It’s hard to resist the pull of a beachside ‘burb. With views of mighty Rangitoto, great restaurants and laidback vibes, Mission Bay is one of those areas in Auckland that doesn’t feel like Auckland. It’s the best urban beach escape a city could ask for.
Here are our picks of everything you should be eating, drinking and doing in Mission Bay.
Hola, Amigos! Mexican in Mission Bay can be found at Dos Amigos. Smash a bowl of gauc or nachos before tackling baj fish tacos, burritos or chimichangas. There’s craft Mexican beer to try and margarita jugs for sharing (emphasis on the sharing). No one wants a Mexican Taxi Ride turning into actual taxi time. No trip to a Mexican restaurant is done and dusted without cinnamon and sugar-coated churros—you’ll want one of those for yourself.
Pizza, pasta and everything in between is what you’ll find at Italian restaurant, Andrea. Get a taste of the sea with crispy calamari, or go full carb-o mode via a bowl of traditional carbonara. If you’re hitting up Mission Bay with your crew, Andrea’s grande pizza is a must. These 19 inch pizzas can feed up to five people and split into two toppings—the Andrea (sundried tomatoes, ricotta, onion, avo and olive) and Cheese Party (yep, a four cheese party) are our faves.
Are you in Bangkok or Mission Bay? You won’t be able to tell when dining at Ruan Thai. From the friendly welcome to the traditional décor and bold Thai flavours, this restaurant promises an authentic Thai dining experience. There’s noodly pad see ew, warming panang curry plus a chilli lover station with evil jungle prince and gai pa pa pa—their hottest chicken red curry. Be warned though, it will tickle your tongue.
As Mission Bay’s biggest rooftop bar, Rickshaw Eddy’s knows how to put on a good time. There are comfy armchairs to relax in or soak up the sun on the deck. Food wise, you’ll find your pub grub favourites alongside Asian-inspired goodies. There’s dumplings, karaage maple chicken and oriental duck salad as well as hearty burgers, flatbreads and pizzas. The five-spiced pork with sweet potato, cress and curried mango is a zingy in all the right ways.
De Fontein Belgian Beer Café
For brews, food and views, this Belgian Beer Café is the ticket. Situated in the heart of Mission Bay (and in its baby pink glory), this pub serves the likes of seafood platters, steamed mussels, fish’n’chips alongside refreshing tipples. Promise us you’ll save room for their Belgian Waffles.
Soak Up The Rays
Mission Bay’s beach is the perfect place to waste a few hours on the weekend. Find a shaded spot on the grass to read, challenge someone to kicks or simply take in the view of Rangitoto. Whatever you do, remember to slip, slip and slap. Our Kiwi sun is fierce.
Get Your Skates On
You know those people you see elegantly skate down Tamaki Drive? You (yes you) can be one of those people. The silky smooth footpath along the drive is ideal for rollerblading newbies and you’ll have a stunning view to take in while you’re at it! Sounds like a top-notch arvo to us.
Splash Around In The Fountain
The Mission Bay fountain stands tall and proud, and is all too tempting to take a dip in during the warmer months. This iconic landmark was erected in 1950 and often shoots water as high as 12 metres in the air!
Take To The Water
With beach, comes water and Mission Bay is as good a place as any to give paddle boarding or kayaking a crack. Lock in a lesson with Mission Bay Watersports and you’ll soon be paddling like a pro. If that’s not enough, they also have fitness sessions available, so you can tone that bod right on the water.
Catch A Flick
Unlike most cinemas in Auckland, Berkeley merges the hottest, latest film with cosy Art Deco style. Grab the obligatory tub of popcorn and sit back to watch a blockbuster or slightly under-the-radar film.
Master The Pasta
Can’t get enough of Andrea’s pasta? Learn how to make it at home in one of their cooking classes. You’ll be taught how to make fettuccini, tortellini, gnocchi and ravioli as well as the restaurant’s traditional tiramisu. And, you get to devour is all afterwards!
Looking for another rad suburb to visit? Here’s our Pick Of The Precinct | Parnell.
Image credit: Andrew Wilson, Emma Shrubb & Dos Amigos