DanDan noodles, sauced pork buns, prawn shao-mai, and wonton noodle soup to the heart of the city are the guys at Sunny Town China Taste. Watch in their front window as chefs prepare dumplings by hand, then take a seat or grab your dish for takeaway and let your senses be transported to mainland China.
Pho Bowl, $13.50 | Hello Mister | 5B Hardinge Street
This colourful Vietnamese street food spot is a gem for those looking for a lunch on-the-go. Warm up with a pho bowl, savour a range of rice paper rolls with flavoursome fillings or enjoy a perfect banh mi roll. To complete your lunch order a Vietnamese iced coffee to wash it all down.
Kimchi Fried Rice, $16 | The Kimchi Project | 20 Lorne Street
If you're a kimchi fan, this is just the restaurant for you. Kimchi waffle fries, kimchi fried rice, and kimchi croque monsieur are all on the menu (and they're delicious). Don't worry if kimchi isn't your thing, there are plenty of dishes without it, our favourites being the bao buns and buddha bowl.
Red Curry, $15 | Chom Na Thai Food | 40 Lorne Street
It might take you some time to decide what you want off of Chom Na's extensive menu, but whatever it may be we are sure it'll make you want to come back for more tomorrow. Chom Na has all the Thai favourites in curry, stir fry, and noodle dishes as well as tasty small plates such as spring rolls, curry puffs and satay chicken. We usually go for the red curry, a tom yum soup and pad thai.
XL Fried chicken and shoestring fries, $17 | Kai Eatery | 1 Rutland Street
Kai Eatery is a mecca of Taiwanese street food. Serving up scrumptious dishes from their bright orange container, you can get authentic fried chicken, kumara fries with a twist and heavenly green tea and red bean bao buns.
Elliott Stables | Elliott Street
Elliott Stables is your international food dining village, a great location to grab a quick lunch, or meet a few friends. Browse all the menus and enjoy making your choices from their range of international restaurants with ethnic and local fare.
Restaurants in Elliott Stables:
- Besos Latinos
- Bonz Cajun Kitchen
- De Niro Ristorante
- Big Little Grill
- Burg'z Burgers
- Samurai Sushi
- Ela Cuisine
- HomeCooked Filipino
- The Paddock
- Wedge Juice Bar
- The Seafood Kitchen
- Bao Baby Bao