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Al fresco in Auckland - Dining out this summer

Published: 13 December 2019

Auckland is perfectly situated for the ultimate al fresco dining experiences over summer.

With beautiful beaches, huge parks and a wide range of cultures, there are food adventures and outings to suit all budgets.

Writing for OurAuckland, Ayla Miller gives you her picks of the best way to eat your away around Auckland this summer:

Destination Diners

A journey always makes the food taste better. So, take some time to explore these delicious hotspots.


A trip to the Matakana Village Farmers’ Market 1on Saturday morning is a great way to start the weekend. With a selection of local produce such as buffalo cheese, seafood, organic fruit and vegetables and much more, this truly is foodie heaven.

You’re spoiled for choice when it comes to quality kai, but if you’re looking to get close to the source, board the “Shuckleferry” at Scotts Landing to learn about the history of the Mahurangi Harbour while shucking your own fresh oysters and enjoying the flavours of the ocean.


A host of wineries, cafes, restaurants, breweries and artisan producers increasingly call this fertile food bowl home. Stopping off to pick some strawberries 2is a summer tradition for many – and you’ll probably need a real-fruit ice cream after all that strenuous bending over.

While you’re out there, Muriwai and Te Henga / Bethells Beach are perfect spots for family fish’n’chips as the sun sets. 

Waiheke Island

It’s been voted one of the most beautiful islands in the world and the produce that comes off it is of a similar quality. So make a day of it, head out on the ferry and soak up those relaxed seaside vibes. Walk down Oceanview Road and choose from a variety of dine-in or takeaway options.

Slightly further afield, there are a host of world-class restaurants and vineyards, but if you'd rather keep it casual, stock up for a beachside picnic or sizzle a few snarlers on the barbecues at Little Oneroa Reserve.

Central Auckland

Savvy diners have plenty to choose from already. But recent developments in Takapuna, Smales Farm, Ōrākei Bay, Morningside, Hobsonville and Newmarket mean they should be on the must-visit lists of Auckland food lovers, and they’re all easy to get to via public transport.

Foodie Festivals

We used to be content with hot dogs and chips. But quality food is becoming an increasingly important component of the best festivals.

Silo Park

If you’re looking for tacos, dumplings, gourmet fries and refreshing beverages mixed in with great entertainment, arts and crafts, and exciting cultural events, Silo Park 3is the place to be this summer.

Whether you’re looking for a place to relax with a drink after work at the ever-popular outdoor Silo Cinema, chill with a book and some snacks at the weekend market, or take the family to try some of the region’s most delectable desserts, this urban oasis won’t disappoint.

Lantern Festival

Celebrate Chinese New Year and the Year of the Rat at Auckland’s annual Lantern Festival, 13-16 February. Enjoy dumplings or bao, skewers or noodles (or all of the above), then cool yourself down with something ice cold and sweet.

You can also take in music and dance performances, martial- arts demonstrations, and traditional Chinese arts and crafts. Your senses are in for a treat. 

Still feeling peckish?

Take a look at part two here where we round up some of the best markets across our region and look at ways you can grow your own food this summer and make a difference to your community.

Read more here.

Read more: Summer Food & drink


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