Call for submissions for top 100 dishes in Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland

Iconic Auckland Eats, the annual list of the top 100 dishes in Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland, opens for nominations today.

Now in its fourth year, the awards see food-loving Aucklanders nominate a favourite dish only available in Tāmaki Makaurau, while sharing a short story about the dish. This year, for the first time, nominations for Auckland’s most-loved dishes are open to people across Aotearoa New Zealand. One lucky submission will be crowned the winner, receiving a voucher book with all 100 Iconic Auckland Eats to be enjoyed over 2024. 

Iconic Auckland Eats is an initiative by Tātaki Auckland Unlimited, the region’s economic and cultural agency, in partnership with Restaurant Hub, New Zealand’s largest online restaurant booking network.

The awards aim to support the hospitality sector and showcase Auckland’s world-class food and diverse culinary story. The final list of the top 100 dishes and personal stories celebrate not only the exceptional food of Tāmaki Makaurau but also in-store experiences, people, history, heritage and culture unique to the region.

Head of Visitor Economy at Tātaki Auckland Unlimited Annie Dundas says, “As one of the most diverse cities in the world, Auckland has a vast array of cultures, traditions and nationalities which shows up in a rich food scene representing cuisine from all over the globe.

“The region’s culinary offerings are constantly evolving, marked with creativity and innovation, and supported by a wealth of talent. Naturally, there are so many remarkable and fascinating food stories from individuals that deserve to be told, which Iconic Auckland Eats helps to capture and share. We really look forward to receiving this year’s entries.”

The winner of last year’s submission was JT Bailey, a primary school teacher based in south Auckland. He says winning the prize of trying all 100 iconic dishes gave him the gift of meeting the region he calls home in an entirely new and personal way.

“The food has been, without exception, quintessentially Auckland – a fusion of culture and taste where contemporary meets historical, an eclectic mix of new and old and familiar and exotic. Every meal, every location, has been unique in taste and texture and smell and presentation, but all have shared the same Kiwi friendliness in presentation, a joy for the joy of others, and desire for a shared moment.

“Iconic Auckland Eats gave me a chance to fill my belly while I opened my eyes to the realities of a life in Auckland, and that has been the greatest prize of all,” he says.

Annie Dundas says, “The Iconic Auckland Eats list help locals and visitors alike to uncover the breadth of food experiences only on offer in Tāmaki Makaurau. Each iconic dish is considered against a set of criteria: well-loved, representative of local culture and people, a timeless classic or a signature dish. From restaurants and cafes to markets and food trucks across the region, Iconic Auckland Eats proves that superb food experiences can be found anywhere, at any price point.”

To nominate a favourite dish and be in to win all 100 Iconic Auckland Eats 2023 dishes, visit Nominations close 16 November 2023.

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Download and share the Iconic Auckland Eats nominations poster here