Guide to Auckland Cafés and How to Brunch Best
As one of the best places in the world to enjoy coffee and breakfast, Sunday brunch is practically a religion for Aucklanders. There’s a great café in every neighbourhood, so brunch is a great way to explore the lengths of the city. We scoured the city for the best places to grab a late morning or early afternoon bite, no matter where you’re looking to go. While some stick with the classics and some mix it up, they all do a great cuppa and a lovely atmosphere.
We've scoured the city for the best of the best.
85 Daldy Street, Auckland CBD
Charles and Patrick Williams’ Wynyard Quarter spot is a true family business - if you come by on the right day, you’ll see their mum bussing tables and running food. It’s been called Auckland’s best café, and with good reason: their single-origin Flight Coffee shots are made with care, and head chef Elie Assaf’s Lebanese-inspired menu has some of the best brunch dishes you’ll find.
Ozone Coffee Roasters
1/18 Westmoreland Street West, Grey Lynn, Auckland
New Plymouth-born coffee roasters Ozone have gone international with cafés in London, and their Grey Lynn outpost is as good as you’ll get. Specialty coffee and beverages sit alongside a delicious food selection of classics and a few dishes you won’t find anywhere else. As an added bonus, they’re extremely focused on operating ethically, and advocate for a more equitable hospitality industry from the bottom up.
179/183 Karangahape Road, Auckland CBD
Bestie’s dining room might be the most beautiful in the city. Bathed in the light cast by St Kevins Arcade’s huge bay window, Bestie is the place to go for great baked goods, delicious meals and excellent service. In the evening, the space transforms into Gemmayze St, a Lebanese restaurant, and on Monday nights it hosts Everybody Eats, a pay-as-you-feel community kitchen.
66 - 68, Tyler Street, Britomart Place, Auckland
One of the hardest places to get a table for dinner, Amano is a great spot for breakfast, too. The massive, stunning space is the perfect place to recharge in the middle of a day shopping downtown, and their Italian-inspired breakfast and lunch menus are packed with delicious options. If you’re in a hurry, you can also pick up a pastry from their bakery window.
The Candy Shop
2/8 Osborne Street, Newmarket, Auckland
Nestled in a backstreet in Newmarket, The Candy Shop is a lovely retreat from the hustle and bustle of the main street. Their menu, split into breakfast and lunch during the week, and all day on the weekend, features perennials like eggs bene, but the real good stuff is their Korean dishes, like the Mahn Doo dumpling broth or fried chicken. They also roast their own coffee under the Camper Coffee brand, and their expert baristas make a killer flat white. If you’re around in the evening, you can also get dinner there.
86 Federal Street, Auckland CBD
Al Brown’s New York deli is an absolute must for brunch. Their coffee is bottomless filter (no lattes in sight), the service is quick and efficient, and the food is indulgent; think blueberry buttermilk pancakes, salmon latkes or pastrami hash. You’ll want to get in early, though, or prepare to wait: the tables fill up extremely quickly on the weekend.
118 Ponsonby Road, Grey Lynn, Auckland
Ponsonby Road institution Orphans Kitchen doesn’t serve dinner anymore, but you can find their most delicious dishes on the breakfast menu, anyway. Their spinach and silverbeet on Daily Bread sourdough toast is one of the best vegan breakfasts in town, and their house blend Coffee Supreme hits the spot, every time. Take a visit and find out why the coolest people in town spend their mornings there.
Photo by: Nick Walker
Mr. T's Baked Goods & Eatery
210 Onehunga Mall, Onehunga, Auckland
The Pho at Mr T’s is worth making the train ride to Onehunga in its own right. This French-Vietnamese café and bakery serves up delicious Banh Mi alongside great coffee and delicious pastries, and if you eat in, you get the added bonus of the smell of bread being baked in the back of the space while you eat. Grab an eclair to finish, go on.
Hare and the Turtle
1/63 New Windsor Road, New Windsor, Auckland
The Hare and the Turtle is a neighbourhood favourite that gets people driving from all over town to eat their sandwiches, served quickly and made using house-baked bread. The Eggplant Parm is a fan favourite, but you can’t go wrong anywhere on the menu here. It’s all simple and delicious.
6 Basque Road, Eden Terrace, Auckland
Coffee Pen isn’t easy to find, tucked in the corner of a building on an off street in Eden Terrace. It’s worth the trip, though. Yas and Fumi, the owners, have built a cult following off the back of delicious specialty coffee, baked goods and nourishing food, like their lasagne or beef burritos, which rotate depending on the day, so check their Instagram in advance.
If You Just Want Coffee
Not every café visit has to be about food, though: some of Auckland’s best cafés don’t have kitchens at all. If you’re a specialty coffee fan, you can’t go wrong at Daily Daily on Karangahape Road, Pink Neon Sign on High Street, Ace on Dominion Road, Red Rabbit in Parnell, Kōkako in Commercial Bay, or Allpress on Drake Street for a delicious cuppa in a lovely space.
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Toby Morris's Auckland
I’m Toby Morris - a cartoonist, illustrator, writer and Creative Director at The Spinoff. I’m from Wellington originally, but have been in Auckland for about seven years now, and I’m still finding new favourites all the time. We live right between Sandringham Rd and Dominion Rd and we love the mix of cultures in that area.
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