Thelma & Louise C. said: "Louise: Went in with Dumpling voucher and had an enjoyable evening. Dumplings were devine and service was great. Will be back to try out the Steamboat asap. I will mention this also because of the comments below, even though…" read more »
I really wish I could rate this place higher. Maybe it was an off night? Not sure but either way I found it noisy and disorganized.
We approached the till to be seated. Very odd as it looked like we were trying to pay!
We were seated next to several noisy tables. Not my idea of fun when I was expecting a cozy intimate dinner with my partner.
We were brought water immediately and given our menus to order.
We settled on the garlic pizza bread with aioli. Odd combination but crisp and tasty.
Next came our pizza. Capricossa a firm favorite of mine I’ve eaten all over Europe. This one very sparse with the fillings and a bit dry to be honest.
Trying to get our bill at the end seemed a mammoth task. The once attentive waitress constantly refilling our water glasses suddenly seemed oblivious to our flapping arms and excuse me as she swanned past!
Not sure I would give this place another go. People rave on about it yet it was pretty average.
I’m sure there are much better trattoria type restaurants to try.
Wonderful service from our waitress and delicious variety of food. Highly recommend for a catch up with friends over good wine and atmosphere. Had the calamari salad, fresh bread, and cabonara Alfredo which were all wonderful portion sizes and cooked to perfection.
Surroundings – fun, bustly, lots of waiting staff running round, polite, quick, attentive. Lots of tables squeezed in which I don’t mind it can add atmosphere.. Food came on time.
Food unfortunately was very small portions, as others have pointed out portion sizes can be small. I finished my $25 pappardelle in 3 forks half full and looking at the kids meals which were larger. Pasta costs nothing to bulk up nor the veggies that it came with so no excuses from management. Taste was quite nice but the one thing you want is to feel you’ve had enough. It’s not like it was caviar to be rationed.
Kids food reasonable standard pizzas.
Vegetarian / vegan options quite limited and waiter was unsure as to what to advise when I asked.
Also only ice cream for kids desert no other options. And yes they should have options.
I think Italian food has to be really good, or at least be enough of it if you are going to eat out as you can make it pretty easily just about as nice at home. Overall impression, expensive for what I ordered.
Prego: A CLASSIC
To quote fashion designer Ingrid Starnes “with so many new restaurants opening in town we are spoilt for choice, but the classics are worth remembering”.
And that’s exactly what I thought as we sat down for lunch at Prego recently. We went for lunch as it was the only time we could get most of the family together for Ben’s birthday lunch!
Prego has long been a “go to” restaurant for us. We have been many times and it never fails to deliver.
As we went at lunchtime we were seated straight away. As an aside I still haven’t quite come to terms with so many of the restaurants not taking bookings. At times this doesn’t bother me but for special occasions I still like the certainty of being able to book.
Anyway getting a table was no problem on this occasion.
As always we started with the Pizza all Aglio (garlic pizza bread w divine garlic aioli) and a large Calamari Fritti for the 6 of us. You really can’t go past these two delicious offerings.
Being lunch I think we all went light for the main (well light-ish)!
I’ve always loved Prego’s pizzas so it was the Capricciosa (Ham, mushroom, tomato, artichoke, anchovy, caper) for me – as always. I especially enjoy the artichoke, anchovy and caper part. Deb had the Insalate Caesar (Cos, egg, pancetta, crouton, Grana Padano, anchovy mayo) which she declared as excellent. I’d like to be able to comment on this but wasn’t allowed a taste!
Rebecca had the Pesce (Market fish, coriander, dill & chervil risotto), birthday boy Ben & KLowe had the Fettucine Alfredo (Ham, mushroom, black pepper, parmesan, cream) and Dan, being another great fan of their pizzas, had the Pollo Arrosto (Chicken, pumpkin, pinenuts, pear relish & rocket).
It was one of those meals where I could have eaten any of the selections. Everyone was very satisfied with their choices. I managed to snag a little bit of fish (lovely and moist) and a spoonful of the pasta sauce (sooo good). The CLASSIC Prego had struck again.
Being lunch we didn’t have dessert but, in need of a birthday “cake”, Brandon arrived with one helping of their excellent Budino di Datteri (Sticky date pudding, vanilla poached pear, ginger ice cream, hot caramel, pistachio crumb) with one lit candle and 6 spoons – perfect. That is a stand out dish and my attempt to sneak a second spoonful was met by a stern frown from Rebecca,….and Deb.
I don’t normally talk about the drinks side but ever since I was in the UK last year I have developed a strong taste for cider. Such an under-rated drink but perfect for a lovely summer’s day – and of course for a cold winter’s day. So I had the Monteiths Crushed Apple Cider and it was sensational.
And the other thing I love about Prego is the service. Brandon, the maître d, was very friendly and attentive and our waitress Emilia from Argentina was a sweetheart.
It’s easy to get caught up in the hype of all these new places opening up. Sometimes though it’s so comforting to go places like Prego which has stood the test of time and delivers every time. You know the food will be great. You know the service will be prompt and attentive. You know you will have a good time. CLASSIC
Got a table outside and it was very dark. Could hardly see what we were eating. We ordered one pasta dish, one rissotto dish and pizza. All lacked flavour and the portion size was very small except for the pizza. For the price we paid here we expected at least flavour packed dishes. But we left disappointed and ripped off. Guess this place is like a pair of Levi’s jeans. You buy it for the brand name, but really it’s just a pair of jeans you can buy from the warehouse.
The world’s best Tiramisu in my opinion!
I have been here several times and had many dishes. They food is more or less a hit and a miss but I will be coming back for deserts regardless of how my mains taste.
Service is amazing, professional and personal. The waiters even remember your names and know what you like!
Food is amazing with a very reasonable price, had the Lamb shank and was cooked perfectly with a side of pumpkin and feta salad, unique yet pulled off quite well.
Went for a dinner on Sunday night, had Garlic bread, pan fried John dory fish and glass of wine.
Fish was cooked perfect, very moist, just what I needed !!
Impressive wine list as well .
Have been coming here since I was a kid, must be almost 20 years now. It was a treat then, and still is to this day. Always a lively place, have never once had a bad meal there. Drinks list has everything you could want. The courtyard is fantastic in summer. Great menu with lots of choices, both mains and pizzas. have spent many happy afternoons in the courtyard on business lunches.
Went with a group of committee members for lunch on Saturday 10-8-2013. Understandably it took a while for the meals to arrive – however once they did – everyone loved it. Waiter / Waitress / Chef came to our table and were very obliging. Prices are somewhat high – however it is true value for money.
One problem we experienced when a few of us sat outside, we were approached several times (including other customers sitting outside) by an old ragged woman wanting money and cigarettes. We noticed she went to other establishments as well along Ponsonby Road. No staff member told her to leave – and she came back several times. This experience kind of destroyed our visit. Ban all beggars.
Decided to come as we were in the area and my partner had had a good experience here before. We arrived and the maitre’d (we assume as she was in a red dress rather than the uniform) asked if we wanted to sit in the one table for two available inside or one outside, we choose inside. She offered to take my coat which was nice, and asked us if we wanted water. The water, nor a waiter ever arrived, even though we watched a couple of tables around us being served water and drinks. After 20 or so minutes we gave up and approached the maitre’d to get my coat back. I asked if she’d forgotten us, she denied this and blamed our absent service on the waiter whose section we were in even though she was the one to take the water order! We would have been fine if she had acknowledged her mistake and apologized, but the fact that tried to shaft it off on someone else really annoyed me. I’m sure the food would have been amazing, and I have nothing against Prego as a whole, but on this night, it definitely needed better management. Instead we went to a new establishment down the road and had a lovely dinner.
My partner and I went to Prego on Saturday last week for the second time in three years as we were going to an event later the same evening and had previously been to this restaurant when we were in the area.
We had been dreaming about having their calamari and seared tuna again since we last visited, because we have not found anywhere else that does calamari better, and we were not disappointed. The seared tuna is served with crispy capers and beautifully delicate veal, which goes perfectly together.
We told our waiter upon arrival that we would be sharing these two dishes, so we were brought two small plates and, and the portions of the dishes themselves seemed to be bigger than average, which was great.
For the main, we shared a pepperoni, kalamata olive and chilli pizza, which was crispy, hot and oh so very tasty! Perfect for sharing on a romantic date.
Even though we were pretty satisfied by that point, because we had some time to spare and were feeling quite contented with the restaurant, we ordered one portion of tiramisu to share, with the matching sherry. One of the best tiramisus around, for sure! Perfectly balanced and wickedly tempting, you just wanted to keep it all to yourself!
The wine list offered by Prego is quite comprehensive and would impress many wine connoisseurs. We recommend the Jules Taylor Merlot Rose and the Grasshopper Rock Central Otago Pinot Noir – lovely accompaniments to a wonderful meal!
We will definitely be back to Prego and wholeheartedly recommend it to everyone!
Visited for a work lunch with a large group and overall had a really enjoyable experience. My main was the lamb dish which was easily one of the best I’ve eaten, only left wishing there was a bit more of it! I did like the extensiveness of the menu as it could suit everyones’ tastes without the quality of the dishes suffering.
The wait time was considerable on this particular visit, but it was a big group and the staff were friendly so they are somewhat excused. I finished with the chocolate marquis which was enjoyably rich, the Tiramisu I tried of someone else also seemed like a good bet. I also really liked the heated seating.
There are usually only two reasons I would write a review. One is to say how good a restaurant is and the other is to say how bad it is, hoping to warn others away so that they don’t waste their money. Welcome to my Third category – mediocre.
We were seated in about 10 minutes, the staff at Prego are professional and unaffected. We started with garlic bread and garlic aioli and this was quite nice, it helps when you are really hungry! This was lunch so I ordered Cacciucco and my partner had market fish, which I think was king fish on a lemony(? ) risotto. I had a side salad of rocket, pear and Parmesan. I have to say that this is really basic fare, fish and rice – and broth and seafood. The fish was over cooked in both dishes, but worse, it tasted old. My broth was … I can’t find the words, it had no depth of flavour, nor was it hearty, it wasn’t bad, too thin or too salty, it was just too boring. My rocket salad was the high light for me, my partner enjoyed the tiramisu I found it too wet and soggy. My suggestion – get an Italian chef in the kitchen and start trying to impress!
Prego is the most consistently fantastic restaurant that I know of. I have been coming here for years. I can never go past the calamari, it truely is the best I have ever tasted. We went last week. Everything was great as usual; great service, delicious non-alcoholic mojitos for the sober driver, (me), fantastic seafood pizza with proper seafood such as scallops and prawns, etc.. I cannot fault this place and I recommend it to everyone. Oh and very reasonably priced for the quality of food they serve.
My partner and I ate here for dinner and were unfortunately disappointed. I had smoked salmon which was about the size of the palm of my hand, there was some kind of mash with celery and that was it for my dinner, this was apparently the main course dish, it certainly wasn’t enough to fill me for dinner! It tasted really nice but it wasn’t enough, I had some of the salami pizza my partner had as well! It too tasted nice but nothing fab. It was completely packed and we couldn’t have a proper chat! The tables were too packed together, felt like I was dining with the table next to us. Staff were really nice and attentive.
Prego deserves its reputation as an institution in Auckland. Long a feature on the strip in Ponsonby this pace is always consistent and always meets expectations.
The woodfire pizzas are always a good start, but it’s the rotisserie chicken that always wins me and my family over.
To finish definitely tiramisu with an illy coffee on the side.
I have been going to Prego for 15 years now and it has never failed, either in how wonderful the food is or how knowledgable and helpful the staff are. This is, was, and probably, always will be, the best restaurant in Auckland.
I went to Prego with my family last July. It was a fairly cold night, and because it was so incredibly busy (you are not allowed to book), we had to sit outside. It was freezing! However, our table was surrounded by fire burners and our waiter gave us warm cuddly blankets to have for the night. The food is amazing – all five of us shared the Wood fired Garlic Pizza Bread, the Wood fired Mussels and the Calamari for starters. The flavours are outstanding and there was plenty to go around. As for the mains, I had the Lasagna Prego which was very good. Another main which was delicious was Linguine Marinara with a plentiful amount of seafood. As for desserts, “WOW” is all I can say. Make sure you try the Budino di Datteri (sticky date pudding, poached pears, ginger ice cream, hot caramel……) melt in your mouth sort of thing!
Overall the food is delicious, the atmosphere perfect and service was very attentive. A must visit if you are in Auckland!
I went to Prego for the first time in July 2011 with my family for a leaving dinner. There were 5 of us, including a 12 years old boy. Prego is always so busy and we had to wait for a table to open up. Not wanting to wait at the squashed bar with a 12 year old we went next door for some drinks. The Prego staff gave us a call on our mobile when a table opened up which I thought was great of them. It is incredibly busy in there. There are children running around everywhere upstairs, it’s so loud and the staff are rushed off their feet. However, if you can overcome this busy atmosphere, it really is a fantastic place! The 5 of us ordered a calzone, a beef and fish special of the day, a lasagna dish and a pasta dish. They were all exquisite. We had a friendly chat to some of the staff and they allowed us to move to another table outside for dessert where it was quieter and where some of out party could smoke. I would definitely go back here, but perhaps not for a romantic first or special date.
After dining at Prego a few times, we were impressed by their food (mainly pizza and tiramisu). However, our last visit was so awful I don’t think we will ever go back there again.
The restaurant was quite busy when we walked in, but there were a few tables free. Three or four waitresses walked past us without guiding us to a table; not knowing what to do, we sat down at one of the free tables inside, and we managed to get a waitress to take our order.
We remembered from previous experience that the pizzas took a long time to arrive at the table, so we decided to order a pizza first, before choosing what else we were getting.
I was looking through the menu when a man who looked like the manager walked over to our table and rudely told us to leave, as apparently there was a long waiting list of people who wanted to get a table, and we did not put our name down. This would have been understandable (although it still doesn’t justify the rudeness), had it not been for the empty seats we could see around us. It was also very strange that the manager (?) didn’t even try to put our name down on the waiting list, and simply walked away, leaving us feeling very embarrassed and awkward, since other diners were trying to see what was happening.
It was clear that they just wanted to kick us out because they thought we weren’t ordering enough food. This was a terrible experience, especially since all the good restaurants in Ponsonby were fully booked for dinner by this time, and we had to go back to the CBD.
It’s such a shame, as good Italian restaurants are rare in Auckland… We will not be going back since a restaurant that is so obsessed with making money can’t be providing you with the best food possible for the price.
I recommend Toto, Barolo (in the Langham) or Da Vinci if you are looking for an Italian restaurant for dinner in/near the CBD with good food AND great service.
Had a nice time at Prego. Still an institution in Auckland. A bit disappointed about my main as the pork was a bit dry and also they were changing the wines so ran out of 7 in the list, just bad luck I guess. Still good thought.
I had my birthday here recently with a group of 13. The restaurant was humming, they don’t normally take bookings but reserved a table for us for 15 people. The atmoshere wa electric, the food was fantastic and the waitress that looked after our table was a real laugh and gave fantastic service. I couldn’t compalin about the evening at all and thankyou prego’s for making my birthday celebration such a fantastc night. Would highly recommend and would definitely return
I’ve only had the pleasure of dining here twice, the second time 2 weeks ago. The food is always fresh, well presented and very tasty. The pizza’s are a treat, the calamari entree delicious.
The service is friendly, professional and as helpful as can possibly be.
This place is fantastic for catching up with friends for a lunch outside in the garden with a few wines.
Such a great place! I always know that the food will be perfect and the specials are always to be tried! (love the pies! Fish and beef both great!)
Quick service and always attentive.
Not ideal for a romantic date but great for friends and families.
The addition of blankets at the outside tables on winter evenings is a cute touch.
The food was absoutley awesome – probably the best I’ve had! and the service to match was awesome too!
Go here for a dining experience!!
Always a favourite, service has always been fantastic and we have never had to wait as long as we are advised. Food is great and so reasonably priced for such a good restaurant. Agree with the cold breeze, have sat by the fire on one occasion and it was lovely on a cold winter day, but the most recent time we came we were seated by the door and had to keep our jackets on which was a shame, food, wine and the fabulous Allpress coffee made up for this though.
Attentive service and a humming vibe, not really the place to go for an intimate dinner date but good for groups. Watch out for the cold breeze if you are seated near the doors, we kept our jackets on for most of this night which was a shame. There’s a lovely open fire in the middle of the restaurant but it didn’t heat the room too much. Beautiful food (our entrees: vitello tonnato, mussels, mains: lamb and the linguine marinara). The tuna in the linguine marinara was horribly overcooked though which was really the only let-down of the night – staff were apologetic and offered to get a new one but there was not much point (I just avoided it). All else considered, a nice restaurant.
Went a couple of weekends ago with some friends for dinner. We didn’t have to wait the advised hour for a table, and the food was excellent. OUr waitress was a little manic, but had a good knowledge of the menu.
I had wood roasted hapuka on dill risotto with orange hollandaise which was delicious. The dessert of a cassis sorbet and passionfruit semi freddo was also to die for. I tried a friends pizza and it was yummy too.
Good value and a good night out. Only criticism is the tables and chairs aren’t that comfortable, but hey who cares when the food is that good?
You can’t fault the service and the is food excellent.
There was a group of six of us including two kids who ate off the kids menu. Our pizza, steak and pasta could not be faulted.
I have been eating at Prego since about 1986. We have been there at least two or three times a year ever since. We have celebrated numerous special occasions there, from engagements, birthdays, anniversaries, graduations, you name it.
Most recently we had the big table at the back for a birthday, which I had always wanted to do, and it was so worth it.
It has never, ever disappointed, and always been of a very high standard.
Good quality and authentic Italian menu , much much better than your “typical” tried and tested worn out Italian cliche menu.
Very good service , good presentation . Quality of ingredients really good too.
Best Indian – Oh Calcutta in Parnell,
Best Italian – Prego in Ponsonby,
What else do we need
Love Prego! Service great, Food delicious but unpretentious. Can be a little loud during peak times tho but i think this adds to the “vibe”. Also very reasonably priced.
Have been slowly working my way through Prego’s wine list every week for the last year. Have just finished the stickies.Starting on the menu next year as haven’t remembered leaving yet. Prego is the best place in Auckland, go there, eat drink and be merry because they just love it when you do.
Was lucky enough to go to Prego on Saturday night, enjoyed every minute from the funny bartender to every last drop of the Grasshopper Rock Pinot Noir. The food was excellent also, I could have shared the mussels for the entree, but still had room for the crispy skinned snapper on a lovely risotto – even though I was about to pop I couldn’t miss out on the ice-cream for dessert. Can’t wait to go back next time we’re in Auckland.
Prego is about as old as my wife’s car and still continues to achieve a level of excellence day after day.
Having eaten there at least 4 times in the past year usually going for the pasta or stone oven pizza which are always great. I have to tell you about the beetroot carpaccio I had there last year – one of the best first course of the year for me! And I am fortunate enough to eat out a lot and in different countries. So big pat on the back for being so good at what you do and thank you!
After more than 20 years most of Auckland will have already been at least once, but if you haven’t then give it try. Service, price and great energy will work their magic and make you even happier.
I went to Prego for lunch with my boyfriend yesterday and took the only free table for two in the courtyard. The waitresses were all very efficient and friendly. We could tell that they were properly trained from the way they handled the dishes.
We had garlic bread, seafood pizza and calamari, which were all very delicious. The garlic bread and seafood pizza had a nice crisp, while the calamari was very tender with a beautiful light golden yellow finish. The calamari was the best that I have ever had!
The bill for our lunch was of great value considering the high quality of food that we had and their fantastic service.
I would have loved to order dessert but was very full. I will just have to go back!
the best italian restaurant
in Auckland is Portofino
working 30 years great
The best Italian place in Auckland.
Me and my bf are a regular.
Never had a bad meal.
Always excellent service.
Georgous fish dish.
Beautiful pasta and really yummy pizza’s.
Calamari with aioli is always great.
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