Tucked in between the city and the suburbs, Parnell has become quite the culinary destination in recent years. From some of the best brunch in town to world-class degustations and ground-breaking bars, these are our favourite places to wine and dine in Parnell.
Breakfast and beyond
Food: Health-skewed menu with a focus on cold-pressed juices, housemade vegan ‘mylks’, smoothies and a delicious selection of bowls, salads, sandwiches and organic toast with toppers to kick off your day.
Recommendation: We can’t go past the excellent toast options (the avo, goat feta and mint is particularly good), accompanied by a wholesome golden glow smoothie.
Location: 287-289 Parnell Road
Simon & Lee
Food: Brunch favourites with a modern Korean bent. Think eggs Benedict with kimchi, bibimbap and fried chicken.
Recommendation: Despite the mouth-watering nature of pretty much everything on the menu, the bulgogi spaghetti is a definite standout, along with the dolsot bibimbap (if you’re not familiar with this dish, consult our guide here).
Location: 115 St Georges Bay Road
Food: Cafe with an all-day menu and bakery with a fully-stocked cabinet of delicious treats, salads and pastries.
Recommendation: It’s hard to pass up the lemon meringue creations, especially when they come in the form of thick, doorstopper slices.
Location: 100 Parnell Road
Food: Modern New Zealand restaurant fare with a menu that focuses on locally grown produce, delicate flavours and classics with a twist.
Recommendation: Between the delicious coffee and housemade juices, our pick has to be the wood mushrooms and perfectly poached egg on sourdough, add prosciutto.
Location: 82 Gladstone Road, Parnell
Food: This popular drop-in is all about bagels (and great coffee).
Recommendation: The Wilbur is pretty phenomenal, with spiced pulled pork, housemade slaw and apple chutney sandwiched between a classic New York-style bagel.
Location: Shop 10, 109-115 St Georges Bay Road
Domain and Ayr
Food: Relaxed cafe fare, organic coffee and a variety of cabinet food.
Recommendation: The 20-minute pancake is this place’s signature. An impossibly fluffy pancake with mascarpone, berry compote and a generous drizzle of maple syrup. If you feel like a little indulgence, this is just the ticket.
Location: 492 Parnell Road
Non Solo Pizza
Food: The recently renovated courtyard provides the perfect setting to enjoy simply delicious Italian favourites.
Recommendations: The calamari fritti and crudo plate with fresh salmon, tuna and snapper is not to be missed, as are the beloved wood-fired pizzas.
Location: 259 Parnell Road
Food: This stalwart is serving up contemporary Asian fusion.
Recommendation: Despite the menu covering off a number of expertly executed classics, our current favourite has to be the duck with hoisin, green onion and broccolini. The express lunch menu is also an absolute godsend when you want to escape the office for something a little loftier than the usual.
Location: 91 St Georges Bay Road
Quench your thirst
Vibe: Euro-Latin dining bar offering an enticing line-up of drinks and some of the best tapas-style bar food in town.
Recommendation: One of our favourite thing to order from the drinks menu is a Barulho margarita. Accompany that with some tasty tapas and it’s the ideal place to settle in for a casual tipple.
Location: 7-15 Faraday Street
Pineapple on Parnell
Vibe: An intimate setting with a touch of eclectic character, ideal for a cosy drink with friends. If you’re lucky enough to be there on a night the piano is in use, you’ll be treated to some beautiful live music.
Recommendation: With a comprehensive cocktail list, our favourites can change with our moods. The Bloody Cobber, however, is always delicious, with blood orange, maraschino, lime, sherry and Mezcal.
Location: 207 Parnell Road
Vibe: Snugly situated in front of award-winning restaurant Pasture, newcomer Boxer offers just 11 seats for discerning drinkers to enjoy a bar experience like no other.
Recommendations: From tea ceremonies to housemade spirits, everything at Boxer is exemplary (but we must admit the elderflower martini goes down a treat). Bar snacks are non-negotiable, with pork fat pretzels mandatory.
Location: 235 Parnell Road
The Golden Nest at Woodpecker Hill
Food: A revamp of Parnell favourite Woodpecker Hill, The Golden Nest offers fun and fresh Japanese and Korean flavours alongside bao, steamed buns and dumplings.
Recommendation: The menu says it all — the toasted rock lobster and prawn roll is so good it gets its own section. There’s also a Chop Chop Noodle outpost tucked inside if a spot of ramen takes your fancy.
Location: 196 Parnell Road
Food: Casual dine-in and takeaway Malaysian fare.
Recommendation: Renowned for the beef rendang (it’s been called the best in Auckland) this is one dish not to miss.
Location: 131 Parnell Road
Food: Flavoursome modern Korean and traditional Korean barbecue.
Recommendation: The barbecue option comprises meat (think galbisal, eye fillet and scotch fillet) that you cook at the table on a small grill — and it’s delicious. As far as the a la carte menu goes, the crispy calamari pancake and the salmon moochim salad are both absolute standouts.
Location: 100 Parnell Road (inside ‘The Rise’)
Food: A delightful iteration of Greek cuisine where seasonal produce meets traditional Aegean flavours and cooking methods.
Recommendation: This place is perfect if you like sharing plates. Some of our go-tos include the pan-fried cheese with peppered figs and honey and the barbecued chicken thighs with Greek risotto and sheep’s milk cheese.
Location: 269 Parnell Road
Food: Sustainability-focused, farm to table degustation.
Recommendation: Eating at Pasture is an entirely unique culinary experience, which has recently been recognised as one of the World’s Best Restaurants by Food & Wine and Travel + Leisure. The restaurant only seats six people along a chefs table and is unmatched for more than just its food. The vibe is so cosy and intimate it feels like you’re dining in someone’s living room. Dishes are ever-changing and evolving on the set menu, but you can rely on proteins smoked and seared on the mānuka-fuelled fire, signature sourdough and deceptively simple dishes using local ingredients served at their best.
Location: 235 Parnell Road
Food: Offering Chinese fusion and Sichuan flavours with dumplings, small share dishes and larger main dishes.
Recommendation: Between the various sweet, salty and sour flavours, Fang’s pork belly that has been braised for 10 hours and is served with dark, sweet soy sauce, confit garlic and coconut carrot puree is definitely worth opting for.
Location: 100 Parnell Road (behind Winona Forever)
Feature image via Dish Cult