Dine Al Fresco-Style in Auckland Tāmaki Makaurau
One of Auckland’s greatest appeals is its prolonged summers, often sticking around until well after the last of the Easter bunny’s goodies are gone. And even when it starts getting cooler, there’s something invigorating about cosying up with a delicious bowl of food or hot drink, a blanket and an outdoor heater.
Words by: Nicole Mudgway
Really playing to its climate, the Auckland dining scene offers a wide range of patios, courtyards and outdoor spaces in which to enjoy the best of the season’s weather. Enjoy dining al fresco style in one of the CBD’s laneways, loading up on caffeine and vitamin D together, or nursing a cocktail while catching the last of the sun's rays. An added bonus? Most places in Auckland with outdoor seating are also welcoming of our furry friends.
Takapuna Beach Café
22 The Promenade, Takapuna
What better way to start the day than with a spot of breakfast right next to the ocean at Takapuna Beach Café? This lively spot positively churns out the delicious baked goods, and its menu features everything from eggs on toast to fare straight from the sea. The crayfish gnocchi and scampi are both popular dishes, but if you want something lighter, try the award-winning gelato or pastries. Its sun-drenched deck (and lawn) are the dream on a sunny day, and Takapuna Beach is located rather conveniently for a refreshing post-meal dip.
33 Tyler Street, Auckland CBD, Auckland
Come rain or shine, a seat on Ortolana’s covered patio is the perfect place to enjoy quality food and excellent service, all while watching the world go by. Ortolana gives the vibe of being effortlessly cool, taking a simple but well-thought-out approach to ensuring the best for each customer. With a name that means ‘market gardener’ in Italian, you can expect nothing less than seasonal, locally sourced produce. The menu is refined, ordinary ingredients married together to create extraordinary flavours, and the wait staff appear sophisticated yet approachable, knowledgeable and warm. Whether you’re after a weekend brunch, long lunch or a lazy afternoon people-watching, Ortolana has you covered.
Located in Riverhead and Clevedon
Everyone loves a brewery that is ‘worth the trip’, and Hallertau is certainly that. Both of the Hallertau locations have a vibrant atmosphere, plenty of seating and an enormous assortment of beer on tap. If beer isn’t your thing, the ciders, wines and non-alcoholic options are all good too. The menu is expansive, made up of a number of sharing-style plates - although many are also delicious on their own. The fried chicken and pizzas are always a good shout, and conveniently, they go oh-so-well with a pint in hand.
6 Morningside Drive, Morningside
Feel good while you eat, at one of Morningside’s favourite weekend haunts. Crave is a social enterprise, a not-for-profit organisation that gives all profits back to the community. It was created with a neighbourhood focus, to bring people together to connect over delicious, wholesome food. Crave has grown rapidly and is now housed in a large lofty space, with plenty of outdoor, covered seating - perfect in any weather. Don’t miss the Benediction: eggs benny on crispy potato hash, with chimichurri hollandaise, chorizo crumbs and chipotle creme. Delish!
90 Wellesley Street West, Auckland CBD
Widely considered one of the CBD’s institutions, Odette’s is a reliable go-to for your daily coffee, breakfast and lunch needs (or desires, let’s be honest!). Its roomy, naturally lit interior is only enhanced by its outdoor seating, an open but sheltered space nestled amongst plenty of greenery. The menu features plenty of simple ingredients which are elevated into beautifully presented and scrumptious dishes. Odette’s also serves some of the best scrambled eggs in Auckland - making it oh so hard to go past the Herbed Scramble, a staple on the menu since who knows when.
265 Ponsonby Road
Joining the ever-growing list of Auckland’s wine bars, Beau has become a neighbourhood favourite with a point of difference: its courtyard, which is also available for exclusive hire. The courtyard is a vibrant spot, tucked away out the back of the also vibrant Beau, and is fondly adored by all those in the know. The carefully curated wine list features plenty of local and international specialities, including natural wines and skin contact. Modern European dishes complement the wines, with a range of plates designed for sharing.
g03/85 Daldy Street, Auckland CBD
Family owned Williams Eatery has earned itself a loyal following, with the weekend wait-list now something of an expectation. The beautifully executed food is Lebanese inspired, featuring plenty of locally sourced ingredients and fresh flavours. The large windows create a natural feeling of indoor-outdoor flow, and the numerous outdoor tables provide an enjoyable dining experience in the heart of the city. Follow their social media for their latest pop-ups and collaborations.
119 Parnell Road
With roots tracing back to Java, the team at Parnell’s Bandung Café have created a menu offering a fresh take on Indonesian cuisine. It doesn’t stop at Indonesia, though: there are Chinese, Kiwi and Dutch-influenced dishes, all drawing from all their childhood kitchens. Expect all the classics (nasi goreng, Dutch fries and gado gado, for example) in addition to plenty of lesser-known street food bites and snacks, all set to whet the appetite. On Parnell’s main street, Bandung is hard to miss, but what most people don’t know is that there is a cosy, lush courtyard tucked away out back - perfect for soaking up those summer rays.
13 O'Connell Street, Auckland CBD
Featuring a menu that is every bit as French as its name, Le Chef offers one of Auckland’s best laneway dining experiences. Be transported to the streets of Paris in Vulcan Lane, with cobblestones, awnings and twinkling lights overhead. If you haven’t tried snails (escargot) in your lifetime (or you are already a fan), Le Chef is one place you can do it without travelling all the way to France. If snails aren’t your thing, the Terrine de canard (duck terrine), Croque monsieur and Filet De Boeuf are all sure to tantalise! You’d be a fool not to save room for dessert: traditional creme brulee, need we say more?
The Farmhouse Deli
400 Papakura-Clevedon Road, Clevedon
Escape to the countryside and visit the little white villa that is Clevedon’s Farmhouse Deli. Perched upon the hillside, this pooch-friendly cafe boasts an array of outdoor seating options including picnic tables, beanbags and an open patio. There may be no menu, but the Farmhouse Deli has a cabinet that is abundant with fresh, seasonal goodies, along with organic Kokako coffee and delicious homemade ice cream.
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Dariush Lolaiy's Auckland
I’m a chef and cookbook author, hunter and co-owner at Cazador Restaurant and Delicatessen. My restaurant specialises in serving New Zealand game meats and fresh, local produce with an emphasis on ethically sourced ingredients and minimal waste.
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