Where to Go in Auckland When All You Want Is a Big Bowl of Pasta
Slurp up a cheesy cacio e pepe or satisfy that carb craving with a saucy serving of lasagne.
June 15, 2022
The days are shorter and much (much) colder, the puffer jackets have been donned — basically, it's that time of year when our stomachs won't be sated by anything less than a big, indulgent bowl of pasta. Thankfully, Auckland is not short on places to enjoy a spot of la dolce vita.
Get ready to stick your fork into fresh maltagliati, slurp up a cheesy cacio e pepe, or satisfy that carb craving with a saucy serving of lasagne.
AMANO, AUCKLAND CBD
For a bowl of pasta in a whole new realm, join the queue waiting to get a seat at Amano on Tyler Street in Britomart. This iconic spot is an Auckland stalwart for a reason — its menu is classic/contemporary Italian at its most gorgeous. The lineup is constantly changing as the team source local, seasonal ingredients, but in the winter months you might be able to get your fork into kumara gnocchi, mushroom and leek-filled ravioli, or bucatini with local scampi, saffron and chilli. The interior fit-out isn't too shabby, either.
PANE E VINO, PONSONBY
Owned by the iconic Tito Cucciniello and found in the old brick fire station at 1 Williamson Ave in Ponsonby, Pane e Vino is an Auckland institution offering up to 15 traditional-style Puglian-influenced pasta dishes at a time. A not very well-kept secret is the lunch menu, where you can get a bowl that will leave you stuffed for just $15 — with options including classics-for-a-reason spaghetti alla bolognese, carbonara and linguine alla puttanesca.
PICI, KARANGAHAPE ROAD
Found tucked away in St Kevin's Arcade, this fresh pasta and wine restaurant is modelled on the small wine bars of Europe — and is a fave of Auckland's own Jordan 'The Caker' Rondel. It's a cosy and intimate space — it can seat up to 42 patrons at a time — making it the perfect spot to hide from the winter chill. If you need further warming, choose one of their fiery chilli-topped bowls of pasta — like their current fettuccine with mascarpone and nduja. Pair it with a Pet Nat, and you're on your way to having the perfect evening. Just make sure you save room for Pici's famous olive oil-topped cheesecake dessert which is fast-reaching icon status for those in the know.
COCO'S CANTINA, KARANGAHAPE ROAD
No listicle of pasta in Auckland would be complete without a mention of Karangahape Road's Coco's, where spaghetti and meatballs is the stuff of dreams. There are always a couple of other divine pasta options on offer, but once you've been served up a couple of their big, juicy, saucy meatballs on a nest of perfectly cooked spag, you'll be an addict. Those on a tighter budget should aim to be at Coco's between 4pm and 6.30pm Monday through Saturday for the ever-changing $15 happy hour pasta — best paired with an $8 glass of vino.
GINA'S ITALIAN KITCHEN, EDEN TERRACE
If you're partial to the full rowdy, happy, family-style Italian experience, Gina's is another fabled Italian eatery. Located at the top of Symonds Street, their lunch and takeaway menus offer the best offering of pasta including a heavenly slab of lasagne and penne con pollo with pan-fried chicken in a creamy garlic sauce.
PASTA E CUORE, MOUNT EDEN
Go to Pasta e Cuore in Mount Eden with an empty stomach. You'll leave considerably heavier and happier after choosing from more than ten homemade fresh pasta dishes, covering the yum spectrum from tortellini stuffed with buffalo ricotta in a butter sage sauce to spaghetti alla chitarra topped with gorgonzola, wild walnuts and fresh green leaves.
What originally started as a pop-up at K' Road's Six Nine has since transformed into one of the most popular spots to face plant into a big ol' bowl of pasta. Cotto (Italian for 'cooked') serves up incredibly good maltagliati, ravioli, cappelletti and gnocchi, among several other dishes under the Italian banner. Everything is good, but whatever you do, don't pass on the spinach, goat's cheese and sage dumplings. They are exceptional.
BADUZZI, WYNYARD QUARTER
Baduzzi may be the word for meatball in the Sicilian dialect, but this Wynyard Quarter restaurant also serves up a mouthwatering selection of pasta. Spinach cannelloni, buttered maltagliati with duck, and pappardelle with honey meatballs lead the lineup, while daily specials have spanned from hapuna bolognese to snapper tortellini. Owned by esteemed restauranteur Michael Dearth, you can expect an all-star dining experience at this one.
Top images: Pici, Cotto
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