There is an old saying that “everyone should eat what they want, when they want it.” It’s a nice thought but often difficult to follow through with. There are so many different kinds of food out there, and it’s easy to get distracted by a shiny object or to overlook what’s in front of you. This is why we’ve created this list of top Salt Fish eateries in Auckland so that when you are searching for cafés and restaurants in Auckland, you can easily find the one that suits your taste buds.
Pai Tau Kok Restaurant
There are many wonderful things about Pai Tau Kok restaurant. For starters, it is one of the very few vegetarian restaurants in New Zealand. If you are looking for an alternative protein source, you’ll definitely want to come here. And if you love Chinese food, you’ll be in for a real treat. It is rated as one of the best Chinese restaurants in Auckland, if not all of New Zealand. The restaurant serves a variety of salt fish dishes, both hot and cold. Popular choices include yellowtail, salmon, and trout. You’ll need to book ahead if you want to eat here, as it’s quite popular among locals.
TikTok’s Denny Chong
Denny Chong is the creative mind behind the much-loved video series, Meal Plan. In the series, Chong cooks the everyday food of a certain region in a certain way that is both unique and delicious. If you’ve never heard of Meal Plan or Denny Chong, you’ll probably wonder what all the fangirling is about. The series is credited with helping to boost the careers of many young food creators, and it was even featured on an episode of Anthony Bourdain’s television show, The Taste. Let’s hope that this acclaim means more people will discover the beauty of local food and opt for home cooking over branded fast food.
The Ginger Pig
If you adore piggy food and want to try it somewhere new, head to The Ginger Pig. The restaurant specializes in all things swine, from honey roasted pork belly to black pudding. It also offers an array of traditional English fare, like black bun and Scotch eggs. The one thing you’ll need to watch out for is the pickles here. They are extremely salty, and while that may be a new flavor for you, most likely not for the faint of heart. This is a great place to cook for yourself or to bring your significant other for a romantic date.
Fisherman’s Wharf Café
Another great choice for homemade food, Fisherman’s Wharf Café is located at the very tip of the Auckland waterfront. The café offers diners a fantastic view of the harbor and is ideal for people wanting to soak up some sun or catch some rays. The food, however, is what you come here for. The restaurant serves fresh fish, plated and wrapped in foil, as well as mussels, abalone, and other shellfish. If you live in Auckland or are visiting from outside the area, you’ll want to stop here for a bite to eat. Booking in advance is advised, as this place gets popular with local businesspeople and shoppers alike.
Salt’s Oyster Bar
Salty’s Oyster Bar is located at the base of the Auckland peninsula and offers a unique perspective on the city. The bar doesn’t serve traditional oysters, but rather creates an entire menu out of local shellfish. While mostly known for their fresh oysters, here you can find mussels, king prawns, and abalone, among other things. And what’s more, all of this can be made into an open sandwich or plated and served with sides of fries and salad.
Mikado Asian Bistro
If you’re traveling to Auckland, be sure to visit the newly opened Mikado Asian Bistro. The restaurant serves a variety of Japanese, Chinese, and Thai dishes, so you’re bound to find something that appeals to you. Start off with the prawn lassi, which is a traditional yogurt-based dish typically made with hot milk and spices. Then, for something more meat-based, opt for the Japanese classic, tonkatsu. For something sweet, try the Thai iced tea or opt for a whiskey sour made with pineapple liquor. The ingredients are all locally sourced, so you’ll feel like you’re contributing to the revival of local industry while dining here.
Royal Thai Club
Thai cuisine isn’t just limited to spicy curries and pad Thai noodles, as you’ll soon discover while dining at the Royal Thai Club. The restaurant serves a variety of traditional dishes, like green papaya salad, chicken satay, and banana buddha tarts. The Club also serves a range of tropical drinks, including fresh juices and exotic smoothies. It’s a great place for families and it gets exceptionally busy during the school holidays, so be prepared to wait for a table.
Blue Ribbon Café
Blue Ribbon Café is a traditional New Zealand café that serves a variety of meat and veggie dishes. The café has a wide variety of gluten free options, too. The menu features items like salmon, vegetarian curried chickpeas, and yellowtail tuna, all of which are made with natural and sustainable ingredients. And what’s more, everything is freshly cooked and perfectly portioned. Opt for a coffee and dessert to finish off your meal, and you’ll receive courteous service from the staff, while enjoying a pleasant atmosphere.
Pauoa Fish Café
Pauoa Fish Café offers fresh fish and seafood, including crayfish and prawns, as well as organic produce from their garden. The restaurant specializes in locally caught fish, so if you want to try something different, they may not have what you’re looking for. What they do have, however, is fabulous. The fish is fresh and well prepared, and the restaurant encourages diners to come back for more because of their friendly service and inviting atmosphere.
These places don’t just cater to tourists. Locals from all over Auckland use these spots as a quick bite to eat or as a night out with their friends. Whether you’re new to the area or have been living here for years, there is an excellent range of authentic, local food opportunities here for you to try out.