Jordan and I just got back from vacation in Australia and New Zealand and it was AMAZING! On our vacation last year to Amsterdam, we took our first food tour (read about it HERE) and loved it so much that we decided to incorporate food tours into all our future vacations. Unfortunately, we had a pretty tight schedule this trip and weren’t able to do food tours in both New Zealand and Australia but the one we took in Auckland (NZ) was pretty awesome :).
We chose the Queen Street Tour through Auckland with The Big Foody Food Tours. They have several different tour options- both driven and walking- but when I’m in the city I prefer to walk everywhere I can versus hopping in and out of a vehicle…and if I’m going to be eating for several hours I might as well get some exercise too ;). We lucked up and it ended up being just the two of us! #privatetourforthewin
Our first stop was Al’s Deli, where they’re cranking out homemade bagels and gourmet doughnuts every day! Apparently the doughnut craze has hit New Zealand too =). I had a sesame bagel with homemade almond butter, and Jordan tried their hokey pokey doughnut. Yum! “Hokey pokey” is a Kiwi candy that tastes similar to peanut brittle…but without the peanuts haha. It’s everywhere and in everything in New Zealand!
Next, we checked out some handmade chocolates at Bennett’s. We tried the raspberry, salted caramel, and feijoa. What’s feijoa you say? It’s a popular fruit in New Zealand. Similar to a guava, lots of Kiwis grow feijoas in their backyard. Unfortunately, I didn’t try a fresh feijoa, but I enjoyed the flavor in the chocolates.
After chocolate tasting we stopped at Scarecrow, which is a florist, cafe, and urban farmer’s market all in one! They stock from local artisan suppliers and had so much neat stuff. Their kitchen focuses on local, organic ingredients with a deli-style menu. We tried the rustic pate served on crispy chicken skin(!!) and the mahoe blue tart with pear, blue cheese, and candied walnuts. Yum!
New Zealand has a large Asian population in part due to their many English language schools. Because of this, you’ll find lots of great Asian food! We stopped at No. 1 Pancake for some street food – Korean pancakes. I had never heard of Korean pancakes before (they are nothing like Okonomiyaki or Japanese pancakes, fyi), but they might have been my favorite thing on the entire tour! Korean pancakes or hotteok start with a yeast dough that’s filled with sweet or savory options and cooked on a griddle. We tried the cheese and bacon option (at our guide’s recommendation) and O.M.G.! Topped with some sweet chili sauce it was amazing – sort of like a grilled cheese except better!
Jordan’s love of macarons is second only to his love of nutella crepes! 😉 So needless to say, he was excited for a macaron stop. Miann offers fancy desserts, macarons, and chocolates. They had so many beautiful creations and the macarons were spot on! I tried the feijoa – yep…again 😉 – and Jordan had the salted caramel. Both were delicious but the salted caramel was perfect!
Our last stop was Vultures’ Lane Craft Beer Bar for some craft beer (or diet coke) and tacos. You won’t find much Mexican food in New Zealand, but this place had some pretty great tacos. I’m obsessed with shrimp so I got a shrimp taco, while Jordan tired the spicy beef. Both were delicious, and if you’re into beer they have 22 regular rotating taps so I’m sure you can find something you like! Why is it called Vultures’ Lane? According to Vultures’ Lane website (and our guide), “…in the 1920’s Vulcan Lane was given the name Vultures as it was home to some of the most unsavoury characters in the city, Streetwalkers were known to “patrol” the lane looking to entertain gentlemen, while bookmakers alongside other criminals roamed the lane and surrounding areas plying their trade.”
(I must have been hungry because I didn’t even get a picture of my taco…#fail)
Overall, another great food tour! If you’re in the Auckland area, definitely check out The Big Foody Food Tours! You’ll try lots of delicious food, but you also get a great tour of the city and lots of “extra” little historical tidbits =).