Aucklanders rejoice! Your favourite venues have spent months either closed, serving stripped-back takeaway-only menus or catering to picnics. Set to re-open this Friday, it's time to get out there and support them. Rally the crew and toast to the start of summer over a long lunch - but you best hurry as many high-profile venues are rapidly filling. If you miss out on a peak timeslot, consider a midweek lunch or set the tone for the week with a Monday night dinner. Happy dining Auckland, you deserve it!
Soul Bar & Bistro
Soul is an enigma in the best way possible. Unquestionably one of Auckland’s most revered restaurants, Soul never disappoints. Always reliable and always abuzz, Soul's harbour backdrop, stellar service and refined menu make it one of the city's most popular restaurants for party season. Relish in the classics like the salt and pepper squid or the macaroni cheese, paired with a pornstar martini, and you're in for a helluva good time.
From stunning panoramic views to drool-worthy banquet dining options, Harbourside really is easy on the eyes. Renowned for top-tier seafood (literally elevated on tiers), it's the perfect base to ring in the start of summer and brighter days ahead. Whether it's celebrating a special occasion, a missed milestone or you're just making up for lost time, Harbourside ticks all the boxes.
The Blue Breeze Inn
It’s a fact: rain or shine, Blue Breeze Inn is a guaranteed good time. While the food is consistently top notch, arguably its the lively ambience that keeps patrons coming back time and time again. Vibrant cocktails, the buzz of Ponsonby Road and the effervescent Leighroy manning the floor, it's easy to see why it fills up so fast come festive season.
Stroll along to SPQR to enjoy the hustle and bustle of the Ponsonby strip - the perfect way to step back into society after a longer than expected social hiatus. If you want to be seen, perch on one of the outdoor tables for maximum visibility, while gazing upon passers-by and avid shoppers. Kickstart the festivities with their iconic espresso martini and graze away all afternoon while basking in the sun.
Following three months’ closure, an Auckland icon reopens its doors with a new vision. FISH Restaurant by Hilton Auckland is paying homage to its name and location with a hybrid casual-fine dining experience like no other. Boasting panoramic views of the Waitematā Harbour, FISH is arguably one of Auckland’s most sought-after spots for sunset. With a new multi-award winning culinary director at its helm, Des Harris, FISH is being taken to new heights (literally), and it’s set to be one of summer’s most talked about comebacks.
Located in Herne Bay, a stone’s throw away from the nightlife of Ponsonby, Andiamo is the perfect base to kick-off a day of festivity. Better yet, if you’re lucky enough to score a table outside at the buzzing corner eatery, hunker in for the evening. Whatever time, whoever you’re with, Andiamo promises to be the makings of a good summer. The award-winning restaurant is all about fresh, seasonal produce, most of which is plucked locally or sourced from authentic artisan suppliers. Traversing a gamut of palates - from light and fresh to comforting and hearty - no matter your party size, Andiamo delights the tastes of all.
White & Wong’s
Summer and White & Wongs are a match made in heaven. Lots of private nooks for large groups, comfortable leather chairs and floor-to-ceiling windows, allowing you to soak in the view with a cocktail or two. With dishes like their master stock fried pork hock, which offers sweet and savoury in a perfect balance of tamarind & chilli caramel, there’s no better place to wine and dine this summer. Then, kick on after lunch to the buzz of Sardine bar, conveniently located next door.
The weather is getting hot and so is the grill at Jervois Steakhouse. With the best steak in town just a few weeks away from hitting our taste buds, Jervois Steakhouse is at the top of our must-visit list this December and for good reason. Offering veritable premium cuts of meat, as well as fresh seafood, there’s no shortage of options for your meat fix. Remix recommends choosing the Wagyu Sirloin signature cut steak or the free-range chicken breast for an authentic taste of Jervois.
A welcome addition to Auckland’s vibrant food scene, Bardello is a contemporary open-air space boasting a sun-drenched patio overlooking the Waitematā Harbour. An incredible combination of diverse flavours perfectly reflect the unified culinary traditions of the Mediterranean. The newcomer encourages the ritual of sharing with an all-encompassing tapas menu inspired by Mediterranean specialties like seafood, cheese and cured meats.
Regatta Bar & Eatery is your slice of Ibiza on Auckland's North Shore. Dial in for a midday bite or evening get-together in the seaside cabanas, accompanied by premium beer, good wine and fresher than fresh seafood. Overlooking the water, it’s the inarguably the best place on the shore to soak up sunshine and good times.
Opened in 1986, Prego is one of Auckland's best longstanding eateries. Diners can choose to sit in the sought-after, sun-drenched courtyard, at the bar or at their bistro-style tables. Serving up classics like the famed Prego Pie, the menu also explores adventurous flavours such as parfait d’anatra (duck liver parfait, Armagnac prunes, beetroot and red onion relish, fig and fennel sourdough). Is there anywhere more befitting to celebrate the end of the working year? Thank us later...or shall we say, ‘prego!’?
One of Ponsonby’s most historic pubs has undergone a ‘facelift’ just in time for summer’s festivities. With over 150 years of service, it has seen many faces and changes in its impressive lifetime and this glow-up is perhaps its most inviting yet. Now more than ever, the outdoor area is the perfect backdrop for a memorable afternoon. The hero space has been fitted out with brand new floor to ceiling windows, tiled floors, banquet seating, and scandi-style canopies, giving the space a European-inspired flair that will instantly transport you to the Mediterranean coastline. Bonus that it's also now covered making it the perfect all-weather arvo base.