Iconic Auckland Eats: The top 100 dishes in the region for 2024 revealed

Picking a place to eat in Auckland can be tricky; while not yet in the vein of New York or London, Tāmaki Makaurau is a burgeoning foodie hotspot with plenty of choice, from well-established eateries to innovative up-and-comers and hidden gems.

Whether you're struggling to decide on takeaways or selecting a spot for a sit-down meal, the Iconic Auckland Eats list - featuring the region's top 100 dishes as nominated by the public - could be a good place to start.

The latest annual list is officially out on Wednesday, highlighting a range of unique and beloved dishes that can only be savoured in the City of Sails. 

The initiative is undertaken by Tātaki Auckland Unlimited, the region's economic and cultural agency, in a bid to showcase Auckland's vibrant and diverse culinary scene and support local businesses. Now in its fourth year, the list for 2024 attracted over 1800 submissions - more than double the number from the previous year. Voting was then conducted to narrow down the nominations to the top 100.  

"Iconic Auckland Eats is a celebration of Auckland's culinary scene, its many cultures, our local chefs and hospitality industry," Mayor Wayne Brown said on Wednesday. "I encourage visitors and Aucklanders to get out and try some of these dishes and all Auckland has on offer." 

His favourite spot? Gemmayze Street, a Lebanese-inspired restaurant situated in K Road's legendary St Kevin's Arcade.

Bacon Jam Toastie by Cheese on Toast.
Bacon Jam Toastie by Cheese on Toast. Photo credit: Supplied

"The variety of cuisines in our Iconic Auckland Eats list reflects the incredible mix of ethnicities here in Tāmaki Makaurau," said Annie Dundas, director of destination at Tātaki Auckland Unlimited.

"Every dish featured is supported by an original or heartwarming story, highlighting how food can evoke culture and emotions, from happiness, a feeling of belonging, to good old nostalgia.

"Reading the stories is a great reminder of how special and memorable sharing a meal can be, whether they serve as a comforting taste of home or a reminder of the international food adventures on our own doorstep."

Two dishes have earned the honour of being named in all four Iconic Auckland Eats' lists since its inception in 2020: the fish sliders at Depot and Sugar at Chelsea Bay's much-loved lamington.

Gemmayze's hummus.
Gemmayze Street's hummus. Photo credit: Supplied

Gemmayze Street, which has now featured in three of the Iconic Auckland Eats' lists, stands out as the sole eatery with more than one dish on this year's compilation; its handmade hummus and the Jazar, a stuffed carrot dish.    

Several other favourites that have consistently made the top 100 are Ahi's scampi corndog, Tiger Burger's kimcheese creation, and Sneaky Snacky's decadent hot chicken donut burger. 

Sneaky Snacky's Hot Chicken Donut Burger.
Sneaky Snacky's Hot Chicken Donut Burger. Photo credit: Supplied

All 100 dishes are equal in ranking, while one story is picked as the judges' favourite; that lucky foodie receives a book of vouchers to try all 100 dishes over the next year.

This year's winner is Tracy Berno, a university professor who lives in downtown Auckland, who shared a heartwarming anecdote to describe the impact of the ika mata dish she had nominated at Peter Gordon's Homeland.  

The ika mata dish at Homeland.
The ika mata dish at Homeland. Photo credit: Supplied

"I have lived and worked in the Pacific for over 30 years. I've researched Pacific food; I've written books on it. The ika mata at Homeland is hands down my favourite ika mata out there. Not only is it beautiful to behold, itis delicious, with amazing textures and colours; it places our Pacific heritage and culture literally in the centre of the plate," she explained. 

"It's everything that Auckland is, on a plate. I can't imagine a dish that better represents our beautiful city."

Ahi's scampi corndog.
Ahi's scampi corndog. Photo credit: Supplied

Iconic Auckland Eats 2024

  1. 1947 eatery, Carrot Pudding (Halwa)
  2. Ahi, Scampi Corndog 
  3. Ajisen Ramen, Kaiju Ramen 
  4. Alma, Pork Pinchitos 
  5. Amano, Chitarra, Scampi, Tomato & Chilli 
  6. Andy's Burgers & Bar, Tower Burger 
  7. Apéro Food & Wine, Goats Cheese Croquettes 
  8. Baby G Burger, Oklahoma Dreaming 
  9. Baduzzi, Ricotta Cannoli 
  10. Bali Nights, Ikan Bakar Jimbaran 
  11. Banh Mi Boy, Vietnamese Sandwiches 
  12. Bar Magda, Lamb Ribs 
  13. BBQ King Restaurant, Salt and Pepper Tofu 
  14. Bivacco, Margherita Pizza  
  15. Black Cottage Cafe, Shakshuka 
  16. Blue Rose Café , Koko Samoa Cupcakes 
  17. BODA Restaurant, Fried Chicken 
  18. Bossi Restaurant, Lasagne 
  19. Brazilian Café & Bistro, Coxinha 
  20. Broke Boy Taco, Big Plate  
  21. Burgernaut, West End BBQ Smash Burger 
  22. Burnt Butter Diner, Crème Brûlée Pie 
  23. Butter Baby, Pandan Sago Donut 
  24. Candela, Grilled Cabbage, Ajo Blanco, Chilli Jam 
  25. Captain Kai Moana, Cream Paua and Fried Bread 
  26. Carmel - Israeli Street Food, Falafel Pita 
  27. Cassia, Pani Puri 
  28. Cheese on Toast, Bacon Jam Toastie 
  29. Chef Rasa Sayang, Malaysian Tom Yum Soup 
  30. Chelsea Sugar Factory, Raspberry Lamington 
  31. Crafty Baker , Raspberry Cream Donut 
  32. Culprit , Ugly Carrot 
  33. Daily Bread, Custard Square 
  34. Deli di Bossi, Mortadella Sandwich 
  35. Depot, Snapper Sliders 
  36. DOE Donuts, Pineapple Pie 
  37. East Restaurant, Char Kwey Teow Noodles  
  38. Eden Noodles, Dumplings in Spicy Sauce 
  39. Fantail & Turtle, Jalapeño Wontons 
  40. Fat Puku's Smashed Burgers, Fat Puku 
  41. Federal Delicatessen, Toasted Reuben 
  42. Fika With Me, Masala Hash 
  43. Fish Smith, Fish Tacos 
  44. Gemmayze Street, Hummus 
  45. Gemmayze Street, Jazar 
  46. Gochu, Gochu Milk Bun 
  47. Good Dog Bad Dog, Mac N Cheese Dog 
  48. Gracefully Jerked, Jamaican Patties 
  49. Hallertau Clevedon, Jalapeño Poppers with Hop Salt 
  50. Hapunan, Adobo Del Diablo 
  51. Hello Beasty, Prawn & Crab Toast 
  52. Hill House Cafe, Cinnabun 
  53. Homeland, Ika Mata 
  54. Java, Javanese Rijsttafel 
  55. Jax Burger Shack, The Jax Burger 
  56. Jo Bros Burgers, Wagyu Burger 
  57. Kane's Burger Club, Aucklahoma 
  58. Kingi, Kina Toast with Pancetta 
  59. La Mexicana, Carnitas Tacos 
  60. Lilian, Prosciutto and Grape Pizza 
  61. Little & Friday, Chocolate Beetroot and Salted Caramel Cake 
  62. Lot Nineteen, Cinnamon Buns 
  63. Lucky Gs, Twice as Nice 
  64. Madame George, Street Ceviche 
  65. Manis Bakery and Cafe, Rendang Pie 
  66. Manuka Café and Restaurant Devonport , Braised Lamb Shanks 
  67. Mulan, Char Koay Teow 
  68. Nanny's Eatery, Jerk Pork Belly 
  69. No Missed Steak, Buffalo Cauliflower Wings 
  70. No.1 Pancake Albany, Potato Cheese Pancake 
  71. Oh Calcutta, Butter Chicken 
  72. Parade, Fried Chicken Burger 
  73. Peach's Hot Chicken, Chicken Waffles 
  74. Ragtag, Duck Taco 
  75. Satya, Dahi Puri 
  76. Selera Malaysian Cafe , Curry Laksa 
  77. Seoul Chicken, Spicy Sticky Chicken 
  78. SkyBar/SUCRÉ by SkyCity, Gold Bar 
  79. Smokin Cole BBQ, Meat Candy 
  80. Sneaky Snacky, Glazed Chicken Donut Burger 
  81. Sneaky Snacky Donuts, Dark Chocolate & Earl Grey Tea Donut 
  82. Soul Bar & Bistro, Macaroni Cheese 
  83. Spiga, Ravioli Scampi 
  84. Sue Hsiao Liu Handmade Dim Sum, Traditional Xiao Long Bai 
  85. Sumthin Dumplin, Beef & Cheese 
  86. Sweet and Me, Pineapple Pie Cake 
  87. Taiko, Aburi Salmon Rolls 
  88. Tala, Fish Curry with Oka and Palusami 
  89. The Local, Snapper 'n' Chips 
  90. The Mill Bakehouse, Steak Jalapeño and Cheese Pie 
  91. The Oyster Inn, Te Matuku Oysters 
  92. Three Seven Two, Fried Eggplant and Black Garlic 
  93. Tiger Burger, Kimcheese Burger 
  94. Tipene's Takeaways, Fish and Chips  
  95. Too Fat Buns, The Man Bun 
  96. Vie Coffee & Vietnamese Street Food, Banh Xeo 
  97. White and Wongs, Green Curry of Chicken 
  98. Yans Brothers Food Station, BBQ Pork Rice Roll 
  99. Yuan Taste, Aromatic Egg Tart 
  100.  Zong Kitchen, Zong's Braised Chicken.