Imagine if Auckland had a quaint little courtyard in the heart of the bustling CBD. Somewhere where you could enjoy a meal (or simply just a quiet coffee) while you escape the hustle and bustle. Well, imagine no more—this place already exists. Allow us to introduce you to Britomart’s Ortolana.
Often cited as one of Auckland’s top restaurants, Ortolana is a haven like no other. The contemporary bistro showcases a European-inspired menu that will satisfy your taste buds morning, noon and night.
The inner-city gem is part of Hip Group’s fleet of mouth-watering eateries (they’re behind the likes of Amano, Takapuna Beach Café and Rosie). Ortolana embraces a farm-to-table philosophy with produce coming straight from their Kumeu farm. Ortolana means “market gardener” in Italian—how very appropriate.
The venue itself is nothing short of stunning. Inside, there’s an arched wooden ceiling showcasing glass pendant lights resembling bubbles. In front and centre, there’s a wooden shared table running the length of the interior. You’ll also find exposed brick walls, cushioned seating and a whole lot of urban-meets-country vibes.
Alternatively, choose to dine al fresco in the sun-filled conservatory. Visit for dinner and twinkling fairy lights hang from above—how very romantic! And, if things get chilly, there are outdoor heaters and blankets to keep you warm.
The all-day menu changes on the regular depending on what’s in season. The majority of their fruit, veges and herbs come from their farm, while the meat is locally sourced.
Visit for brekkie and choose between granola, garlic mushrooms and a not-to-be-missed big breakfast with delicately folded egg, pork sausage and shiitake. For something more Italian-esque, Ortolana’s signature piadina flat bread has your name written all over it.
Lunch and/or dinner is all about kingfish crudo, beetroot gnocchi and stracciatella with pear, ginger and basil. There’s also handcrafted fazzoletti pasta, chicken cotoletta and a market fish that changes daily—it all depends on what the fisherman brings in that day!
Feeling thirsty? Ortolana has you covered with wine, cocktails, aperitifs and house-made sodas. Their smoothie and juice game is also impressive featuring kale, apple, beetroot, turmeric, ginger…the list goes on! Alternatively, grab a coffee to go or indulge in a decadent Valrhona hot chocolate.
There’s always (always!) room for dessert—especially when it’s Milse we’re talking about. That’s right, Ortolana works hand-in-hand with the sister dessert restaurant. Ortolana serve a selection of Milse’s finest creations including those famous gelato sticks.
One thing’s for certain: Ortolana will make you feel as though you’re a million miles away from the CBD. This is the inner-city oasis we’ve all been waiting for.
Image credit: Kellie Blizard