Only the best pubs stand the test of time and The Birdcage Tavern is one of these gems. Celebrating 127 years of history (hello!), the Auckland icon knows a thing or two about hosting a good time. Partying here is a rite of passage!
Sitting pretty at the bottom of Franklin Road in Freemans Bay, the historical building has a whooole lot of history. The entire 740-tonne building was moved 40m from its site and back again to make way for the Victoria Park Tunnel in 2010.
It’s an Insta-worthy spot with exposed brick walls, wooden floors, stained-glass windows and not one but two open fireplaces. Snuggle up here or find a spot in the sun-drenched beer garden (drink in hand, of course).
The Birdcage takes classic pub grub and gives it a sprinkle of international influence. The result? Hearty, flavoursome eats that will comfort you from the inside out. And, trust us when we say: brace yourself for a TOTAL feast.
Kick things off with salt and pepper calamari, nachos or finger-lickin’ smokey barbecue pork ribs. A special shout-out to their hot wings generously topped with bacon and served with a dollop of blue cheese sauce. Is that your belly we hear rumbling?
The deliciousness gets turned up a notch for the main course. Work your way through their signature pizzas (we love the delish smoked salmon with cream cheese and capers), roasted pork belly, mac’n’cheese or a classic sirloin steak (with onion rings, obvs).
If you’re anything like us, you can’t go past an epic burger. The Birdcage has your back stomach with four impressive burgs (beef, chicken, fish or vege-friendly) served with ALL the fries. Our fave is the Angus beef burger stacked high with oozing cheddar, tomato, onion jam and tangy courgette pickle—mm-mmm!
Pair your meal (read: feast) with a vino, cider or beer. They’re all about crafty Kiwi beers with bevvies from Liberty Brewing Co, Tuatara Brewery, Sawmill Brewery, Hawke’s Bay Brewing Co and Garage Project. There’s also an extensive cocktail menu (including squad-friendly cocktail jugs) and comforting mulled wine for the cooler months.
Time your visit with a rugby match (the tavern goes OFF on game night) or The Birdcage’s daily specials. From Saturday to Thursday, happy hour kicks off from 4pm with $6 beer and $7.50 wine. Visit on Friday for their famous $20 fish’n’chips—washed down with an alcoholic bevvy.
So, if you’re after long (boozy) lunch, after-work bevvies, dinner with the squad or a place to cheer on the ABs… The Birdcage Tavern will not disappoint.
Image credit: Lydia Arnold