A cold drink seems extra-refreshing when you partake with a view of the sea. But for a seaside city, it can be strangely hard to find bars in Auckland that combine a good drinks menu with a damn fine view. We’ve gone to the locals to find some secret (and not-so-secret) drinking spots to rest your eyes and soothe your soul.
So you want a refreshing beverage by the water? It doesn’t get any better than Cafe Sandspit. Comfort food, a classic Kiwi wine and beer list, pure peace and quiet – a no frills cafe, just the simple things done well. Let’s be honest, everyone feels at peace next to the ocean, so why spoil it with too much ‘city’ atmosphere?! The combination of the location and scenery easily earns this cafe its top ranking, just head to the gallery on their website for jaw-dropping proof. Note: Cafe Sandspit is pretty tiny so book ahead. And don’t ask for an espresso martini, it’s not that kind of place!
It’s never a long time between drinks for me when it comes to my love affair with this gem of a tavern. The last time I was here was for a family birthday and we drove by car. But because it is situated right on the water’s edge and in order to get the full experience of a great Kiwi day out, you need to jump on a boat and head up the inlet to the moorings outside The Riverhead. As New Zealand’s oldest riverside tavern, it’s steeped in history. But when it comes to the menu and craft brews, this place is as modern as it gets. A gastro-pub on steroids, each dish bursts with fresh, seasonal flavours and local produce and meat cuts are at the forefront. Plus, as a regular, I love the fact that new dishes are added often. Their dessert is also an absolute must and I recommend that everyone at the table orders something different so you can enjoy a real taste test. I’m not sure anywhere else in Auckland does such a lip-smackingly-good, sweet finish to end what always is the perfect pub meal. Plus the cold tap beer slides down so nicely on a hot summer’s day that it’s worth taking a sober skipper so you can have a rollicking good country day out. If you’re an Aucklander and haven’t experienced The Riverhead yet then you haven’t lived. It really is that good.
TSG – Tyler Street Garage
Tyler Street Garage has arguably the best rooftop terrace in the central city. Small but perfectly formed, with lots of cushy seating, a handy bar and stunning views over the docks. Love coming here on sunny afternoons for a slice of pizza and a crisp glass of white.
Everyone is talking about Ostro! An outstanding seafood bar, delicious entrees and particularly tasty sea views. I am presently trying to convince my beau to buy me the seafood platter for our two year anniversary… He doesn’t have to help me eat it….
The Jack Tar’s outside seating on North Wharf would have to be some of the most desirable on a sunny day in the city. The place is busy enough to give it a ‘place to be’ vibe, but not so hectic that it makes your seaside/wharf beverage sipping session unenjoyable. All the classics are on tap with a few very nice Australian beers to mix things up. The food here is great too – I would call it…’comfort food with flair’…very delicious.
Deep Creek Brewing Company
This place has the perfect combo – good food (amazing ribs!), tasty beers, friendly staff and overall a great atmosphere. If you want to sit in the sun with a beer, overlooking the beach, you can. If you want a raucous night out with mates, no problem. If you want to sit down for a nice meal with the family, all good.
Harbourside Ocean Bar Grill
The Harbourside in the ferry building downtown has an amazing deck looking out over the harbour. If you’re not a fan of the hustle and bustle of central city life then this one might not be for you, but once you get on that deck with a beverage in your hand I can guarantee everything will be A-O.K.! It’s surprisingly relaxing watching Auckland’s commuters doing their thing as you do exactly the opposite. If you’re a seafood lover, then prepare your tastebuds for an experience too.
This is one of my favorite pubs in the city. I love the friendly, relaxed vibe this place serves up along with great drinks, crazy interesting decor and a view of the cruise ships in port . Perfect spot to sit and chill with friends…… and don’t forget to look up