Oh brunch, how we love thee. Not only does it usually involve a sleep-in, but there’s an endless variety of sweet and savoury options, and it’s something that is done damn well in Auckland. It’s all too easy to get over-excited when greeted with the menu to enjoy that double butter brioche with chocolate, ice cream and optional side of a cardiac arrest. All of a sudden that 500m walk there while gossiping in your lycra may be somewhat redundant. Fear not, many of our favourite cafes offer wholesome and nutritious alternatives that definitely don’t skimp on flavour.
Must try: Mango Chia Pudding
This little gem is tucked in an industrial building on New North Road and greets you warmly with its sleek interior and simple, wholesome food. The seasonal, organic menu offers a variety of goodies. Our pick of the b(r)unch? The mango chia pudding is healthy brunch meets indulgent dessert—layers of creamy Raglan coconut yoghurt between layers of that lusciously creamy mango chia pudding. Topped with cacao buckwheat granola for a satisfying crunch, this brunch will have you positively bouncing through the weekend.
Must try: Avo and Tomato on Freedom loaf with kale chips
This was the meal which changed our mind about kale. Yes, once baked and salted they really do make perfect chips, although home attempts have taught that this one is best left to the professionals. We can’t get enough of The Midnight Baker’s nutty gluten-free loafs which are now appearing on menus all over town. And you can’t beat avo on toast. Fact.
Wilder + Hunt
Must try: No Granola Breakfast bowl
A virtuous bowl full of seasonal fruit, honey and coconut yoghurt with your choice of Wilder + Hunt’s granolas. Go one better and pair with one of their Kick Start smoothies. Packed with cacao, almond milk, banana, coconut cream, raw cacao powder, maple syrup, kokako cold brew and fresh coffee beans, this one delivers a serious caffeine hit along with all those good fats. Potentially the best healthy smoothie available in AKL.
Must try: Organic Açai bowl
This unassuming little café in the not-so-cool end of Takapuna serves up nourishing fare with a whole lot of humble Japanese hospitality. The organic acai bowl is a crowd favourite, and showcases the best fruit of the moment. Their pancakes deserve a special mention for giving this classic a healthy makeover. Organic and vegan, this stack of goodness comes with banana and salted caramel and is topped with edible flowers.
Must try: Cacao Maca Granola
Our love affair with Dear Jervois’ cacao maca smoothie began long before the joint became absurdly busy with huge groups of teenage girls. The clientele seems a bit more balanced as of late and the menu has had a facelift. The best bit—our favourite smoothie is now a full-on meal—and deservedly so.
Must try: Buckwheat waffles
When Mondays opened in an ivy-covered shop behind Kingsland shops, Auckland’s healthy foodie community rejoiced. Their signature dish has stuck since and we have every finger and toe crossed that it ain’t going nowhere. These buckwheat, cardamom and cinnamon beauties come topped with coconut yoghurt, balsamic berry chia jam, crushed macadamias and maple syrup—they taste waaay naughtier than they are!
Bird On a Wire
Must try: Chilli Salt Free Range Egg Box
Ain’t no bird in this one but our favourite bird slingers have created a mighty fine brekky here. For just a tenner, grab yourself a pair of chili salt rolled boiled eggs, spinach, avo and a decent dollop of dip. Make for a perfect summer brunch with friends by picking up a few boxes and heading to a favourite picnic spot.
Little Bird Unbakery
Must try: Kimchi pancake
Little Bird has done wonders to prove that nutrition need not get in the way of flavour. The inventive team behind the Unbakery never cease to amaze with their unique creations that taste just as good as they are for your insides. The best of the brunch menu includes a kimchi pancake which will provide you with a serious dose of those all-important probiotics to nourish your gut.
Must try: Deconstructed toast
Matching the sleek interior of the retail store it sits in, The Shelter offers a modern take on toast—made healthy! Try The Midnight Baker's Freedom Loaf topped with smashed avocado, vine tomatoes and a soft boiled egg—the perfect energy boost to get you through a day of Ponsonby shopping!
Must try: Brown rice quinoa porridge.
For those of you who Vinyl’s closure has put a serious downer on your beginning to 2016 can rejoice in the fact that they’ve simply moved down the road and around the corner! They’ve moved in with older brother Ralph and have taken over the daytime feeding gig. For a virtuous brunch, Ralph’s has you covered with their brown rice quinoa porridge with juicy black doris plums.
Want more of Auckland's top eats? Here are 50 Meals You Should Have Eaten If You Live In Auckland
Image credit: Mondays via Facebook