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Binaifer A.'s

Cool places to get a drink

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    Ragu Restaurant & Wine Bar
    Point Chevalier

    We often enjoy going down to Ragu as it's walking distance from where we live. The service provided is excellent and they always make us feel very welcome. The food tastes delicious and is great value for money. Sometimes, when we are looking for a place to have a light meal and unwind with a glass of wine, we'll head down to Ragu.
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    Hilton Auckland
    Auckland

    We had the most memorable birthday celebration at the Fish restaurant. The food and service provided to us was truly amazing. Will definitely go back again for the excellent food. The staff treated us so well, that we had the best dining experience ever. For great service and great seafood, FISH is the place to go to.
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    Freddys Ice House
    Auckland Central

    Went to Freddy's Ice House and had the most amazing coolest experience. The ice statues are beautiful and having our cocktails in the ice glasses was amazing. We truly enjoyed ourselves as the staff took lots of photos and took very good care of us.
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    The Britomart Country Club
    Auckland Central

    Went to The Britomart Country Club for after work drinks with my colleagues. We really enjoyed the excellent range of beverages and the food too was delicious. The staff too were absolutely amazing.
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    56

    Gina's Italian Kitchen
    Newton

    One of the best Italian cusines ever! Love their lunch specials.

Emma P.'s

Cool Drinks Around Point Chev

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    Winehot
    Morningside

    Best wine selection around, served with that dreamy French accent... And they can match the wine to fit the day you've had - or compensate for it!!
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    Montage Bar
    Point Chevalier

    Ownership has changed and the best place in PC for cocktails around. Always a weekly special - am sucker for a bargain!!
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    Citizen Park Restaurant Bar
    Kingsland

    OK it's Kingsland people and it's busy but that's because it's great! Cool decor, lots of indoor outdoor space - my new fave!
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    Golden Dawn
    Ponsonby

    OK, it's Ponsonby but they just have the best music, has that hidden away vibe, interesting food, so definitely worth the drive!
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    Ragu Restaurant & Wine Bar
    Point Chevalier

    Super friendly staff, fire in the winter - which is now people!! Great service and great for catching up with locals. And the tapas are superb - try the pork belly. Best of all the kids can play, scooter, skate run around outside.

Emily F.'s

Out of town drinks

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    Leigh Sawmill Cafe
    Leigh

    Always good food here. Lots of choice and a nice cosy atmosphere. Great garden for summer and lots of gigs.
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    Hallertau Brewbar and Restaurant
    Kumeu

    I love travelling out to Hallertau on a Sunday afternoon. They usually have a live duo playing fantastic blues music. Lovely to sit and listen with a glass of your favourite Hallertau beer or a wine. Beer tasting option is a must!
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    The Tasting Shed
    Kumeu

    Great little place, not too far to travel. It's great to sit outside at the big table with some nibbles and a glass of wine. Will be back to try the lunch menu.
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    Goldie Wines
    Waiheke Island

    For a lovely wine tasting experience try Goldie. Welcoming staff and lovely to walk around the grounds after a spot of wine tasting. Looking forward to getting a chance to dine there as I'm told the food is great.
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    Coopers Creek Vineyard Ltd
    Huapai

    Great cheese platter! Yum. Huge seated area which is great in summer with a bit of live music. Wines are good too. If you are out that way it's a lovely place to stop.

Rory W.'s

Cool places to get a drink

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    Dida's Wine Lounge & Tapas Jervois Road
    Ponsonby

    A great selection of quality wines, good tapas and a nice atmosphere.
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    Sale St Brewery Co.
    Freemans Bay

    Sale Street is a great place to catch up for lunch - especially in the summer, as they have a decent sized garden. The bar menu is reasonably priced and portions are large - try the Sale St burger - pretty massive and comes with hand cut fries.
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    Soul Bar & Bistro
    Viaduct Harbour

    One of the best locations in Auckland, right in the Viaduct. Been there for ages, but still delivers the goods. Great place for a cheeky glass of sav at lunchtime and for the people watching.
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    Fort Street Union
    Auckland Central

    Up on the first floor half way along Fort Street, this place is a good option for after-work drinks on a Friday. The outdoor area is in an enclosed part of the building with the roof open to the sky - it works quite well. They have a good tap beer selection with Tiger and Moa plus others. They also do some deals on pitchers (and bigger). Decent pizza too. Well worth a visit.
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    Libertine
    Auckland Central

    A newish place tucked in on the same street as one of my old favorites, La Zeppa, and a few steps away from Sale Street, Libertine in another welcome addition to the Auckland bar scene. Inside it's all modern, clean and shiny and the outside courtyard has heaters for colder evenings. Prices are pretty much what you'd expect from this sort of upmarket gastropub, and food is good quality. Pretty trendy bro.

leonie's

Waiheke Island dining at it's finest

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    Palm Beach Fish & Chips
    Waiheke Island

    Great burgers, friendly staff.
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    The Shed at Te Motu Vineyard
    Onetangi

    Love that they have everything but their ultra-premium wines by the glass so we can taste their high-end wines without having to pay for a whole bottle. Excellent prix fixe menu on Friday nights in winter, top notch service.
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    Charlie Farleys Ltd
    Onetangi

    Superb breakfast menu, great view overlooking Onetangi Beach.
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    Island Gelato Company Limited
    Oneroa

    Amazing gelato flavours, locally made. Love the clever and colourful use of a container as their store
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    Goldie Wines
    Waiheke Island

    Killer 2013 Syrah. Great lunch menu. Amazing view from the top of the hill.

Kylie B.'s

Cosy Wine Bars

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    Gypsy Tea Room
    Grey Lynn

    Such a fantastic nook in West Lynn, Gypsy Tea Room is a lovely place to sneak away for a cheeky glass with mates. There's lots of cosy booths and I love the candle-lit, warming vibe and the fact that it's a genuine neighbourhood hub. It feels so comfortable that you could be drinking a glass of wine in your own lounge. And although it's been well-known on the Auckland wine scene for ages that doesn't mean it's lost any of its charm.
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    The Elbow Room
    Herne Bay

    When I like to sneak away for an intimate glass of wine with a good mate, The Elbow Room comes top of my list. It's a beautiful local lit up every evening with gorgeous fairy lights and, once you get inside, it's plush and gorgeous. Honestly, the lighting is so exceptional that it really adds to the cosy vibe. The wine list is extensive and the snacks are so good. My fave is a glass of Soho red and a plate of risotto balls. That's my post-work nirvana!
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    1885 Britomart
    Auckland Central

    Normally this downtown joint is thought of as a great spot for live music - and it is - but my friends and I also like secreting down the basement at 1885 for a cheeky glass of vino. It's got a lovely intimate vibe and the wine list is well-priced and varied.
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    Bonita
    Ponsonby

    Good wines at good prices, excellent tapas menu and a real local vibe, Bonita is such a find. You've got to look hard to seek out this hidden gem, situated on a corner in Ponsonby Rd, but it's well worth the hunt. I love the fact that, even if friends aren't joining you, there's always someone at the bar to have a yarn with or you can perch up at the window and watch the hustle and bustle of Auckland's trendiest strip.
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    Tabac
    Auckland Central

    This isn't a wine bar that's on every Aucklanders' radar but when you are in the inner-city nothing beats a trip to TABAC for a cosy evening of wine drinking. This is a connoisseurs' bar so I love to come here with a friend who knows her wine because we end up drinking the most delightfully robust reds and chattering long into the night. Great vibes, good times. Well worth a visit.

Helene R.'s

A taste of France without leaving town

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    The French Cafe
    Newton

    The French Café is one of Auckland oldest, much loved and much awarded dining establishments. Serving up stellar modern French cuisine, the restaurant offers a nine-course chef’s tasting, a six course tasting that includes a vegetarian option, and an a la carte menu that has been carefully designed to be enjoyed in four courses.
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    Merlot On O'Connell
    Auckland Central

    Merlot on O’Connell Street in the CBD serves up a great hearty red - naturally - but also has one of the best lunch menus in the area when you are in the mood for something warm and hearty. My pick is the lunch special menu, which gives you around six yummy options, all priced at $20.00. The Mini Ploughman’s lunch with chicken terrine, cheese and pickles comes highly recommended, with the next best option being the Scotch fillet with warm roasted vegetable salad. Delicious.
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    La Boulange Herne Bay
    Herne Bay

    We love visiting La Boulange on Jervois Road and Lorne Street for filled baguettes, fresh pastries, great coffee and French style, but our favourite branch of the super cute cafe is in The Department Store in Takapuna. Definitely one of the North Shore’s best options on the cafe front, it is airy and relaxed as well as tantalisingly close to many a retail attraction like Nature Baby, Karen Walker and Black Box boutique. Dangerous and very, very good.
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    Frenchie
    Ponsonby

    La Cantine du Torchon on Ponsonby Road is great for the inner Francophiles out there, with authentic cuisine and great wine served at rather good prices and with atmosphere to boot. Dinner options include hearty Cassoulet and Boeuf Bourgignon, whilst for lunch they serve the perfect galette and warming onion soup with lashings of cheese. Bon appetit indeed.
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    Winehot
    Morningside

    Winehot in Sandringham is the very definition of a quality local bar: the wine list is exceptional and well priced, the French-style snack list is delicious and creative and it is always filled to the brim with people from the surrounding neighbourhood who love it and keep coming back for more. I’d go there just for the cheese and terrine alone!

Samantha N.'s

Fav food haunts

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    Raven & Cook
    Epsom

    Best cafe food ever, menu is very different and amazing quality
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    The Block Cafe
    Blockhouse Bay

    This place has a great atmosphere and service and a really fab menu.
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    Giapo
    Auckland Central

    Taste experience and icecream heaven.
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    Ollies Burgers & Ice Cream
    Royal Oak

    Old school retro memories

AnnaABP M.'s

MEATATARIANs heaven: Best steaks in Auckland

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    Jervois Steakhouse & Saloon
    Herne Bay

    What a meatatarians heaven this place is. We booked for a leisurely lunch and as true beef addicts we thought it was about time we tried Aucklands premier Steak house. We were not disappointed. We decided to exercise our gluttony right and have a starter - salt & pepper prawns and the calamari snitzel. These were delightful but not too exciting in that I felt the prawns were great but there was too little of the yummy sauce to taste fully and albeit a unique concept , the calamari snitzel was good but not fabulous. The aoli with it was ordinary. But then…. the mains arrived. My partner had the sirloin and I had the petite fillet. One word…. Perfect. Then we tried the sides and sauces… OMG good is not appropriate. We got 4 sauces and although each was great… we settled on our 2 fav’s - The spinach and gorgonzola blue cheese….. AND the Brandy and green peppercorn… combined were out of this world. The sides were even better… we went for the perfect mix of candied kumara and the JSH creamed spinach. These 2 sides have now been voted as the best sides ( separately and even more so together) in New Zealand.. in fact perhaps just the world. We went a week ago and I am craving this divine meal every day. Fab service, fab wine and it really doesnt get much better than this.
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    Soul Bar & Bistro
    Viaduct Harbour

    Outstandingly Good! This was my 3rd visit to Soul and was by far the absolute best.  Not sure if booking helped plus being lunch it was a lot quieter than the usual hectic dinner crowd and queues.  Either way we were welcomed to Soul and received wonderful service as we  were shown to our table in the lovely flower pot adorned atrium setting showered with sun. The menu is not huge but still takes a lot of careful deliberation due to the innovative nature of the meals.  Divine...divine... divine.. they all look divine!!! We settled on the Scampi cocktail with whipped avocado & Moroccan ketchup to share as our starter.  I wish I'd got one each but at $28.50 it was not going to happen  It arrived in a martini class (nice touch) and had about 4 large prawns in a divine avocado mousse with salad and had a large crumbed scampi on top.  Divine! I then chose Roasted Savannah beef fillet, smoky potato purée, beef marrow + horseradish pesto (excellent value @ $38.00).  As a self proclaimed beef connoisseur I can honestly say this was one of the best steaks I have had in many many years.  Divine does not do it justice.   My partner ordered the Merino lamb rump with mini lamb & pumpkin pie.. Again another wonderfully good meal.  We had the Creamed feta spinach with fried almonds as our side ($8) which was the perfect accompaniment to this fabulous meal. Having discovered gluttony is a wonderful sin.. we proceeded to share a dessert.  Our waiter insisted the bittersweet chocolate was the one but knowing our own minds too well we settled on  the Hazelnut meringue, praline parfait, Valrhona milk chocolate brulee & pear confit ($16.50).  We both had to agree this is the best dessert we have had.  ( Admittedly we are not huge dessert people but do love sweet things).  This was a subtle sweetness with heavenly flavours of praline and pear which worked so well together in presentation & taste that we have made it our top choice for a dessert.   So as you can see I'm not sure whether the moons were all aligned in the right places or we had an extra dose of happy that morning .....I apologise but I can only say one word... Divine.. over & over & over... Soul delivered us a little slice of awesome today....
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    Prego Restaurant
    Ponsonby

    If you've ever been to Italy you will know its about dining with warmth, family, friends and fantastic food.   Prego epitomises this and never disappoints.  It is the hub of the colourful Auckland people scene.  You never know who you are dining with but you know you've seen them on TV, in magazines or just know they people who want to share in that buzz of I'm an Aucklander and I'm special.   We strolled up at 2.30pm looking for a late lunch and were greeted by the wonderfully efficient staff.  We chose to sit outside (I mean who wouldn't on a gloriously sunny day).  We sat under the gorgeous canopy of a huge yellow tree (hate to admit I don't know its breed) but the setting has a reminiscence of Italy. We ordered the calamari to start which arrived fairly promptly (what you want at 3pm) and was beautiful.  A light batter and scrummy aoili on rocket salad.  Perfection!!  We added two glasses of a strange sounding red wine which the waitress assured us was good...she was right,  it was excellent.  (Don't you  love staff you can trust). As self proclaimed steak connoisseurs we couldn't order anything but the Surf and turf.. a prime piece of beef adorned with 2 grilled prawns and surrounded with the (yep an OMG good) bernaise sauce... on a bed of polenta which was a new experience and one in which I want again as soon as possible.. OMG yum!  We accompanied this with a rocket salad (with shaved parmesan and balsamic dressing)- a must when having a good steak. Yep I can die now and go to heaven ( again!!)  it truly is a 10/10 meal. Cause we are crazy and have discovered gluttony is a wonderful sin- we went on to try the Tiramisu for dessert (sharing one of course- we are not that crazy)...  It was presented beautifully and was good.  Possibly could have been a bit sweeter in the syrupy parts but the mousse-like majority was divine.    Perfect food, wonderful atmosphere and excellence in all things Prego keeps this as my number 1 Italian (well #1 in most categories)  in Auckland.
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    The Grill by Sean Connolly
    Auckland Central

    As a last minute Mothers Day treat we rang and luckily got in. Being part of the Sky Hotel complex parking was straight forward albeit not cheap. The restaurant is dark, alluring and different with an array of delectable meats, cheeses and seafood out in all its glory as you walk in. Try to not stop & look. I came for one thing and one thing alone… the Sunday roast beef and Yorkshire pudding ( for $40).. although I confess there were a lot of other divine sounding dishes I could as easily ordered… but being true to my British upbringing of roast beef & Yorkshire pud every Sunday lunchtime while I grew up on the farm… I stayed true. We started with the Queensland prawns ( some cold (@ $9.50 each) & some hot to share ( $38 for the hot). They kindly gave us extra since they were not as large as they should be. These were superb with a capital Sup The kids had a maccas & cheese ($12) to share & fries cooked in duck fat ($12 I think)… it was plenty after the starters. ( and VERY tasty I might add). My partner had the sirloin which was huge and I the roast. Well I have to admit it was the best roast beef I’ve ever had. A huge slice (or chunk) of rare beef with a blob of Bearnaise and a jus.. roast potatoes and a large carrot. The Yorkshire pudding itself rivaled my Mothers and thats no mean feat!!!! The food superb, the service exemplary, the environment dark, warm and very very comfortable in a fine dining kinda way. PS: I noticed 2 very sexy little booths I am definitely going back to sit in one of those… soon I hope.
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    The Block Cafe
    Blockhouse Bay

    A fab addition to our neighbourhood & what a little gem in Blockhouse Bay. Excellent steak & bernaise sauce for $25.. comes with giant crunchy fries, an egg, vine tomatoe and a little jug of gravy (tasted very similar to the one at JSH). This place is our regular spot for lunch.

Sarah M.'s

Where to eat dessert

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    Milse
    Auckland Central

    What isn’t there to love about a restaurant that’s sole purpose is to get your taste buds fired up after dinner? This is the kind of place that everyone talks about, a place so good that if you haven’t tried it yet you need to make sure it’s the next thing you do. The menu is a little different in the evening but if you head there on a Monday brunch date like I did then I would recommend trying the gelato sticks, perfect for the summer sun.
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    Valentino's Gelato
    Auckland Central

    Gelato is just one of those desserts that I cannot say no to. Oh and if you are thinking dessert is just for after dinner then think again my friend! This is the perfect place to come to on a cute little date night on the waterfront. I’ve had my fair share of gelato and let me tell you, these guys do it best.
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    Café Cezanne
    Ponsonby

    When you think dessert you can’t go past cake. Carrot cake is probably my favourite, especially with cream cheese icing, oh my! Chocolate is good too but sometimes you need to expand your horizons people. This cafe is open late and is a great little place to head out to for a slice or two of cake. The prices are good and the flavour never fails to amaze me. Yum!
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    Late Night Diner
    Ponsonby

    Sometimes dessert is in liquid form and this is when you need a really good chocolate milkshake in your life. Late Night Diner, like the name suggests is open late which means more time to digest your dinner and head out for a liquid dessert. So simply yet so so good!
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    Moustache
    Auckland Central

    Milk and cookies! Yes you heard right, grab a cookie and a hot chocolate and let the dunking begin. Dessert after all is something that brings back childhood memories, why not indulge in a little comforting treat. Such a great concept and always friendly staff.

Rebecca S.'s

Best seafood restaurants

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    Kermadec Ocean Fresh Restaurant
    Viaduct Harbour

    Kermadec is an amazing seafood restaurant with different dining options such as fine dining, tasting room and the bar & brasserie, so there’s something for every taste and budget. Its location in the viaduct overlooking the harbour just adds to the fresh seafood menu.
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    Squid Row Ltd
    Eden Terrace

    Squid Row is quite a hip and happening little place on Symonds Street with great drinks as well as seafood. I love going here in the winter because they’ve always got the heaters cranked! They have a great range of seafood on the menu, like rock oysters and smoked fish pie.
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    Swashbucklers
    Westhaven

    This is a really fun, family-friendly seafood restaurant. It sits amongst all the boats in the harbour near the Auckland bridge and has cool, pirate-inspired décor. They do a stand-out seafood chowder, generous seafood platters and it’s reasonably priced.
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    Hammerheads Seafood Restaurant and Bar
    Orakei

    I would always pass this restaurant on my daily runs, because it’s located along Tamaki Drive looking out over the ocean (and my running route). I was curious about it because it just looked really cool and classy and was always busy. I finally went there with my husband for dinner and we weren’t disappointed. Hammerheads has been in business since 1990 and I’m sure it will stay in business for many years to come. Amazing food with even more amazing views!
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    The Fish Pot Cafe
    Mission Bay

    What would a ‘best seafood’ list be without the perfect fish and chips joint? The Fish Pot Café in Mission Bay is just that. You can dine in, but the restaurant itself is not much to look at. The fish and chips, however, are top notch! I’d recommend grabbing takeaways and heading across the street to enjoy them on the beach. Ahhh, summer.

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