- 14Amazing massage chairs, great service and good prices. They do shellac nails, which will last for a good few weeks without chipping! You get a footspa before you manicure and they have a great selection of nail polish colours and magazines to read!
Lucy & The Powder Room PonsonbyNewmarketCan’t go past this place for a luxurious pampering experience! Beautiful decor, everyone who works there is lovely, they really make a fuss of you. Lat time I went with my Mum and sister and we got a package deal that included an eyebrow tidy, a manicure and a glass of bubbles! Amazing!
Servilles PonsonbyPonsonbySo far, this is the only hairdressers I have found in Auckland that I can really rely on. Multiple times I have just gone with whoever was available to cut my hair there and they have always done a great job. Couldn’t recommend them more highly!
Skindeep Face & Body StudioBrowns BayGreat little salon with lots of options of what you can get done. I have had waxing, facials, eyelash/brow shaping+tinting and spray tan from here and everything has been great. Madeline always remembers me and I love that personal touch. Excellent beauty salon!
Bella FemmeBrowns BayGreat place for getting high quality cosmetics. I buy my Environ products from here. They also stock Medik8 and a few other niche brands. They offer great advice about what to use too!
Rakinos Cafe & BarAuckland CentralAlways a reliable place for a boogy on the weekend. Open late, with generally DJ’s spinning hip-hop, funk, soul, reggae and dub. Prices are reasonable. Dancefloor gets started generally a little late (midnight), so can be a good place to chill for the first part of the night, then dance til late!
Cassette NineAuckland CentralGreat retro decor, good cocktails served in an original way (teapots!), good music and often great live performances here too!
GalatosAuckland CentralWith lots of live acts coming through Auckland, Galatos is really upping their game! The refurbishments over the past few years have made it into a fantastic live venue. The bar staff are polite and quick and the door staff are friendly, which actually means a lot to me! I hate feeling harassed from the moment I get to a bar. These guys are really friendly and only get serious if they need to. Tickets are generally pretty affordable too. The little bar upstairs serves as a welcome breather from the large dance floor downstairs too.
Golden DawnPonsonbyConstantly new acts coming through here. Always an active dancefloor and often they have live music being performed on the weekends. Lots of atmosphere!
The Portland Public HouseAuckland CentralGreat venue for live music. I had a great dance there last weekend when I went to see Randa perform. He was siiiick! And had a good groove to the tunes they played afterwards too!
Bian Sushi & DonburiNewtonPerfect for quick delicious takeaway sushi! The avocado sushi and the inori (pictured) are my favourites! Scrummy! They also do really good miso soup, which you can get in a takeaway cup. There is often a line out the door at this place at the peak of weekday lunchtimes, but you get through the line pretty quickly and the queue is there for a reason. As Auckland becomes more and more riddled with sushi joints, we have such a selection! And the people have spoken, in the form of lining up out the door for great, fresh, authentic and contemporary sushi!
Ponsonby International FoodcourtPonsonbyGreat selection of pre-packaged sushi, conveniently located on Ponsonby Road and good prices.
St Pierre's Sushi DowntownAuckland CentralA long time favourite sushi spot of mine. They do a great vegetarian selection with plenty of avocado! Delish! Well priced for such good fresh sushi too.
Yaruki Japanese Restaurant - Browns BayBrowns BayThis is a lovely restaurant to go to for a beautiful sit-down meal of sushi, or many other Japanese dishes for that matter. Authentic recipes, really friendly staff. The do take-away too and the food is beautiful!
Fusion SushiAuckland CentralThis is the best place for vegetarians to go for sushi! They have sooooo many options! More than I have seen anywhere else. Sushi with tempura vegetables, sushi with teriyaki tofu, with vegetables, with egg, with avocado….. Plus all the classics. Great miso soup too! :D
Sui Yuan BBQ Steamboat RestaurantMount AlbertTucked inside this big red barn type warehouse is in fact a world of Asian delights, also some delights a little toooo authentic for my sensibilities (quivers at the thought of chicken kneecaps and bone marrow yegh)!! Amongst them, delicious and amazingly cheap steam buns. They are $1 each! I recommend the tofu buns. Dip them in plenty of soy sauce!
- 227If I want a whole load of healthy nutrients, lots of tasty food and I don’t have much money to spend on it, this is my number one place to go! The $6 lunch is the best, you get a little bit of everything, including dessert!!
Ponsonby International FoodcourtPonsonbyLots of options, all of them tasty and cheap, my favourites being the Thai and the Japanese place. The Japanese one does a good bento box and a really yummy Tofu Don Buri too! Pretty much everything is under $10!
Canton CafeKingslandGreat if you have a large group, as they can serve a lot of people at once, seriously!! They have lovely big communal round tables and do amazing cheap Chinese food! Win!
Dumpling DelightAuckland CentralDon’t be misled by the pokey grey interior of this inner city dumpling spot, there is a good reason anything this shabby-looking has managed to maintain a place in one of the CBD’s highest value real estate streets! This little gem does exactly what it says it does and it does it well! Dumplings dumplings dumplings. So cheap! So tasty! Great vege options. I recommend dipping them in soy sauce, vinegar and chilli oil, but these dumplings are actually totally tasty even if you have nothing to dip them in. Yums!
Event Cinemas Queen StreetAuckland CentralStill my favourite cinema to see big films in the city. Nice big screens and the imax cinema is especially cool for really visual films. Lots of screens means lots of options of what to see at all times of day. Good foodcourt downstairs and there is now a bar too!
Rialto Cinema NewmarketNewmarketI love the selection of films they show at Rialto. If you are into arthouse and world cinema, you can pretty much go see any film at Rialto and see something good! It is a cute cinema, a bit poky and cosy, but with character! Best movie selection in Auckland I’d say!
Waiheke Community CinemaOneroaNow this is a cinema with a difference! Filled with a ramshackle collection of old sofas and armchairs, it has real character. Very chilled vibe, as you’d expect on Waiheke! And they have a great selection of films, including blockbusters, arthouse films, documentaries and short films too! Love it.
Event Cinemas AlbanyAlbanyThis is such a lovely cinema. It is huge, there are loads of cinema screens and each screen is massive! Having lots of screens means there are loads of options of what movies you can see at any one time, as well as lots of options of screening times for any given film. The big screens really make the movie-going-experience. If you book online, you can pre-order any treats and snacks to just pick up the lot together with your tickets. It is also part of the Westfield Mall complex, so you can buy anything from the supermarket, the food court or any of the bars and restaurants that line the mall. I just went and saw the new Star Trek film there and it was AWESOME!
Academy CinemaAuckland CentralAn odd, poky wee cinema, that is dedicated to showing more obscure films, which I love about it! Tends to screen these types of films for longer than some of Auckland’s other arthouse cinemas too.
The Portland Public HouseAuckland CentralEdgy, trendy and a little bit grimy! In the best sense. ;P Love the rustic decor in this bar, so many great live music acts and a good range of tap beers and cider.
SnapdragonViaduct HarbourThis bar has THE BEST nibbles! Delicious options for sharing, fresh ingredients and creative combos. The interior is really well curated, with a big cool wall panel of vinyl records and a big book shelf (which revolves!!) - very cool. Plus a beautiful view of the yachts if you sit on the balcony.
TSG - Tyler Street GarageAuckland CentralGreat aesthetic here with exposed brick walls, wood, steel and high ceilings, giving this bar a cool and inviting feel. Drinks are reasonable and if you ask me, the best seats in the house are the big booths on the balcony upstairs, which also looks over to the boats coming into the harbour.
Golden DawnPonsonbyIn my opinion, this bar is best during the week these days. They have a lot of very talented cocktail bartenders. Rita has made me some beautiful drinks there. Lovely big covered outdoor seating area with tiki bar, a lot of great live music acts if you’re in the mood and it actually has a fantastic menu too. The bar snacks are amazing.
The Wine CellarNewtonThe environment in this prohibition style basement bar is great. It has a raw and trendy feel to it as soon as you step inside. The main bar has a stark and industrial base, plastered with quirky posters for gigs and bands. Tattoos seem to be a requisite of employment, as does a friendly, but les et faire attitude to service. The performance area is what makes this place though… Odd mis-matched couches, scuffed old Persian rugs and vintage lampshades create an ambience that’s comfy and a little grimy - In the best sense of the word. I saw Randa perform here for 95bFM bStreet and she was amazing. So talented and cool and weird. They support a lot of emerging artists, so you’re bound to see something interesting here. Entry is cheap to free and drinks are reasonable. Great for a night out on the weekend or just for a drink and a catch up on weekdays/early on weekends. Pull up a couch!