2011 round up – a year of cheap eating

We thought that before Christmas we should do a round-up of some of our best finds of the year. So May-Lee, Lynn and I put our heads together and came up with this. We have reviewed most of them on the site but some are a sneak preview of what’s to come next year. We hope you can make it to some of them over the holiday break. Happy Cheap Eating and we’ll see you again in mid-January.

Alexia, Lynn and May-Lee

Best Pizza Slice:
Sal’s Authentic New York Pizza, 183 K’Rd, 8 Commerce St and 107 The Strand, Takapuna

Best Street Food:
Glenfield (Westfield Glenfield) and Pakuranga (Westfield Pakuranga) night markets

South of the Border Delight:
Mexican Specialties, Unit 5, 92 Marua Rd, Ellerslie (daytime Thursday-Saturday only)

Favourite Sunday yum cha outing:
Grand Harbour, corner Pakenham and Custom Streets West, Viaduct  or
China Restaurant, 2 Beach Rd, CBD

Best Sandwich:
Bale Vietnamese sandwiches on homemade baguettes at Pho Saigon, 124A Custom St West.

Best Treat after a movie or a show:
Giapo Gelato, 279 Queen St.

Sharing is caring (small plates) – restaurant we’re most reluctant to share in:
Nishiki, 100 Wellington St, Ponsonby or 3/298 Torrens Rd, Botany,
El Faro in Elliott Stables, Elliott Stables, CBD

Asian Faves:
Sri Pinang, 356 K’Rd;
Golden Barbeque Noodle House, 290 Dominion Rd;
Sri Puteris, 59 Queens Rd, Panmure;
Top in Town, 586 Sandringham Rd; Siri 7
Taste of Sri Lanka, 64 Stoddard Rd (in Moshims Plaza), Mt Roskill;
Bunga Raya, 3062 Great North Rd, New Lynn;
Flourishing Cafe, 1784 Great North Rd, Avondale

Night Owl’s favourite:
Barilla Dumpling, 571 Dominion Rd is open until midnight

Best reason to be a vegetarian:
The options at  Vinyl Café, 218 Dominion Rd are delicious and they have a strong vegetarian/vegan focus.  We also love Bluebird Café, 299 Dominion Rd.

Best cake:
Little and Friday, 43C Eversleigh Rd, Belmont and in Martha’s Fabrics, Melrose St, Newmarket.

Best Coffee:
Espresso Workshop, corner of Owens and Manukau Roads, Epsom or 11 Britomart Place, CBD or 19 Falcon Street, Parnell.

Best Dessert:
Dutch Delight’s Poffertjes, 3-5 Birkenhead Ave, Birkenhead or 20 Greenhithe Rd, Greenhithe.

Favourite Food Courts:
Ponsonby International Foodcourt, 106 Ponsonby Rd or Food Alley, 9 Albert St.

Best Hot Chocolate:
Italian Denso, Chocolate Boutique, 323 Parnell Road, Parnell Village.

Open (almost) All Hours:
Frasers Café, corner of Mt Eden and Stokes Roads, Mt Eden Village.  They are open from 7am (or earlier) to around 11pm.

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6 Responses

  1. Chris says:

    Love it, heartily agree with all of your picks. You lot do an outstanding job and I’ve eaten at some wonderfull spots this year thanks to your blog

  2. Cheapeats says:

    Thanks so much. We are really trying to spread the love so please do tell your friends to look at the site and click through to Facebook too. We have 524 likers and we’re wanting to get that number up even higher. Merry Christmas!

  3. TonyF says:

    I concur with most of your choices, the ones I’ve experienced anyway! Especially ones like Sri Pinang, Golden BBQ Noodle House, Bluebird Cafe, and most definitely BOTH of the FOODCOURTS. (In the Ponsonby one, the Mekong stall remains my favourite…)
    The one selection I’m inclined to disagree with is your choice of Frasers in Mt Eden; I prefer Circus Circus close by because their staff are much friendlier, their food tastes better, and the clown/puppet theme is a lot more amusing and enticing.
    If you’ll forgive me, I would also quibble a little over your definitions of “Night owls” like me, who work odd hours and socialise late! It frustrates the heck out of me that this city’s cafes and restaurants (as opposed to bars) are closing earlier and earlier.
    Gone altogether are icons like the Open Late Cafe (used to open till at least 2am, and on weekends till 5 or 6am) and Espresso Love/Logos (till 1am or later); Cezanne used to be open most nights till 1am and beyond, but retreated, first till midnight, then till 11pm, and now my friend was told this week their kitchen closes at 9.30!
    A favourite activity amongst my friends is to go to a theatre play or movie and then discuss it over coffee and cake in an atmospheric place for an hour or three – i.e. NOT in a grossly overpriced and soulless American chain cafe that serves p***weak liquid that pretends to be coffee. To do that is simply not possible in Auckland nowadays, it seems. The most livable city in the world? Not in that regard!
    I have friends who’ve visited NZ from places like Germany, Ireland and Korea. Invariably they ask me at night, “Where are all the people? Where can we get a decent late-night coffee?” I have to tell them they cannot do that in Auckland. As my friend Birgit from Munich, a city with a similar population size as Auckland, said to me, “A city? Auckland is a village!” But still, apart from the quibble above, a great village to live in!
    I’ve only been getting your reports for a few months, but I do enjoy them. Thank you!
    MX & HNY, TF.

  4. Cheapeats says:

    Thanks for your thoughts. I have to agree with the lack of late night spots, it is one of my few laments about Auckland. There used to be a Korean place at the top of Queen Street that was open till 3am, I’m not sure if it still is? We also visited somewhere called Bubble Tea Cafe on the Shore which was open till 2am. I wonder whether there are other places around that fit the category? We will do some investigation and get back to you. In the meantime, Merry Christmas!

  5. Pete says:

    Hey – just discovered this blog a few weeks ago (fantastic!) and since there’s been no new post in ages (hint hint!) thought I’d put a plug in for Wardani Indonesian in the Mercari Way shopping strip in Albany. Currently everything on the menu is $10, though even normal prices don’t go above $12. The Nasi Padang is sensational as is the Curry Noodle Soup and even the Bali Stir Fry for a change every now and again.

    Keep up the good work & happy NY!

  6. Cheapeats says:

    Thanks for your comments and suggestion. I’ve added it to the list. Look out for a new post today. We post every week on a Monday or Tuesday but took a break over Christmas and New Year.

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