Nestled in the northern tip of an island renowned for stunningly pristine landscapes, Auckland is the de-facto choice for city-life in the sea-encompassed country that is New Zealand. Sporting two harbors and surrounded by enchanting forests and farms to its north and south, you’re never more than a stone’s throw from the unspoilt wilderness while in Auckland—making for cuisine that is utterly inspired.
Farm-to-table takes new meaning in Auckland: The food is fresher than fresh, the flavors and culinary flairs stem straight from the land itself. For sampling and savoring some of New Zealand’s magic, make certain to try these quintessential dishes of Auckland food below.
There are your run-of-the-mill oysters, there are good oysters, and then there are Bluff oysters—the stuff of seafood dreams. Often hailed as the best oysters in the world by those in-the-know, these massive and delectable mollusks grow in the icy depths of Foveaux Strait—right beyond the port of Bluff. Their geographic location, limited annual season, capped harvest size and massive demand makes them a bucket-list delicacy, equal parts briny and creamy. While they’re scarce in general and nearly non-existent in foreign markets, Bluff oysters are comparatively abundant in Auckland. Everywhere from grocery stores to small fish-and-chip shops to fine dining establishments have them—until they don’t for the remainder of the year. Limited supply does make for drastic demand.
For another delicious sampling of that sweet, sweet umami, seek out kina. A sea urchin endemic only to New Zealand, underneath those sharp bristles is a roe just waiting to be savored. While any seafood restaurant worth their saltwater should serve a sampling of this, fresh is best. A day diving for it in the waters is a day well spent, but conversely, head to Auckland’s Fish Market to easily snag a fresh one to dig into.
The Kiwi Burger is the textbook example of how even international dishes aren’t immune to the unique local flair imbued in all food New Zealand—don’t worry, you’re not eating the adorable kiwi bird. Start with all of the traditional trappings: tomato, lettuce, cheese, onions, burger patty and toasted buns with a smattering of mustard and ketchup. But, then throw a fried egg and some beetroot into the mix. It might not sound like any burger you’d get stateside, but make no mistake: It might be one of the tastiest burgers you’ll ever try.
No dish is as quintessential to New Zealand cuisine as the Hokey Pokey —the ice cream flavor, not the dance. Comprised of vanilla ice cream with a hearty helping of honeycomb toffee, it makes the perfect dessert after a savory meal, or refreshing mid-day treat while exploring all of Auckland.
Wish you could sample some of these authentic delicacies the way they were meant to be enjoyed—surrounded by the stunning beauty of Auckland? One of our travel agents can help. Their knowledge, expertise and professional connections with world-leading cruise lines, such as Silversea Cruises, let you soak up all the wares, traditions and Auckland food without ever having to worry about the logistics.