There's no shortage of takeout kebab eateries in Auckland, but the hip Beirut in the heart of the city provides a modern and innovative update on traditional Middle Eastern flavors. In a stylish dining room swathed in flowing damask and cozy leather, an energetic and international waitstaff delivers dishes studded with the punchy tastes of a region at the center of history. Begin with a spiced-pear Bellini before trying the slow-braised goat with cinnamon and smoked rice, or the merguez sausage with fennel, sherry, and parsley. Beirut's more casual café space is also a great spot for breakfast. Prepare for a day exploring the city by devouring the smoked yogurt labneh with a manoush flatbread and Moroccan mint tea.