Come Dine With Us At These New Culinary Destinations

Each season, Auckland turns it up with fresh new spots for us to drink and dine. This new crop of recruits to the culinary circuit sees the opening of a regal rooftop bar 21 floors in the sky, a reimagined new spot in one of Ponsonby Road's most iconic venues; a nautical-inspired harbourside delight anchored on Westhaven Marina, as well as the pivot of a K Rd classic turned pizza and wine bar by a clever, restaurateur power couple.

Image credit: Jake Dennis

A Royal Affiar

The newest and most regal member of the Auckland City skyline is a welcomed addition to our ever-evolving selection of rooftop establishments. Perched 21 floors above the ground and housed in quite possibly the best slice of downtown real estate sits Queens Rooftop & Wine Shop, or simply, ‘Queens.’ What’s intriguing about this new hot spot is the entrance. When you enter the ground-level wineshop you are greeted by towering shelves of the best local and international wines. Keep walking through to the storeroom and you will find a private elevator waiting to take you to the rooftop. There you will find 270-degree views of the stunning Waitematā Harbour and the glistening lights of downtown Auckland, far out to the Coromandel Coast and West to the Waitakere Ranges. Of course, no establishment like this would be complete without an equally impressive menu - and that it is. Head Chef, Maia Atvars (Hotel Ponsonby & Saint Alice) has created a contemporary European menu to accompany this royal new opening, alongside an impressive bar menu of creative cocktails, local craft beer and wine. What more could you ask for?


Put A Record On

Meet Ponsonby Road’s newest recruit, Nami Record Bar. Taking the place of the beloved Conch (R.I.P) Nami has already gained popularity amongst Auckland’s millennial + crowd. With lines out the door every Friday and Saturday night and paying homage to record bars of the 80s, Nami’s modern but nostalgic interior just screams cool. But of course it does, seeing as it’s the third sibling to Okhee and Swings - both equally cool in their own rights. Not quite a nightclub and not quite a restaurant, but fusing elements of each to create the perfect bar atmosphere, Nami’s drinks list and music lineup do not disappoint. Cocktails, craft beer on tap and natural wines delight, while soulful tunes played by resident DJs Frank Booker and Sam Harmony allow patrons to dance the night away (or until 1 am). The Korean-inspired menu, created by Lisa Lee is the perfect accompaniment to this epic new spot, featuring snacks like the pork croquettes, wasabi mayo prawns and the deep-fried corn off the cob to tickle the taste buds.


Image credit: Kayle Lawson

Nautical Nuance

Despite the wider New Zealand perception of us Aucklanders, we’re a pretty easy-to-please bunch. Chuck us on a comfy couch, harbourside on a sunny afternoon with a selection of seafood and a bevvy or two and we’re happy as Larry. So naturally, when we heard about this nautical new opening - we had to give it a try. First Mates, Last Laugh is Westhaven Marina’s newest dining delight. Warm and welcoming, it’s the perfect place to park up after a stroll around the boats. At the helm of the kitchen is Executive Chef Cezar Takahashi, who fuses Japanese, Brazilian, South American and classic Kiwi dishes to create a menu that is perfectly aligned with the destination. Dishes such as the Hiramasa Kingfish Ceviche and the Tuna Sashimi Taquitos were a stand out for us. Washed down with cold tap beer - you’ve got yourself the perfect Auckland afternoon.


 New Haven To New Zealand

With an impressive lineup of eateries under their belt, local restaurateur couple, Nick Landsman and Emma Ogilvie just get it. You might know this duo from East Street Hall and Gloria’s, as well as their first culinary endeavour, Céleste. No strangers to a pivot, having navigated initiatives during Covid to keep their establishment running, now felt like the perfect time for a change. It’s the same venue and the same fit-out but with a new name and a new menu. Pizzeria Céleste was born out of Nick's love of a good homestyle pizza. Inspired by the crispy New Haven style, imagine a gnarly crust with a caramelized base, boasting the complexity of a longer cook. Yet the pizza itself is remarkably light. There’s nothing quite like the comfort of good food and good company, and Nick and Emma do this exceptionally well. Accompanying this epic pizza menu is something the couple also knows very well - organic wines, the perfect pairing if you ask us. You can expect to see this pop-up vibing right the way through winter and perhaps beyond, Tuesday to Saturday from 5 pm til late. We’ll see you there.