The Fish Pot CafeMission BayGetting fish and chips and hanging out at Mission Bay is one of the must do activities in Auckland. The Fish Pot Cafe is the best place to purchase the edible part of the equation. Although slightly more expensive than your usual ‘in the burbs’ takeaway store it is always fresh and the menu extensive. Sidenote: experience best enjoyed with sun and companions.
Santos CafePonsonbySantos can hold down the coffees. In fact I’ve never had a bad coffee there, perfect extraction and silky milk. I hadn’t ever eaten there before though so I figured it was about time to give the menu the once over. I opted for the haloumi salad which was delicious. I’m a big fan of the salty fried cheese and this was cooked to perfection. The light meal was just what I was after. I’m looking forward to exploring the rest of the menu to see what other delights I can discover.
Savour & DevourGrey LynnSavour and Devour is the perfect spot to go to when hungover. The service is friendly, the food large and the coffee hot. We sat in the courtyard, nursed our sore heads and chatted away the morning. I had the salmon hash which was great and was just what I needed.
Café CezannePonsonbyAfter a big night out, like most people I guess, my body craves something a little bit greasy, large and filling. The nachos ($16) at Cafe Cezanne, pictured here, can be found on the lunch and dinner menu (generally if I’m nursing a sore head I’ll stay in bed as long as possible). The nachos, which are only challenged by those found at The Cavalier, are piled high with toppings, cheese and sour cream. The service is friendly and the coffee’s great. If you’re in the mood for something sweet, which I usually am, they also do an amazing selection of desserts and sweet treats. Just what the doctor ordered.
The Fridge CafeKingslandAside from perhaps the butter chicken pie from Mobil On the Run gas stations, The Fridge has hands down the best pies in Auckland. It’s a great spot to grab a pastry pocket of goodness and a coffee. My personal favourites are the mince, potatoe and cheese pie and the Morrocan lamb pies. The cabinet food is also great and the staff quirky. Don’t be flaky, get amongst.
Barilla DumplingsBalmoralIf you’re in the zone for dumplings then it’s common knowledge Dominion Rd is the place to head. Barilla is my favourite of the dumpling houses on the road (although the rest are great). The bright lime green interiors and menus in plastic folders scream no frills but the food is cheap, cheerfull and delicious. I recommend delving into the eggplant, the crispy beans, the fried squid and whichever dumplings grab your fancy! Top night out.
No. 1 DumplingAuckland CentralI’m a sucker for a good steamed dumpling. When dipped in soy and chilli the slippery, meat filled parcels of flavour are a treat to the pallete. Genera only I’m a stickler for dumplings on Dominion Rd but we stumbled across No. 1 Dumpling at lunch time and decided to give it a hoon. I ordered a plate of ten pork, prawn and chive dumplings which set me back $7.50 and they were right up my alley. The texture and flavours were spot on and the service was great.
Waiwera Thermal Resort & SpaWaiweraThe last time that I visited Waiwera was on a school trip and I got a blood nose from the black hole. Regardless it was a good time. Since then Waiwera has been through a little bit of a transformation. Over the years it has morphed into more of a health spa. For OSH reasons only two of the slides remain. It may have lost a bit of the fun factor but as an adult it's still a relaxing day away from the big smoke.
The Britomart Country ClubAuckland CentralApparently the Britomart Country Club is the largest courtyard bar in New Zealand. The light bar meals, gourmet pizza and extensive drinks menu mean a lot more than this fact though. The container ringed space, complete with a putting green and petanque court, is a great place to share food and conversation. This city oasis is well worth a look!
Brothers BeerAuckland CentralBrother Beer is a relatively new addition to the Shed 5 revamp. Located just around the corner from Ugly Bagel it is a ramshackle bar specialising in craft beers. We sampled a red ale and a Yeastie Boys wheat beer. Both were tasty and the accompanying toastie was also a good time. Definitely worth checking out!
Auckland Art GalleryAuckland CentralThe Auckland Art Gallery is a world class space with a truly enchanting collection. I’m a big fan of the Ralph Hotare work that the gallery houses. It was renovated around two years ago and it has recieved quite a bit of attention for it’s suberb architecture. The cafe is also worth stopping in to if you’re looking for a coffee or some tasty food.
Smith & Caughey'sAuckland CentralAs a 24 year old male buying homeware isn’t on the top of my priority list. I'm pretty happy to use my parents tired outcasts but that's not to say that I can't appreciate a well crafted whisk or a Bodum coffee machine. When the turning point comes and homeware becomes a priority in my life Smith and Caughey's will be one the stores I will shop. The upmarket department store has pretty much a whole floor dedicated to kitchenware, appliances and linen. They stock quality brands and it can get a bit pricey. At the end of the day though you get what you pay for what you get so sometimes it's better to spend a little more.
Clip 'n' ClimbMount EdenHave you ever seen an overweight climber? I haven’t and there’s a reason for that. Climbing is a great way to build your back, biceps and it works your core like crazy. To top it off scaling a cliff side with little more than your own two hands is pretty dam manly. Clip’n’Climb is perhaps Auckland’s premier climbing facility. It is like a theme park for climbers, the walls are all themed and enticing. The auto belay system also has to be mentioned as this makes the whole activity easier! Step up and give it a go.