Nominate your Iconic Auckland Eat now

Publish Date : 12 Sep 2022
Cafe Lincoln French Toast Credit Babiche Martens
Cafe Lincoln French Toast - Credit Babiche Martens

What are the most iconic food experiences in Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland?

It’s time for food-loving Aucklanders to share the stories behind their favourite food experiences across the region by nominating a dish to be on the 2022 Iconic Auckland Eats list.

Launched in 2020, the Iconic Auckland Eats programme proves that amazing food experiences can be found anywhere, and at any price point, with the list featuring restaurants and cafes to markets, takeaways and food trucks across Tāmaki Makaurau.

Tātaki Auckland Unlimited Head of Visitor Economy Annie Dundas says the list is a wonderful way to celebrate the unique, diverse and world-class food experiences in Auckland. 

“If you’ve got an absolute favourite food experience in Auckland, one that you can only get here, we want to hear from you.

"Tell us your story and give us all the details - the quality, the flavours, the place, the talented chef or the friendly team – that made your experience so memorable.

“We are so proud of the world-class hospitality offering in Tāmaki Makaurau, and we know there are plenty more incredible experiences and stories to uncover with the help of food-loving Aucklanders.

“Aucklanders have already shared nearly 200 Iconic Auckland Eats - much-loved, timeless, toe-warming classics to those reflecting the ethnic diversity of the region – and this list is becoming the ultimate culinary bucket list of Auckland.”

Sweet and Me Fijian Coconut Buns - Credit Babiche Martens

Sweet and Me Fijian Coconut Buns - Credit Babiche Martens

To eat all 100 Iconic Auckland Eats was the challenge set for two Auckland foodies after winning the programme’s grand prize of a voucher, valued at more than $3000, to experience all 100 dishes over 12 months.  

The winners, AG and Aleana Fernando (@LocavoreEats), say “This year we’ve managed to eat over 60 iconic dishes at places we never thought to have gone to if it wasn't for Iconic Auckland Eats. The best experience was by far the insane Signature Sashimi Platter at Cocoro and the most surprising was the Hangi Pie at Blue Rose Cafe which has quickly become our favourite pie shop.”

An initiative supporting hospitality businesses

An initiative by economic and cultural agency Tātaki Auckland Unlimited, Iconic Auckland Eats aims to support the hospitality industry and showcase Auckland’s diverse food story.

Nominated by food-loving Aucklanders, each dish can only be enjoyed in Tāmaki Makaurau. The list helps locals and visitors alike to uncover the breadth of food experiences only on offer in the region.

Ahi Scampi Corn Dog - Credit Babiche Martens

Ahi Scampi Corn Dog - Credit Babiche Martens

Annie Dundas says: “The past two years have been incredibly tough for the hospitality industry and this initiative is one way we can support local food and beverage businesses that are important to Auckland’s economic recovery and central to visitor experience.”

Adriana Ferdian, Co-owner of Bali Nights and Java says being named on the Iconic Auckland Eats list in 2021 “had a huge impact” that extends beyond her small business.

“It’s been an absolute honour and we are immensely proud that a bunch of first-generation Indonesian immigrants have been able to break-through into the tough Auckland culinary scene. Whether people have been to Indonesia or not, we think our dishes encapsulate the whole romance of travelling to a faraway tropical paradise, eating what the locals eat, and being immersed in a new culture - we're proud that we've succeeded in enriching Auckland's food culture by bringing something entirely new to the scene.”

Bertrand Jang, of Sweet and Me, says having his Coconut Buns awarded as an Iconic Auckland Eat in 2021 attracted new customers and gave a boost to the team.  

“Not only did it provide assurance for new customers but also for the team, knowing that our buns were being awarded this. It has definitely placed us on a platform of best buns in Auckland so vinaka vakalevu to the team.”

Crafty Baker Raspberry Cream Donut - Credit Babiche Martens

Crafty Baker Raspberry Cream Donut - Credit Babiche Martens

Douglas Clements, General Manager, Rothko @ Sculptureum says it was an honour to be added to the Iconic Eat list.

“There was lots of initial interest in the dish once the list launched and in fact we ran out of scampi a few times due to the demand."

Nominations open now

Aucklanders can nominate their favourite food experiences at The best nomination will be chosen to win all 100 Iconic Auckland Eats. Nominations close 2 October 2022.

Following nominations, a team of food moderators narrow down submissions to reach the goal of 100 Iconic Auckland Eats to launch before the end of the year.

The list of 100 dishes and stories celebrates the full food experience, including the people, place, history, heritage and culture. The criteria include being well-loved, representative of local culture and people, a ‘timeless classic’ or perhaps a ‘signature dish’.

To explore the food stories of Auckland, visit

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