The 2018 New Zealand Cuisine Good Food Awards' top 100 restaurants

Vittoria Coffee Restaurant of the Year - COCORO

Best Metropolitan Restaurant - Cassia Restaurant

Estrella Damm Best Specialist Restaurant - Gemmayze St

The 2018 New Zealand Cuisine Good Food Awards' top 100 restaurants

The only nationwide restaurant awards programme of its kind, the New Zealand Cuisine Good Food Awards identify and celebrate the very best dining experiences the country has to offer each year.

The restaurants that made it into Cuisine’s top 100 for 2018 will be celebrating the coveted accolade of being included in the annual Cuisine Good Food Guide.

At the October 2018 awards night, Auckland restaurant Cocoro took the top accolade as Vittoria Coffee Restaurant of the Year, with chef and co-owner Makoto Tokuyama being fêted for his sophisticated and inspiring Japanese food. Famed for using only the freshest sustainable seafood, the restaurant also earned three coveted hats.

“This team gets our highest honour in 2018,” said Kerry Tyack, lead assessor of the Cuisine Good Food Awards 2018. “With it comes our respect and our appreciation for a job being done quietly yet superbly.”

Santa Vittoria Chef of the Year Giulio Sturla was lauded for his skill balancing intense flavours that truly respect premium ingredients. “Giulio has so many layers to his work. Through his authentic and clever food,  through his mentoring and continuous support of his team, through the telling of the New Zealand food story within his organisation Eat New Zealand and through his never-ending push to learn and to teach and to be excellent. We are so proud to be able to shine a well-deserved light on Giulio Sturla this year.”

With competition for the top awards being so intense, it’s remarkable that one chef should take out two of the major gongs. The ingenuity and sheer imagination of Vaughan Mabee of Amisfield Bistro was recognised for the second year running with the Ōra King Salmon Innovation Award, and his dish, The Paua Pie, won the Whitestone Cheese Best NZ Dish.

Also demonstrating a wide-ranging talent, two of Auckland chef’s Sid Sahrawat’s stable of restaurants were awarded two hats this year, with Cassia winning the Best Metropolitan Restaurant.

Not only applauding the newest, hottest spots, Wellington’s abiding favourite fine-diner Logan Brown was applauded, winning the Pead PR New Zealand Long-Term Player award for their commitment to consistently serving up elegance and pure class.

At the other end of the longevity spectrum the spotlight turned on up-and-coming chef Monique Fiso, about to launch her restaurant Hiakai, which celebrates Māori cuisine and indigenous ingredients.

“Transcending trends while remaining the hallmark of success are the twin features of quality and consistency. Our hat and category winners this year deliver both. They have shown a sure-footedness, a confidence that survives and grows without need of gimmicks or extreme positioning,” Kerry Tyack said.

The theme of ‘Pure and Premium New Zealand’ carried throughout the night, from the food by Lizzie Pearson of Urban Gourmet to the sheer array of Kiwi talent that gathered to hear the likes of Auckland’s Cassia, Gemmayze St and Depot and Hamilton’s Palate restaurants take out well-deserved awards. Also gathering major accolades were Elephant Hill in Hawke’s Bay and Wellington’s Noble Rot and Charley Noble.

Wellington restaurants took three of the top honours and five went to Auckland, with the rest going to teams in Hamilton, Hawke’s Bay, Canterbury and Central Otago.

More information can be found at:

THE TOP 100 FOR 2018


  1. Amano
  2. Antoines
  3. Apero
  4. Azabu
  5. Baduzzi
  6. Bracu
  7. Cassia
  8. Cazador
  9. Cibo
  10. Clooney
  11. Coco’s Cantina
  12. Cocoro
  13. Cotto
  14. Culprit
  15. Depot
  16. Euro
  17. Federal Delicatessen
  18. Gemmayze St
  19. Gusto at the Grand
  20. Harbourside
  21. Hugo’s Bistro
  22. Kazuya
  23. Lillius
  24. Masu by Nic Watt
  25. O’Connell St Bistro
  26. Orphans Kitchen
  27. Ortolana
  28. Pasta & Cuore
  29. Pasture
  30. Ponsonby Road Bistro
  31. Prego
  32. Satya Chai Lounge
  33. Sid at The French Cafe
  34. Sidart
  35. Soul Bar & Bistrot
  36. The Engine Room
  37. The Grill by Sean Connolly
  38. The Grove
  39. The Hunting Lodge
  40. The Sugar Club
  41. White + Wong’s – Auckland


  1. The Shed at Te Motu


  1. Chim Choo Ree
  2. Hayes Common
  3. Palate


  1. The Bistro


  1. Bistronomy
  2. Black Barn Bistro
  3. Elephant Hill
  4. Pacifica
  5. Te Awa Winery Restaurant
  6. Craggy Range Restaurant


  1. Pinocchio
  2. Union Square


  1. Social Kitchen


  1. Amayjen


  1. Boulcott St Bistro
  2. Capitol
  3. Chameleon
  4. Charley Noble
  5. Egmont St Eatery
  6. Field and Green
  7. Havana Bar
  8. Hillside
  9. Hippopotamus
  10. Logan Brown
  11. Loretta
  12. Monte Cervino
  13. Noble Rot
  14. Oikos Hellenic Cuisine
  15. Ortega
  16. Pravda
  17. Rita
  18. Salty Pidgin
  19. Shepherd
  20. Tinakori Bistro
  21. WBC
  22. Whitebait


  1. Hopgood’s Restaurant
  2. Urban Oyster Bar & Eatery


  1. Arbour


  1. Twenty Seven Steps
  2. Black Estate
  3. Chillingworth Road
  4. Gatherings
  5. Inati
  6. Pegasus Bay
  7. Pescatore
  8. Roots


  1. Riverstone Kitchen
  2. Fleurs Place


  1. Amisfield Bistro
  2. Bistro Gentil
  3. Botswana Butchery
  4. Fishbone
  5. Kika
  6. Ode Conscious Dining
  7. Rata
  8. Sherwood


  1. Bracken


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