Street food in Auckland: District Five

District Five Shortland St Auckland - Vietnamese street food
Auckland is a summer city, there’s no doubt about it.

We really come alive on sunny days. That’s when we’re at our best. The rest of the time, we grump and groan.

And one of the best things about summer is outdoor dining. It warms my heart to see street food starting to infiltrate the CBD. It’s like our city is finally growing up.

My new favourite street eats can be found on Shortland St at District Five. You can’t miss it – it’s basically adjacent to that big, slightly skeevy carpark that sits between Fort St and Shortland St.

I’ve been on a mission to find a good banh mi sandwich in Auckland, and had had a string of miserable failures. Sorry, guys. There’s too many Pakehas trying, and not delivering. I won’t name names, though.

While there is a white dude manning the till at District Five, all the other staff are Asian (and, presumably/hopefully, Vietnamese).  And I’m pleased to say they do a pretty awesome banh mi. Every element hits all the right notes. It put a smile – nay, a BEAM – on my jaded face.

I wouldn’t rate the pho as highly, but I would order it again. I remember those first few delicious soups in Ho Chi Minh so well – having fallen sick as soon as we crossed into Vietnam, I couldn’t finish the bowl in front of me. But good god, was it sublime, full of subtle and delicate flavours and bursting with freshness.


5 thoughts on “Street food in Auckland: District Five

  • Reply Jayson @ Monster Piggy Bank January 3, 2015 at 12:28

    Wow! I have heard so many things about Auckland, but this is the first time I heard about the street food. I am definitely gonna try this when I come visit my friends in Auckland in April for ANZAC day.

  • Reply Sweet Mama M January 3, 2015 at 15:58

    So pleased you finally got your good Banh Mi!

  • Reply The Asian Pear January 6, 2015 at 06:26

    Mmm. Banh mi.

    Actually, have you tried making it? It’s pretty easy. You just have to pickle your own carrots and white raddish. Everything else is pretty easy… I stuff mine with mayo, sriracha, a little hoisin sauce, sliced pork, cilantro and tons of pickled carrots & white raddish.

    • Reply eemusings January 6, 2015 at 12:53

      You know what’s surprisingly hard? Finding the perfect bread. I think that’s probably half the battle. It’s not like there are that many ingredients inside.

  • Reply Rhonda Albom January 7, 2015 at 20:12

    I don’t know District Five, but I will be checking it out next time I am up in the city (which is much more often now that we have daily ferry service). And now I even know what to order.

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