Our Picks of the Best Italian food in Auckland
Auckland’s Italian restaurant game is strong. Here are our picks on where to go for Auckland's finest Italian food.
Words: Nicole Mudgway
Auckland’s Italian restaurant game is strong. Several of the city’s best restaurants are Italian, celebrating all things doughy, cheerful and delicious. There are specialist pasta houses (think Pici or Pasta & Cuore), pizza maestros (Francesca’s), those who embrace al fresco dining and those who just do everything really, really well. And, of course, what would Italian food be without tiramisu?
Italian cuisine has evolved in New Zealand to become so much more than just pizza and pasta. Nowadays, one can often expect aperitifs to go with their shared plates of delicately placed burrata, ravioli or grilled broccolini - but never fear, those doughy balls of goodness are never far behind.
472 Richmond Road, Grey Lynn
A neighbourhood favourite, Lilian excels across the board. Sit out front enjoying the afternoon sun, or head inside to soak up the elegant but comforting interior. Choose from a range of smaller and larger plates to share, but whatever you do, don’t go past the pizza. Cooked to perfection in a woodfired oven, it’s not surprising that the pizza bases are a firm fan favourite. Finish off with a tiramisu - also one of the best in town.
Photo by: Supplied
375 Karangahape Road, Auckland CBD, Auckland
A humble eatery tucked away along Karangahape Road decked out with communal seating and warehouse-style industrial finishings. Offering a range of small plates and larger sharing dishes on a menu arranged by price, starting at $6 and peaking at $22. The menu at Cotto celebrates a seasonal menu, but staples include the Italian-style dumplings, the gnocchi and, of course, the house-baked focaccia.
Shop 22, St Kevin's Arcade, 183 Karangahape Road, Auckland CBD, Auckland
Arguably home to the best cacio e pepe dish Auckland has ever seen, Pici has made a name for itself by serving up fresh, mouthwatering pasta dishes for the people. Pici is housed within the glorious St Kevins Arcade, so if the intimacy inside is not your thing, nab a seat in the bustling arcade for some al fresco dining. The wine menu has been cleverly crafted and always hits the spot - just ask your waiter for guidance.
194 Jervois Road Auckland
Andiamo translates to “let’s go” in Italian, and we couldn’t agree more. Another neighbourhood favourite, Andiamo, offers a fresh and modern menu showcasing seasonal ingredients at their best. It doesn’t miss a beat when it comes to variety: from pizza and pastas to salads and meatballs, calamari, crudo and even carpaccio - all we can say is save room for dessert! There’s an option to dine al fresco, and if that’s still not enough, it’s pooch-friendly too.
Photo by: Supplied
66 - 68 Tyler Street, Britomart Place
An institution amongst Auckland’s dining scene, whether it be breakfast, lunch or dinner, any day of the week. With its Italian-inspired menu, the restaurant offers brunches and dinners that you won’t forget in a hurry. Amano has a spacious dining room, an open kitchen and a bar, and its location next to the harbour and in the heart of Britomart makes it the perfect setting for any meal. The food is rustic yet sophisticated and celebrates seasonal, sustainable and local produce from New Zealand growers and farmers.
Pasta and Cuore
409 Mount Eden Road, Mount Eden
Make yourself at home in this wee Mt Eden pastifico, where locals bond and postcode jumpers unite over bowls of freshly rolled pasta. Pasta and Cuore is simple and quaint, focusing on using quality ingredients and traditional methods to create pasta like something right out of Italy. Sit in the courtyard out back if you want to pretend you actually are in Italy, or take a pasta class if you want to learn some skills for yourself.
Photo by: Naomi Haussman (stock photo)
374 Karangahape Road, Auckland CBD, Auckland
Pizza is to Italy what Coco’s is to Karangahape Road - an absolute staple! Coco’s is a family affair, serving rustic Italian food (their spaghetti and meatballs truly are some of the best) in a casual, vibrant setting. It has one of the city’s friendliest happy hours, so drinks flow freely alongside the chatter, good tunes and delicious fare. Trust when we say Coco’s is always a good option.
201 Point Chevalier Road
Not much more than a window front, a gigantic pizza oven and a counter to order, but what more does one need when it’s takeaway pizza you’re after? Francesca’s Pizzeria was one of Point Chev’s best kept secrets, but it seems like the word is out. While there’s pasta on the menu, it’s the pizza that everyone is flocking for, and with authentic flavours and ingredients, it’s not hard to see why. Plus, the pizzas are massive, so perfect for sharing at nearby Point Chevalier Beach.
Photo by: Naomi Haussman (stock photo)
More Auckland Stories
Neat in the Neighbourhood: Parnell
12 hours Auckland
The best things to see, eat and do in Auckland.
Almighty’s Founder Ben Lenart on What Makes Him Stay in Auckland
Aotearoa's Underground Haunts, Rooftops and The In-betweens
12 Hours in Parnell
The best things to eat, see and do in Parnell.
Neat Auckland Places
The Book Exchange
The next time the Auckland drizzle gets too much for you, forget your troubles with a trip to the Book Exchange.
Those with a penchant for French finery won’t want to miss a decadent trip to Vaniyé Pâtisserie. This award-winning patisserie is the passion project of husband-and-wife team, Sonia and Laurent Haumonté.
Peach's Hot Chicken
Don’t fact-check us on this, but we’d say a mouthful of Nashville Hot Chicken has been proven to send serotonin levels through the roof.
A popular haunt of suits in the morning, tourists around lunchtime and general good folk at all times.
An Integrative Wellness Clinic and boutique natural health and beauty store.