Unusual Restaurants in Auckland

Think outside the box

Madeline Pratley | Date posted - 10 Oct 2018
Heading out for dinner in Auckland? Want to go somewhere a little bit different? Look no further. The city offers an eclectic mix of eateries, from circus-themed cafes open all hours of the day to live music venues serving Sunday roast and bottomless brunch. We can understand how difficult it is to decide which one you want to try next. Not to worry, this list of unusual restaurants in Auckland will keep you occupied for a good while. Get eating.

Sakebar Nippon Epsom

Anywhere outside of Japan that has a real live sushi train can be counted as unusual in our opinion, and Sakebar Nippon Epsom has that and much more. With the atmosphere and decoration of a Japanese Izakaya, guests sit at low tables, and they even have a no-shoes policy. Sip on Japanese delicacies like a shouchi cocktail, or sake and taste amazing delicacies like okonomiyaki (savoury Japanese pancakes), snapper sashimi, or tempura udon soup.

Wu and You

This place is full of contrasts, bamboo steamers sit alongside graffiti murals, traditional costumes are lit up by neon lights, and tacos are served with a japanese twist. You might have seen this place from a distance, and been attracted to it by it’s shiny lights, but you will keep coming back for it’s fantastic atmosphere and impressive food. Ever seen or heard of Himalayan salt-cured fish? Probably not, but once you try a bite of the pale pink slab of fish, you’ll wonder why it’s never been done before. Grab a table in the courtyard at the back, order a cocktail and some grub, and relax, that’s what it’s all about, right?

Circus Circus

Step right up! Witness amazing feats of brunch at Circus Circus. Under the big top is top notch coffee and delicious seasonal menus. Open since 1995, the unique venue doesn’t clown around when it comes to good food. There’s a few different seating areas according to your crew’s requirements, and their carnival themed menu should suit anyone, from the sweet toothed among you to the savoury bunch. You can even hire out certain areas of the local favourite, and since it’s open early til late, they can cater to any and every kind of event.


Ever heard of a fine dining Japanese restaurant serving Carbonara? Don’t run away just yet… Kazuya is the brainchild of Kazuya Yamauchi, chef and owner, who spent his formative years in Japan, travelled around Europe as an adult, and was inspired by New Zealand’s multicultural society. The goal of the restaurant is to “make our guests smile”, and to entertain diners. Combining quality Kiwi ingredients, Chef Kazuya uses the unique process of low-temperature, long duration roasting for meat, and traditional Japanese methods for preparing fish.

Cable Bay

Ever caught a ferry to dinner? You need to in order to reach Cable Bay Vineyards. Book a table in The Dining Room or on The Verandah to enjoy their award-winning wines and food. Produce is selected fresh daily from their organic kitchen gardens and orchard. Watch the sunset and soak in the stunning sea views with a glass of something good and your favourite person. Need we say more…
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