Daily grind getting you down? Conquering adult life can be thirsty work. Fortunately for you, this fine city is home to a rather large handful of stellar bars, the best of which are listed below (you’re welcome!). From grungy wine dens to sundrenched rooftops, cocktail joints and craft brew bars, here is your new go-to guide of best bars in Auckland. How many have you ticked off?
1. Mea Culpa: The home of immaculately constructed (and damn tasty) cocktails. Ponsonby’s Mea Culpa (Latin for ‘my fault’) will serve up the prettiest drink you’ve ever slurped.
2. Harry: Named after Harry, the owner’s dog/bouncer, this Ponsonby gem is a cracker of an Auckland bar with friendly peeps and Sunday karaoke a.k.a. Harry-Oke nights.
3. Everybody’s: Everybody loves Everybody’s. From a courtyard, mezzanine and a mega couch, you’ll find somewhere to perfect place to perch your tush and drink the night away.
4. The Jefferson: A whisky lover’s paradise, The Jefferson is Auckland’s only dedicated whisky bar—plus their sticky ribs are epic!
5. Ginger Minx: Expect a good time, because that’s exactly what you’re going to get at this Mt Eden bar. Cosy up on a couch with a cocktail—you’ll feel right at home.
6. Bedford Soda & Liquor: Hands down one of the best bars in Auckland, Bedford Soda & Liquor will have you knocking back hard shakes left, right and centre. Don’t forget to grab some meatballs for double the protein.
7. Fukuko: Shochu cocktail central! Fukuko makes Auckland’s best bar list for bringing Japanese boozy goodness to Britomart.
8. Swashbucklers: An oldie but a goodie. You can’t beat a Swashies drinking sesh on a sunny day.
9. Brothers Beer: These dudes know what’s up when it comes to the wild, wild world of craft beer. Hit up their City Works Depot bar for a brew or two, or Brothers Juke Joint BBQ in Mt Eden to experience the magic pairing that is meat and beer.
10. Xuxu: Dumplings? Check. Cocktails? Check. A courtyard to enjoy them? They’ve got it. Britomart’s Xuxu is a genuine gem of an Auckland bar.
11. Racket: Tucked down Roukai Lane, Racket cranks out the Cuban vibes off Customs Street with cocktails (Extinguished Gentlemen is tops), a late night food menu—swine in a bun, fried chicken, and curly fries, gravy and cheese—and over 85 premium rums.
12. Freida Margolis: A charming Grey Lynn local packed with personality and punches. We’re talking vodka, vermouth and pomegranate, as well as an excellent cocktail list.
13. The Glass Goose: Check out this Federal Street bar if you’re into rooftops, #foodporn grazing menus, and cocktails galore. The Glass Goose is on its way to the top of Auckland’s best bar rankings.
14. The Golden Dawn: Hidden in Ponsonby, The Golden Dawn is a rad spot and a welcome escape from the ruckus, where likeminded people can drink and banter all night long.
15. Neighbourhood Brewbar: Kicking it in Kingsland, this is the perfect posse for watching the footy over beers and a solid feed. Neighbourhood is a stone’s through away from Eden Park, so make sure you pop by for pre-match drinking.
16. The Britomart Country Club: A much-loved bar in the heart of Auckland city. BCC’s massive courtyard is where you want to be for after work dranks and noms.
17. The Gin Room: Bask in botanicals and 1920s feels at this Vulcan Lane bar. It crafts some of the best cocktails in Auckland.
18. 16 Tun: Craft beer lovers, look no further. 16 Tun is a ‘free house’ so they can stock as many different brews as they please! Pop down to a beer appreciation masterclass to get the 411 on our favourite hoppy beverage.
19. Housebar: After undergoing a few refurbs, Housebar in Hotel DeBrett has been restored to its former glory. Housebar is hidden from the bustling streets of the CBD, but its relaxed, speakeasy atmosphere, classic cocktails, and eclectic mix of people makes it one of the best bars in Auckland.
20. TSG: The recently revamped TSG (formerly Britomart hotspot, Tyler Street Garage) has shifted its focus to gigs and Italian slab pizza. It’s still got the rooftop bar for those who need their sunshine fix.
21. Bellini: The beloved Bellini has been a hit with Auckland’s cocktail connoisseurs for yonks, and they’ve recently treated them to a new look and feel. With stunning harbour views, it’s no doubt one of the best bars in Auckland.
22. 46 & York: A classy yet casual watering hole in Parnell, 46 & York is the kinda place you could easily waste an afternoon. Their cocktails are among the best in Auckland. Oh, and good luck with resisting the food menu—the mac n’ cheese is to die for.
23. La Zeppa: La Zeppa is an Auckland favourite, and with a ginormous sun-drenched outdoor deck (complete with lanterns for when the sun goes down), open fireplace, and a tapas-style menu, it’s the ultimate bar for drinks with the crew.
24. The Wine Cellar: Descend the steps of St Kevin’s Arcade and you might just stumble upon one of K Road’s hidden treasures, The Wine Cellar. They stock a select number of bevvies, and have everything you want from a small, underground bar. Or wander up the road to Red Bar on Pitt St where mixology mastermind, Laura Lopez creates some of the best cocktail combos in town.
25. The Cav: No list of the best bars in Auckland could leave off The Cav, a Ponsonby institution since 1866. Their kitchen churns out top-notch gastropub food, and craft brew flows from the taps.
26. Blunderbuss: Get rid of last night’s hangover with pizza and sangria at Blunderbuss. It’s one of Takapuna’s best bars for a lazy Sunday session.
27. The Corner: This neighbourhood tapas and wine bar in Howick is a hit with the locals, and with a bunch of weekly specials, a buzzing atmosphere, and brilliant service, we don’t blame them.
28. Bellota: Seriously good Spanish cocktails and tapas makes this Federal Street spot one of the best in the city.
29. Flight 605: This quirky gem of a bar is Morningside’s best asset and will make you feel right at home via craft beer and free popcorn.
30. Coley & Punch: The new kid on the block, Coley & Punch shakes up cocktails and whisky concoctions from its swanky Princes Wharf hub.
Want more of the best bars in Auckland? Search 'bars' in The Directory!
Image credit: Lisa Brooke