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Love on the Menu: Top 8 Romantic Restaurants in Auckland

Love on the Menu Top 8 Romantic Restaurants in Auckland

From cozy hideaways to elegant waterfront eateries, our city offers a plethora of romantic restaurants that never fail to impress.

One of my fondest memories was a spontaneous date night at a French bistro in the middle of downtown. The candlelit ambiance, live jazz, and exquisite cuisine created a fairy-tale setting we won’t forget.

Since then, I’ve made it my mission to seek out and explore the locals’ most enchanting dining experiences.

So, join me as I take you on a journey through Auckland’s top 8 romantic restaurants, each one handpicked for its charm, ambiance, and ability to make every moment feel like a cherished memory.

1. Lilluis Restaurant 

Address 19 Khyber Pass Road, Grafton, Auckland 1023, New Zealand
Phone 64 21 217 4069  
Must-order items Matangi Angus Beef
Seaweed Custard with Shellfish & Quinoa 
Auckland Islands Scampi with Apple & Frozen Wasabi
Price range $$ average 

For a fine dining experience, I can’t recommend Lilluis Restaurant enough. This restaurant is known for its sophisticated dining room, and you can even catch glimpses of the chefs working their magic in the open kitchen!

If it’s your first time here, you must try their Matangi Angus Beef; this isn’t your average steak! We’re talking about premium, 100% grass-fed beef from New Zealand’s Matangi Station.

Also, the beef is aged to perfection for three weeks, resulting in unparalleled tenderness and flavor that’ll make your taste buds sing a joyous melody.

But that’s not all; they also add oats, which are simmered with shallots, vegetable broth, soy sauce, and fresh spinach. 

And just when you think it couldn’t get any better, they add butter and white miso paste. Umami explosion, anyone?

2. Gerome 

Address 269 Parnell Road, Parnell, Auckland 1052, New Zealand
Phone 64 9 373 3883   
Operating hours Sunday to Tuesday: 12 – 10 pm 
Wednesday to Saturday: 12 – 11 pm 
Must-order items Shoulder of Lamb Kleftiko
Market Fish
Barbecued Thigh of Chicken
Price range $$ average 

If you’re craving some Greek cuisine with a romantic ambiance, go for Gerome in Parnell. As soon as you step into this modern sanctuary, the flickering flames from the wood fire grill cast a soft glow across the room. 

One dish that stole our hearts is their Shoulder of Lamb Kleftiko. 

It’s a Greek classic with a modern twist, slow-cooked to absolute perfection. Each bite is a symphony of garlic, lemon, and fragrant herbs.

Right alongside that heavenly lamb is a dollop of carrot tzatziki. Who knew grated carrots could go so well with creamy yogurt? 

With hints of garlic, dill, and lemon, it’s a flavor explosion that’ll make you wonder why you haven’t tried it sooner.

But that’s not all; like scattered stardust, lie the pine nuts that add the final touch of nutty elegance. It’s the little details like this that elevate the entire dining experience to a whole new level!

3. Mudbrick Vineyard and Restaurant 

Address 126 Church Bay Road, Oneroa, Waiheke Island 1971, New Zealand
Phone 64 9 372 9050 
Operating hours Monday to Friday: 11 – 9:30 pm 
Saturday and Sunday: 10 – 9:30 pm 
Must-order items Taste of the Hauraki Gulf
Prime Steer Eye Fillet
Seared Salmon
Price range $$ average 

For a romantic date night with a spectacular view, you can never go wrong with Mudbrick Vineyard and Restaurant. In fact, this restaurant is celebrated for its superb dining experience and award-winning wines! 

Now, as per the food, one dish that’s got everyone talking is their Taste of the Hauraki Gulf. Imagine sinking your fork into a perfectly encrusted golden brioche, only to reveal the tender, flaky fish hidden beneath. 

They also add kombu gremolata, a zesty concoction of lemon zest, herbs, and that secret ingredient, kombu. And then there’s kina brulee, a sea urchin caramelized to perfection. 

It’s like diving into the ocean with every bite — a creamy, indulgent treat that you won’t forget in a hurry.

4. The Sugar Club 

Address Corner of Federal and Victoria Streets, Level 53, Sky Tower, Victoria Street West, Auckland 1010, New Zealand
Phone 64 9 363 6365  
Operating hours Tuesday to Saturday: 5 – 9 pm 
Must-order items Lake – Land – Sea
Quack Quack
Farro Risotto
Price range $$ average 

Picture this: You’re sitting at a table with your special someone, surrounded by the glittering lights of Auckland City and the serene beauty of the Hauraki Gulf stretching out before you. 

It’s like a scene straight out of a romantic movie, right?

Now, let’s talk about the food because it’s a big part of the experience. One dish that’s been making waves is their Lake – Land – Sea. 

Just the name alone sounds intriguing. The dish features Lake Ohau wagyu tenderloin, paired with a cheek croquette, and topped off with an oyster and bone marrow espuma.

And let’s not forget about the drinks. The Sugar Club doesn’t disappoint in that department either. 

They’ve got everything, from creative cocktails that pack a punch to a wine list that’s been carefully curated to complement every dish on the menu.

5. Orbit 360° Dining

Media credit: zxcraig

Address 72 – 78 Victoria Street West Level 52, Sky Tower, Victoria Street West, Auckland 1010, New Zealand
Phone 64 9 363 6000   
Operating hours Monday to Thursday: 5 – 11 pm 
Friday to Sunday: 11:30 – 3 pm, 5 – 11 pm  
Must-order items Riverland Beef Eye Fillet
Oven Roast Chicken Breast
Strawberries & Cream
Price range $$ average 

This place has probably the most unique dining experience you’ll ever have! Orbit’s dining room gently rotates once every hour, taking in breathtaking panoramic views of Auckland, the Hauraki Gulf, and beyond. 

It’s like dining in a slowly orbiting spaceship but with much better food, of course!

And speaking of food, I’d recommend their Riverland Beef Eye Fillet. This premium cut of beef is tender, paired with potato fondant that’s crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside. 

Nestled alongside are a decadent truffle parfait and earthy mushrooms, all drizzled with a rich Bordelaise sauce.

Here’s a little insider tip: bookings at Orbit are absolutely essential, and they’ve got a two-hour dining limit for all reservations. 

And those window seats everyone dreams of snagging? They don’t take requests for them, and there’s no guarantee you’ll nab one. 

But with views like these from every angle, trust me, you won’t be disappointed.

6. Tala 

Address 235 Parnell Road, Parnell, Auckland 1052, New Zealand
Phone 64 21 172 8349 
Operating hours Wednesday to Saturday: 5:30 – 9:30 pm 
Must-order items Umu Chicken
Lamb Sapasui
Price range $$ average 

The first thing you’ll notice when enter Tala is their incredible ambiance. It’s like stepping into another world with this sleek and stylish interior that just screams romance.

But here’s the kicker: right in the center of it all, there’s this umu, a traditional Samoan open-fire pit. It’s not just for show; they actually use it to cook some of their most mouthwatering dishes, like Umu Chicken. 

It’s a tender chicken, wrapped snugly in banana leaves with a sprinkle of herbs and citrus, and then cooked right there in the umu. 

Can you imagine the flavors swirling around in there? It’s like a dance party for your taste buds!

7. Bar Magda 

Address 25b Cross Street, Auckland CBD, Auckland 1010, New Zealand
Phone 64 21 127 9377  
Operating hours Sunday and Monday: 5 – 10 pm 
Wednesday and Thursday: 5 – 12 am 
Friday and Saturday: 5 – 1:30 am 
Must-order items Tocino of Pork Belly 
Terrine of Spiced Ham ‘Spam’
Bbq Tiger Prawns
Price range $$ average 

Bar Magda has this mysterious vibe that’s just so enticing. It’s an underground bar and bistro tucked away, with three different zones to explore. 

You’ve got your cozy bar area, a secret spot behind curtains (intriguing, right?), and then this intimate dining room where you can watch the chefs work their magic in an open kitchen.

Now, let’s talk about the food. Bar Magda takes seasonal produce from Aotearoa and infuses it with flavors from the southern part of the Philippines. 

You’re in for a taste sensation with their hot and cold plates, each bursting with sour, salty, sweet, and spicy goodness. 

And their Pork Belly Tocino? It’s a real showstopper – tender pork belly, served with this fresh fennel slaw, and topped with yellow sambal. Trust me, you won’t stop raving about it.

8. Esther 

Address 4 Viaduct Harbour Avenue, Auckland CBD, Auckland 1010, New Zealand
Phone 64 9 379 9123 
Operating hours Monday to Tuesday: 6:30 – 10:30 am. 5:30 – 10 pm 
Wednesday to Friday: 6:30 – 10:30 am. 12 – 3 pm, 5:30 – 10 pm 
Saturday and Sunday: 7 – 11 am, 5:30 – 10:30 pm 
Must-order items Pukekohe Duck Breast
Cloudy Bay Clams
Spekle Park Grass-Fed Eye Fillet
Price range $$ average 

It’s worth coming to Esther just for the ambiance alone. The decor is modern yet cozy, and the open kitchen adds this comforting touch — almost like stepping into a friend’s kitchen for a delightful meal!

Here, the menu is a love letter to European cuisine, with a Kiwi twist that adds a unique flair — and the best example dish for this is their Pukekohe Duck Breast. 

Perfectly cooked duck breast with crispy skin that crackles under your fork, revealing juicy, tender meat that practically melts in your mouth. 

And then there’s the confit leg — slow-cooked until it’s so tender it practically falls off the bone, infused with rich, savory flavor.

But wait, there’s more! To top it all off, luscious cherry sauce is drizzled over the duck, adding a sweet and tangy contrast that elevates every bite.