When it comes to cafes in Auckland, we like them sneaky. Hidden down alleyways, disguised by vines and in the spots we’d least expect to find them. There are a handful of hidden cafes in Auckland that are too good to be kept secret. Who are they? We know you’d love to know…so we’re breaking our silence and letting you into the secret.
Here are 10 of the best hidden cafes in Auckland. Go forth and locate.
Mary’s can get fairly chocka but even if it’s busy, you’ll feel like you stumbled upon a hidden gem. The high ceilings, stained glass windows and exposed brick stand as a reminder of what the building used to be—the old Ponsonby fire station. Either grab a sun-drenched table at the front, a spot in the courtyard or perch on the communal table in the side room. We suggest you get amongst the breakfast menu, especially the vegan sticky black rice.
The Book Exchange Café
Second-hand bookstore meets café, The Book Exchange Café in Glen Eden will have you sipping on a coffee and nibbling on a pastry while burying your nose into a book. From the scones to the melting moments and irresistible slices, everything is homemade and their selection of books will get your hooked on the little place. A good book alongside a great coffee is a match made in heaven.
Everyone knows that K’ Road is full of all sorts of weird and wonderful treasures but are you acquainted with Saint Kevin Arcade’s café? Bestie is located at the back of the arcade—past epic sandwich shop, Fort Greene, another hidden gem—and churns out Eighthirty coffee and a delicious brunch menu. There’s a big communal table as well as smaller tables that capture the natural light. It’s a winner in our books!
Tucked away in the corner of a glamorous fabric store lies Sip Kitchen. And, it’s a health nuts dream. With a cabinet set to impress, you’ll find an array of salads and delectable looking raw sweet treats perfect to takeaway. The menu welcomes smoothie bowls, banana bread with almond butter and raspberry chia jam (yum!) as well as savoury items like the Turkish bowl with falafels, avo and cous cous. Grab a seat and enjoy the cosy atmosphere of this hidden cafe.
Not only is it a cosy café, Remedy on Wellesley Street West is a chilled out retreat from the inner-city madness. Once you’re inside, there’s free wifi, books to read, board games to play and plenty of delish food on offer. Word of warning though: once you’re there you’ll never want to leave.
Domain & Ayr
Crafted wooden tables, colourful cushions and the friendliest staff in town is what you’ll find at Domain & Ayr. Perched amongst the hustle and bustle of the main road, you’ll spy a glazed exterior with hanging vines to pull you in. Once inside, grab yourself a coffee, some good food and link up to the wifi or grab one of the many magazines wanting some attention. You’ll find regulars catching up on emails, lunch dates taking place and friendly chatter that embodies relaxation at its finest.
Quaint little Queenies, you never cease to amaze us. Sitting pretty on a corner in Freemans Bay, Queenies is one of those special Auckland eateries that will make you feel like you’re in Paris. It’s covered in ivy and focuses on small touches such as retro teaspoons and ceramic cups. Let your work day worries disappear with a bowl of Turkish eggs and a strong long black.
The masterminds behind Mt Atkinson Coffee and Kohu Road Icecream join forces to bring us the gem that is The Tannery. Serving great coffee and killer bagels all day, there’s the New York (gruyere, pastrami, hot mustard and cornichons) or for something sweeter, a Smore’s Bagel! It’s a unique space with the design encapsulating the “Best of the West”. Our favourite feature is the exposed wood in the shape of mountains showcasing the Waitakere ranges.
Ponsonby Road teems with people 24/7 and it can be hard to nab a seat at most eateries. If you’re after something quiet and low key, Fred’s is the ticket. Hidden at the top of Franklin Road, this pocket-sized café is ideal for sipping on coffee and reading the paper. There’s a selection of really good milkshakes and cheesy toasted sammies.
The Workshop Kitchen
Other than The Workshop Kitchen, most people would have little reason to visit Mt Eden’s Charles Street. Louise Graham makes moreish, home-style food in a hole-in-the-wall next to her husband’s workshop. Her cinnamon brioche is actually ingenious and there’s Supreme coffee to give you a ‘lil boost.