Where to eat before a rugby game at Eden Park

Six dinner spots within walking distance of Eden Park

Jolin Shanghai Restaurant

This Dominion Road stalwart has been serving Auckland’s best xiao long bao (dumplings filled with soup) since 2002. The chef has changed, but the commitment to authentic Shanghai cuisine, which is typically defined by its sweetness, has remained. Try the wonton soup and the cold Shanghai duck, or simply let owner Kelvin Zhang guide you through the menu. 248 Dominion Rd, Mt Eden (10 minute walk)


Tucked beside the Kingsland train station, this easy-to-miss izakaya is a safe bet for a casual post-game dinner, with reasonably priced Japanese small plates, sashimi that’s as fresh as a sea breeze and a concise saké menu. 460A New North Rd, Kingsland (2 minute walk)

Ralph’s Bar and Eatery

Ask any renter in the local vicinity where their favourite spot for a chilled out, affordable dinner is and they’ll likely say Ralph’s. Happily, it’s a short walk away from Eden Park for a pint of celebratory/commiseratory Good George beer alongside homemade pork and fennel meatballs and cheeseburgers as big as your head. 225B Dominion Rd, Mt Eden (11 minute walk)

Saké Bar Icco

A favourite of Kazuya Yamauchi, owner and head chef at fine dining restaurant Kazuya, Morningside’s Icco (meaning ‘one house’ in Japanese) is the place to go for fresh sashimi, sushi and comforting Japanese food served in
a homely environment. 601 New North Rd, Morningside (13 minute walk)

Cinta Malaysian

Cinta means “love” in Malay and the locals certainly love this place. Owners Amy and William Law know their clientele well and tailor most of the menu accordingly, hence the success of their chicken and lamb curries, rendang and assam curry fish, butter prawns and sambal eggplant. 454 Dominion Rd, Balmoral (16 minute walk)

Eden Noodles

You may have to queue out the door on this windy, popular strip of Dominion Road, so an early dinner might be smartest. When you do get a table, it’s worth it. We can almost never go past the hand-pulled dan dan noodles, or the dumplings, served in a spicy, sweet pool of chilli oil. The Chinese pickles on the side are a great call, cutting through any grease. 105 Dominion Rd, Mt Eden (17 minute walk)

Further afield

Three Mount Eden favourites for pre- and post-match kai

Juke Joint

Big enough to cater for a large group, Brothers Beers’ largest site is a destination for a glass of something interesting and a loaded canteen tray of barbecued food.  It’s family-friendly, too. 5 Akiraho St, Mt Eden

Zool Zool

Almost every region of Japan has its own version of ramen, and at Zool Zool there are six classic variations to try, alongside wines chosen to complement each flavour. Izakaya-style snacks and ‘Zool Men’ – reduced-broth noodles – are equally great. Groups of four or more can book upstairs seating. 405 Mt Eden Rd, Mt Eden

Pasta & Cuore

Stefania Ugolini’s authentic Italian bistro with courtyard is only open until 8.30pm, which makes it ideal for a pre-match long lunch of pasta and fine Italian wine. 409 Mt Eden Rd, Mt Eden

Best bars for watching the game

Big screens, large tables and friendly bar staff to boot

The Cav

68 College Hill, Freemans Bay 

Applejack’s Bar & Eatery

2 Dunrobin Place, Pakuranga Heights

The Paddington

117 St Georges Bay Rd, Parnell

Elephant Wrestler

138 Hurstmere Rd, Takapuna

The Lumsden Freehouse

444 Khyber Pass Rd, Newmarket

O’Ryans Irish Bar

Pacific Sq, 792 Great South Rd, Manukau

Grey Lynn RSC

3 Francis St, Grey Lynn