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Top 50 Cheap Eats 2021 Winners: Who Won What

Top 50 Cheap Eats 2021 Winners: Who Won What

Feb 16, 2021 Cheap Eats

The best of the best in Auckland.

Click here for the full list of 2021’s Top 50 Cheap Eats.


Eden Noodles

In a year of immense uncertainty, there is a lot to be said for familiarity. For many of us Aucklanders, Eden Noodles has been a rock to lean on at one point or another — whether that’s a dusty Saturday afternoon, a lazy weekday, or a Level 3 takeaway when we were on the verge of eating too much sourdough and pasta. Their food is always consistently tasty, and that’s a real gift; to want to call in time after time when the city is so populated by similar alternatives shows just how highly we think of the place.


Mr Taco

Every person and their dog has been through Mr Taco, spurred on by the immense wave of love bestowed on the place by those who had been before them. Owner Manuel Moreno González (also the chef) opened in June this year, serving up his food seven days a week, from lunchtime to dinnertime. The scarcity of good, traditional tacos in Auckland is a known problem, so having one smack-dab in the city centre is, excuse me, really damn cool.


Eden Noodles’ Dumplings in Spicy Sauce

We’ve talked enough about these already, but just in case you’ve missed it: a Sichuan staple, these silkyskinned parcels sit in a bath of chilli oil which hits the right balance between savoury, spicy, sweet and sour.

Nominees: Peach’s Hot Chicken’s Chicken and Waffles; Chu Long Ji ’s Xiaolongbao; Daamso’s Gamjatang; Uncle Man’s Curry chicken roti; Xi’An Food Bar’s Cucumber salad; Baifu Dumplings‘ Lamb dumplings in suan la tang; Mr Taco’s fish tacos


Happy Cafe

For a whole lot of tasty carbs at a reasonable price, we really can’t go past Happy Cafe, the Cantonese roast-meat-and-wonton-soup joint of our dreams. Even their generous sharing dishes, like an eggplant and salted fish casserole, or salted pepper pork rib, come in at under $20.

Runner up: Taste of Samoa
$14 for two people. Enough said.


Baifu Dumplings

During our visit, the woman in front-of-house was singing along to a Chinese folk song. The joy was infectious, and, even better, she stopped by for a yarn after some sage menu recommendations, and we love that. Side note: whoever said worse service means greater authenticity needs to check themselves.

Top 50 Cheap Eats is presented by AF Drinks.


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Metro N°441 is Out Now.

It’s our annual, inflation-busting ‘Where to Eat for Less Than $25’ list (with thanks to Uber Eats) issue! PLUS the Summer Books Special and the Auckland Property Report Card (with thanks to Barfoot and Thompson). Also, Sir Bob Harvey looks into the missing treasures in our museums and talks to Jacqui Knight about monarch butterflies. AND NOT ONLY THAT: Emil Scheffmann looks into our secondary art market, Matthew Hooton and Morgan Godfery look into the new government, Jamie Wall into the tennis, Hana Pera Aoake into the Māori response to the war in Palestine and Abby Howells into being the lion in the Wizard of Oz. We also find the 10 Best Bakeries in Auckland, a great recipe for a Japanese Breakfast and the king of the supermarket pasta brands. All this and much, much more.

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