Long gone are the days when we have to finish everything on our dinner plate in order to gorge on dessert. Now we can simply skip it altogether and go straight into a sugar-glazed euphoria. But if you’re going to indulge, don’t settle for anything but the best.
Here are the best places to go for late-night dessert in Auckland.
1. Giapo, CBD | Bold, unique and entirely gluten-free (although you’d never guess), Giapo serves art in a cone. Enjoy a blind date-style of service or order ahead via their app to skip the queue. Open Friday to Sunday—until 10pm Friday & Saturday and 9pm Sunday.
2. Crunch Tower Desserts & Drinks, Parnell | The crazy freak shakes of old are still going strong in this cute little spot. Also up for grabs are Hong Kong-style egg waffles and lots and lots of ice cream. Open until 10pm (closed Mon & Tues).
3. Duck Island, Ponsonby, Newmarket | This dreamy ice creamery in pastel colours serves a rotation of 50 beautiful contemporary flavours in a cone, ice cream sandwich or sundae form. Open until 1opm weekdays and 11pm on weekends.
4. House Of Chocolate Dessert Cafe, Takapuna, Beach Haven | Chocolate fiends, consider yourself served. Expect lashings and lashings of chocolate a-plenty in a ‘just like home’ warming atmosphere. Open 'til 10pm most days.
5. Moustache, Manukau & Orakei | A leader in all things cookie, there’s no place better to pull up a pew and enjoy some warm cookies and a glass of milk. Manukau branch open until 9.30pm Weds-Sat.
6. Elisabeth's Chef, Kingsland | This dessert cafe is the ultimate late night spot. Not only do they sling some of the best dessert in town but they're often open until 1am for takeaways at the weekend.
7. The Pie Piper & Doornuts, CBD & Mission Bay | Get your American-style pie fix with decadent and colourful creations from Rocky Road to Key Lime Pie, or enjoy a bespoke box of doughnutty deliciousness delivered to your door. Mmmm. Open until 8pm.
8. Chocolate Boutique Cafe, Parnell | Want to eat your chocolate and drink it too? Head straight to this legendary boutique for nostalgic chocolate creations (and a couple of cheeky truffles for the road). Open every day until 9.50pm.
9. Bangkok Rolled Ice Cream, Karangahape Road | Open daily until midnight (closed Mondays), swing by for some of the best rolled-ice cream in town.
10. Wucha, Albany, New Lynn, Balmoral, CBD, Meadowlands, Botany, Newmarket, Takapuna, Mission Bay | Dessert doesn’t always come with a spoon—sometimes it comes with a straw. Pop into your local Wucha for endless milk tea goodness and THE BEST iced matcha with cream cheese. Open 'til midnight at the weekends and 11pm through the week.
11. MeetFresh, Mt Eden, CBD | Refreshing and delicious we’re living for Taiwanese desserts and from taro balls to grass jelly and purple rice, there’s so much to try. If you’re not sure where to start, you can’t go wrong with the strawberry and rice ball coconut sago. Dominion Road open daily until midnight and Lorne St 'til 11pm.
12. Mezze Bar, CBD | This cosy Mediterranean eatery in town has cake and dessert for every whim. Think orange and almond cake, exotic Algerian date cake, crema Catalana and flaky baklava. Open daily until 10pm.
13. Circus Circus, Mt Eden | If you’ve got an old-school hankering going on, Circus Circus is a good bet. Step right up and dig into crunchie bar cheesecake, banoffee pie, peanut butter mousse and more. Open daily until 10pm.
14. Masu, CBD | If you’re feeling in a go-big-or-go-home sort of mood you should definitely try Masu’s dessert platter. As much a feast for the eye as it is the stomach, you’ll be treated to Japanese-inspired flavours like shiro miso pavlova and matcha macadamia crumbs. Open 'til 9.30pm Fri & Sat.
15. Miann, CBD, Ponsonby, Morningside | Picture a cabinet full of macarons and bonbons and a gelato fridge. Expect the best creme brûlée in town, fresh waffles and trouble choosing just one of the eight hot chocolates on offer. Britomart, Morningside and Ponsonby open until 9pm or 10pm.
16. Federal Delicatessen, CBD | For a fun, informal dessert skip to The Fed and dive into their ‘Sweet Teeth’ menu. New York cheesecake, lemon meringue pie, banana and toffee pie and Sarah’s pecan pie await you, and there’s even an option for three in one go if you’re feeling particularly devilish. Open 'til 9pm Thurs to Sat.
17. Ghost Donkey, CBD | If your dessert craving is suspiciously the size of a churro, you’re going to want to make a beeline for this Mexican-inspired tequila and mezcal bar in Commercial Bay. Open until midnight Fri & Sat.
18. East, CBD | East’s dessert menu is small, but every dish packs a punch. Whether you go for their Kaffir lime & lemongrass creme caramel, their ‘matchamisu’ or their chocolate spring rolls (big yes), you’ll be in for a good time. Open daily until 11pm.
19. Cotto, CBD | This indulgent Italian eatery doesn’t just do amazing pasta— ‘chocolate nemesis salted caramel’ is their dessert menu headliner. OMFG. Open 'til 11pm Fri & Sat.
20. Gochu, CBD | Finally a place that does a good Bingsoo. For the uninitiated, this is a Korean dessert made with shaved ice and sweet toppings. Gochu’s take features shaved coconut milk and chewy rice cakes and with one taste, obsession will quickly follow. Open until 10pm Thurs-Sat.
21. Mumbaiwala, Ponsonby | Did someone say chocolate naan? If choc's not your thang the cardamom & coconut Kulfi sure will be. Open every day until 9.30pm (closed Monday).
22. Corelli’s, Devonport | Triple. Decker. Carrot Cake. Nothing more needs to be said but we’re going to anyway: fruit crumble, baked cheesecake, raw chocolate brownie, warming apple pie—this place has all your favourites, done right. Closes 9pm Thurs-Sat.
23. Kiss Kiss, Mt Eden | Calling all fans of sticky rice—get the best, in mango or banana, at this neon gem just off Dominion Road. Or, for something different, try out their doughnuts (the size of a baby's arm) served with pandan custard. Open until 9.30pm Thurs-Sat.
24. Mighty Hotdog, CBD, Royal Oak & Pakuranga | And now for something totally different… dessert in hotdog form! When you’re after a sweet n’ salty hit, Mighty HotDog has got you covered. Their choc peanut snickers-style dog is so naughty and we love it. Open until 9pm.
Fancy yourself more of a cheese board type? Get ready to (over) indulge with the best cheese shops in Auckland.
Image credit: East by Wono Kim, The Pie Piper, Masu, Mumbaiwala by Wono Kim.