From Hawaii to Auckland: Where to find the best Poke bowls

For hundreds of years, Hawaiian people have been indulging in the fruits from the sea. From crayfish to snapper and aphrodisiac-laden shell fish, the island palette is spoiled for choice. Add in influxes of Japanese and American migration and you have a broadened field of taste for those living in the beautiful south pacific islands that make up the “Aloha” state. Fast forward to 2017 and a particular Hawaiian delicacy is spreading throughout cosmopolitan Auckland: The Poke (Poh-kay) bowl.

Traditionally made from marinated raw fish like Tuna and Salmon and served on top of a bed of rice, the Poke bowl now boasts a swarm of different iterations. What was once a humble roadside meal served out of a clear plastic container, is now a high-end healthy alternative finding its way into pockets of central Auckland. From tofu to spicy chicken, the Poke bowl has now received the global cuisine treatment.

As Auckland’s food scene becomes far more competitive and adventurous, the following restaurants and cafes are drawing swathes of customers keen to try the updated Hawaiian delicacy.



A post shared by Shaka Bowl (@shakabowlpoke) on

The battle for high street culinary supremacy has seen many winners and losers. But the team at Shaka Bowl are certainly on to something. Serving fresh seafood Poke daily is a staple of these new(ish) High Street residents. Inspired by a trip to the US, the team at Shaka Bowl are determined to serve the ‘modest, simple and healthy’ food trend to busy Aucklanders.



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Food at University is not so much a culinary experience as it is a means to an end. The ‘fries and butter chicken sauce’ are more synonymous with University than a reinvigorated take on Poke bowls. But alas, Mike Shand’s Ha! Poke is doing just that. With breakfast and lunch options that boast fresh, locally sourced produce, the University of Auckland will never be the same.



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Whilst not exclusively a Poke bowl outfit, this waterfront gem is a mainstay in Auckland cuisine. Well known for its slow-cooked meats over a charcoal-fired barbeque grill, The Culpepper is no stranger to the Poke bowl. Its Tuna Poke and avocado is a famed dish that brings people out to its waterfront establishment.