There are more than 220 distinct ethnic groups living in the country's biggest city, and almost 40 per cent of Auckland's population were born overseas. Celebrate this urban diversity with 12 of the city's most delicious international cafes and restaurants.
La Voie Francaise
Owner Tetsuya Namekawa is originally from Japan, but after training in Paris he turns out Auckland's best French baking. Baguettes have a perfect amount of crunch and are often warm from the oven when sold. More delicate are pistachio macarons and authentic versions of classic Gallic treats like madeleines and palmiers.
875 Dominion Rd, Balmoral
Open 8am-3pm daily
Pasta & Cuore
Booking ahead is recommended at this popular neighbourhood eatery inspired by the culinary traditions of the northern Italian city of Bologna. Feast on pappardelle pasta with slow-cooked lamb or begin the night with an Italian style cocktail. Fresh pasta and sauces are also available for takeaway.
409 Mt Eden Rd, Mt Eden
Open 11am-8.30pm Tue-Sat
Make the trek to Onehunga for Auckland's best banh mi sandwiches – served with marinated pork in a crunchy baguette bun – or hu tieu bo kho beef noodle soup with a brilliant broth of star anise, cinnamon and lemongrass. It's the closest you'll come to slurping noodles in the Old Quarter of Hanoi.
210 Onehunga Mall, Onehunga
Open 7am-3.30pm Tue-Sat, from 8am Sun
In most discussions of the Great Auckland Dumpling Wars, this friendly spot on Khyber Pass Rd is usually overlooked. For authentic flavours of the Chinese province of Sichuan, pair the dumplings with chilli and lip-numbing (in a good way) mala pepper, and a side dish of the cooling cucumber salad.
477 Khyber Pass Road, Newmarket
Open 11am-9pm Mon-Sat
Smokin Cole BBQ
With a CV including cooking for Sir Richard Branson and working at Auckland dining icons Euro and SPQR, Croydon Cole's experience now inspires the city's best low and slow US barbecue. Try the Memphis-style dry rub ribs with a side of truffled mac & cheese or devilled egg salad.
108 Surrey Cres, Grey Lynn
5pm-9.30pm Thu, noon-10pm Fri-Sat, noon-8pm Sun
Visit this family-owned cafe in Kingsland for Middle Eastern food a cut above Auckland's many kebab joints. Order the smokey babaganoosh with pita bread followed by the mandi, a rice dish topped with grilled meat, raisins and cashew nuts. Leave room for dessert of baboosa, a sweet semolina cake.
482 New North Rd, Kingsland
Open noon-10pm Mon-Tue, 11am-10pm Tue-Thu, 11am-11pm Sat-Sun
St Anthony's Food
St Anthony's Kingsland location is a good sit-down option to explore fragrant Sri Lankan flavours. Try the stir-fried kottu roti with chicken or venture to their original Sandringham address for good-value takeaway meals and traditional Sri Lankan 'short eats' snacks like egg rolls and lamb rolls.
473 New North Rd, Kingsland
Open 11am-9.30pm Wed-Mon
Japanese Lantern Street Bar
Eating and drinking in a compact izakaya (traditional Japanese pub) is a favourite memory of most visitors to Tokyo, and the combination of frosty pints of Sapporo beer and charcoal-grilled meat and seafood make this bustling spot a fine Auckland replica. The crispy squid tentacles with Japanese Kewpie mayo are one of Auckland's best bar snacks.
484 New North Rd, Kingsland
Open 5pm-10pm Sun-Thu, to 11pm Fri-Sat
Visit Zeki's K Rd or Henderson locations for traditional wood-fired pide (Turkish bread), or linger longer and partner a coffee with an addictive piece of baklava. Gozleme (stuffed flatbreads) and sigara borek (filo pastry with potato, spring onion and parsley) are also authentic reminders of travels around Asia Minor.
543 Karangahape Rd, Newton
Open 7am-3pm daily
Auckland's cooler months are the perfect time for hearty German food. Since opening in February 2020, Mike Berndt's Avondale cafe has become popular for German dishes including Bavarian Weisswurst (pork sausage) with potato and mustard, and robust pork knuckles with beer sauce and salad. Resurrecting hazy memories of late nights and early mornings in Berlin, there's even currywurst with fries and curry sauce.
390A Rosebank Rd, Avondale
Landlocked Afghanistan is framed by Iran, Pakistan and a trio of Central Asian republics, and the country's cuisine has also been influenced by its position on historic trading routes. Highlights at family-owned Samadi include mantu, Afghan-style dumplings with garlic-laced yoghurt and dried mint, and kabobs, skewered lamb or chicken served with fragrant rice topped with raisins and nuts.
11 Pt Chevalier Rd, Pt Chevalier
Open 5.30pm-10pm Wed-Thu, 5-11pm Fri-Sat, 5pm-9.30pm Sun
Part of the Fortieth & Hurstmere laneway in Takapuna – also including authentic Neapolitan pizza and Auckland's best poké - El Humero's take on South American flavours includes Colombian-style barbecue and deep-fried pork and potato empanadas. Pair the slow-cooked and manuka-smoked beef ribs with a punchy Resonator IPA from Upper Hutt's Kereru Brewing.
3/40 Hurstmere Rd, Takapuna
11.30am-3pm & 5-9pm Tue-Sun