Auckland life can be thirsty work. Thankfully, when it comes to all things bar and booze-related, Auckland sure is a gift that keeps on giving. From rooftop terraces to lavish lounges and everything in between, our city is dotted with places to unwind in style or party until the sun comes up.
Sip your way through this round up of the best bars in Auckland, and let the good times roll.
Indulging in good vibes, great company and, of course, delicious drinks is made easy at 46&York. A popular watering hole among the Parnell locals and passers-by, this casual yet chic spot spoils for choice with its premium range of wine, beers and cocktails. In the sunny seasons, their outdoor area and small courtyard provide the perfect place to polish off your sangria jugs. Come cooler months, you can cosy up in style around their fireplace and indulge in a glass of mulled wine or two.
The Glass Goose
A favourite spot among inner city revellers and after-work drinkers alike, the Glass Goose is undoubtedly one of the best bars in Auckland. Perch yourself on this rooftop bar and you’ll be treated to views of the Sky Tower overhead, as well as the bustle of the city streets below. Swing by at the right time, and there’s a chance you’ll catch one of their uber-cool, themed pop ups.
This Ponsonby gem is the answer to every Vodka lover’s prayers. Here you’ll find an impressive selection of this iconic Russian drop—as well as a ‘press for vodka’ button to summon them from. Vodka Room also boasts two themed karaoke rooms, a Russian-inspired food menu and some seriously plush décor to enjoy it all in.
Dr Rudi’s Rooftop Brewing Co.
There’s a lot to love about local legend Dr. Rudi’s. Two bowling alleys, an on-site brewery, and killer views across the harbour make it a no-brainer that this hotspot is one of the very best bars in Auckland. With their house-brewed beer and kombucha on tap, as well as a bunch of other yummy drops, it’s impossible to go home thirsty or bored from this buzzing bar.
Speaking of bars with fun gizmos and gadgets, we sure do owe Holey Moley a spot on this list of the best bars in Auckland. This part-mini-golf, part-bar playground of fun is a welcome addition to Auckland Viaduct’s bar scene. With 27 themed holes and cocktails named Sugar Caddy, Putta Colada, and Waiheke Island Iced Tea to help you putt through, expect your visit here to be a whole lot of fun.
Tucked away from the hustle and bustle of Auckland’s CBD, you’ll find a hidden whiskey wonderland known as The J. With row after row of glistening, golden bottles of whiskey lining their bar shelves (we’re talking more than 600 different kinds) as well as a full classic bar, this place is a must visit for whiskey lovers or for those wanting to acquaint themselves with the drink.
Scarlett Slimms & Lucky
A crowd favourite among the locals, there’s a lot to love about this Mt Eden bar. Unwind in their sun-filled, street front courtyard as you sip your way through Scarlett Slimms & Lucky's impressive gin & tonic and beer lists. There’s also a sweet selection of mouth-watering platters and bar bites to indulge in. Of course, no visit to Scarlett is complete without treating yourself to their show-stopping–and highly Instagrammable—Bloody Mary cocktail.
If you like your drinks served up in a bustling setting with a dose of good vibes on the side, look no further than HeadQuarters. One of the best bars in Auckland for all your tippling needs, a visit here can take you from leisurely after work drink right through the wild hours of the night. Whether you nab a spot outside to soak up the sun or cut shapes on the dance floor, you’re in for a right banger of a time here.
The Parasol & Swing Company
An absolute paradise awaits inner-city adventurers in the form of Parasol and Swing. Venturing up a flight of stairs just off the viaduct promenade will have you transported into this tropically rustic wonderland, complete with eclectic and exotic artefacts and a canopy of bright parasols overhead. The dreaminess of this Auckland bar doesn’t stop there, however. The rooftop terrace boasts unreal views across the harbour, and the impressive cocktail list features some of the best and (and most beautiful) blends in Auckland.
Suburban gem Citizen Park is your answer to a stellar night out in Auckland’s Kingsland. Behind a barred iron fence and under a canopy of festive lights lies this courtyard of all things fun and fabulous. Here you’ll be able to sip away at everything from their boozy slushies and cocktail jugs, right through to a good ol’ pint.
For a bar that’s got it all, look no further than Longroom. Casual-chic café by day, popping bar by night, this Ponsonby hotspot is a local favourite for good reason. With a menu packed full of delicious drinks and bar bites, Longroom is the perfect place to hit up for after-work drinks, big nights on the town and Sunday sessions. Keep an eye out for their happy hour deals too—drinks and deals too delicious to resist await you.
One of the best bars in Auckland, and certainly the most lavish of them all, is Bellini. Poised at the point of Princes’ Wharf at the head of the Hilton hotel, this bar’s fully windowed wall reveals magnificent views of the harbour. A visit here will treat you to live music on Friday and Saturday nights, exquisite beers and wines and the most extensive cocktail list to ever exist. What’s better? Their mixologists host onsite cocktail classes so you can recreate the magic of this bar at home.
Known for their endless good vibes, great bevvies, food and beats it's no wonder Flight 605 is a favourite. Decked out with nods to the golden age of aviation, you'll find actual airline seats and plane graphics throughout. Whether you're making your way through their stellar line up of craft beers at the bar or feasting on loaded fries in the courtyard, there's a little something for everyone at this local legend.
A firm favourite among Ponsonby dwellers, this local watering hole is on the fast track to reaching institution status in the area. Home to plenty of seasonal specials, a stellar list of your favourite drinks, and delicious selection of gourmet pizzas—among other bites— you’ll find all the makings of a good time. Pair that with the vibrant atmosphere, excellent music and the sweet décor and you can bet your time with Mr Toms will be a good one.
New kid on the block Saint Alice is another jewel in Auckland’s bar and nightlife crown. Perched three floors up above the waterfront, this chic yet casual bar will treat you to a drinks list full of local beer, wine, bubbles as well as some snazzy signature cocktails. Pair these lovely tipples with their fresh seafood dishes and their dazzling harbour views and both you (and your belly) are in for a heavenly time.
From the team behind Caretaker, Deadshot is one of Auckland's best-kept secrets. Tucked away on Ponsonby Road, it boasts a dark and moody atmosphere with Edwardian furnishings. With more than 1recipespies and an expert team of bartenders you're sure to discover your next favourite cocktail creation. Undoubtedly enchanting, Deadshot is a must-visit.
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Image credit: Jaiden Bhaga, Andrew Wilson, Lauren Matilda Matthews