Britomart boasts an enviable balance of style and convenience. Adorned with chic boutiques and in close vicinity of offices, the waterfront and Auckland’s central public transport hub–It only makes sense that some of the city’s best eateries reside in this precinct. From gourmet dumplings to incomparable seasonal food, Britomart’s restaurants are quintessentially Auckland. Avocados and lattes included.
A City of Sails staple, you’ll have a mission trying to find many people that don’t enjoy this place. With a seasonal menu, their dishes are dynamic, fun and ethical. Their unconventional, yet methodical approach to the way they make their dishes ensures quality that is unmatched. You will never get bored with Amano–Only attached to their stunning food and glitzy atmosphere. A strong contender for the best pasta in Auckland, there is a reason that this restaurant is always busy. For those on the go, the restaurant also has a bakery attached–Highly recommended for those before-work croissants.
Tucked behind a definitive red door, Café Hanoi is a Britomart favourite. A soothing atmosphere and food that will warm even the coldest of hearts on a bitter winter’s day, Café Hanoi is effortlessly elegant in everything they do. Their pho is the perfect blend of refreshing and filling and their lemongrass beef is heavenly. It is recommended that you go into Café Hanoi with a full wallet and empty stomach–Top-notch quality doesn’t come cheap. Café Hanoi is a perfect escape from the tiring and stressful woes of the outside world.
When you know that this gourmet dumpling bar is owned by the same group that owns Café Hanoi and Saan, you begin to understand why all three restaurants are so wildly popular. Blending ethically sourced ingredients with an innate knowledge of the cuisine the establishments create, makes for an unbeatable combination. If there’s one thing that Aucklanders are fussy about–It’s their dumplings. So, for a place like Xuxu to be considered as a master of their craft is no easy feat. An innovative take on the way dumplings are eaten means that diners are treated to new flavours (think sweet dumplings with chocolate fillings). Xuxu lends itself to be the Elon Musk of Auckland dumpling joints – ground-breaking, inventive and way cooler than the rest.
Right in the heart of the Britomart precinct lies Ortolana. Sprawling from a cosy enclave fitted with wall sofas and wire windows to an almost cramped outdoor eatery, Ortolana feels less like a restaurant and more like a cottage. Serving delicious and inventive Italian, their food is best enjoyed at a leisurely pace–With an even more relaxed attitude to how much you will spend. Their namesake reflects their dedication to fresh produce – it means “market gardener” in Italian. For those wanting a Kiwi twist to the traditional Italian meal–Ortolana has you covered.
Looking for dessert after a long dinner at Ortolana? Thankfully, Auckland-favourite Milse is right next door! Enclosed in old bricks and long queues, Milse has been part of the gourmet-dessert revolution everyone needed to happen. You can feast on their heavenly gateaux and tarts, perhaps what they are best known for, or venture further into the Milse rabbit hole. For a hot summer’s evening, their gelato is the true slice of heaven Dave Dobbyn was talking about. Or, if you’re feeling like you deserve it all– try dining in with their three-course dessert degustation. Do come sans baggage however, because if there’s one thing Milse cannot give – it’s space.
Another dessert establishment in the Britomart precinct for those who love variety! Miann is a sibling to the much-loved Miann on Fort Street and like all good siblings, it has the same familiar touch as the Fort Street branch without feeling duplicated. Indulgent and elegant, the store’s location nestled in between Chanel and Tiffany’s feels suitable for such an establishment. The Britomart Miann has a focus on luxury chocolate – so for those craving some unbelievable confectionery goodness, this is for you.
Wandering around Britomart and in the mood for a high-quality meal that won’t hurt your wallet? Head down to Better Burger. Situated in the midst of the busy transport hub, Better Burger excels through simplicity and excellence. They may not have the most extensive menu or plush sofas, but what they do, they do well. People rave about this gourmet burger chain – for good reason. With hand-cut fries that will make your commute home a little less daunting, pair it with their tailored selection of burgers and shakes for the best iteration of a true classic–Your burgers and fries.
Daikoku On Quay
An establishment that has been around for generations, Daikoku is there when the weather, your job and life, in general, is against you. Serving reliably incredible Japanese food, Daikoku isn’t just for the food, it’s for the memories. Memories of you attempting to catch a teppanyaki egg in your mouth and failing miserably, but memories, nonetheless. Sure, the décor may be a little dated but when the ramen is this good–Who cares?
There’s fried chicken and then there’s Mexico’s fried chicken. Gorgeously lit, decorated with a nod to the rustic aesthetic of South America–Mexico is a Britomart staple. Their unique take on Mexican food is creative, tasty and beautifully served. Obscenely hip, Mexico is one of those rare gems that blends delicious food with the latest trends. This place is perfect if you’re searching for a relaxed and social meal–Not so perfect if you’re looking for a feast, as Mexico champions quality over quantity.
The Store Britomart
Home to great salads, a trendy atmosphere and Lululemon-adorned gym bunnies, The Store is perfectly nestled in the fenced corner of Britomart’s main square. Offering fresh, seasonal food and unmatched al fresco dining–The Store is an elevated culinary experience. Their service is fantastic, and the food is to die for. Certainly not cheap, but completely worth it.
From the blue-collared atmosphere of Orleans, emerges the uber-trendy Ebisu. Japanese excellence oozes out of every pore in this top-notch establishment–From the fresh seafood and experimental menu to the sleek design of the interior décor. The food here is a sensational blend of the old guard and new thinking–Try their Ebi Mayo Roll to fully see what every food blogger is truly raving about. Their selection of Japanese cuisine is so good, you’ll nearly think that you’re in Tokyo. Nearly.
Ostro Brasserie and Bar
The infamous place where an Auckland socialite threw a glass of wine at another on national television. Rather than steering you away from this exquisite establishment, let it be something of an attraction. On a more serious note, Ostro is the place to be–And for very good reason. This place embodies luxury in every regard; From their glassy, expensive décor, their view of the harbour, and their incredible menu. Cuisine created by Josh Emmett is always going to be a hit, and with rich flavours that not only delight your taste buds but make you feel like some sort of NBR Rich-lister–This is a place that needs to be ticked off the bucket list.
La Petite Fourchette
Offspring to the infamous La Fourchette in St Heliers, La Petite Fourchette follows suit with their handmade pastries and divine French cooking. The space alone is captivating, with rustic white walls and a cabinet full of mouthwatering treats, making La Petite really feel as if you've walked into a store in Paris. Enjoy their all-day breakfast with classics such as Champignons Exotiques with white wine creamy sauce and mushrooms or the Pain Perdu Brioché French Toast with poached pear. Don't forget a take-home treat of one of La Petite's gorgeous pastries and tarts.