Our Experience at Eat Drink Love Ponsonby 2024

. June 07, 2024
Our Experience at Eat Drink Love Ponsonby 2024

For the past five years, Eat Drink Love Ponsonby has ensured that we spend at least one month exploring the smorgasbord of restaurants that is Ponsonby Road.

In May we’re told to pack light and wave goodbye to our old favourites as we head to a festival promising a culinary adventure that transcends borders. From the vibrant streets of Bangkok to the serene beaches of Bali, the rich heritage of Malaysia to the diverse landscapes of India and the rustic charm of Italy – all is here.

As the restaurant scene continues to grow, each year we’re met with even more offers tailored to every palate and budget. The 2024 festival had 65 options, each categorised into three price bands: $30 and under, $30 to $50, and $50 and over.

Naturally, we rolled up our sleeves and tucked in to as much as we could stomach, whether it was newfound treasures or old-time classics. Here were some of our favourites…



244 Ponsonby Road, Ponsonby, Auckland

Antipasto and vino at 4pm? For $55, the girlfriends were gathered, the shades were on, and the gossip was shared as we lent in to the vibrant yet cosy Italian atmosphere. With our respected choices of wine in hand ranging from the 2023 Soho Stella Sauvignon Blanc MARLBOROUGH to the 2020 Vitis Nero d’Avola DOC Sicily, we tucked in to a platter boasting house-made ciabatta, affettato and mixed marinated olives – a combination we’re familiar with when hosting at home but often don’t find dining out.

And having just re-opened in April with a new space and menu, this was the perfect opportunity to dip our toes into the Italian delight. Whether it’s to replicate our antipasto afternoon, or to fully indulge in a traditional Neapolitan fare, we will most certainly be back for more.



71 Ponsonby Road, Ponsonby, Auckland

It’s moments like these that make me ever so thankful for Eat Drink Love Ponsonby, shining light on restaurants and dishes we wouldn’t usually try because I can no longer remember what life was like before Daphnes halloumi fritters with honey and chilli. For $65 we were welcomed into their cosy dining room with a spritz l’amour to start and a collection of dishes from their tasting menu to follow. In addition to the fritters we enjoyed Grilled sourdough flatbread with taramasalata and tarragon butter; Confit chicken croquettes and green harissa; Grilled brocolini with anchovy and garlic crumb; Tuna carpaccio with tzatziki and dill; and a good ol’ bowl of fries, elevated with chilli butter and coriander. 

Tasting menu or not, visiting Daphnes (whether it’s just for the halloumi fritters) is a must.


Hotel Ponsonby

1 Saint Marys Road, St Marys Bay, Auckland

The phones were set to ‘DND’ for this weekday lunch offer, as we headed straight for Ponsonby’s bustling gastropub. For $30, we enjoyed a two-course meal, starting with line caught kahawai rillettes and toasted focaccia, followed by the choice of two mains. Naturally we got one of each and together enjoyed Wood fired bavette, frittes and salsa verde alongside Vodka battered fish and chips with curry mayo. While the steak was tender and juicy, the fish packed a mighty crunch with its extra thick batter – divine!

Usually known as the after-work or weekend hotspot, it was exciting to discover that the Hotel Ponsonby team can also put on a show for those mid-week lunch stops.



26 Ponsonby Road, Grey Lynn, Auckland

Another familiar favourite, known for their consistent delivery of standout Japanese food is Azabu. And as a first timer at the Ponsonby location, a tasting menu sampling their favourite dishes (for a fraction of the price) was just what the doctor ordered. We chose from a selection of tostadas, ceviche, temaki sushi, dumplings and larger plates, showcasing irresistable dishes like their Big glory bay salmon with saikyo miso, pickled red onion and lemon as well as their Tofu katsu with szechuan black bean miso and Asian slaw.

With a sleek yet cosy and intimate atmosphere, the $55 tasting menu makes for the perfect evening out with your favourite plus one.



9 Richmond Road, Grey Lynn, Auckland

In addition to an epic array of food and drink specials, the festival also featured exclusive one-off events and collaborations – one of which took place at INCA for a night of dinner and comedy with chef Nic Watt and Japanese-Australian comedian Akashi Wakasugi.

The atmosphere in the room was truly alive as we all sat in hysterics listening to Taskashi’s take on Aussie life and his experience adapting to the novel differences between Japanese and Western culture.

Nic Watt and his team at INCA wisely served us each course in between sets, ensuring we could take in the impressive blend of Latin American and Asian cuisine.

Highlight dishes included the Ruakaka kingfish tiradito with apple wafu dressing, yazu pickled daikon and sesame tortilla and the Dulce leche custard dessert with toasted meringue and caramelised feijoa.


It was another epic year taking in delectable flavours from around the globe on the iconic Ponsonby Road strip. Just the reminder we needed to venture out whether it’s visiting a new restaurant or ordering something a bit different on your favourite menu!

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