Balmy summer afternoons call for champagne on ice, crisp white wine, a cold beer and fresh oysters with a drizzle of mignonette. In honour of our favourite summer bounty, we've collated the six most succulent spots in the North Island to get your hands on some freshly-shucked goodness – while the sun is still shining.
1. Shucker Brothers, Downtown Auckland
Oysters and gelato may not seem like an obvious pairing, unless, of course, you’re the clever couple behind Island Gelato and Shucker Brothers – an interconnected eatery at Auckland’s downtown wharf. Consider this fresh new locale a rare chance to flex your culinary creativity. The Mediterranean tapas-style menu features a bounty of fresh seafood and a raw bar serving Te Matuku oysters along with oysters from all over the country, when currently in season.
2. The Oyster Inn, Waiheke
Indulge in a dozen gorgeously juicy Te Matuku oysters with one of the best seats on Waiheke Island. This boutique inn offers private dining and panoramic views across Oneroa Beach, looking out towards the Coromandel. As the name might suggest, The Oyster Inn offers three intimately boutique rooms and provides diners with the opportunity wake up in paradise.
3. Ortega Fish Shack, Mt Victoria
Celebrated among Wellingtonians, Mt Victoria’s favourite shack has your summer seafood cravings well and truly taken care of. This delightful little eatery serves the ocean’s bounty in a handful of uniquely different and decadent ways.
4. The Chippery, Mt Victoria, Thorndon
There's a good reason why Mt Vic's beloved Chippery draws a sizeable crowd year-round. Here, you'll find seriously moreish fish and chips. All ingredients are locally sourced, served fresh and prepared with love. The craft beer batter is made in-store, golden agria chips hand-cut and fresh fish delivered personally by a local fisherman – it doesn't get much better than that.
5. Soul Bar and Bistro, Auckland
If you're enjoying the warmer days cityside, enjoy Auckland's best down at the Viaduct. Soul Bar and Bistro has long-reigned as the destination for those with champagne taste, with the gorgeous weather a perfect excuse to indulge in a long lunch down by the water.
6. Coromandel Oyster Company, Coromandel Town
Hit the open road this summer and you’ll discover a seafood spot that’s been delighting locals for years. Break up your road trip and wrap your hands around a beer-battered oyster burger or devour a dozen fresh with a squeeze of lemon.
Have we missed your favourite oyster spot in the North Island? Please let us know in the comments below.