Delicious cuisine, exciting culture and the ability to make seemingly everything wonderfully romantic, the Italians can do no wrong in our eyes. Case in point of why we fall hard and fast for the Italian Festival Season each year. Having begun on 17th September, this year’s festivities are already in full swing in Auckland, (with a full list of events that can be found here) but don’t fret if you haven’t had the chance to enjoy any of it yet, because the apex is still to come.
Festival Italiano, the annual Italian street festival, is undeniably the pinnacle of the celebrations each and every year. This year’s extravaganza will once again see Newmarket’s Osborne Street, Kent Street, Rialto Centre and Lumsden Green closed off and filled with an enticing array of food trucks, pop-up restaurants and market stalls, set against a backdrop of lively entertainment (including live music, designated spots for the kids and even exhibitions showcasing some suave Italian motors). With so many gastronomical goings on it can be hard to know where to start, and so, to help you on your quest for the best, we bring you five of the best gourmet stands to visit.
Famed for its meatballs and home-made pasta, Wynyard Quarter’s Italian resident will likely be serving up its famed piadinas, thin Italian flatbreads filled with delicious goodies (and the perfect thing to bridge breakfast and lunch).
The Wellington-based grocer is also New Zealand’s largest Mediterranean speciality shop so you can imagine how they have a handle on all things Italian. Be sure to check them out and see what they have on offer.
Nobody makes pizza quite like Farina does. In fact, chef Sergio Maglione has won awards for his pie-making abilities. The restaurant is also renowned for its aperitivo-like starters and porchetta sandwiches which lucky punters will hopefully get to taste on the day.
Attending Festival Italiano and skipping out on the gelato should be considered a cardinal sin. Mobile cart Mister Gelato will be bringing their finesse for all things frozen treat inspired to the already stellar Sunday food lineup, making the perfect opportunity to indulge in some post-lunch dessert.
There’s no other beer that embraces the Italian way of life better than Peroni Nastro Azzurro. A centrally located, pop-up bar will present several taps pouring a steady flow of the liquid gold, you would be remiss not to lubricate the day with a cold brew or two.
Festival Italiano takes place on Sunday 20th October between 11am – 5pm. Auckland’s Italian Festival Season runs from 17th September until 27 October.