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Say goodbye to boring lunches: Where to find the best workday eats in Auckland

In our experience, the easiest way to sweeten a workday is with lunch to look forward to (especially when easing back into the year). Should you need to land a deal, boost morale within the team or simply incorporate some food-based joy into your day, Auckland restauranteurs will always deliver. Next time you need to book a quick and easy corporate lunch, there’s an offering sure to impress from our definitive guide on where to find the most delicious weekday lunches in Auckland.

Harbour Eats
For something cheap and cheerful but always certifiably delicious, Commercial Bay’s Harbour Eats is a destination we return to time and time again. Offering a somewhat elevated take on the classic food court, Harbour Eats takes up the entire third floor of the Commercial Bay precinct. It features micro-destinations from your favourite purveyors like Fatimas, Bird on a Wire and Wise Boys, and lesser-known favourites like South American Oven and Sunny Town.

Gochu
If you’ve got time for a long lunch (this is one instance where we suggest making the time), Gochu’s ‘Leave it to the Chef’ lunch is a delightful way to treat yourself and your colleagues to a culinary adventure. With this menu option, you’ll discover why Gochu is one of Commercial Bay’s most popular eateries, as you indulge in dishes like the famed fried chicken sliders and the delicious crispy eggplant — the latter a dish that’s sure to change the way you think about vegetables.

Mr Morris
Corporate lunches often call for a bespoke menu — a notion in which Britomart’s Mr Morris is well versed. Rare are the times you’ll find three courses served in 45 minutes, but here, the kitchen’s understanding of a one-hour lunch break has this down to a fine art. If you let the team know when booking, you’ll receive a quick appetiser on arrival, shortly followed by a seasonal entree to share. This is followed by your choice of main, which comes with a divine seasonal side. The beauty of this menu is that it frequently changes, so you’ll never get bored.

Work Lunch Auckland: Gochu
Gochu

SPQR
Famously home to one of the City’s most beloved long lunches, with a sought-after vantage point of Ponsonby Road, SPQR is just as divine on a weekday as it is on the weekend. Its tailored working lunch menu allows you the time for two delicious courses (or three, should you be craving tiramisu for dessert), beginning at $50 per person. On this menu, you can choose your own entree and main from a curated selection of SPQR favourites (seared scallops with organic corn and chorizo and the vegan spaghettini, please), which makes it a quick, easy and always impressive choice for lunch.

Chur Bae
Since opening in level two of City Works Depot last year (where The Botanist once stood), Chur Bae has garnered a devoted following of local gourmands who adore its divine, Korean-inspired menu. If you can get your hands on one of the sought-after chicken sandos, it makes for the perfect lunch to go.

Huami
Yum cha has long been a favourite mode of communal dining, and with Huami’s elevated offering, we’ve never been more convinced. Available from Wednesday until the end of the week, this workday lunch option is an easy way to keep everyone in the group happy and encourage compelling table conversation. While Huami’s menu is expansive, it would be remiss not to order a few servings of the beloved dim sim (the squid ink and prawn are sensational) and the steamed barbecued chicken bun, too.

Deli de Bossi
An idyllic grab-and-go destination, Deli de Bossi (the younger sister to the delicious new restaurant Bossi next door) is a destination you’d do well to visit. With an authentic Italian offering, stop by for everything from fresh pastries and shaved meats to the sought-after meals to go.

Milenta
Since opening earlier this year to long-awaiting crowds, we’ve been impressed by everything coming out of Milenta’s kitchen, courtesy of Head Chef Elie Asaf’s inimitable talents. Lunches here are another affair and while rumour has it we should expect a new menu in the coming weeks, our favourites of the moment include the pork, paying homage to the restaurant’s Argentinian roots, and the ceviche, which is just as visually pleasing as it is utterly mouthwatering.

The Brit
Those seeking a casual long-lunch that could easily roll into a few afternoon drinks would do well to call into The Brit. The epitome of a good gastropub, the menu here focuses on pub classics done well — and an expansive drink offering to match. We’d recommend the Smashed Wagyu Burger if you’re feeling indulgent or the Green Bowl topped with grilled chicken for something more virtuous.

Work Lunch Auckland: Milenta
Milenta

The Store
This Britomart icon offers the best of both worlds — a deliciously easy restaurant where you can meet friends at a moment’s notice and a takeaway outpost at the back, always perfect for a coffee or sandwich on busy work days.

Ahi
Regardless of the occasion, Ahi is a restaurant set to impress. Over lunch, we suggest you opt for the set menu, which provides a concise offering of the revered cuisine for which this Commercial Bay restaurant is known. The Cambridge asparagus with bresaola, mushroom and hollandaise is a virtuous start to any meal, paving the way for Ben Bayly’s famed wild red deer striploin — one of our favourite game dishes in the City. Last but not least, we recommend you finish off lunch with the naked mallowpuff, sure you see you through any potential afternoon slump.

Taco Medic
The second Auckland destination for these beloved Queenstown tacos, Taco Medic on Quay Street is perfect for an inner-city lunch on the fly. Cheap and cheerful, but still totally tasty (and entirely gluten-free), it’s a delightful lunch for anyone within the Quay Street precinct.

Federal Delicatessen
From Al Brown, this CBD stalwart is Auckland’s answer to the classic New York deli. Here, food is simple, flavourful and utterly indulgent, and guarantees to offer a satiating meal at every sitting. We suggest one of the sandwiches or salads if you’re seeking something light, although a side of Montreal poutine never goes amiss.

Faraday’s Bar
Intimate in its nature, at Faraday’s Bar, impeccable service is always guaranteed. The menu here is refined, allowing diners the freedom to choose without worrying about whether they’ll make their next meeting. Seasonally driven and always changing so as to incorporate the freshest ingredients, we are currently loving Faraday’s Bar’s smoked beetroot and avocado, but have to admit that the gnocchi with prawns, charred tomato smoked butte and ‘nduja is also utter perfection.

Onemata

Onemata
It goes without saying that one of our favourite parts of Park Hyatt is the inimitable food offering from it’s beloved dining outposts. Onemata, the crown jewel of their offering, has recently announced its Express Lunch menu, where diners can choose a starter and a main (or a main and a dessert) for a mere $55. This offering is available both Thursdays and Fridays, from 12pm until 2.30pm.

Sìso
This Remuera favourite offers one of the most delightful lunches on the block. From Wednesday until Sunday, you can make like the locals and devour some of Sìso’s most beloved dishes. Begin with a choice of crispy calamari or a spinach filo pie (which comes doused in brown butter sauce) before being treated to a grilled chicken salad or hand-cut linguini with Skull Island prawns and fermented chilli as the tour de force. Of course, like all good lunches, Sìso’s should be paired with a glass of wine.

Alma
This Britomart destination is one we find ourselves frequenting far too often, which is a testament to Chef Jo Pearson’s innovative Andalusian cuisine. Offering the same menu as its delicious dinners, we think it’s the perfect lunch option for when you’ve got a little extra time to spare.

Ebisu
Here, in the heart of Downtown Auckland, this Britomart stalwart offers an Express Menu for those needing a good meal in the midst of a busy day. Here, Ebisu offers a selection of its most beloved Japanese dishes, including a chef’s selection of fresh market sashimi and the seared Angus beef tataki to begin, before one of three hero mains (we can never look past the teriyaki chicken). Ebisu is our favourite for a reason — there’s no denying its greatness.

Work Lunch Auckland: Ebisu
Ebisu

Odettes
Should you need a quick catch-up with your team or somewhere to grab a swift bite to eat, Odettes is our go-to for more than just the convenient location. Its lunch menu is ideal for those busier days, with tasty bites and satiating options depending on what you are after. Truthfully, we would eat the buttermilk fried chicken savoury crepe with chipotle, peanut and chilli salsa all day if we could.

The Lodge Bar & Dining
As perfect for drinks and a light snack with clients as it is a three-course meal with friends, The Lodge Bar & Dining is a menu that’s always divine for a midweek lunch. With a burgeoning oyster menu, delicious pasta, and a 32-day dry-aged steak that’s genuinely unrivalled, we’d suggest this as your next lunch-date destination.

Williams Eatery
Lunchtimes at Williams are always delicious, with a menu that feels like a refined take on the all-day brunch. For a midday pick-me-up, we rarely look past the Eggplant Pita with chilli, tamarind and herbed tahini, but we have it on good authority that the Heirloom Tomato Gnocchi is absolutely to die for.

Andiamo
Another destination for a long lunch classic, Andiamo’s midday menu is delightful — and just the kind of lunch set to impress at this time of year. Offering their same beloved meatballs, pastas and pizzettes from evening service, everything is made with fresh and flavoursome, seasonal ingredients and is made all the more perfect when paired with a flute of Champagne.

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