Bridge or boats? You no longer have to choose, for one of Auckland’s most beautiful spots is now home to a bright and breezy new café, Buoy. Situated at the Bridge end of the Westhaven Marina, the café is the brainchild self-confessed foodie, Ginette Auld. Having been on the food scene for many years—both in Auckland and in Whangarei—as well as a cook on super yachts, she knows what’s what when it comes to great food.
When you enter the café, you’ll be greeted by the friendly staff. The floors are timber, and there are flowers and plants on top of the wooden rustic tables with blue and white stools or old-school chairs. Behind the counter, shelves showcase little knick-knacks—a globe, an old set of scales, a crab. There are round lights above the bright blue painted counter and it all works together to give a homely, beach-like feel. The sliding doors open onto the marina where you’ll find more seats under umbrella shade with little pops of colourful flowers on each table.
‘I’ve always loved the space,’ Ginette says, adding that she loves old buildings. When the opportunity came for the lease, she was keen to make her vision a reality and has been at the café every day for the last three months making it happen. With the bridge on one side and the spectacular marina on the other, it’s hard knowing which view is better. The occasional truck going over the bridge makes the promenade shake, but this isn’t a problem for Ginette.
‘We live in a city and we need to embrace it,’ she says.
Serving up breakfast and lunch, the menu is healthy and fresh. ‘I’m not a food fad person,’ Ginette explains. ‘I wanted to serve food you’d love. People love my garlic bread at home, and now they can have it here too.’
At this stage, the menu includes both breakfast and lunch options. The former includes wholemeal buttermilk crepes with baked apples, vanilla crème, caramel sauce and toasted walnuts, or if muesli is more your thing, try it with yoghurt and stewed tamarillo. Yum.
For lunch you can’t go past the stunningly presented (and delicious) chicken salad. The seafood chowder is a personal favourite of Ginette’s, and they also have a soup of the day served with that moreish garlic bread. Perfect for these chilly days.
If you’re in a rush, or want to takeaway, there’s a fridge stocked with filled rolls. For drinks, Buoy has a range of options available. Aside from coffee, you can also buy some Aotea Native Tonics (which we love), Homegrown juices, smoothies and tea and the café will be licenced in the future.
Ultimately, we love the buzzing and friendly vibe. It’s a great space to escape from work during the week, or a treat on the weekend after you’ve walked along the promenade. Either way, you’ll be happy.
Want more? Find out all the deets about Buoy, including opening hours, here.
Image credit: Andew Wilson