It's a road trip without the dire rest stop fare, screaming kids in the backseat and wallet-draining fuel prices.
A tasty adventure - where the only parking involves your behind on a restaurant seat - is among events planned for Auckland's annual foodie celebration.
Restaurant Month is back downtown next month, with more than 100 special menus and events celebrating the past, present and future of dining, organisers say.
Every day during August, restaurants will be serving $25, $40 and $55+ per person menus specially designed for the 12th annual celebration of city centre eateries.
A full list of restaurants will be on heartofthecity.co.nz/restaurant-month from Monday, with menus available two weeks later.
Chef's Table events also return, with five planned to give diners a peek into the personalities, careers and inspirations of six of our top chefs.
Among them is Rob Hope-Ede and his Great Kiwi Road Trip menu, featuring six courses from six producers across six New Zealand regions, all with wine matches.
Hope-Ede, the head chef at Onemata Restaurant at the Park Hyatt Auckland, will host the $180pp event on August 11, sending diners on an culinary road trip "from the South to the North, tasting and revealing tales of the artisans and producers who have contributed to the menu", a Restaurant Month spokeswoman told the Weekend Herald.
The venue's open kitchen promised to also bring "the theatre of the kitchen to the dining experience", she said.
Five other chefs, Fred Wong of PŌNI, Marty Kindleysides of Harbour Society, Sean Connolly of QT's Esther and Tom Hishon and Uelese Mua of kingi, will each host a Chef's Table night between August 3-26.
More extravagant - and pricier - Extraordinary Evenings are also planned next month, including a night of nostalgia with New Zealand's godfather of fine dining Tony Astle, who is teaming up with FISH's Des Harris.
Connolly, of Esther's, and Jiwon Do from Wellington's iconic Hippopotamus would also collaborate on "spectacular French fare".
Tickets for events are available from Monday.
Other offers include Lincoln's Table walking food tours on August 6 and August 13, with bookings on lincolnstable.co.nz , Culprit Trolley Dollies #2 on August 25, bookings at culprit.co.nz , and Bollywood Night at I Village on August 27, via iTICKET.
The three price options for Restaurant Month include $25 set menus at Ghost Donkey, That's Amore and Bao Baby Bao, while Frida Cocina Mexicana, DeBretts Kitchen and The Good Luck Coconut are among those with a $40 menu offer.
The $55+ set includes Onslow, Ahi and Ghost Street.
Restaurant Month returns after a gruelling couple of years for hospitality, with Covid-19 lockdowns, gathering restrictions, fewer people downtown and staff shortages.
The last two Restaurant Months were disrupted by snap lockdowns amid fresh virus outbreaks, and some city restaurants didn't survive the pandemic's impact.
Heart of the City interim chief executive Steve Armitage said next month's celebration was a way to support the hospitality sector, and an exciting way for people to experience the talent and cuisine available downtown.
Heart of the City, the city centre's business association, has brought Restaurant Month to the central city each year since 2011.
"Our dining scene is one of Aucklanders' favourite things about the city centre", Armitage said.
"So what better time than Restaurant Month to get a group together and indulge your taste buds."