Auckland’s 2021 Iconic Eats announced

Aucklanders now have an updated ultimate dining guide of iconic dishes hidden in all corners of the region, with the release today of the much-anticipated second annual Iconic Auckland Eats list.

The new list highlights 100 unique and well-loved dishes that can only be enjoyed in Auckland and will take the taste buds on a tour around the globe.

The list was created following nominations by nearly 1000 food-loving Aucklanders who shared stories of their favourite eats across Tāmaki Makaurau.

Fatima’s - Lamb Pita
Lamb Pita, Fatimas. Photograph by Babiche Martens. www.babichemartens.com

Mayor Phil Goff says the list is a celebration of Auckland’s world-class culinary scene.

“Tāmaki Makaurau is renowned for its food, wine and hospitality, and it’s great to be able to highlight some of the best of the best dishes from across the region,” he says.

“This year’s list is also a reflection of Auckland’s diverse population. With over 40 per cent of us born overseas, Auckland is one of the most multicultural cities in the world and that richness in culture extends to the huge range of food choices on offer from eateries across the city.

“Aucklanders love to dine out and with the city moving into the new COVID-19 Protection Framework, we can look forward to returning to a more normal life, with the ability to once again visit the hospitality venues that make our city such a great place to live in and visit.”

Auckland Unlimited programme manager Annie Dundas says the 2021 Iconic Auckland Eats list is testament to a much-loved hospitality industry that can meet any craving – from timeless classics to innovative new combinations, local convenience to spectacular settings, and cuisines from around the world.

“The stories about the final 100 eats are as diverse as the dishes they describe – a true reflection of Auckland’s rich dining scene and ethnic diversity.

“While we can’t travel the world right now, you can certainly eat your way around the world right here in Auckland – from South Africa to the Middle East, Italy to Indonesia,” says Annie Dundas.

“Our hospitality industry has faced incredible challenges through the pandemic, and the stories shared throughout the list are heart-warming and prove how important food and our hospitality industry is on a very personal level,” she says.

The list features dishes from fine dining establishments to cheap and cheerful cafes, food trucks, markets and hole-in-the-wall offerings across the Auckland region. While many are available for takeaway now, others on the list will require planning and patience for when restaurants can welcome guests again.

As a region bordered by roaring ocean on one side, sparkling harbours and islands, Aucklanders’ connection to the sea is clear – with nearly a quarter of the dishes featuring seafood. The list features everything from snapper and chips to seafood chowder, sushi and sashimi, scampi and crayfish, and whole flounder.

There are some clear favourites emerging, with 16 dishes that have made the Iconic Auckland Eats list two years running – including crayfish meatballs from Baduzzi, beef brisket from Blue Ox Babe BBQ, dumplings in spicy sauce from Eden Noodles, lamingtons from Sugar at Chelsea Bay Cafe, and the signature sashimi platter from Cocoro.

A further 21 restaurants made the list again, but with different dishes featured this year. Blue Rose Cafe’s koko Samoa cupcake was selected last year, while this year it’s the hangi pie that caught Aucklanders’ attention. Similarly, last year it was Tiger Burger’s gang jeong burger, but this year it’s the kimcheese burger.

The inaugural Iconic Auckland Eats list was published last year and is an initiative by economic and cultural agency Auckland Unlimited to support local hospitality businesses and build Auckland’s reputation as a food and beverage destination.

To explore the 2021 Iconic Auckland Eats list visit www.iconiceats.co.nz