There's nothing like getting to know a city than by eating and drinking in it, so if you are after the top Auckland cafés, restaurants and bars in the area, let Neat Places show you where to go.
The big city vibe spills over into the eat and drink scene with the whose who often found out and about at restaurants in Ponsonby, the quirky and colourful characters of K Road hanging out in throngs at cool cafes, and those who have just stepped foot in the country making the most of the waterfront eateries.
Drink your way through some top quality coffee to start the day, and follow it with some pretty and wholesome breakfast from Auckland cafés that know how to wow an audience. Lunchtimes are best spent much in the same style; find an Auckland cafe or eatery that looks cool from the outside (they're a dime a dozen) and you'll likely find it just as impressive on the inside. Then there's only one thing for it come dinner time, hit the streets. A short wander into the city and you will find any array of cuisines and atmospheres, from the pubs to the posh fine-dining, Auckland is catering to over a million different tastebuds after all, so no wonder there is something to suit everyone. Auckland restaurants are well used to busy nights, so soak up the vibes of eating out in a big city and order a table full of good food to share.
Want more from your café, restaurant and bar experience? Auckland hospitality sure knows how to put on a party - see our Neat Places guide for where to go.
Icing on the cake: Where to find the best sweet treats in Auckland
Roses Dining Room
Roses Dining Room may seem a little unconventional, but they’ve certainly got the recipe right.
Tucked away up a narrow central Auckland staircase lies Culprit, a trendy and sophisticated inner city hideout serving nostalgic New Zealand cuisine with a modern global edge.
Maison des Lys
Maison des Lys is an artisan French pâtisserie but with a real point of difference.
What started out as a humble sandwich stall has evolved to become a much-adored, artisanal bakery and cafe that has more than made its mark on Auckland’s Karangahape Road.
Forest may be one of Auckland’s only semi-formal vegetarian restaurants, but owner and chef Plabita Florence hopes it is so much more than that.
Anyone who appreciates the genius behind Auckland’s Pici - an intimate space with a limited offering, is going to love Ooh Fa: the same owners, the same philosophy and...
Very few big city eateries pull the masses all hours of the day, seven days a week, but at much loved Amano, this is simply the reality.
Sen Vietnamese Kitchen & Bar
SEN, meaning lotus flower, is an authentic Vietnamese kitchen and bar that has long been a mainstay in Mount Eden.
Japanese cuisine comprises a whole lot more than just sushi rolls and tempura, and more fish types than simply salmon and tuna.
Located on the waterfront in the city centre, Ebisu also lies at the heart of Japanese cuisine in Auckland.
Azabu has long been considered a mainstay in Auckland's culinary scene, for good reason.
Browns Eatery and Store
Nestled amongst a row of busy shops along Remuera Road lies Browns Eatery and Store. It’s a deceptively big, welcoming space, offering something of a European vibe.
Neat in the Neighbourhood: Grey Lynn
Kepa Road Café
Kepa Road Café is the younger, cooler sibling to Remuera’s popular Browns Eatery and Store.
Tucked away on Queen Street (in the middle of Auckland’s arts precinct) lies Tanuki’s Cave: a not-so-secret, gem of a yakitori bar.
We all know that Karangahape Road is a melting pot of global cuisines, but until recently Latin-influenced options were notably lacking from the scene.
Williams Eatery is one of the stalwart eateries of the centrally located Wynyard Quarter in Auckland.
Dine Al Fresco-Style in Auckland Tāmaki Makaurau
Daily Bread Ponsonby
It’s hard to think of sourdough or hot cross buns in Auckland without conjuring up an image of Daily Bread and its iconic croissant logo.
Built on the concept of being an embassy for all things food, Auckland’s Homeland is about appreciating local, sustainable produce, creating a sense of community and...
With a name short for ‘kingfish’ and an ethos committed to sustainability, kingi is representative of a brighter future for New Zealand’s fisheries.
Tianze Dumpling House
Thanks to its suburban Sandringham location, Tianze Dumpling House may feel like something of a secret.
Duck Island Ponsonby Road
Duck Island has been crafting small-batch ice cream in the Waikato since 2015.
Fans of one of Auckland’s finest restaurants, Cassia, breathed a sigh of relief when the much loved contemporary Indian restaurant reopened within the SkyCity precinct.
Tucked away on Karangahape Road is Bar Magda.
KOL (pronounced ‘coal’ and inspired by the same word) is all about fire, food and cocktails. Cue: vibrant colours, bold flavours and interesting concepts and dishes.
Annabel's Wine Bar
Sitting pretty along the main strip, a trip to Annabel’s is mandatory when hanging around Ponsonby.
For guaranteed good times, Candela is our venue of choice.
Pasta fiends unite; you simply can’t miss a meal at Auckland institution, Pici.
Tastebuds at the ready, the Korean cuisine legends behind OCKHEE have opened up their new venture on Kitchener Street; Swings.
Neat in the Neighbourhood: Your Guide to Point Chevalier
Inspired by home cooking from the team’s roots in Java, Parnell’s Bandung Café boasts a fresh take on Indonesian cuisine.
Tucked away in York Street Courtyard, Völla Café is a sweet little garden oasis dishing out artisanal treats and killer coffee.
Don't worry if you didn't get a seat at the ever-popular Rosie, their sister eatery is here to satisfy your hunger. Head next door to Little Rosie for a moreish selection of takeaway goods ready to devour.
Those with a penchant for French finery won’t want to miss a decadent trip to Vaniyé Pâtisserie. This award-winning patisserie is the passion project of husband-and-wife team, Sonia and Laurent Haumonté.
Pizza Pilgrim: The Best Places for Pizza in Auckland
Simon & Lee
When you’re looking for big Korean flavours and solid staples in Auckland, look no further than Simon & Lee.
We could easily mistake Atelier Shu for a luxury fashion boutique—its modern interior and minimalistic decor is just that beautiful.
Mr T's Baked Goods & Eatery
Peach's Hot Chicken
Don’t fact-check us on this, but we’d say a mouthful of Nashville Hot Chicken has been proven to send serotonin levels through the roof.
You simply can’t talk about the best of Auckland’s dining scene without mentioning Cotto.
After a long week, there’s something extremely comforting about pulling up to your local for a pint.
Don’t head here looking for something you’re familiar with, go to be taken somewhere completely new.
No matter the shape of your night, Céleste should be a feature.
East Street Hall
The place to be to experience Auckland’s diverse creative scene.
Pad Thai and fries? Bao bun and a cocktail? Whether you’re out for a flat dinner or looking for a place to hide behind your dark sunglasses on a Sunday lunch, Kiss Kiss has all the Thai treats you need.
A café/social enterprise that give all of their profits back to the community.
The Taco Lowdown: Where To Find Auckland's Tastiest Tacos
Cazador’s location is a little off the beaten track, and they like it that way.
Xuxu Dumpling Bar
Well worth a visit for its impressive dumplings and cocktail lineup.
Allpress Auckland Roastery
Coffee is the most important item on the Caffetteria’s menu, and it is some of the freshest in town.
Little Bird Kitchen
100 percent plant based 100 percent whole foods 100 percent of the time.
Green Party: Where to find the best plant-based food in Auckland
Odettes has delivered another level of sophistication to the Auckland dining scene.
Al Brown’s Depot has the foot traffic to keep their tables stocked, but not the clamor of the main drag so you can actually hear yourself think.
The Book Exchange
The next time the Auckland drizzle gets too much for you, forget your troubles with a trip to the Book Exchange.
Bird on a Wire
The guys at Bird on a Wire crisp up some of the best beer battered chips around. An easy companion to one of their Dirty Bird burgers.
Baduzzi is a stylish and slick operation, a hybrid: a cross between the traditions of authentic Italia and what you’d expect to find in one of the more stylish parts of NYC.
Giapo's is all about transforming what is undoubtedly the world’s most popular dessert into something that triples as fashionable, artistic and (of course) delicious.
Apero Food and Wine
Apero has quickly cemented itself as one of the coolest little wine bars in the city.
Brothers Juke Joint BBQ
From the kings of the Auckland craft beer scene, Brothers Beer, comes its edible equivalent.
Coco’s has been around as long as anyone can remember - the kind of restaurant that has become so cemented in its neighbourhood.
Dear Jervois hosts the who’s who of Herne Bay for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
If Korean quirk and good ol’ western burgers once bumped into each other, they've most certainly made themselves at home here on Great N’ Road.
Street Organics is the burgeonings of a whole foods community, passionate about organic, ethically sourced goods.
Tokyo on a Plate: Exploring Auckland's Best Japanese Cuisine
This inner-city Britomart offering is nothing short of brilliant.
A fine establishment full of colour and character with a penchant for the drink.
It's a tropical oasis.
Effortlessly cool and utterly lacking in pretension, Orphans Kitchen is one of the greatest contributions to the Ponsonby Road renaissance.
Neighbourhood Hangs: Your Guide to Karangahape Road
An authentic Italian pizzeria with the freshest ingredients – right down to the mozzarella which strings its way throughout the melting pot of flavours each topping provides.
A spot tucked in the block of shops on Coates Avenue has been fueling this community with caffeine for over a number of years.
Best Ugly Bagels Auckland
Another culinary gem hidden in the labyrinthine City Works Depot.
Espresso Workshop (Britomart)
A prime example of how focusing on one product and doing it well can be so successful, the Espresso Workshop covers all the bases when it comes to coffee taste, service, knowledge and experience.
Bowl and Arrow
Nestled in the Orakei Village Complex, Hannah Bryan and Leisha Rae are making their delicious smoothie bowls, juices and healthy baked treats at Bowl and Arrow.
Bread and Butter Café and Bakery
As the big sister to Little Bread and Butter Bakery in Ponsonby Central, Bread and Butter Café and Bakery in Grey Lynn gives off a homely and warm ambience.
The Lucky Taco
The Lucky Taco have created a truly unique eating experience for New Zealanders.
A very good addition to Auckland’s ever-burgeoning café scene.
There are a tonne of fresh and hip eateries and cafés hidden within, that tantalise with their extensive menus.
A popular haunt of suits in the morning, tourists around lunchtime and general good folk at all times.
From the people who brought you Ceremony Café comes Homestead, a gallery-come-café servicing the ‘burbs with great coffee and food.
Goodness Gracious Café
They say that good things come in small packages and Goodness Gracious is no exception.
Our Picks of the Best Indian Food in Auckland
Serving up coffee by the cup to busy business people, shoppers and wanderers every day of the week.
This little endeavour has carved out an enviable spot amongst Auckland’s booming coffee scene.
A fine establishment which handles the concocting of craft beer like Picasso handled a brush.
Queenies boasts itself as a truly inviting spot for morning coffee and midday lunch.
Neighbourhood Hangs: Your Guide to Ponsonby
Pineapple on Parnell
Prepare to be seduced by the old world charm behind the door at Pineapple.
This place is off the chain good.
The Kimchi Project
Offering Korean-inspired breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner with a menu full of delicious surprises.
The Raw Kitchen
A lovely escape from the sometimes hectic concrete jungle.
Chinoiserie is a Taiwanese street food joint that has made quite the impact on the Auckland dining scene.