The Neat Places team’s favourite places to brunch

Someone holding a plate of eggs hollandaise with smoked salmon on the side

Here at Neat Places, we're certainly partial to great food – and brunch is no exception. We've spilled the beans on our team's favourite spots around the country to enjoy a slow morning over eggs, smashed avo, pancakes, omelettes, and more goodness...

And as a team that eats out more than we care to admit, you can rest assured that all brunch places mentioned are worthy of your time (especially the popular few that get multiple shout-outs).

Main dining area inside Orphans Kitchen in Auckland

Jerome Warburton

Auckland

Orphans Kitchen has always been my go-to when visiting Auckland in the past and now too that I live here. It offers a cosy and rustic environment with delicious, creative food. I love the structure of the building and the beautiful wooden furniture.

Fresh loaves of sourdough bread in crates at market

Sophie Morris

Auckland

The best brunch is always part of an adventure - either Matakana Market on a Saturday morning (take a bag, collect your provisions of freshly baked croissants, cheese and chutneys, take them home, assemble and heat in the oven, sit outside in the sun and enjoy!) or Muriwai Deli for a caprese ficelle after a West Coast surf. 

Fried chicken on waffles on a plate with bright pink pickled onions coriander and maple syrup dressing

Nicole Mudgway

Auckland

Havelock North’s BROTHER is a lively cafe combining mouthwatering food with impeccable service. It takes the classics and elevates them into meals you won’t forget, such as the X and the Y. When friends ask for Havelock North recommendations, it’s always first on my list! When I’m at home in Auckland, my favourite brunch is at Bestie in St Kevin’s Arcade, not just for it’s incredible outlook over Myer’s Park, but also for their incredibly satisfying cheese toastie. Humble sure, but unbeatable. 

A yum cha brunch featuring a table full of dumplings in bamboo baskets and tea

John Son

Wellington

Dragons. Yum cha might not be an orthodox choice when it comes to brunch but if I'm after a late morning weekend meal with friends, there are few places I'd rather be. Dragons is one of the top spots in Wellington not only for the amazing range of dishes, but also the excellent and efficient service and buzzing ambience. The sticky rice is my go-to, and it'd be rude not to finish your meal with a mochi ice cream. 

Christopher Barnhart

Queenstown

Yonder in Queenstown. I've always had a soft spot for any place that can pump out pancakes at 11am and then punk songs at 11pm. Yonder is the kind of place where you don't feel guilty for sneaking a little cocktail in the sunshine, ya know? The decor is unique and chilled enough to impress your mom or your Tinder date, hopefully they both aren't there at the same time. That would be weird.

Two kimchi omelettes in a skillet on the table at Child Sister in Christchurch

Claire Murphy

Christchurch

How often do I really go out for brunch on a week to week basis? Not much, because my carton of eggs is always staring at me, begging me to make better financial choices. But when I'm on holiday? Then I make my case for a daily brunch outing. My top pick for brunch in Aotearoa would have to be Child Sister in Christchurch - a six hour drive from my house. I can't lie, I'm a creature of habit, and every time I visit I order the same thing: iced matcha latte, chocolate chip cookie, and the kimchi omelette. I am yet to be disappointed, nor the poor soul(s) travelling with me on the occasion. I definitely recommend calling ahead for a table because, well, I can't say I'm the only one who knows how life-changing that kimchi omelette is. 

Exterior of Child Sister in Christchurch

Nancy Zhou

Christchurch

My husband is pretty particular about cooking his own eggs and smashing his own avocado but if he's not involved, my favourite place to brunch would be Christchurch’s Child Sister. The food here is delicious and the space is light and beautiful. I often think about ordering something different but like Claire, I can never go past the Kimchi Rice Omelette. It's truly to die for. 

Someone holding a plate of poached eggs with bacon on the side

Marcia Butterfield

Christchurch

Doubles and their sister cafe Akin in Christchurch are currently my favourite places to brunch. Both places are well designed and I appreciate their branding and attention to detail, right down to the colour of their cups. Also, and crucially, they serve fries at brunch which is always a big win with the kids. 

Plate of pulled brisket with fries on the side

Julia Rutherford

Christchurch

There’s so many incredible brunch spots in Ōtautahi but topping the list for me is Little Pom’s on the edge of the city centre. Their menu is full of creative takes on brunch classics and the kitchen always delivers the goods, especially the Pulled Chinese Beef Brisket… *chef’s kiss*. Pair that with excellent coffee and a bustling atmosphere, it’s brunch at its finest. And if you find your brunch date extending into the afternoon, pop next door to Pomeroy’s and enjoy a brew in their beer garden. Special mention to Unknown Chapter and Doubles too! 

Cabinet of sweet baked treats and lunch options at Lyttelton Coffee C

Johnny Gibson

Christchurch

We don't tend to brunch, as we enjoy a slow weekend family breakfast/brunch at home. However, we're pretty accustomed to a morning coffee and muffin at Lyttelton Coffee Co. 

Outdoor cafe area overlooking the harbour at Lyttelton Coffee Co

Petra Nyman

Christchurch

Backing up Lyttelton Coffee Co, as they make a mean huevos rancheros and their coffee is always on point. Not to mention the harbour views from the deck are excellent and the tunes indoors are always a great time!

Beautiful cafe interior with shades of green, plants and foliage

Mike Field

Christchurch

My wife is a more experienced bruncher than me, and her top pick is Ōtautahi’s Miro for its morning margarita! For something to eat, the spiced burrata never misses the mark. Personally, I'm also a huge fan of the Lyttelton Coffee Co bacon sammie in fried bread. 

Neat Auckland Places

Cassia

The black entrance to Cassia restaurant on a rainy day.
Place Auckland
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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.

The Raw Kitchen

Raw slice.
Place Auckland
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A lovely escape from the sometimes hectic concrete jungle.

Ebisu

Japanese food on a table.
Place Auckland
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Located on the waterfront in the city centre, Ebisu also lies at the heart of Japanese cuisine in Auckland.

Sen Vietnamese Kitchen & Bar

A Banh Mi sitting on a table at Sen restaurant In Auckland.
Place Auckland
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SEN, meaning lotus flower, is an authentic Vietnamese kitchen and bar that has long been a mainstay in Mount Eden.