Have you ever been in a restaurant with dumplings on the menu and NOT order a plate (or three) for the table? Its basically impossible, right? After all, few things say comfort like hot dough stuffed with warm meat.
Tons of restaurants across Auckland offer fantastic dumplings across a variety of cultures. But, to keep things simple, this guide will look only at Chinese dumplings, —soupy, steamed, fried or boiled, at places both posh and decidedly not.
There are a ton of dumplings out there that will fill you with nothing but regret, but these are not them. Because life is too short to eat bad dumplings.
Now pass the chilli oil…
571 Dominion Road, Mount Eden
The infamous Barilla Dumping is reason enough to make the trek to Dominion Road any night of the week – but thankfully they have a location on each end of the legendary room (and now one at Auckland University).
For an inexpensive price, this hallowed dumpling refuge serves up home-made dumplings with an insane variety of flavours. Beloved by celebrities and foodies across Auckland, despite (or perhaps because of) its chaos, frankly terrible service and sticky tables.
Barilla knows how good their dumplings are, and they also know no matter how they treat you, that you’ll come back time-and-time again. We are a glutton for punishment, and their fried chicken and mushroom dumplings it seems.
Northcote Central, Auckland
Dumpling Ace’s expansive menu covers food from regions across China, but many people just go straight for the dumpling segment, which has a variety of possibilities that come steamed or pan-fried.
Uncomplicated yet so juicy and flavourful, this Northcote spot is surprisingly homey with wooden tables and warm service. Top dumpling picks including pork and fennel or beef, cabbage and coriander (yes, we firmly Team coriander), with a generous drizzle of Sichuan-style chilli oil.
The hand-cut noodles and spicy cumin Lamb skewers are also incredible, but we are here to talk about the dumplings…
Eden Noodles Cafe
105 Dominion Road, Mount Eden
Dishes from Sichuan fill the menu at this, one of Dominion Road’s best dumplings restaurants.
Order a big bowl of pork and chives dumplings, and when they ask you how spicy you want it, be careful. The legendary spicy sauce which has quite a kick is why Eden Noodles is so packed night-after-night. A side of Chinese Pita Bread always goes down a treat, though there are no bad choices on the extensive menu.
There’s a long line most of the time so you’ll need to wait to be seated, but that is the price of dumplings that will change your life.
614 Dominion Road, Mount Eden
Dumplings are not the only thing on the menu at Flavour House — the soups, in particular, are a huge draw — but thankfully, the restaurant does killer versions of both.
If you’re here for the dumplings, though, the “pork and cabbage” option is the way to go. Wrappers here are thin and practically translucent, and the ample pork filling is juicy. The more adventurous dumpling hunter should try the squid and chives or duck and bean sprout.
Even better? Flavour House is open until 2 am on weekdays or 5 am on weekends so you can get your fix on the way back from a night out on the town.
87 Federal Street, Auckland CBD
Not all the best dumplings spots in Auckland have to be no-frills, and Huami at SkyCity is the place to go for cocktails and upscale dumplings with a modern twist.
Behind the big red doors on Federal Street, the restaurant extends a range of dining possibilities varying from intimate tables for two, to private dining rooms and large group tables. Contemporary and beautiful, the steamed har kao truffle and prawn dumplings are life-affirming, as are those with filled with squid ink, yellow chives and prawn.
The Xiao long bao is also a crowd-pleaser. If taste and environment are equally important, Huami is the dumpling spot for you!
Mr Zhou’s Dumplings
839 Mount Eden Rd, Mount Eden
This family-run restaurant offers pan-fried, steamed and boiled dumplings, along with large-portions of other popular Chinese dishes.
You’d definitely want to make room for each! With locations in both New Lynn and Mt Eden, both sites are easily reached – and at very wallet-friendly prices (20 dumplings for $14). The service was wonderful, as were the dumplings with were cooked to perfection – yet not overly wrinkly or watery.
The chilli oil isn’t quite spicy enough for our tasting, but this is always a very personal choice.
Mrs Bun & Dumpling
1/56 Apollo Drive, Rosedale
Mrs Bun & Dumpling is a gem worth discovering out on Apollo Drive in Rosedale. There are amazing dumplings with plenty of space inside and outside to enjoy with friendly service and the right mix of options, including a braised pork belly bun you have to try while your here.
Mrs Bun & Dumpling delivers on its eponymous dish of both buns and dumplings and deserves the respect and consideration of all dumpling completists. Our favourite dumpling is the chicken, shiitake and mushroom and the only safe way to eat them is in one mouthful!
Royal City Dumpling
776 Manukau Road, Royal Oak
No dumpling crawl would be complete without a visit to this Royal Oak linchpin. Insiders flock to the unpretentious, in-and-out eatery for dirt cheap plates of handmade pork and chive dumplings.
Piping hot, quickly served and with portions so generous no one will ever leave hungry. Plus, we always have friendly service. A plate of will run you under $13, no matter if you boil steam or fry.
12 Oconnell Street, Auckland CBD
One of the best dumpling’s spots in Auckland’s CBD, Sumthin Dumplin’s contribution is contemporary authentic dumplings for those on the go.
Not to fancy, yet definitely a level above most of Dominion Roads no-frills dumping spots, Sumthin Dumplin has two locations on Lorne St and O’Connell Street for you swing by for a cheeky order of gluttony. Hyper-Instagrammable with modern flavours like the Great White (Chicken breast, white mushroom, shitake mushroom with wholemeal wrap) or Premium beef (with onion, mozzarella, coated parmesan with wholemeal wrap), Sumthin Dumplin never fails to hit the spot.
The place to go if you want a change from the traditional dumpling, and a quick meal-on-the-go.
146 Ponsonby Road, Ponsonby
A modern Asian food house in Ponsonby central serves up a wide variety of inspired delights bringing a combination of Kiwi innovation and ancient tradition to Chinese food.
One of the most expensive dumplings spots in Auckland, but the fit-out and service is always excellent – as is the extensive cocktail list. If you go, you’re in for a treat with dumplings offerings like black tiger prawn and sesame, fried spicy chicken dumplings and roast duck & pork.
Book in advance to ensure a seat, and if you are dining alone or as a pair, the bar seats with views into the kitchen action are a must.
141 Pakenham Street West, Auckland CBD
An Auckland-based food truck known for their masterfully-made dumplings that has opened their first physical location in Wynyard Quarter.
There aren’t many seats there, and its most aimed at lunches for the suits who work nearby – but it gets really busy and for a good reason. These are healthy, delicious, handmade dumplings, with a crunchy coleslaw & zingy dressing. There are flavours like Penang pulled beef or slow-cooked pork with Tsingtao beer, along with vegan offerings.
You can mix-and-match, and while eight will set you back $15.50, the plentiful slaw and generous sizes should ensure you leave full and satisfied.
Top Cafe Dumpling House
22A Cross Street, Auckland CBD
This hidden gem has been open for over five years, but it kept an extremely low profile thanks to its back-street location on Cross Street (behind K’Road) and loyal locals who protect Top Cafe like a jealous lover.
This is their spot, and with excellent service, the best-fried dumplings in the CBD and limited seating — including two cute outdoor tables — we can see why they guard it so fiercely. These babies are so juicy and plump, however, and the secret deserves to get out finally.
Galway Street & Commerce Street, Britomart
An upscale dumpling and cocktail bar in Britomart with trendy ambience and a very cosy feel. Exceptionally creative and innovative, you don’t head to Xuxu for value-for-money, but to be inspired and delights by the original offerings.
Think Duck and leek with poison dipping sauce, fish sambal and coconut or deep-fried rice dumplings with pork loin, carrots and shiitake. The banoffee dumpling with salted caramel and banana for desert is also out of this world.
The cocktails are just as exciting and worthy of a trip in-and-of-themselves.
Yue’s Dumpling Kitchen
21/23 Corinthian Drive, Albany
The prices are so low at this no-frills dumpling spot in Albany that newcomers tend to giggle a little and whisper to each other when they’re picking what to order like they’re getting away with something. And this is after they raised their prices last year.
Anyway, despite the affordable prices, the dumplings here are still delicious, wrinkly little lovelies, fat with pork and easy to devour. Pan-fried can be a bit hit-or-miss but boiled never disappoints here. The space is bright, spacious and clean – and perfect for larger groups looking for a meal out where everyone leaves full and happy.