A new initiative to boost Auckland’s hospitality sector will hit the spotlight this October.

Iconic Auckland Eats, developed by Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED), will feature 100 unique Auckland dishes, as selected by well-known Aucklanders and the public.

From food trucks to fine dining and farmers markets, these iconic eats can be found everywhere across Auckland and on any budget: from the Aucklander Burger from The White Lady to Turbot Sliders at Depot Eatery & Oyster Bar and Nyonya Fish Head Curry at Bunga Raya Restaurant in New Lynn.

Mayor Phil Goff hopes Iconic Auckland Eats will encourage Aucklanders to explore their region and try something new.

“COVID-19 border restrictions mean that overseas travel isn’t an option at present, but as one of the most diverse cities on earth, Auckland is home to a world of flavours and meals,” he says.

“I encourage those who can do so to support their local businesses by getting out and experiencing some of the fantastic food and beverage options available across our region.”

ATEED General Manager Steve Armitage says the region’s food story is ready to be told.

“This has been a particularly tough time for the hospitality sector and it’s vital that we continue to support our local food and beverage businesses because a vibrant and thriving hospitality sector is important for Auckland’s economic recovery.”

Food plays a key role in the local and visitor experience and the Iconic Eats list will highlight unique and well-loved dishes that can only be enjoyed in Auckland.

“Food is central to how we connect with each other and our culture and it is important that we continue to build our region’s reputation as a food and beverage destination,” says Armitage.

“This list helps uncover those hidden gems across our region, at all ends of the budget, and we hope that this encourages Aucklanders and the rest of New Zealand to explore our region.”

Julie White, CEO, Hospitality New Zealand says the initiative is a great way to encourage community connection and spirit.

“It’s creating reasons for Aucklanders to come together and showcasing the amazing hospitality we’re known for all around the world. Our sector has been hammered by the pandemic, and this initiative will go a long way in supporting the revitalisation of both the day and night-time economies of New Zealand’s largest city.

“Pre COVID-19, hospitality contributed more than $6 billion to our GDP annually. Hospitality initiatives like Iconic Eats have the ability to get money into the economy quickly and that will be a crucial part to the economic recovery of this country,” says White. 

The initial 50 dishes will be nominated by well-known Aucklanders, including chefs and food writers, with the Auckland public getting their chance to submit their favourite 50 recommendations during the upcoming Elemental AKL festival, which is due to kick off around the Auckland region on 1 October.

Marisa Bidois, CEO, Restaurant Association of New Zealand says: “We know from speaking to members just how important this kind of publicity has been for them in the past and we are hopeful that a spotlight on some of the best dishes our hospitality businesses have to offer will encourage people to get out to try them. 

“ATEED has been really proactive in helping promote our Auckland businesses who have been some of the hardest hit by this pandemic. We encourage everyone to get involved in this initiative, be it recommending some of your favourite dishes or getting out to try the recommendations of others,” says Bidois. 

Restaurant Hub has supported the campaign by hosting the specially developed Iconic Auckland Eats website where all 100 Eats can be viewed.

Mark Gregory MCA, GM and Founder of Restaurant Hub says: "Delicious awesomeness has just found a new home and it’s called 'Auckland'."

“I love that Aucklanders can celebrate and share the very best dishes to be found, from sensational restaurant dishes to jaw-dropping burgers and shimmering slurpy noodles," says Gregory. 

The Iconic Auckland Eats programme is an outcome of the Destination AKL Recovery Plan to support local food and beverage businesses and build Auckland’s reputation as a food and beverage destination.

#iconicaucklandeats   #visitauckland

Restaurants can download promotional resources to get involved in Iconic Auckland Eats here: https://iconiceats.co.nz/restaurant-support/

Rebecca Foote
Communications Advisor - Destination