While the food, wine, and company at a restaurant make for an unforgettable experience, a restaurant with a view takes the cake. Whether it’s waterside, a panoramic skyline, or just some lush greenery, a breathtaking view enhances your dining experience in the most unique way. Great food and wine with a view to match is unbeatable. We’ve rounded up the best restaurants in Auckland with noteworthy views. Enjoy!
Adding to the infamous Viaduct ensemble of great places to wine and dine is Saint Alice, with head chef Maia Atvers running the show. Opening in late 2018, the eatery has made itself synonymous with one of Auckland’s must-try dishes, talk of their Oyster McMuffin spread fast around town. Get in quick however, with an evolving and growing menu even a regular couldn’t get bored of the mouth-watering dishes and stunning harbour view. The restaurants sun-soaked outdoor seating overlooks the water from two floors up. The oysters and sashimi are as fresh as can be, with small and large plates to share as well. Nothing can quite beat one of Alice’s favourite cocktails and sunny rooftop session, or a $10 espresso martini watching the twinkling boat lights on date night.
The Sugar Club
World class food served 190m in the air is almost unheard of. Luckily, Auckland is home to The Sugar Club, sitting on the 53rd floor of the Sky Tower. World-renowned chef, Peter Gordon is the mastermind behind the fine dining institute with 360 views of the Auckland skyline and beyond. On a clear day, you’ll be able to see as far as Leigh Peninsula, Waitakere Ranges, Bombay Hills, and Great Barrier Island. Far from gimmicky, the food and ambience stack up to the incredible views. The set menus and a la carte are all equally delicious, with bold dishes such as crayfish linguine, Japanese quail, and sheep pannacotta to please your taste buds too.
East Auckland has so much to offer, particularly their great beaches and eateries. Combine the two and you get Marina Cantina. The Mexican eatery sits on Half Moon Bay Marina, showcasing spectacular views for both locals and visitors (the CBD and Waiheke ferries are a stone-throw away). Half Moon Bay sits on the east Auckland peninsula connecting some of the best swimming spots out east. Complementing the stunning blue sparkling waters of Buckland’s Beach is a menu to match–Jalapeno fried chicken, Bloody Maria prawn cocktails, pulled pork loaded waffle fries, and four different organic corn tacos to choose from, including a speciality taqueria of the moment. And to drink? Marina Cantina has margaritas on tap, fruit-filled sangria to die for, and cocktails that pack a tequila-powered punch.
Sitting and watching the busy city go by from the serenity of Waiheke Island is one of the best stress-relievers in Auckland. It’s even better when it’s done with a line-up of gourmet dishes and a world-class wine in your hand. Mudbrick Vineyard’s restaurant is second to none in terms of location, service, and food. Overlooking the Hauraki Gulf, owners Robyn & Nicholas have owned the property since 1992 with a vision of setting up a vineyard with amazing views. Today it’s one of the city’s best restaurant views, both during the day and when it lights up at night. Dine traditionally at the flagship Mudbrick Restaurant with a la carte or degustation options, featuring dishes such as the King Ora Salmon Tataki and Golden kumara quinoa. Or opt for the more laid-back bar and bistro, The Archive, with a menu of casual snacks and mains. Either way, both restaurants are highly rated, and perfectly situated on the staggering estate.
The Lula Inn
An eatery known for its bottomless brunch, live music late nights, and Auckland Harbour views, The Lula Inn is a common go-to spot in Auckland. The south-pacific themed restaurant outdoes itself again and again, with its flora and fauna designs and fresh tropical ingredients–It’s simply an added bonus that it comes with sea-level views of the sweeping harbour. The over-water deck (Auckland’s only one, in fact) and green grass walls will have you living on island time, combined with the paradise-inspired menu. Monkfish green curry, duck spring rolls, and miso glazed kumara all go down a treat with a tiki cocktail in hand. At night, loosen up with an espresso martini, tiki time coconut cocktail, or homegrown paradise gin mixer, as you enjoy the mesmerizing sounds of the sea.
The iconic view from Mission Bay Promenade is part of what makes Auckland Auckland, and so is the bright pink Belgian Beer Cafe. De Fontein is an authentic Belgian restaurant serving up heavenly beers and seaside views. Make sure to request a rooftop terrace table where you’ll be able to watch the world go by. Marvel at the extinct Rangitoto volcano across the ocean, or people-watch the paddle-boarding, tandem-bike-riding, roller-blading beachgoers. As for the De Fontein menu, take your time choosing from the extensive beer and wine list before deciding between oysters, mussels, steak, or a sharing platter to please every guest. Teamed up with the view, De Fontein’s atmosphere is great for family-wide meals or grab-a-pint catch-ups.
Botswana Butchery Auckland
Located in the grand Auckland Ferry Building is Botswana Butchery, bringing a taste of the deep south to the urban Auckland City. Stressing the importance of a fun and innovative dining experience for their guests, as well as combining the ideal Auckland produce, location, and wine, Botswana Butchery ticks all the boxes. The grand dining hall is spectacular on its own, but paired up with the blue water peeking through the large windows makes it, somehow, even better. Meanwhile, the relaxed outdoor dining allows you to watch boats come and go, and the world pass you by. Head chef Mark Gillespie incorporates a meat-heavy menu into a fine dining environment. The Sanchoku Wagyu Scotch Fillet, Confit Duck, and Venison Tataki are all eye-catchers on the extensive menu. The wine list is mainly composed of organic or biodynamic farming principles to complement the organic ingredients on your plate. This is definitely the wine list to get adventurous with!
Sitting pretty on North Wharf is The Conservatory, a modern European restaurant doubling as a wine and cocktail bar. Originally opening with the idea of creating a “liveable” restaurant, it’s easily one of the most comfortable restaurants in town. Dining at The Conservatory is exactly the opposite of a rushed table sitting, welcoming diners to sit, relax, and socialise with their designed-for-comfort seats and couches. All while staring out at the bright blue view of the Waitemata. Pizzas, burgers, bar snacks, and platters all available with their specially-crafted cocktail and mocktail menus. Make The Conservatory the next spot for social gatherings of any kind.
Regatta Bar & Eatery
Beachside cabanas, fresh seafood, and a cold crisp drink are the go at Takapuna's Regatta Bar & Eatery. Situated right on the main beach, Regatta Bar whisks you away to the sunny coast of a tropical island with a Rakino Island Ice Tea and Catamaran platter on standby. Choose to have some of the freshest market fish available pan-fried or chargrilled, or if seafood's not your thing, there's still plenty of options like the braised beef cheeks, wild mushroom gnocchi, or the honey roasted veggies with almond and feta. Great food served beachside? Yes, please!
Devon on the Wharf
Tapas and harbour views, it doesn't get much better than that in Auckland. Devon on the Wharf brings a taste of Turkish cuisine to the bayside village of Devonport. Executive Chef Pratik Bholse aims to marry the Mediterranean food with locally sourced ingredients to create "fresh exciting flavours". Bholse certainly achieves this, particularly through his dishes like the Awhi Fams eye fillet from the Waikato and the fresh market fish ceviche. There are, however, more classic Turkish dishes such as Sigara Borek (cheese and potato filo cigars), Lahmajun (Turkish pizza with spiced mince), and the Loukoumades (deep fried doughnuts soaked in honey syrup). For the best view of Auckland City and the freshest Mediterranean, look no further than Devon on the Wharf.
15 floors up in the trendy SO/ Hotel, you'll find the French-inspired restaurant Harbour Society. The elevator doors open to metallic beams and surfaces, lavish dining areas, and of course a breath-taking view of the Auckland skyline. The high-rise restaurant is headed by chef Marc de Passorio, former owner of the Michelin starred L’Esprit de la Violette in France, so you can expect Passorio to know his stuff. Deliberate between the set menu if you want to try absolutely everything, or the a la carte if you know exactly what you're after. Both menus have must-try dishes like the hazelnut crusted snapper, wild mushroom ravioli with lemongrass, and the pavlova with Earl Grey infused apple purée and cereal crumble. Bon appétit!