Barilla Dumpling (Dominion Rd)– Don’t be fooled by the plastic chairs and the paper table coverings. Brilla, located within Auckland’s unofficial China Town offers an exceptional taste for exceptional value. It’s consistent place in Metro’s top cheap eats is justified, as it’s stock standard dumplings come in a plate of 20 for a very modest $12. Don’t worry about ordering too much though, as this is the next-day work lunch of your dreams. Favorite dish: deep fried bean sprouts and chicken chive dumplings.
The French Café (top if Symonds t – Constantly on the list of top restaurants in the WORLD (yeah, that’s right you read that correct) The French Café’s quiet, minimalist décor leaves everything up to their exquisite food. Like most fine dining, you chose from several set meal options. Priced accordingly, this would be a very fancy night out. But who doesn’t love to feel fancy? Favorite dish: You’ve gotten this far, so you may as well enjoy the French Café for what it’s known for – the set course meals for the whole table.
Revel Café (K Road)– the hidden gem of K-Rd, this vegan- friendly café is a must-do. Even if you’re not vegan or vegetarian, you have the option of sitting at a table and playing a vintage space invaders game, chess or spelling out your favorite word porn on the wall of letter magnets. A very cool place to soak up the vibe of the ever-colorful K-Rd. Favorite dish: If you love seafood, get the Mirana pizza.
Prego (Ponsonby Road) – DELICIOUS pizza. My favorite pizza place in Auckland city. Which says something, because lets be honest, most pizza is pretty good, even when it’s bad it is good. With no pizza dish over $40 (and they are gourmet, don’t get it wrong), Prego is the perfect location for a date night, catch up with long-lost friends or any occasion you feel deserves something nicer than fast food. Favorite dish: If you love seafood, get the Marinara pizza.
Café Cezanne (Ponsonby Road)- Walking into Café Cezanne you’re initially struck by the large Vatican style murals on both walls and low rustic wood tables that give the space an understated, Italian feel. The main lunch menu is the usual Auckland café fare of pasta dishes, salads, open sandwiches and the standard range of hot and cold drinks, however, there are three separate menus listing gluten free, vegetarian and children’s food giving those with special diets much more to choose from. If you’re looking for a café in Ponsonby with a relaxed, cool atmosphere, great range, Café Cezanne is definitely worth checking out. Favorite dish: Veggie Brekkie – If you’re gluten free or a vegetarian (or both) but want to also enjoy a bit of a homemade fry-up feel this is the dish for you!