Whether you fancy fried chicken or foraged mushrooms, alert level three is order-in heaven. Here’s an almost nationwide selection of our favourites.
In April last year, after five long weeks of lockdown, the nation was united in joy and gratitude as it emerged into the shiny takeaway-filled world of alert level three. Pivoting to contactless takeaways was new territory for many restaurants back then, and we published this round-up of exciting offerings from around the motu (as Dr Ashley Bloomfield would say).
With that experience under their belt, hospo businesses are now old hands at the level three game, and south of the Auckland border, they’re back at it again. Here’s a select round-up* of what you could be ordering in (written by an Aucklander, as she weeps quietly into her keyboard). Remember, wear a mask when you’re picking up your takeaways or receiving them from a delivery person – it’s now legally required – and scan the NZ Covid Tracer app.
*Apologies if we’ve missed your fave spot or your entire region – time and space constraints mean this is by no means a comprehensive list, and we’ve mostly excluded cafes and bakeries. Also, we haven’t included Northland because it was still in level four at the time of writing.
Banh Mi Caphe
Banh mi, obviously, and heaps more. The bubble packs look to be a great deal – order online for contactless pickup or delivery around the Tron.
The Hamilton favourite is doing a $65-per-person three-course set menu with veg and meat options – confit duck leg with braised green lentils, cavolo nero and spiced jus, anyone? During the day you can pop by the window for coffee, baked goods and the like. Check out their Instagram or Facebook for the daily set menus. To order, email hello@hayescommon before 5pm on the day for contactless pickup between 5.30 and 7.30pm, or pop by the window between 8.30am and 2pm.
Nancy’s Dumplings and Buns
Nancy makes arguably the best dumplings in town – check out the menu here then call to order or use Tuckerfox.
The Chilli House
Rivalling Nancy’s for Hamilton’s best dumplings (plus noodles, pancakes and more). Call to order and pick up, or it’s available on Uber Eats, DeliverEasy, Menulog and Book N Order.
TAURANGA & MOUNT MAUNGANUI
Pizza, pasta and other yum stuff including Nonna Lucia’s tiramisu at this Mount Maunganui Italian joint. Dinner Wed-Sun and lunch on Father’s Day – phone to order then come pick it up.
The Clarence hotel’s Bar Centrale is offering a fancy takeaway menu including the likes of wagyu beef burgers and crab spaghettini, plus some very nice-looking pizzas. Phone in to order for dinner pickup, or for Father’s Day lunch this Sunday.
Ramen, karaage, dumplings and more. Phone to order for contactless pickup.
This Mount wine bar is offering an all-day menu featuring the likes of Reubens and croque madames, with fancier offerings (think beef tartare or octopus with yuzu) in the evening. Check out the menu on Instagram and call to order.
Delicious Italian in Tauranga (Bologna-style beef chek lasagne, anyone?), and you can order online to pick up.
The Rising Tide
Johney’s Dumpling House operates out of the kitchen at the Mount Brewing Co’s brewhouse and for level three they’re offering online ordering for contactless pickups 12-7pm daily. Top-notch dumplings and burgers, and you can get beer too.
Crawford Road Kitchen
Based in the Gisborne Wine Centre, CRK is doing takeaway meals Thursday to Saturday – think braised lamb with hummus and almond dukkah, or panko-crumbed East Rock tarakihi with sriracha tartare. Plus you can get Gisborne wine to go with dinner. Call to order for contactless pickup.
Missing cafe breakfasts? Flagship is offering a takeaway menu boasting breakfast burgers, cajun lemon tofu scramble, rancheros burritos and more – call (06) 281 0372 or order at the window.
Public Catering/Social Kitchen
Public Catering has teamed up with Social Kitchen on a contactless delivery menu for level three, featuring five dishes including slow-cooked beef cheek with coriander horseradish pesto. Order online for delivery Wed-Sun.
Pasta and more for pickup or delivery, plus meal kits if you’re keen to still do a bit of work in the kitchen. Details here.
Central Fire Station Bistro (Napier)
Bostock chicken schnitzel, beef fillet with duck fat roasties, or a slow-roasted rolled pork belly to feed your bubble (to name a few) – order online and pick up for dinner, Tues-Sun.
Mary’s (Havelock North)
Craggy Range winery head chef Casey McDonald are behind this neighbourhood restaurant and wine bar in Havelock North. For level three they’re running a takeaway menu featuring some excellent looking burgers and other stuff including smoked tarakihi pie and a “big fried chicken pack”. Plus you can get a 12-hour slow-roasted lamb shoulder. Call (06) 650 7770 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to order for pickup.
This Martinborough wine bar is offering a small level three menu that includes the likes of jalapeno mac n cheese, poutine and lamb barbacoa enchiladas *chefkissingfingers*. Order on the Regulr app or text 022 309 7965 for contactless pickup and delivery.
Daisy’s is offering a three-course menu for two for $85 – you enjoy a deli plate while the main (braised lamb shanks with herbed polenta or roast chicken with French lentils) heats up, then finish wtih a dark chocolate tart or sourdough doughnut bites. There’s an array of extras too, including a toastie kit for the next day, and for Father’s Day they’re doing a ready-to-eat barbecue feast. Order online the day before you want it and pick up (then return the packaging and they’ll compost it on their farm).
Highwater is doing multi-element ready-to-eat dinners for two that sound bloody good – choose lamb, chicken or vegetarian. Order online for contactless pickup or delivery to central Wellington suburbs.
Hillside is run by the same crew as Daisy’s and the offering follows a similar format – three courses, but it’s all plant-based. How does a pasta bake, made with Wairarapa durum wheat cavatelli, with confit garlic and foraged mushrooms sound? Order online to pick up.
This Newtown restaurant is offering a small but pretty damn near perfect takeaway menu for level three, including chicken nuggets – organic, with ranch pomegranate sweet and sour sauce. There’s also a couple of sandwiches (fried chicken or broad bean falafel) and sumac shoestring fries, plus peanut baklava and a tahini caramel shake (!!!). Order on Regulr or by phone.
Mother of Coffee
This Left Bank spot does beautiful Ethiopian food, with an entire vegan menu. The level three shared meal options, served with the classic injera bread, look like great value. Order online to pick up.
Last level three they did meal kits, but this year the Rita team is simply offering sweet treats – doughnuts in surprise flavours and the divine Russian honey cake – plus Coffee Supreme beans. Order online to pick up from Aro Street.
This Vivian Street deli and bar is doing breakfast sammies and cheeseburgers from 9am-2pm and they look extremely good. Full menu on Instagram, where you can DM to order or find the phone number.
For more Wellington offerings, check out At Yours by Visa Wellington On a Plate, a one-stop shop listing producers and suppliers across the greater Wellington region offering contactless delivery, click and collect and takeaway at level three.
NELSON & MARLBOROUGH
Fancy a dinner party in your bubble? If you’re in Blenheim, look no further than Arbour, which is offering $70-per-person dinner party kits. The first few days are all booked up but you can still get in for September 5-8. Book online for contactless collection.
Arden Bar & Kitchen
Arden in Nelson is doing a range of different gnocchi options to heat at home, plus extras and desserts – and the full wine list is available too. Email or call to order for pickup or local delivery.
The Waipara organic vineyard is offering delicious pies for delivery on Fridays and Saturdays. They appear to be sold out for this week but if you’re in the neighbourhood keep an eye on their Instagram – hopefully they’ll be back next week.
C&C Chicken & Cornbread
Bobby Wayne is from Atlanta, Georgia and is back contactlessly serving up authentic southern fried chicken, cornbread and Kool-Aid from his Bexley food truck for level three. Details here.
Daphne’s is offering an extensive menu of top-notch Sichuan and Cantonese cuisine at level three – order online or call for pickup.
This Riccarton spot is serving up great ramen and donburi between 11.30am and 4.30pm from Friday-Monday during level three. DM on Facebook or call to order for pickup.
Gatherings has turned into a pizzeria for level three, with a kaimoana option and a vego one (this week it’s pāua or oyster mushrooms with buffalo burrata and chilli flakes). For $45 you get a pizza, lime-seasoned wedges with cocktail sauce and a caesar salad. Call to order for contactless collection.
Grizzly Baked Goods
This list isn’t supposed to cover bakeries, but Grizzly gets an exception because… well, because it’s Grizzly. The pizza kit looks like a damn near perfect level three situation. Order online for pickup or delivery.
Delicious Taiwanese food in Papanui – call to order for contactless pickup.
The Afghan Restaurant
Rumour has it this elusive Lincoln Road favourite is open for contactless pickup during level three – call (03) 338 7029 to order.
QUEENSTOWN & WĀNAKA
Francesca’s Italian Kitchen
Pizza, pasta, heat-and-eat meals and more are on offer at this Wānaka favourite – order online for pickup or delivery.
It’s a Dunedin institution, and it’s open for all your level three fish and chips, oyster and burger needs. Order online for pickup for delivery.
The St Clair favourite is doing pizza, pasta and more at level three – order online for contactless pickup.
Takeichi Tokyo Ramen
The first New Zealand branch of a global chain, Takeichi specialises in very tasty chicken ramen and is taking online orders for contactless pickup.