Announcing the Top 50 of the 2019 Metro Peugeot Restaurant of the Year Awards.
This is it! The time has come!
After two months of eating our way around Auckland, Metro’s judging panel of twelve experienced local food writers has whittled a daunting list of over 100 contenders down to a sharp, manageable Top 50 finalists of the Metro Peugeot Restaurant of the Year 2019.
The judges visited restaurants anonymously, paid for their meals and meticulously judged not only the food, but every aspect that makes a restaurant an experience worth leaving your house for.
We consider every aspect of every restaurant in exacting detail – the food, the service, the drinks, the fit out, the music, the atmosphere and how much our visit made us want to go back. Each restaurant has been considered on its merits, based on what the restaurant is trying to do. A formal fine dining restaurant is judged on its qualities as a formal fine dining restaurant, a bustling bistro on its qualities as a bustling bistro.
The judging panel noted the continued merging of styles and formats, and have tweaked the awards categories in recognition that the diversity of restaurants included as bistros in recent years has made that term redundant as a categorisation for some restaurants. They have also decided to acknowledge the distinct challenges of restaurants that are open to diners for breakfast (or brunch), lunch and dinner with a new Best All Day category. But we’ll get to that when the winners are announced the awards night on 29 April.
The judges also note the rise of female chefs at Auckland’s best restaurants with four women in the eight finalists in the Best Chef category, which will be announced at the ceremony. While we’re still a long way off gender equality in professional kitchens in Auckland, we’re excited to see women leading some of the best restaurants in the city. We’re thrilled to see Auckland’s restaurants continue to diversify, both in terms of the food they’re making and the people making it.
This year we have also cast our net wider to highlight the quality of dining around the country, with a nod to New Zealand’s best restaurants outside of Auckland. While not included in the Top 50, which is Auckland-only, the regional list will be announced on the night and in the magazine.
Another change we’ve made this year is the addition of an acclaimed international guest judge (to be revealed at a later date) who has eaten at each category winner and will make the ultimate decision on the Supreme Winner.
The Top 50 restaurants are now in contention for the Metro Peugeot Restaurant of the Year Awards, to be announced at the prestigious awards night at Auckland’s historic Town Hall on 29 April and published in our May-June issue on 30 April.
This is Peugeot’s fifth year supporting these awards. Thanks Peugeot!
The Top 50 Auckland restaurants, and the finalists in the 2019 Metro Peugeot Restaurant of the Year, are (in alphabetical order):
Gusto at the Grand
O'Connell St Bistro
Pasta e Cuore
Ponsonby Road Bistro
Sid at French Café
Soul Bar and Bistro
The Blue Breeze Inn
The Engine Room
The Tasting Shed
Three Seven Two
Photography by: Josh Griggs