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5 unmissable restaurants at the Viaduct: Auckland’s waterfront dining precinct

Auckland is home to a vibrant food scene, and the restaurants at the Viaduct represent some of the best eateries around. A wander along the waterfront reveals why the Viaduct Basin dining precinct is so popular with locals and visitors — there’s something for everyone.

With so much on offer, it can be hard to pick, so we’ve rounded up some of our must-try Viaduct restaurants, from luxury French cuisine to the hubbub of an Asian fusion eatery and a laid-back beer garden.

Still can’t decide?

Why not restaurant-hop along Auckland’s waterfront?

With so much delicious food so close together, restaurant hopping lets you try drinks and entrees at one place before moving on to mains at the next and finishing with dessert somewhere else!

Did you know? Viaduct Harbour is one of our favourite inner-city spots – perfect if you’re visiting Auckland without your own car.

A man drinking a glass of beer and her partner taking a bite of a delicious meal of their food on the table and another on top of the sideboard under an outdoor umbrella of a restaurant.
Rooftop dining at Dr. Rudi’s.

Our Favourite Restaurants At The Viaduct

1. Baduzzi

Talking about Viaduct Harbour dining and not starting with Baduzzi would be like talking about Auckland and not mentioning the Sky Tower.

Step through the iconic red door and sink into one of their intimate leather booths or take a seat in the sun-drenched outdoor area. Warm and comforting, Baduzzi oozes relaxed sophistication, backed up by service that’s calm and welcoming despite the restaurant’s constant busyness.

This fabulous Viaduct restaurant serves up the best Italian American food in Auckland. Handmade pasta and the restaurant’s signature meatballs take comfort food up a notch, while the rest of the menu offers creative takes on authentic Italian flavours.

Quality wild meats and seafood like wood-fired king prawns, red deer meatballs and duck ragu take centre stage, but there are several equally delicious vegetarian options available too.

A thorough wine list complements the menu, as you’d expect from any self-respecting Italian eatery.

Baduzzi is open for lunch and dinner and its casual-luxe atmosphere makes it a fantastic spot for dates or dinners with friends. There is a kids’ menu available from $10, and adult dishes will set you back around $15 – $49 making it a reasonable option if you’re visiting with family.

Baduzzi Menu Highlights

  • Wood-fired, wild-caught king prawns with pancetta and gremolata piccante
  • Karitane crayfish meatballs with lemon cream and heirloom tomato
  • Saffron and potato tortellini with goats curd, brown butter, almonds and fig confit
  • Ricotta cannoli with citrus pistachio and amarena cherries.

10/26 Jellicoe Street, North Wharf, Auckland | Phone 09-309 9339

Did you know? Baduzzi is the Sicilian word for ‘meatballs’.

2. Dr Rudi’s Rooftop Brewing Co.

A firm favourite with the after-work crowd, Dr Rudi’s is a fun, casual rooftop restaurant in the Viaduct. We suggest securing a spot on the large deck overlooking Auckland’s glistening harbour — you’ll be hard-pressed to find a more stunning place to unwind with your friends

The food is exactly what you’d expect — inventive pizza flavours sold by the foot, hot wings, crispy fried squid and lots of upmarket pub-style finger food with the occasional vegetable thrown in. Dr Rudi’s is designed for groups so we recommend ordering to share!

With a European beer hall atmosphere Dr Rudi’s probably could have stopped at award-winning beer, but their drinks menu extends to delicious cocktails, a variety of wines, and jugs of sangria, Pimms and punch.

Visit at the right time to experience their bottomless frosé station which pops up during the summer months, live music, or regular DJ sets on weekends. In addition, you’ll find an on-site brewery and bowling lanes too!

Just remember, While Dr. Rudi’s is made for groups, they have a one bill policy so you will have to pay together.

Dr. Rudi’s Menu Highlights

  • Twice-cooked pork belly bites with hoisin dipping sauce
  • Free-range chicken wings: Choose from 3 levels of spicy sauce and house-made blue cheese sauce
  • Lamb moussaka pizza
  • Jalapeño and brie poppers with bloody mary sauce.

Level 2/204 Quay Street, Auckland CBD | Phone 09-942 4666

3. La Marée

Upmarket and refined, La Marée enjoys an elite waterside location in the Sofitel Viaduct. Michelin-starred chef, Marc de Passorio, and Kiwi MasterChef winner, Tim Read, blend seasonal New Zealand ingredients with French culinary techniques, resulting in one of Auckland’s finest French restaurants.

The food here is simple yet elegant whilst menus change seasonally. Flavours and textures are carefully balanced in each dish, all of which are crafted to highlight technique, quality local ingredients and sustainability.

La Marée is a mecca for wine lovers (interestingly, there are no cocktails or beers here). The wine list is large and considered, featuring high-end New Zealand and French wines plus sections for interesting varietals and last bottles.

With mains ranging from $35 – $65 La Marée is a special occasion visit for most people, but it does offer one of the most memorable dining experiences in the Viaduct.

It is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner with the last order at 9.30 pm.

La Marée Menu Highlights

  • Ōra king salmon with sweet corn purée, confit fennel, blood orange beurre blanc, basil and fennel leaves
  • Coastal lamb cutlet from Turakina, North Island, NZ
  • Bostock’s organic chicken thigh, Cloudy Bay clams, manuka smoked bacon, baby peas, spinach and organic cream
  • Japanese eggplant, warm lentils du puy salad, zucchini flowers and tomato vinaigrette.

21 Viaduct Harbour Avenue, Auckland CBD | Phone 09-354 7478

Pro Tip: La Marée have a number of gluten-free dishes. Many other Auckland restaurants cater in a similar way.

🚧 La Marée Restaurant was closed temporarily due to flooding in Auckland. Check their website to see if they are open again before planning a visit.

4. Hello Beasty

Dishing up tasty fusion cuisine, inspired by regions of Japan, Korea and China, Hello Beasty was voted one of the Top 100 Iconic Auckland Eats. This is no small feat in a city overflowing with creative restaurants!

Hello Beasty is a feast for the eyes; splashes of colour, neon art and murals brighten the eatery’s clean lines and natural wood.

Overlooking the beautiful Viaduct Harbour from Market Square, this vibrant restaurant is just a 5-minute stroll from the Britomart Transport Centre, making getting there incredibly easy.

Upon arriving, we suggest you take a seat at the bar and watch the team work in the open kitchen — or grab a table if you’re with a group.

Designed for sharing, the menu offers a wide range of snacks and sharing plates highlighting bold flavours. Food is presented in a fun, contemporary way and looks as good as it tastes.

This is one of the only Viaduct restaurants with a dedicated vegetarian and gluten-free menu, making it perfect for people with those dietary requirements!

Hello Beasty’s drinks list is full of equally creative cocktails, thoughtfully matched wines, Asahi, umeshu and sake to complement their Asian flavours.

They also offer a take-out menu with contactless pickup.

Hello Beasty Menu Highlights

  • Wild-caught Australian tiger prawns with garlic + kombu butter, prawn oil.
  • Slow-cooked Coastal Lamb shoulder with red chilli + Sichuan sauce, coriander + mint.
  • Crispy fried soft-shell crab with charred red pepper, umeboshi, smoked chilli sauce, fresh coriander, mint + bean sprouts.
  • Grilled mung bean + char siu with pork belly pancake kimchi, Japanese mayo, red miso sauce.

95-97 Customs Street West, Auckland CBD | Phone 021 554 496

5. Soul Bar & Bistro

An Auckland icon, the Soul Bar & Bistro resides in the heart of Auckland’s Viaduct Harbour.

This bistro prides itself on serving delicious, unpretentious food using fresh local ingredients. Like many of Auckland’s waterfront restaurants, Soul also has an emphasis on seafood.

Expect Italian-influenced favourites like beef short rib ragu or spaghetti with scampi.

They also have a dedicated vegetarian menu (which is a bit limited), but does include their scrumptious macaroni cheese with parmesan crust.

Soul Bar’s extensive drinks menu has some of the best cocktails in the Viaduct, from classics to contemporary Soul specials like the ‘underdressed influencer’. They offer an unbelievable variety of wines, and a small selection of beer and cider chosen to complement their food.

Located at ground level, Soul’s all-weather terrace faces west, making it a popular spot for catching spectacular sunsets and watching the super yachts gliding in and out of the harbour. 

It’s worth keeping an eye on their website for regular events including fashion lunches with fabulous New Zealand designers and Restaurant Month events that always sell out.

Soul Bar Menu Highlights

  • Beef short rib ragu, pappardelle, chilli and torched raclette
  • Macaroni cheese, ham off the bone and parmesan crust
  • Scampi cocktail, jalapeño and lime with edamame
  • Hawke’s Bay lamb rack, labneh, pickles, harissa chilli crunch

16-18 Lower Hobson Street, Customs Street West, Auckland | Phone 09-356 7249

Which of our top restaurants at the Viaduct will you try first?

Wherever you dine, we recommend allowing some extra time for a walk along the waterfront to soak up the atmosphere.

Spend a leisurely long lunch watching the yachts from a waterfront table, or make your dinner the start of a night out on the town at the nearby nightclubs.

Check out nearby Wynyard Quarter restaurants for additional dining options.

Enjoy!


All photographs supplied by the recommended restaurants.

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