Known mainly for its beautiful views, pristine lakes and towering mountains, New Zealand food had never really been a priority for us when booking our trip. As we were planning to be on the road for a good amount of time in the North and South Island, we originally thought our diet would mainly consist of granola bars and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.
When landing in New Zealand, we were pleasantly surprised about the surplus of cute cafes and vibrant pubs on every street. We've broken it down to the places we've eaten just on the North Island and must eat meals at each town!
First and foremost, New Zealand is known for two great desserts: Whittaker Chocolate and Hokey Pokey Ice Cream; and it does not disappoint. We probably went through 3 chocolate bars a week. You will also notice a trend in the restaurants that we went to and the direct correlation of the amount of burgers we would order. This should come as no surprise as we have always sought out the best burgers in every city ever since we've started dating.
Auckland mainly consists of alleyways that are filled with small restaurants and authentic bars. Once you're closer to the harbor you get to the nicer more posh restaurants.
Our first night in Auckland we went to My Bar which is a snug, casual-chic hub offering classical and seasonal cocktails, beer and weekly live music. We found it while walking through an alleyway-definitelt an awesome hole in the wall spot!
For lunch we checked out Velvet Burger (huge surprise) and spent a good amount of time here.
If they had a kiwi burger, the 'Big Bro' would be it. It consists of a beef and beetroot pattie, salad, bacon, egg, portobello mushroom, cheese, relish and aioli.
The Luxe Bird Burger was filled with all good things - Southern fried chicken, fire roasted red pepper, harissa, wild rocket, red onion, chilli mayo and aioli.
The restaurant also had small sides of fried pickles and frenchfries which we definitely indulged in.
On of our good friends that we met back in Fiji, Ken, suggested that we head to Coromandel-and thank god we did. The famous Cathedral Cove is most well known for being one of the shooting scenes in the movie "Narnia". After doing the Cathedral Cove Loop, we went to The Pour House which is home of Coromandel Brewing Conpany known for craft beer on site and fresh food. They have nice outdoor seating arranged in a chic picnic fashion with outside umbrellas and fireplaces. The fish n chips is absolutely amazing and it's hard not to try every craft beer on the menu.
We had the absolute pleasure of being hosted by family friends in Napier which meant a lot of home cooked meals! We were treated to fresh bruschetta, home brewed beer, sautéed fish, and eggs Benedict all weekend. One night we picked up a pound of green lipped mussels which are a delicacy in New Zealand. We had them in their simplest form; steamed with a dash of lemon and tobacco sauce.
Napier is well known for many of the wineries and vineyards around the area. Unfortunately, it was a bit too cold to sit outside and enjoy wine at the time we were there but it's definitely a must do when in Napier.
All we did in Wellington was eat and drink so bear with us here.
Little Beer Quarter : We met our friends here one night although it took us a while to find the place. The entrance is a little hidden and found in a small alleyway but it's a lively pub that serves craft & international beers, plus local wines, pizza & bar fare. It's the perfect place you want to find yourself on a cold day.
Dirty Little Secret: This is another hidden spot! Our friends brought us to this awesome rooftop bar that overlooks the whole city. They have graffiti art all over the walls and nice high top tables that overlook the Harbour.
Viva Mexica: This place has awesome margaritas. There are two sections, the restaurant area has long family style communal picnic tables. For a casual setting it can be relatively expensive, but the drinks make it well worth it. The bar area has smaller high top tables and you can get small bar snacks with your drink.
Havana coffee works LTD: We went here on Halloween so the staff was dressed up with facepaint and costumes which was fun to see. The take away cups are beautifully decorated and they have a million of caffeinated drinks to choose from.
The Rogue and Vagabond: Easily one of the best burgers we've ever had. Beanbag chairs are places outside so you can relax and lounge right outside their venue on Cuba Street.
With various draft beers on tap, many delicious snacks, and a wide array of live musical acts performing all genres, there’s little not to like here. The décor of the venue is psychedelic and colorful, creating a fun space.
We both got the spicy burger and shared chili fries. The burger was made with a rogue beef patty, smoked cheddar, aioli, jalapeño jam, pickles and onions.
Victoria Street Cafe : This cute cafe has seating available at the bar or at any table when you walk in. We got to sit by the window and people watch while we ate our breakfasts.
We actually got so distracted that we accidebtally left the restaurant without paying. The waitress had to chase us down a few blocks before she caught up to us and reminded us to pay the check!
Counter Culture : This place was perfect to bring friends. The cafe has shelves all around the restaurant filled with every board game imaginable. They had every version of Monopoly and a 'Hobbit' rendition of every game set available. They serve coffee at the front and once you pay just $5, you can play any of the games for as long as you'd like. We ended up picking up a pack of UNO and playing 4 competitive rounds with our friends.