There is no other street in Auckland that has the prestige, the honour, and the recognition for the incredible cuisine that it offers. A central hub for those on the hunt for the best dumplings, the best noodles, or the best food. This is Dominion Road – the defining culinary and cultural centre of any Auckland-based millennial’s diet.
Sha Xian Snack
A Metro Top 50 finalist, and for good reason. The hand-pulled noodles, wontons, and dumplings are definitive of Sha Xian Snack – to stand out for such staple dishes on Dominion Road is no mean feat. The slightly aged décor can be forgiven when the food is this good.
Eden Noodles Cafe
If you’re a fan of all things spicy, Eden Noodles Cafe is the place to be. Brimming with spices and never-ending queues, this is one of the defining joints of the road. With three flavours (spoiler alert: they’re all hot) of dumplings and noodles, you’ll work your way through the levels until you’re a seasoned Dominion Road diner.
A joint you’ve most likely seen on your Instagram feed; Love Exposure offers far more than flattering neon lighting. If you’re in the mood for some tantalising modern Vietnamese cuisine – this is the place to be. A perfect spot where neither the cuisine or the atmosphere is compromised, a hard find amongst the hole-in-the-wall eateries of Dominion Road.
A staple on Dominion Road, New Flavour has come a long way since its humble beginnings as an overcrowded and somewhat temperamental joint for students and those seeking a BYO. With some of the most solid dumplings, noodles and fried dishes around – it’s always a safe bet to check New Flavour out. With their late opening hours and lunch time specials, there is just so much to love.
One of the many tough choices that Aucklanders will face at some point is whether they are team Barilla, or team New Flavour. The competition is tough – both establishments are in walking distance of parking (an important factor when dining on Dominion Road), have impeccable Chinese food and are filled with likeminded foodies and BYO hunters. Barilla offers some of the best garlic bok choy in town and is an absolute must on any Auckland foodie’s bucket list. If you haven’t been there already, of course.
Gogo Music Cafe
For those not afraid of spice and eclectic décor, Gogo Music Café not only has some of the best meat skewers in town (try the beef tongue variety if you’re feeling adventurous) – they also have dumplings that challenge even the best out there and some sensational dan dan noodles. Open late, this place is perfect for a post-clubbing feed.
Aucklanders are very passionate about their fried chicken – which explains why General Kai is so popular. Towards the end of the road, the food is worth the extra distance made. Keeping to the roots of their Asian cuisine, there are no surprises and the food is refreshingly tasty, traditional, and succulent.
This little Spanish eatery is tucked in the heart of Dominion Road – with a gorgeous courtyard out the back, this joint is full of surprises. With a delicious variety of tapas and drinks, Tasca is a fabulous and criminally underrated part of Dominion Road. It’s a perfect spot to escape some of the chaos that other, busier and more Chinese-centric establishments bring.
People usually come to Dominion Road for cuisine of the Chinese persuasion, and with Chonqing – they are not disappointed. With noodles that rival those of Sha Xian Snack and Eden Noodles, the food from this place feels fresher and less heavy than the food of its contenders. The meat is succulent, and the flavours are alive – what’s not to love?
If you’re trawling Dominion Road but aren’t in the mood for a bit of Asian cuisine, try Cazador. Arguably one of the best restaurants in one of the best culinary precincts in the city, Cazador’s seasonal and ethical approach stands out – not just for the sustainable way they make their food, but because there’s no compromise in flavour. Using all cuts of meat, their commitment to reducing waste makes for some pretty unforgettable dishes.
If you know your dumplings, you will know that truly noteworthy soup dumplings are a rare find in Auckland’s cuisine scene. Jolin Shanghai has soup dumplings in droves, perfecting the technique of creating chewy, sensational, and thick dumplings filled with tasty broth goodness!
Definitively Dominion, Spicy House offers some of the best food in the area. Mismatched furniture, garish lighting and décor may paint an inaccurate picture of what the menu may offer – but the cuisine has no compromises. Boasting inexplicably succulent flavours and incomparable texture, there is no beating food like this.