Christmas is a time to be spent with others and the city has all the top spots for an intimate and memorable catch up. Get the family together, call over the office crew or round up your friends for a meal to wrap up the year. Here are our recommendations for spots to go.
Lunch at Saxon + Parole | Commercial Bay Led by Michelin-Starred chef Brad Farmerie, Saxon + Parole hails from New York's Bowery District and is fast becoming a city centre favourite. Known for it's grilled meats and seafood dishes, it's also got a fantastic cocktail menu and some of the city's best dining views looking out to the Waitemata Harbour. What's more, the talented team of award-winning bartenders craft a fancy, barrel-aged, rare and delicious bottled cocktail every month, marked with your name on it when you sign up to their monthly cocktail membership. The membership includes an invitation to each monthly cocktail launch, as well as preferential booking, access to the Lorillard Room, and invites to special events.
Lunch at Dr Rudi’s | Level 2/204 Quay St
Famous for their pizza by the foot, Dr Rudi’s generous plates and sharing platters are no stranger to Christmas catch ups. Sip on an ice cold tap beer, made at the onsite brewery and overlook the Viaduct’s glistening water. While you wait for your meal, hit the free bowling lanes out the back and kick off with some friendly competition.
Lunch at Cafe Hanoi | Galway Street, Britomart
You may have been to Cafe Hanoi before, but have you been in its new, bigger space on Galway Street? The new restaurant opens into the laneway of the Britomart Hotel and includes a larger dining space, an open kitchen with chef’s table counter seating, a conservatory with windows looking out onto Galway Street, a separate bar and a large private dining room that can accommodate 44 guests (double that of the original private space) - perfect for if you've got a big family or group of friends to celebrate with this season.
Dinner at White + Wongs | 149 Quay Street
White + Wong’s ‘east meets west’ cuisine takes classic street foods from China, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Malaysia and Thailand – the noodles, soups, curries and delicious dumplings – and creates an eclectic menu to pick and choose from. Perfect for casual group dining with world class views of The Viaduct. What's also great about this eatery is that it boasts a hidden gem in Sardine, a great little bar which creates delicious cocktails and craft beers.
Dinner at kingi | Galway Street, Britomart
A new restaurant adjacent to the new Hotel Britomart and brought to you by Tom Hishon and Josh Helm, the minds behind Orphan’s Kitchen and Daily Bread, kingi (short for kingfish) has a menu emphasising sustainability and quality. Add this to your list of must-try places to dine this season and enjoy the intimate ambience, gorgeous fit out (we love the exposed brick walls and chandelier) and fresh, seasonal dishes.
Dinner at Ahi | Commercial Bay
Enjoy dinner at this new Commercial Bay fine dining restaurant with wonderful views looking out to the Ferry Building and Waitemata Harbour. Lead by acclaimed chef Ben Bayly, enjoy a menu celebrating New Zealand food and ingredients, with dishes including NIWA kingfish, Te Mana lamb, charcoaled half crayfish and more.
Dinner at Auckland Fish Market | 22-32 Jellicoe Street
What better way to celebrate the holidays than a visit to New Zealand’s seafood hub. 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.
Dinner at Huami | 87 Federal St
Experience dinner in true Chinese fashion at Huami, either in the main dining area or in one of their 3 private dining rooms. The private dining rooms seat 6-12 guests and are an intimate way to share plates of traditional food. The chef’s menus showcase an exquisite range of dishes from all corners of China, whilst the drinks menu features an extensive wine list curated by New Zealand’s only Master Sommelier, Cameron Douglas.
Dinner at Cassia | 5 Fort Lane
Chef and owner, Sid Sahrawat, works on creating dishes that rework classic spices with contemporary and local New Zealand ingredients. Indulge in his creative culinary skills and aromatic flavour combinations of India and enjoy the romantic lighting of the restaurant. Cassia offers private rooms as well as semi-private dining areas to cater to group dinners and gatherings.
Dinner at Gusto at the Grand | SkyCity, 90 Federal St
Sit amongst the lights of the city and dine at SkyCity’s Gusto at the Grand. Renowned for their simple food and classic flavours, Gusto is a place to share fresh Italian dishes with family and friends. Treat the table to an Italian Feast to share, exclusive for groups.
Award-winning Williams Eatery is a Wynyard Quarter favourite for people who love good food and drink with great company. With a menu specialising in Italian and Lebanese dishes and using only the best seasonal produce from local suppliers, it's a great place to meet family and friends for a fantastic dining experience this festive season.
Lunch at La Zeppa | 33 Drake Street
Take advantage of La Zeppa’s large outdoor balcony and dine with a view of Victoria Park’s greenery. Discover the Mediterranean menu that is designed for sharing whilst being surrounded with great music and an upbeat environment.