Best places to eat with friends in Auckland for International students

Thursday, July 11, 2019

This is an update on our 20 delicious and affordable places to eat for International Students in Major Cities Around NZ blog that we created last year. This time around we are going to be more in-depth for each city and give you suggestions for the best places to eat breakfast, lunch and dinner in each of our major cities. In this edition we cover Auckland, the largest of New Zealand’s cities and one of our most diverse. This means that the food options are fantastic, with cafes and restaurants creating their menus using inspiration and recipes from all over the world.


1. Hello Friends + Allies - 93 Great South Road

Known for their sweet treats your first visit to Hello Friends + Allies will probably be to sample their red velvet cake, French toast and store made marshmallows. However, you’ll come back for more once you’ve tried the savoury breakfast food, delicious coffee and the rest of the delightful cabinet food selection. The restaurant has a relaxed atmosphere and is a great place to have brunch on a Sunday morning after a long Saturday.

2. Winona Forever – 100 Parnell Road

A café and bakery of the highest quality, located in the prime location of Parnell Road, this is the place to visit if you’re looking for a sweet and satisfying start to the day. Winona is known for its high-quality baking as well as an excellent selection of breakfast food and beverages.

3. Superfino - 85 Park Road, Grafton

Superfino is located at the Grafton Auckland University Campus. A key provider of the ‘budgie meal’ deal (meals that cost $6.50 or under and consist of a protein, vegetables and a carbohydrate) the café has two options that rotate every week out of a total of eight. It’s the place to go if you are on a budget and need something to eat before classes in the morning.

4. Odettes Eatery - 90 Wellesley Street West Shed 5

If you’re after a classy, yet affordable meal that will both astound and satisfy you, look no further. Odettes can be found in the trendy City Works Depot and is known for its stylish décor and relaxed ambience. The breakfast menu has a wide range of food and drinks to sample and all of it is tasty.

5. Little Algiers - 551 Karangahape Rd

Offering a taste of Algiers in New Zealand, this is arguably the best value for money place to eat on K-Road. The restaurant is known for its excellent big breakfast, coffee and burgers. It also has Halal, gluten free and vegetarian options. Prices are reasonable, and service is great. It’s an all-round memorable and worthwhile breakfast experience.


1. Bentto - Shop 8/290 Queen Street

Once you’ve found this restaurant you know you’ve found a place that you will be coming back to repeatedly. Not only are the prices reasonable, but the food itself is well-prepared and the service is excellent as well as fast. We recommend a bento box or the udon noodles.

2. Welcome Eatery - 181 Grafton Road

A nice open space, relaxed atmosphere and tasty food combine perfectly at Welcome to truly lift your dining experience. A strong mixture of cabinet food and kitchen prepared dishes also helps to satisfy/refresh diners.

3. No.1 Pancake - Lorne Street & Wellesley Street

This family owned restaurant is extremely popular with students for good reason. Whether you try the sweet or the savoury pancakes, you will not be disappointed. The friendly staff and great service make up for any long wait times and though prices have gone up slightly over the years, the pancakes are delicious enough to justify the prices and wait times. You won’t be disappointed!

4. Got Pasta - 7 Elliott St

A food kiosk with fast service and deceptively filling serving sizes, Got Pasta also recently opened a new shop at the Auckland University Campus. Reasonably priced, we recommend trying the Carbonara or Bolognese and bringing your own container! This is the perfect meal to have on those cold winter days – nourishing, warm and tasty.

5. Burger Burger - Ponsonby Central, 4 Brown St

You just can’t go wrong with a burger, especially burgers that taste this good! Though this franchise has multiple locations across Auckland, we love the Ponsonby store. Choose from a wide range of burgers, sides, shakes, sodas and even kombuchas.


1. Prego – 226 Ponsonby Road

Prego means “you are welcome” in Italian and after eating here you certainly feel like saying thank you for a fantastic dining experience. This Italian institution is one of Ponsonby’s most well-known places and is one of Auckland’s most beloved restaurants. The food and service are exquisite, the atmosphere is top-notch, and the location is ideal.

2. NZ Kebabs/Sensational Chicken - 11A Mount Street

In need of a post University feed? This is the place to go if you need something quick and filling! These kebab, fries and chicken connoisseurs provide a meal that you won’t forget, with so many flavours elevating simple food to a magical meal. Top it off with fast and friendly service and you’ve got a must visit restaurant.  

3. Conch Records Kitchen & Bar – 115 A Ponsonby Road

Come for dinner and tunes at this cool and funky restaurant in the middle of Ponsonby. Stay for snacks and drinks with friends after dinner and make the most of their pizzas or sweet treats.

4. Tanuki’s Cave - 319B Queen Street

A Japanese yakitori (grilled chicken) and kushiage (bread crumbed, crispy fried morsels) restaurant, this authentic restaurant located right in the middle of the city cannot be missed. There is so much to enjoy about the restaurant’s food, atmosphere, décor and service. We recommend that you try as many of the yakitori and kushiage skewers as you can.

5. Big J’s Takeaways - 4/1 Melton Road, Mount Wellington

Tucked away in the suburb of Mount Wellington, this gourmet burger shop is well-known by Auckland students as a great place to go get a unique and high-quality creation. Have a burger, toasted sandwich, hot dog or loaded fires and marvel at one of the tastiest meals you have ever eaten.

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iStudent Complaints is an independent dispute resolution scheme established by the New Zealand Government. Our objective is to encourage swift settlement of contractual and financial disputes between international students and their providers in New Zealand. As an independent and impartial service, we are not affiliated with any Education providers.

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Even if we need to step in one day to help you resolve a dispute, we want you to enjoy studying and living in our amazing country as much as we do. To that end, we’ve created this content so that you may continue to explore and experience the best New Zealand can offer.