Food & Drink

The Feed | The New Zealand Food News You Need To Know

By Martha Brooke
20th Mar 2024

It's that time of the week again. Get ready to feast your eyes on all the hottest food news from around Aotearoa. We’ve got the inside scoop on all the latest and greatest openings including the Lebanese Grocer's new coffee spot, collabs, events, products and more so you can spend less time researching and more time munching (because priorities, people).

Load Up On Hot Cross Bun Ice Cream Sandwiches In Auckland And Tauranga For A Good Cause

Choices available from the ice cream truck.Image credit: Woolworths | Supplied

These days, Hot Cross Buns seem to come in an endless array of flavours and iterations, but have you ever had a hot cross bun with ice cream smooshed in the middle? If this sounds like a bit of you (it does), you're going to want to hunt down the hot cross bun ice cream truck that's making its way around Auckland and Tauranga from 20-31 March. 

With choices of bun from traditional or chocolate through to Biscoff or Caramilk, ice cream from vanilla to coffee latte and lots of toppings, here you can create your own treat in exchange for a gold coin donation. Catch the truck at these locations: 

Wednesday 20 March: 11am – 4pm Western Park, Ponsonby Road, Auckland 
Friday 22 March: 10am – 1pm Te Komititanga Square at Commercial Bay,  Auckland CBD.         
                                       5pm – 8.30pm Food Truck Collective, Thomas Bloodworth Park, Shore Road,                                                       Remuera, Auckland
Saturday 23 March: 10am – 2pm Papakura Park Fest, Central Park, 2 Opaheke Road, Papakura
Sunday 24 March: 10am – 3pm Tamaki Drive (near the fountain), Mission Bay, Auckland
Friday 29 March: 11am – 4pm Tauranga Good Friday Markets, Tauranga Racecourse, 1383 Cameron Road, Greerton
Saturday 30 March: 10am – 3pm Maunganui Beach, Marine Parade, Mt Maunganui
Sunday 31 March: 12pm – 5pm Tauranga CBD near The Strand, Tauranga

The Beloved Knead On Benson Has Opened A European-Inspired Deli Next Door—Charcuterie Night Just Levelled Up

Knead on Benson opens new European-inspired deli, Knead Next DoorImage credit: Knead on Benson | Instagram

Tucked within an inconspicuous Remuera neighbourhood is the local cafe hotspot that Aucklanders and visitors in the know have been holding dear. And now, the much-loved Knead on Benson is expanding its offerings in the form of a brand-new European-inspired deli.

Best part? You don’t need to travel far. Knead Next Door has taken over the former dairy that—as you’ve probably guessed—was next door, and the team are keen to carry over the classic Kiwi dairy ethos of being a one-stop-shop for essentials and special treats. 

House-made gelato and sorbet supplied by Takapuna Beach Cafe and freshly baked bread from Knead replace lolly bags and soda cans, and shelves now proudly stock a selection of elevated European deli items.

From sauces to oils, smoked fish to charcuterie, cheese to granola, all items available encompass premium ‘picky bits’—perfect for picnics, shared spreads or pairing perfectly with a freshly baked five-grain loaf from next door. 

It’s time to treat your pantry (and your tums) to an upgrade and shop this little slice of Europe in your own backyard.

Spread It, Dunk It, Spoon It—Fix & Fogg’s Choc Nut Butter Makes A Welcome Return For Easter

Choc Nut Butter from Fix & Fogg returns for EasterImage credit: Fix & Fogg | Instagram

Some choose toast, others fruit and plenty prefer porridge but where the Fix & Fogg Choc Nut Butter is concerned, a spoon will do just nicely. That’s right, ladies and gentlemen, the best peanut butter in the biz is back in time for Easter—and yes, you can get your bottom dollar that a generous dollop will make its way onto a freshly toasted hot cross bun. 

But, back to the butter in hand. This jar of peanut perfection is made with a blend of golden roasted peanuts (80% to be exact) and real chocolate. So, not only is it vegan-friendly and palm oil-free, but it’s packed with that irresistible creaminess and all of the deliciousness you know and love from Fix & Fogg. 

Karangahape Road’s Lebanese Grocer Opens New Coffee Spot Next Door 

Shawarma from Karangahape Road's Lebanese GrocerImage credit: Lebanese Grocer | Instagram

After emerging on the Karangahape Road food scene just one year ago and charming us one sumac-spiced shawarma at a time, Pitt Street's Lebanese Grocer has a special surprise in store.

Earlier today, the deli and grocer unveiled a brand new coffee spot next door, and if you were one of those in the know, you might have managed to enjoy a free coffee on the house to celebrate its grand opening.

If not, never fear—the new spot, helmed by coffee legends Supreme and Barista whiz Moses, is open from 7 am to 2 pm going forward. Of course, it’d be rude not to pop into the grocer next door for a jar of homemade labneh or hummus, oh and one lamb shawarma with extra onion salad while you're at it.

Take Your Seat At The Table As Franklin Puts On An Evening Of Fine Food To Remember

Food preparation for Kai Franklin event Image credit: The Kitchen Project | Supplied

The Franklin district is widely loved for its country feel and proud horticulture heritage, but did you know that this South Auckland region is commonly known as New Zealand’s food bowl? Here to show you the exceptional fare this region has to offer is The Kitchen Project, which in conjunction with some friends of the area, is hosting the Kai Franklin Chef’s Table next month.

On Monday, 8 April, guests will sit down for a four-course dinner, with each course designed and prepared by local chefs and growers. Here, they’ll shine the spotlight on the crème de la crème of seasonally sourced ingredients, including organic meats from Black Pond, Clevedon Buffalo’s fresh ricotta and vegetables from The Fresh Grower, to name but a few.

Beloved Pukekohe eateries on the roster include The Daily Goods, SuMei, Blue Ox Babe and Seddon64 Eatery and Bar, and guests will have the opportunity to meet the chefs and producers throughout the night so get your questions ready. Secure your tickets here and take your seat at the table. 

Ready, Set, Bake. Hot Cross Bun Season Has Rolled Into Town And These Bakeries Have Certainly Turned Up The Heat

Hot cross bun from Auckland bakery Luna BakehouseImage credit: Luna Bakehouse | Instagram

Tis the season for all things sweet, spiced and everything nice. And, as it turns out, we’re not the only ones with a penchant for hot cross buns. 

Since the start of the season, some of Auckland’s finest cafes and bakeries have revealed their takes on this traditional treat and it’s safe to say our addiction is well and truly fuelled. Fort Greene, Florets Bakery and Daily Bread have gone down the classic route.

Here, their respective sourdough-based buns spring into action, forming the fluffy home to an assortment of candied fruits and warming spices. We’ll leave it in your sticky hands to choose a winner, but one warning—toasted and served with salted butter is mandatory. 

Leave it to the innovative bakers and creators at Luna Bakehouse to take hot cross buns up a notch. They’ve only gone and filled their hot cross buns with three different fillings, including custard, Nutella and Biscoff.

Served in a convenient cup, slice or bite into your bun and let the delicious mess unfold. Doe Donuts has also joined the party with its spiced hot x bun doughnuts filled with vanilla custard and rolled in cinnamon sugar. These spiced sweet treats are around for a good time, not a long time so hop (cross bun) to it and in case you need more inspo, here's where to lay hands on the best hot cross buns in town.

The Weird, Wonderful And Downright Wacky Unite As The Rare Beer Challenge Returns 

Beer at Wellington brewery Fortune FavoursImage credit: Fortune Favours | Instagram

Tomato, red wine and fresh herbs—the staple base ingredients for a low and slow pasta sauce, right? Wrong. These were just a handful of ingredients used to create one of Fortune Favour’s Rare Beer Challenge entries last year. 

Back for another triumphant year of weird and wonderful brews is the Fortune Favours Rare Beer Challenge, in conjunction with the team at Rare Disorders NZ. The premise is simple—competing brewers around Aotearoa must create a one-of-a-kind beer using innovative ingredients and techniques that tell a story—all in a bid to raise awareness and funds for Rare Disorders NZ.

Last year, the competition raised a record-breaking $17.3K for the cause and Wellington’s own Heyday Beer Co took the number one spot with its lingonberry pancake farmhouse ale aka The Big Lebrewski.

It’ll be tough to beat this maple-spiked liquid pancake creation but we’re sure Heyday and its equally impressive competitors will rise and brew to the challenge. Decide for yourself on Friday, 8 March from 3 pm.

Whisk Yourself Away To The Marlborough Vineyards With The Help Of Andiamo 

Fish from Auckland Italian restaurant Andiamo Image credit: Andiamo | Supplied

As the cooler weather sets in, a last-minute trip to the vineyards of Marlborough may seem like a long-lost dream. However, for us Aucklanders, premier Italian eatery Andiamo is turning this dream into a reality with its latest Vavasour venture.

Starting Friday, 1 March and running from Wednesdays to Sundays until Sunday 28 April, guests can experience an exclusive set lunch designed to pair perfectly with the award-winning 2023 Vavasour Sauvignon Blanc.

Executive Chef Gavin Doyle has created a special two-course menu where fresh Italian flavours shine and complement the fresh bouquet of tropical flavours and distinct minerality of the paired wine. 

After starting with a glass of Vavasour on arrival, follow with fresh focaccia served with red pepper and parmesan butter before tucking into your main of choice. Whether you opt for the market fish served on a bed of ajo blanco (creamy yet refreshing Spanish-style soup) with grape and pine nut or the tomato risotto with soffritto, stracciatella and basil, you’ve hit the long lunch jackpot.

Elevate your experience with a side of Andiamo’s famous fries with truffle and parmigiano reggiano or finish with the ever-popular tiramisu with Amaretto crumb. Bookings are essential so you know what to do long lunch lover. 

New Cafe Nero Joins The Ponsonby Neighbourhood, Churning Out Speciality Coffee And Vegan Sweet Treats

Coffee from new Ponsonby Road cafe NeroImage credit: Carly Black for Nero | Instagram

Out of nowhere, a new wee coffee spot has emerged on Ponsonby Road and already it’s proving quite the hit with those who have happily stumbled across it. You’ll find Nero at the front of a yarn shop, churning out speciality coffee from Underground Coffee Roasters and freshly baked sweet treats from Wen & Yen. 

If you’re yet to try an Underground Coffee pour, a trip to Nero is a must. Whether it’s the caramel and dark chocolate notes from the house blend or the intensity from the Beatnik blend, order in your trusty go-to and taste the difference for yourself.

Nero will also be the place to go in central Auckland to get your hands on Wen & Yen’s gluten-free and vegan doughnuts—a sugar-coated game changer. Next time you’re in Ponsonby, make a pit stop at Nero and welcome the newbie to the neighbourhood in style. 

Chef Hercules Noble Is Hosting A Pop-Up KFC Degustation And Tickets Have Just Gone On Sale 

Hercules Noble Mr Sanders.Image credit: Mr Sanders | Supplied

It's the moment you've been waiting for—culinary whizz and private chef Hercules Noble is finally opening his own spot in Ponsonby. That's right, for three feverish nights (and two new lunch dates just added) this March Hercules will be serving up a five-course menu set to elevate your regular KFC go-tos to new culinary heights.

From March 20-22, Hercules will be dishing out the goods at Mr Sanders, a pop-up kitchen in the heart of Ponsonby. With bespoke menus and a wine pairing to match, this promises to be an unmissable event. Following the original dates' sell out, they have just released two lunch sessions on Tuesday 19 and Friday 22 March at 12pm. These tickets go on sale today March 13 at 12pm.

“Without giving too much away, one of the hero dishes will feature fan-favourite Hot & Crispy Boneless, but unlike you’ve ever had it before,” says Hercules. “I couldn’t launch this restaurant without incorporating my iconic ‘Will It Sourdough’, so I’m experimenting with ways to infuse the bread with the flavours of KFC Potato & Gravy". Hot dang.

Tickets start from $99, with all proceeds going to KFC’s charity partner, Surf Life Saving NZ so if you want to join the finger-lickin-good action, nab your spot here.

The Wait Is Finally Over, Popeyes Is Coming To Town

Table of food from fried chicken chain Popeyes that will soon open in New ZealandImage credit: Popeyes | Supplied

The countdown is on to secure your finger-lickin' fix of the hottest (and crunchiest) ticket in Tāmaki Makaurau. That’s right, Popeyes—the original Louisiana fried chicken—is coming to town in April. 

After years of speculation, the famous chicken joint that Jay-Z and Beyoncé served up at their wedding will soon open its bright orange doors in Takanini to a flock of fans eager to get their hands on the viral chicken sandwich that caused a clucking frenzy online.

Along with this hero menu item, Popeyes will serve plenty of other signature dishes, including mash with cajun gravy, mac and cheese, and biscuits (think elevated alternative to bread rolls, made for dipping and dunking). Accompany your cajun fries and crunchy chicken tenders with an array of sauces that knock watery ketchup out of the park.

Choose from Buttermilk Ranch, Bayou Buffalo, BoldBQ, and Mardi Gras Mustard - or all four. If its GOAT sauce game is anything to go by, just wait until you hear about the chicken. We’re talking unrivalled levels of crunch (lovingly known as the ‘shatter crunch’ effect), succulent, buttermilk-drenched fillets, and a 12-hour marination in a special Cajun season blend. 

After years of painstaking and enviable chicken taste tests, the results are in—Popeyes NZ is here to shake up the competition, one undeniably crispy and possibly unbeatable tender at a time. 

The New Parnell Eatery Making Fine-Dining Food Accessible For All

Tushar Grover baking bread at new Parnell eatery RhuImage credit: Rhu | Instagram

Known as the mastermind masterchef behind the high-profile passes at some of Auckland’s most renowned restaurants (Flor, Pasture), Tushar Grover has navigated an impressive career steeped in fine-dining prowess. But, in a surprising yet commendable twist, the seasoned chef has redirected his focus toward creating food that although nuanced, is accessible for all. This ethos will soon present itself as a brand-new all-day eatery—Rhu

At the helm of Rhu is a compact yet highly skilled team of chefs and bakers propelled by their shared devotion to exceptional cuisine. Drawing inspiration from their fine-dining backgrounds, Rhu strives to shatter the barriers of exclusivity often associated with this calibre of food.

As doors open, Rhu will begin its artisan breakfast offerings. Early birds can pick up a window delight or two (think freshly baked loaves and pastries), stop in for a salmon, potato bread, roe and pickle sandwich or stay put for a la carte menu items. As dusk falls, Rhu will seamlessly transition into a cosy wine bar where seasonal small plates shine amidst the mood lighting.

For those who consider themselves foodies at heart, Rhu is undoubtedly an establishment to keep on your culinary radar.

The Highly Sought-After Someplace Somewhere Pop-Up Is Back In Town 

Japanese food from Auckland pop-up eatery Someplace SomewhereImage credit: Someplace Somewhere | Instagram

If you’ve been dying to get your mitts on a couple of coveted tix for one of Someplace Somewhere’s highly sought-after dinner events, listen up.

Wilson, a native of Auckland, kickstarted Someplace Somewhere in Melbourne during his culinary school days, and after a series of successful pop-up events, decided to cross the ditch back to Aotearoa to let Kiwis get in on the action.

When he’s not serving as sous chef at Ragtag, you’ll find Kane plating up his signature Japanese street food and playful fermentation flavours at Someplace Somewhere pop-ups around town (Bar Beluga, Tappo, Bar Martin). And next on the roster is Garage Project’s Kingsland taproom.

The pop-up with Someplace Somewhere will kickstart GP’s supper club—an initiative we have high hopes for. But back to the matter at hand. On Wednesday, 13 and Thursday, 14 March, guests of these ticketed events will sit down to a five-course seafood-only set menu where Wilson’s latest and greatest creations will shine. As always, the menu is a mystery: a surprise worth savouring, if you will. 

Now Garage Project isn’t just playing the role of gracious hosts—no, no. The craft beer clan are on hand to accompany your evening of eats with paired beers from its Aro Valley Brewery and Wild Workshop.  

With pop-ups few and far between, ticking Someplace Somewhere off your dining bucket list is not a want but a need.

One Of Auckland’s Most Beloved Italian Restaurants Is Back And Better Than Ever

Plate of pasta at reopened Otto Italian restaurant in AucklandImage credit: Otto | Instagram

Just as unexpectedly as it closed, one of Auckland's most beloved pasta joints has unexpectedly reopened. For 2024, Cotto has made its welcomed return as Otto. Shaking off any past negativity and of course, its original ‘c’, the premier Italian restaurant is back and better than ever, fronted by a team of new owners and backed by familiar, friendly waitstaff faces. 

With its rebrand comes a new wave of excitement and a new summer-inspired menu to boot. But before forks go flying, you’ll be pleased to know Otto has remained true to its roots where food is concerned—after all, why mess with a damn good thing?

As a result, prepare to fall in love all over again with your favourite focaccia, pasta, and dumpling dishes, along with a selection of seasonal surprises, such as the tortelli with eggplant parmigiana, smoked mozzarella and cherry tomatoes. We're particularly chuffed to see the goat's cheese and spinach dumplings swimming in sage butter take to the stage once again. 

Since the announcement, support continues to surround Otto, with its loyal legion of foodie fans eager to meet and eat at this treasured Karangahape Road restaurant once again.

Rugby + Pies = A Match Made In Heaven. Isn’t That Right, Dazza?

Dazza eating a steak and cheese pie at The Corner, RemueraImage credit: dazzas_cooked | Instagram

Holding the unofficial crown as quite possibly the most pie-obsessed Kiwi in Aotearoa is top bloke Darren Jarrett. Darren, formally known as Dazza (of @dazzas_cooked), is famed for his innovative pastry creations on TikTok, where flavours such as chicken katsu curry, bubble and squeak, and lamb bolognese reign supreme—all while sporting his Warrior jersey in and out of the kitchen, of course. 

Along with a regular pop-up and often sell-out service at Ashby Pies, The Corner in Remuera has just become the latest place to get your hands on these popular pies. 

To celebrate the Warrior's 2024 season return, the much-loved local has teamed up with Dazza to bring a new meaning to proper, pre-match fuel. On Friday 15, Saturday 16 and Sunday 17, March, Dazza and team will serve up a selection of flaky favourites, including crayfish with creamy white wine sauce, eight-hour braised beef cheek with cheese, creamy roast chicken pie with mushrooms and parmesan and finally, (phew), a convert-worth kumara and coconut dhal pie.

In epic game day and St Patrick’s Day fashion, enjoy your pie of choice with a hot chips and pint combo—a trifecta try if you will. 

The Ponsonby Central Food Family Has Grown To Welcome New Cambodian Eatery, Tinfeny's

New Cambodian eatery Tinfeny's in Ponsonby CentralImage credit: Tinfeny's | Instagram

Here in Auckland, we’re lucky to have a wealth of world-class Asian eats on our doorsteps (or at the click of a button). But one cuisine in particular seems few and far between in Tāmaki Makaurau—that of Cambodian.

Characterised for its sweet, sour, salty, and occasionally spicy elements, getting your hands and forks on iconic dishes such as lok lok and amok trei has long been a bittersweet pipedream—until now. Say hello to the new Cambodian eatery, Tinfeny's

Taking residence within the ever-popular Ponsonby Central dining district, Tinfeny’s is a celebration of authentic Cambodian cuisine, run by mother-daughter duo, Richny and Felicity. Inspired by the comforting yet fresh flavours found within the food stalls of the Siem Reap markets, the passionate pair have curated a menu bound to excite seasoned pros and first-time-triers of Cambodian food.

Here you’ll find a selection of small plates, including the stuffed chicken wings with zesty lemongrass and vermicelli and crispy pork belly bites with Cambodian dipping sauce—perfect for sharing or a pit-stop snack.

Now mains is where you’ll truly see this stellar cuisine shine. From Cambodian staples such as ban chow (pork and prawn-filled pancakes) to wok-flashed dishes like the spicy red curry snapper, your only challenge is showing restraint and saving room for dessert as the jackfruit and sticky rice ice cream is a must.

With a space and team just as warm and welcoming as the food, Tinfeny’s is a slice of Cambodia worth savouring in the heart of Auckland’s vibrant culinary scene. 

An Independent, Artisan Coffee House Has Arrived In Takapuna, Tucked Down A Hidden Arcade Alley

Iced coffee from new Takapuna coffee shop, Stroll CoffeeImage credit: Stroll Coffee | Yechu Yechu | Google 

As a nation so well-known for its world-class coffee, we’re always ready to welcome new roasteries with open arms and willing wallets. The latest (and greatest) to join the already impressive caffeine-fuelled line-up is tucked up Takapuna’s Parkway Arcade and goes by the name, Stroll Coffee.

Behind the slick, black exterior you’ll likely find seasoned caffeine pros Eddie and Matt pouring coffee perfection in the cosy yet chic space. Although the roasting of their own bean blends is done offsite, the magic happens behind the machine.

Here, medium-dark roasts boasting notes of chocolate and burnt brown sugar take centre stage for a menu of classic, innovative and exciting drinks. Our current favourite? The Einspänner.

If you’re new to this Viennese-born creation, it’s time to get acquainted with a tall glass of espresso topped with cream that sits perfectly atop its coffee layer before a sprinkling of sea salt joins the party. Warning—you may never go back to standard brews again. 

The Hamilton Dining Scene Is On A Roll With The Latest Arrival Of All-Day Eatery, Fergus Bar

Food on table at new Hamilton bar and eatery, Fergus BarImage credit: Fergus Bar | Instagram

Following the successful opening of the recent Made precinct, Hamilton has cemented itself as a hub for stellar dining and drinking. And just one week ago, the city welcomed a brand-spanking new eatery to the mix. Enter Fergus Bar.

Becoming a new local for everyone—from the pit-stop dog walkers to the post-shopping feeders—was the goal for the fabulous four behind Fergus and although it's early days, it’s already looking like a clean sweep. You’ll find this family-friendly neighbourhood spot in Rototuna, open seven days a week from 11 am til late, with a huge outdoor garden space made for sippin’ al fresco.

Whether you’re looking for a new lunch spot to add to your list or a space to round up the clan over a few drinks and dins, it seems like Fergus has all occasions well and truly catered for—especially with a menu this good.

Tuck into a plethora of pub classics, reimagined with a sprinkling of sophistication and plated to photo-worthy perfection. We’re talking the likes of parmesan-crusted chicken parma, coffee-braised beef cheek with mash and hand-stretched sourdough pizzas—and we’re only just getting started.

Little ones are well and truly taken care of, too and as more and more flock to Fergus Bar, it seems this local’s secret is one worth being in on. 

Albany Westfield Will Soon Welcome Popular Eatery And Bar, Something and Social

Cocktails at Newmarket bar Something SocialImage credit: Something and Social | Instagram

After taking the rooftop of Newmarket’s Westfield Mall by storm, the cult, crowd-favourite all-day bar and eatery, Something and Social, is opening a second outpost at Albany Westfield.

Soon, shoppers, locals and visitors alike can meet, eat and drink in a spot designed to offer a social solution when you’ve finished your certain something.

Whether you’re after a pre-Kmart pick-me-up or dinner and drinks with the girls, you’ll find it all, and then some, at this dining destination. Although much is to be revealed (including a definite opening date), if the popular Newmarket spot is anything to go by, we can expect top-notch eats from dusk til dawn. 

An Asian-Fusion Sandwich Truck Has Arrived, With Thick-Cut Steak Sammies To Boot

Large spread of food from That Sando GuyImage credit: That Sando Guy | Instagram

They say money can’t buy happiness but there’s something to be said about the serotonin influx that comes after purchasing a feed from That Sando Guy. Since its opening late last year, the new pop-up food truck about town has been serving up some of the most loaded and lip-smackingly delish Asian-fusion sandwiches Auckland has ever seen at its various pop-up locations.

We’re talking the likes of rare cuts of sirloin steak, smothered in Japanese steak sauce, sandwiched between two slices of light milk toast (affectionately known as the Premium Beef Sando) and the KFC sando—a sandwich celebration of Korean fried chicken, sweet and spicy sauce and slaw. There’s also an array of donburi bowls and burgers to delve into—including the must-try peanut butter patty melt.

If you haven’t managed to get your hands around one of these thicc sammies yet, it’s your time to shine as That Sando Guy has joined Uber Eats. Now you can order the same menu items served in the food truck from the comfort of your own couch—winner-winner, chicken (sandwich) dinner. 

As One Karangahape Road Door Closes, A Commercial Bay One Opens—Gloria's Is Back, Baby

Sandwich from sandwich store Gloria'sImage credit: Gloria's | Instagram

As Gloria's closed its Karangahape Road doors late last year, we were left with quite possibly the worst Christmas present on record. However, it seems we’re back in Santa’s good books for 2024 as the sandwich shop has emerged in a brand-spanking new Auckland location—Commercial Bay.

Taking residence on the ground floor amongst the luxury apparel stores and sweet treat shops, Gloria's (2.0) is back and bigger than ever, with an opening expected in the next month or so.

The space will welcome back the sorely missed sandwiches so synonymous with Gloria's, and we'll keep our fingers crossed that the stuffed-to-the-brim salt beef takes to the sandwich stage once more.

Alongside these always-sell-out sammies, Gloria's will welcome a few new concepts, including pizza al taglio (think thick, fluffy square slices) and focaccia—a project Chef Nick has been developing for months. This new location has ‘Shall we just go out for lunch?’ written all over it. 

Get Ready To Strut Your Sweet Stuff—A New Couture Doughnut Shop Has Landed In Newmarket

Showcase of couture dougnuts from New Zealand's first couture doughnut shop, Deverauxs
Image credit: Deverauxs | Instagram

If you thought haute couture was reserved only for the catwalks of Paris and Milan, think again. Making quite the sweet statement this season is the new couture doughnut store, Deverauxs, which has just touched down in Newmarket.

From the team behind Kookie Haus and Doughnut Haus, Deverauxs is another celebration of all things sweet, this time packaged exquisitely for the seemingly more discerning diner. The bakery (on Broadway) is adorned with lavish decor and deep jewel-tone shades to match the equally opulent doughnuts that line the glass cabinets.

Inside, you’ll find the season’s must-have couture doughnuts, all impeccably decorated. From the classic collection to the couture collection, each sweet treat looks almost too good to eat... almost. We’re talking the likes of Meringue au Citron boasting chewy meringue peaks, zingy lemon and sweet vanilla and the La Vie En Rose featuring rosewater, pistachio and dragonfruit flavours.

With a rotating roster of flavours as the seasons come and go, we expect plenty more exciting eats from New Zealand’s first couture doughnut shop.

Easter Chocolate Enthusiasts Unite—Tony's Chocolonely Has Launched A Brand-New Choccie Block For The Season

Bar of Easter chocolate from Tony's ChocolonelyImage credit: Tony's Chocolonely

As the supermarket shelves welcome chocolate eggs of every colour, size and flavour by the droves, there’s only one name and block on our list this Easter—Tony’s Chocolonely. In an egg-citing turn of Easter events, the ethical chocolate maker has answered our prayers, releasing a brand-new, limited-edition bar for the season.

The Milk Chocolate Marzipan with Almonds is a luxurious egg-plosian of creamy Fairtrade milk chocolate scattered with crunchy almond pieces and layered with rich marzipan. In true Tony’s fashion, the bar boasts its random snap-worthy segments, but this time, a large egg takes centre stage as the biggest piece. 

Alongside the new choccie contender this year, the best-selling Milk Chocolate Lemon Meringue Bar and mini Easter Egg Carton is back for another sell-out year. Stock up on these goodies whilst you can as we egg-pect they’ll sell out like hot cakes choc. 

Dominion Road Welcomes New Korean Bistro KOOKOO To Its Already Impressive Asian Restaurant Line-Up

Korean food from new Korean bistro, KOOKOO on Dominion RoadImage credit: KOOKOO | Instagram

For decades, Dominion Road has earned and held on to the title as the best place for Asian eats in Auckland. And today, a new Korean restaurant joins the already impressive line-up. Enter KOOKOO

Sandwiched between a sushi shop and a spicy potato noodle house, 245 Dominion Road is now the new, permanent digs for KOOKOO who, just two years ago, started selling Korean chicken and pork dishes at the Auckland Night Markets.

Today, the team has channelled its learnings and passions into a more bistro-style offering, but don't worry, its iconic fried chicken is still a focal point on the menu. Alongside the classic half-and-half crispy Korean fried chicken, KOOKOO provides plenty of other chook goodness—the spatchcock kind to be precise. Roasted whole til a subtle char is achieved and then smothered in what looks like a creamy, nutty and spicy sauce—we’re sold. 

While the menu is under wraps we can expect a plethora of key Korean staples brimming with sticky and spicy rice and noodle dishes, alongside plenty of Soju to wash it all down with. 

A New Independent Butchery And Homewares Store Has Opened In The Hibiscus Coast Taking Your Sausage Sizzle To The Next Level

Owner Nick outside new butchery and homewares store, MarrowImage credit: Marrow | Instagram

From clothes to homewares, you’re probably no stranger to supporting and shopping small businesses—and if you haven’t already, it’s time to extend this ethical ethos into the realm of meat. And here, showing us exactly why, is new Hibiscus Coast butchery (and homeware store) Marrow.

After meating (sorry, we had to) in a butchers shop many moons ago, owners Nick—butcher extraordinaire—and Katie—designer whizz—decided to open their own spot back home where both passions can blossom within the Hibiscus Coast community.

While the combination of butchery and design may sound initially unexpected, both sides of Marrow circulate around minimal waste, proper techniques and organic produce, and together create a place where your future kitchen can flourish with remarkable food and wares. 

On the meat side of Marrow, Nick ensures the small and talented farmers in our big and beautiful backyard are celebrated and that all produce is of the highest quality—meticulously trimmed and prepared with a subtle flavour that lets the meat do the talking.

There’s even homemade condiments to take home, such as zesty herb spreads that complement and accentuate your chosen cuts. Whether you’re hosting the family BBQ or want to shop a little more sustainably, Marrow has you and your bellies sorted.

A Korean-Inspired Eatery Has Opened In Ellerslie With Chewy, Creamy Udon Noodles And Scampi Pasta On The Menu 

French toast from new Korean cafe, LuluImage credit: Louis Zhou for Lulu Cafe | Google Reviews

Amidst the hullabaloo of the Christmas holidays, a colourful new Korean cafe opened in Ellerslie. If you haven’t already had the pleasure, say hello to Lulu Cafe. After opening in late December, the new brunch spot has already received rave reviews from locals and far-flung visitors alike. 

The menu celebrates recognisable Korean flavours and strikes a great balance between sweet and savoury dishes with offerings perfect for early birds or those looking to extend brunch into lunch.

So far, it seems the creamy truffle mushroom udon is leading the charge where best-selling brunch items are concerned and we can see why. Dig into a bowl of cream-coated, chewy udon noodles, gently folded with a mushroom medley and salty bacon bits, sprinkled with dried black olive and served with tempura enoki and a soft egg yolk that adds a silky and sumptuous finish to an already unctuous dish.

Answer the call of your sweet tooth in epic fashion with the thick and fluffy French toast slab slice, served with fresh, seasonal fruit, Oreo crumble, strawberry puree and matcha mochi. With staff just as warm and welcoming as the food on offer, it’s time to hop, skip and brunch your way to Lulu.

A New Middle Eastern Eatery Is Coming To Auckland, Located Within 5-Star Luxury On The Waterfront

Gareth Stewart plating up at new Middle Eastern restaurant AdviehImage credit: Advieh | Instagram

Auckland is getting ready to unveil the latest addition to its iconic skyline in the form of the new, 5-star InterContinental Auckland later this month (Tuesday, 30 January) and housed within the deluxe walls is a new Middle Eastern restaurant, Advieh

Inspired by and named after the essence of Advieh (an aromatic Persian spice blend comparable to garam masala), the hotel’s flagship eatery is a celebration of the lively flavours found within Middle Eastern, Greek and Mediterranean cuisines, with dishes enriched by partner chef Gareth Stewart’s extensive travels and impressive 30-year career. 

Upon first glance, familiar Middle Eastern favourites rear their head across the sprawling breakfast, lunch and dinner menus—dolma, baklava, kataifi—just to name a few. However, these iconic dishes have been reimagined with innovative concepts and carefully weave in somewhat surprising yet incredibly welcomed Kiwi produce such as paua, Wapiti deer and Kawhia Coast flounder. 

Take the baklava, for example. This traditional dessert has been flipped on its head and now takes centre stage within the savoury section on the lunch and dinner menu. Staying true to its origin, the filo-based dish still highlights pistachio and Manuka honey beautifully but brings umami chicken liver and preserved kumquat to the table.

This experimental and playful ethos cascades through the menu—from the paua-stuffed dolma to the scampi and crayfish kataifi—an offering, which, dare we say, is a refreshing shake-up to the Auckland dining scene. The space itself is quietly luxurious as one could expect from the 5-star hotel’s reputation, providing the perfect backdrop to a morning, midday or evening of 5-star fare. 

There’s A New Choccie On The Block This Easter. Introducing The Choc Cross Bun Block From Whittaker’s

New Choc Cross Bun Block from Whittaker'sImage credit: Whittaker's | Instagram

It’s officially January and as we bid a sad farewell to novelty Santa-shaped choccie, it’s time to welcome the Easter sweet treat shift crew. But there’s a new kid on the block (see what we did there?) this year. Meet the new limited-edition Choc Cross Bun Block from Whittaker’s

Crafted using Whittaker’s classic 33% Five Roll Refined Creamy Milk chocolate as the base, the moreish milk choccie welcomes hot cross bun-inspired ingredients, including natural mixed spice, raisins and orange oil, creating a serious contender for its traditional carb counterpart.

With limited edition in the name, you best believe these exclusive Easter bars are around for a good time, not a long time, so pick up a block or two in stores from Monday, 5 February. 

The Grill Is Set To Sizzle Once Again As The Iconic Auckland Eatery Returns In March 2024

People sit down to dinner at The Grill.Image credit: The Grill | Supplied

Since its closure in early 2021, discerning diners up and down the country have been mourning the loss of one of Auckland’s most iconic dining institutions, The Grill, and the top-tier steak it was loved for.

Thankfully, our prayers have been answered as The Grill is set to sizzle once again as the star attraction at SkyCity’s new 5-star Horizon by SkyCity hotel is opening soon.

And with its reassurance comes the return of a familiar face aka Executive Chef Touvai Poloniati who began his acclaimed culinary path as an apprentice at SkyCity as a teenager. With Poloniati taking the reins, he and his team promise a feast that’s a love letter to Aotearoa’s tastiest treasures and a celebration of those behind the scenes.

From producers to purveyors, farmers to fisheries, diners can enjoy the finest quality grass-fed steaks and sustainable line-caught fish our country has to offer in dishes curated and grilled to perfection. 

Poloniati isn’t the only beloved classic returning to The Grill. Treasured dishes such as the beef Wellington and mac ‘n’ cheese are back (can we get an amen?), alongside new delights such as the Wapiti Venison Tartare that we’re just as excited to get stuck into.

The announcement has brought a flurry of excitement to the Auckland dining scene and we can’t wait 'til doors open and grills ignite once more. 

A Great Gatsby-Inspired Restaurant And Cocktail Bar Has Opened Within An Old Bank Building In Epsom 

View of new restaurant and cocktail bar The Emerald in EpsomImage credit: The Emerald | Instagram

Looking straight out of a scene from an F. Scott Fitzgerald novel is the new Epsom restaurant and cocktail bar, The Emerald

After almost four years of waiting, an iconic 1954 former bank building has been lovingly transformed into a glamorous hotspot that Jay Gatsby himself would be proud to frequent. Through regular renovation updates over on Instagram, the team has been busy getting the space ready, and the grand curtains have just fallen.

Drenched in emerald jewel tones, brushed velvet and gold accents, The Emerald perfectly captures the exuberance of the roaring 1920s through art-deco opulence. Amidst the fringed chandeliers, cosy cocktail nooks and plentiful palms, there’s one particular furnishing that demands attention when ordering your tipple of choice at the bar. Taking centre stage are vintage beer taps from the 1940s, painted in—you guessed it—emerald green. 

Whilst the drink and food offerings are still firmly under wraps, if the amount of hard work that has gone into creating such awe-inspiring interiors transcends into the menus, we have high, high hopes for what’s to come for The Emerald.  

The 9th, Yes 9th, Burger Burger Is Coming To Town And East Auckland, You’re In Luck

Burger from burger chain Burger BurgerImage credit: Burger Burger | Instagram

From the first 50-seat restaurant in Ponsonby in 2014 to the recent Torbay outpost, Burger Burger has spread its wings (and burger sauce) across the country through eight eateries in its 10-year reign. But the talented team isn't done yet—no sir. Number nine is on its way. 

Kicking the year off with a fantastic burger bang is the initial tease of a new spot. A massive shout-out to the super sleuths who quickly guessed where the new restaurant will open—Mission Bay. Joining the likes of Dantes, Uncle Man's and Temakeria, Burger Burger will open at The Eatery in Eastridge—but, you’ll have to wait to hear exactly when. Updates as we hear more, folks. 

A New Pizza-By-The-Slice Spot Has Opened In Mount Eden And It's Already Looking Like A Sell-Out Service (And For Good Reason)

Pizza at new pizza restaurant Rosalia's in Mount Eden, AucklandImage credit: Rosalia's | Instagram

Following the news from last week, it seems Parade and soon-to-open Bodega are the talk of the town. After quietly occupying a small, unbranded space on the corner of Mount Eden and Boston Road as their commercial kitchen, the team will soon share the space with new pizza-by-the-slice joint, Rosalia’s

Dreamt up from a place of pure passion after taste-testing their way around the pizza capital of the world, the Rosalia’s team has been busy perfecting its craft and from what we can see, is almost ready, with plenty of proven results to boot.

Specialising in pizza al taglio aka the street food pizza of Rome, Rosalia’s pizzas are baked in traditional large rectangles (before being cut into squares) and boast that instantly recognisable bubbly and airy Italian crust that’s been so elusive here in Aotearoa, before now. 

Speaking of toppings, there’s a take on the iconic pizza con patate with super thin potato slices and crispy bacon pieces atop a blanche base. Of course, there are refreshing remixes of classics such as fungi and pomodoro, too. 

Doors open on Wednesday, 17 January from 12 pm and already there are whispers of an early sell-out, so wave arrivederci to your packed lunch and head on over to Rosalia’s for your hump day lunch fix. 

Beloved Auckland Restaurant Ada Has Started A New Breakfast Service With A Hāngī Pork Belly Benedict Taking Centre Stage

Pork belly benedict at New Zealand restaurant AdaImage credit: Ada | Instagram

Known for dishing up some of Auckland’s most sought-after kai in some of the most idyllic surroundings in town, stellar New Zealand restaurant Ada has just given us even more reason to head to the Convent... breakfast. The brand-new breakfast service kicked off last Friday and is available every day (except Mondays) from 7:30 am and, as expected, it’s just as superb as its evening menu counterpart. 

With Head Chef Kia Kanuta leading the charge, traditional breakfast dishes have been reinvigorated with his recognisable indigenous-inspired flair and seasonal produce. Wave goodbye to bland oats and say hello to the grain-free granola, spiced with harakeke and horopito, served with shaved coconut, maple, seasonal fruit and a dollop of coconut yoghurt for good measure.

We have a sneaking suspicion that the hāngī pork belly benedict will top the till orders as Marmite hollandaise, kumara sourdough and melt-in-the-mouth hāngī pork belly are simply too good to resist.

For those after a wee snack to start the day, freshly baked pastries and Atomic Coffee are up for grabs, whilst not-so-early birds can relish the fact that Ada is also now open for lunch on Saturdays. To snooze or not to snooze—that is the question.

Cult Vegan Thai Eatery Khu Khu Is Opening A Third Restaurant In Auckland Promising Exceptional Plant-Powered Fare

Khu Khu owner Michael Khu outside the third Khu Khu eatery in AucklandImage credit: Khu Khu | Instagram

After winning over the hearts (and taste buds) of vegan and non-vegan eaters alike at its flagship Ponsonby and recently opened Milford eateries, vegan Thai restaurant Khu Khu is opening a third outpost in Auckland’s CBD. 

Famed for its seemingly effortless ability to recreate classic Thai dishes in solely plant-powered form, Khu Khu has amassed quite a loyal following, smashing the once ‘boring’ stereotypes one pad see ew at a time.

The new site will take over a spot within the Snickel Lane complex, joining the likes of La Fuente and Mad Samurai, with opening expected in early February. As for the menu, well, if Ponsonby and Milford are anything to go by, we can certainly expect the innovative and punchy flavours so synonymous with Khu Khu.

Whether it’s the crispy 'chicken' in zingy sauce or crunchy papaya salad, we can’t wait to see which familiar favourites grace the new spot’s menu. Founder Michael says the new space will also give the plant-powered team more space and freedom to experiment with new creative combinations which we absolutely can't wait to experience.  

Buckle Up Wellington - A New Croissant X Wine Bar Is Coming Your Way This Month

Cube croissants at new Wellington espresso and croissant bar Glou GlouImage credit: Glou Glou | Instagram

Butter, butter and more butter—quite arguably the recipe for success and where new croissanterie Glou Glou is concerned, the key ingredient behind pastry perfection. Due to open in January within Wellington’s The Exchange on Allen Street, the new espresso cum wine bar cum sweet treat destination has already been a hit with the locals.

At a one-off pop-up last October,  eager pastry aficionados were given a glimpse into the excellence they can expect to enjoy at the soon-to-open, permanent digs. 

And now, as we inch closer to the grand unveiling, get ready to feast your eyes and taste buds on Glou Glou’s offerings. Alongside classic and perfectly feuilleté aka laminated pastries such as butter and pain au chocolat, the team specialises in viral croissant cubes that have taken the baking world by storm. And we’re talking filled-to-the-brim.

From lemon meringue to hazelnut choc, flavoured cream cascades through each croissant cube's core, ensuring each mouthful is both marvellous and unapologetically messy. Coffee is courtesy of beloved Wellington roasters, Supreme and there’s even hand-whisked matcha up for grabs. Whilst we wait to hear more about the wine bar element of Glou Glou, keep up with opening dates and pastry bakes here. 

The Team Behind Parade Are Opening A New York Deli And Bistro In March

Steak sandwich from new New York sandwich shop and bistro, BodegaImage credit: Parade | Instagram

First Food News of the new year and we’re off to a scorcher with the latest announcement from the team at Parade. Auckland’s go-to for premier pretzel burgers has revealed its opening a brand-new eatery called Bodega in March.

Taking residence on the corner of Williamson Avenue and Ponsonby Road, Bodega will offer made-to-order sandwiches inspired by New York’s Italian-style delis in fresh, homemade buns already so synonymous with its sister site Parade. 

The team has been kind enough to tease us with a few sneak peeks of potential items, including what looks like a chimichurri steak baguette packed with crispy frites and a classic combo of stracciatella and salami in a pillowy roll - safe to say March can’t come soon enough.

Along with a made-to-order sammie station, it looks like there will be a variety of sweet treats and pastries to order, including filled-to-the-brim cannoli. While the deli will be in full swing by day, as dusk falls, Bodega will transform into an evening bistro akin to its iconic New York counterparts such as Benoit and Raoul's. As always, updates as we hear more. 

A New Rooftop Bar Has Opened In Auckland In Time For Drinks Al Fresco, With Superb Food To Boot

Cocktail at new rooftop bar and eatery Darling on DrakeImage credit: Darling on Drake | Instagram

Despite opening just three weeks ago, new rooftop bar Darling on Drake is already cementing itself as one of, if not THE ‘it’ place to dine and drink this summer and beyond. Rivalling the likes of Hotel Ponsonby and East Street Hall where cool hangouts are concerned, Darling on Drake is taking the Auckland food and drink scene by serious storm. 

With seasoned hospitality pro Fraser Kirby at the helm, it’s clear to see how his expansive industry career has shaped his own, specially-made slice of hospitality heaven. Whether it’s through the opulent decor, sprawling outdoor deck with unbeatable views or the meticulously crafted food and drink menu, a trip (or two) to Darling on Drake is a must. 

Fitted out in deep burgundy hues and grand marble furnishings, the space feels like stepping into a special occasion every time, naturally creating aesthetic vistas worth posting to Stories. The wrap-around bar is where the mixology magic happens, offering a selection of fancier cocktails (The Serpent is a must) alongside beers, wine and cocktails on tap. 

Choosing to match the notable drink offerings with equally memorable food might be a mean feat for most, but Kirby has nailed it in spectacular form. The menu is a reflection of Kirby’s worldly travels combined with iconic dishes reimagined with playful twists for today’s discerning diner.

The potato scallops served with vinegar powder and curry aioli gives a nod to an iconic English chippy staple while the strawberry and sherry trifle, served with kitsch sprinkles, is reminiscent of children's birthday parties or Granny’s time-honoured recipe. 

Whether you're after a sit-down meal with a partner or drinks on the decks with friends, Darling on Drake ticks every box.

Whangamatā Welcomes A New Spanish-Inspired Eatery That’s Already Receiving Rave Reviews From Visitors And Locals Alike

Whangamata welcomes new Spanish-inspired eatery Camina to the neighbourhoodImage credit: Camina | Instagram

New contemporary Spanish-style eatery Camina has opened in Whangamatā, warming hearts and fueling hungry tummies one delicious dish at a time. Taking over a former cinema in a myriad of mini laneways, Camina is the love child of co-owners Rowan and Barend who, after pursuing cheffing and musical passions around the world, are ready to settle down and pour their hearts, souls and taste buds into their latest venture. 

Camina, translating as ‘walk’ or ‘wending one’s way’ in Spanish, fits perfectly with the notion of enjoying a stop-off of great company and even greater food on your ‘camina’ aka travels around the Coromandel/Waikato region. Along with creating a space doubling as a well-deserved respite spot for visitors from far and wide, the dynamic duo are equally as passionate about fostering the Whangamata community spirit—and what better way to bring people together than through superb food. 

Fire is central to Camina’s style of cooking, stripping it back to simpler times, allowing the seasonal and localised fare to shine beautifully. The Spanish-style menu gives a nod to traditional tapas—all designed to be shared and guaranteed to delight.

A few standouts include the mussel and nduja tostada—a salty and smokey open snack that leads exquisitely into the grilled cabbage wedge served with a subtly sweet tomato jam, labneh and spiced almonds.

The lamb skewers with lemon, anchovy and accompanying flatbreads are a must (askew knives and forks at this point) and save room for the homemade S’more with Coromandel chocolate. With glowing reviews from locals and visitors alike, Camina is evidently a pitstop worth making. 

Disguised As A Classic Kiwi Dairy, New Diner Loosies Superette Lands On Cuba Street

New diner Loosies Superette has landed in WellingtonImage credit: Loosies Superette | Instagram

At first glance, new Welly diner Loosies Superette looks like any other Dairy that’s conveniently popped up on Cuba Street. But inside, you won’t find your $2 lolly bags or tepid pies—no no. Instead, a kaleidoscope of colour, banging tunes and cheap eats awaits. 

80s convenience store exterior aside, Loosies is a high-energy diner cum dive bar serving classic American-style dishes (day or night) that caters to those looking for a quick bite to eat to groups parking up for the day around the pool tables.

The menu is unfussy, uncomplicated and everything you could desire from upmarket diner fare. Starting strong with the can o’ nachos which is exactly what it says on the tin (pun intended) and the whole blooming fried onion covered in American cheese sauce, Flaming Hot Cheetos and plenty of moorish, crispy bits to pick at.

Other stand-outs include the steak, egg and chips served with a sea of red-eye gravy hot sauce for dipping and the deep-fried NY cheesecake for afters. Beers, wine, boozy shakes and cocktails (including the Jelly Tip espresso martini) will keep you going all day and night and there are always some specials to make the most of. 

Don’t forget to venture downstairs to explore the billiards room which, as the large neon sign advertises, was once a former brothel, and is now a cosy, speakeasy-style games’ room. All in all, don’t be surprised to step into Loosies while the sun is up and leave as the cows come home. 

A Sophisticated Steakhouse Has Arrived In Remuera, Offering Melt-In-The-Mouth Wagyu And Bone Marrow Butter

New steakhouse Manzo in Remuera, AucklandImage credit: Royal Reed for Manzo | Instagram

Sometimes only a perfectly cooked steak (rare is the only right answer here) will cut the mustard. Thankfully, after what seems like a lull in new steakhouse openings, our aged, marbled prayers have finally been answered in the form of Manzo. This new Remuera restaurant is a celebration of carnivore excellence located within a chic, velvet-lined venue on Remuera Road. 

While Manzo draws inspiration from global steakhouse superstars, owners Fabrizio and Taryne Napolitano are passionate about ensuring the spotlight shines on the premier New Zealand meat that takes centre stage on the mouth-watering menu. 

After sourcing meat fresh from small, family-run farms, the Manzo team get to work dry ageing Wagyu and other steak cuts in-house, ready to hit the griddle for a plethora of starters, mains and sharing sides.

From the short rib with aubergine, tomato fondue and black garlic to the ‘handpicked’ eye fillet with fungi hollandaise and kina, choosing which main to order is a pretty tough feat—especially when considering the wagyu section. Here, a handful of cuts and sizes are presented alongside a small selection of accompanying sides such as bone marrow butter with coriander and pancetta. 

Non-meat-eaters, never fear—Manzo is here with a handful of fish and vegetarian suitable dishes that are equally as delish. So, make an excuse for a special occasion and hot-foot it to what is shaping up to be Auckland’s latest and greatest steakhouse. 

Kingsland Welcomes New Brewery Saint Leonards Brewing To The Neighbourhood, Taking Over A Former Panel Beater Workshop

New brewery Saint Leonards Brewing in KinglandImage credit: Steve Ryder for Saint Leonards Brewing | Instagram

Joining the likes of Garage Project and Urbanaut and therefore solidifying Kingsland as the go-to suburb for superb craft beer is a new brewery on the block, Saint Leonards Brewing

Taking residence in a former panel beater workshop, the large space has remained predominantly industrial, using the inside area to house the large tanks while the backyard has transformed into a spacious beer garden/bar.

As for the team behind this new beer spot? Well, with the likes of Hideaway and Revelry up their sleeves, the beer-loving bunch certainly know a thing or two about what it takes to run a successful hospo haunt. 

A home-brewed passion project has now blossomed into an already popular hangout, with pints of exclusive saisons, sours and hoppy hazys flowing day and night.

As the warm weather continues to slowly creep in and with plenty of outdoor space to fill, Saint Leonards Brewing has summer sessions well and truly catered for this year.

Westmere Welcomes A New Bakery, Celebrating Nostalgic Kiwi Treats Reimagined For Today

New bakery Beabea's has opened in Westmere, AucklandImage credit: Beabea's | Instagram

Kiwis and bakeries—name a more iconic duo—we’ll wait. Well, where Sarah and Benjamin of the new bakery Beabea’s are concerned, there might be another rightful contender. 

The latest Westmere opening joining the likes of new deli cum pasteria Stracci and neighbourhood taco joint Ragtag is Beabea’s—the love child of dynamic duo Ben and Sarah who met whilst working at Daily Bread. You could say butter runs through their veins.

The pastry-mad pair wanted to venture out on their own, creating a small place that celebrates the iconic pastry creations of Aotearoa and the stories we can all relate to that surround them. Take Beabea’s flaky steak and cheese pie—baked into a square-shaped pastry parcel—reminiscent of frozen snack pies you’d sneak before dinner.

But, in true Auckland fashion, these treats are a grown-up, trendier version—the kind you’re proud to post to your Stories. Get ready to eat your way down memory lane with the Louise Slice croissant—an airy, flaky version packed with comforting coconut and jam flavours. 

The space itself is super simple, allowing the perfectly baked pastries that line the minimalist, steel-top counter to do all the talking while you do all (and we mean all) the munching. 

A New Italian Eatery Has Arrived In Auckland Serving Burrata For Brekkie And Tiramisu Martinis All Day

Sylvia Park welcomes new all-day Italian restaurant Baci EateryImage credit: Baci | Instagram

All-day Italian dining? Where do we sign? Baci Eatery is the new Italian eatery taking Auckland’s Sylvia Park by storm, offering fresh and flavourful European eats from morning to night at the popular shopping precinct.

Drawing inspiration from Positano's picture-perfect postcard vistas, Baci Eatery boasts an al fresco dining terrace adorned with fresh, low-hanging flowers simply crying out for an Aperol Spritz post-Mecca trip.

For all you early birds after a pre-sale feed, Baci Eatery might be the only place in AKL to order breakfast burrata so definitely jump at the chance to... it's served with toasted ciabatta, pesto and tomatoes for slathering and dipping. Lunch/dins showcase elevated Italian classics such as linguine with burnt chilli butter and clams and Formaggio pizza (four cheese) topped with honey and thyme for a little extra ‘mmm'’. 

Now the real pièce de résistance comes in the form of something sweet and shaken—the tiramisu martini, topped with a delicate sponge finger and packed with a boozy, creamy concoction. All in all, no matter the time of day, Baci Eatery has plenty of delish eats to fuel your shopathon. 

Queenstown Welcomes A New Tex-Mex Eatery Fuelled By Margarita Slushies, Just In Time For Summer

New Tex-Mex eatery Miss Rita's Cantina has opened in QueenstownImage credit: Miss Rita's Cantina | Supplied

Bringing a generous dose of tequila-fuelled slushies to summer is a new Tex-Mex eatery, Miss Rita’s Cantina. The flavour (and fun)-filled dining destination has recently opened its brightly painted doors in Queenstown (just below the Skyline Gondola) and already, it’s looking like a contender for best cheap eats in town thanks to the daily deals on offer.

Promos aka Rita’s Rituals include but are not limited to, Taco Tuesday, Texas Fold 'em Thursday (aka any quesadilla for $16), lunch specials at $16 and 4-6 pm happy hour daily—and we’re just getting started. 

Promos aside, the entire and extensive menu celebrates classic Tex-Mex flavours and boasts plenty of familiar favourites, ensuring there’s something for everyone, including those fussy friends.

From plates of crispy fried chicken to jam-packed burritos and share (or not to share) nachos, post-adventures are well and truly catered for. If you’re lucky, nab a spot in the sun-soaked courtyard for an afternoon of al fresco frozen margs—bliss. 

A New Hidden, Hole-In-The-Wall Coffee Spot Has Opened On Dominion Road 

Ace Coffee, a new hole-in-the-wall coffee shop has opened on Dominion RoadImage credit: Ace Coffee | Instagram

Tucked tightly between Dominion Road’s iconic Capital Cinema and a tea house is quite possibly the latest (and greatest) contender for Auckland’s smallest coffee spot. Enter Ace Coffee

With a width not much greater than Steven Adams' arm span and just enough room for a two-person-seating window bench, while small, this new space already feels like a cosy coffee-laden hug.

Ace Coffee’s Mia and Tatiana are just as warm and welcoming—the type of people who would remember your name and coffee order after your first visit. Speaking of coffee, Hummingbird is the bean of choice at Ace and may we add, very reasonably priced. They’ve even stocked a cake stand or two with donuts from new Korean bakery Small Mercies which, if you haven’t already tried, are a must-have moreish treat. 

It’s simply the perfect little pit-stop for a midweek pick-me-up.

Manuewra’s Hill House Cafe Is Bringing Its Cinnabuns To Mount Roskill At Its New Pop-Up Kitchen

Cinnabun from Hill House Cafe in Manuewra, AucklandImage credit: Hill House Cafe | Instagram

A visit to Manurewa isn’t complete without a stop-off to the cosy, vibrant and welcoming Hill House Cafe. Along with being the perfect pit stop for locals and visitors, this suburban cafe is also home to one of Auckland’s most treasured sweet treats—the cinnabun.

Covered in lashings of cream cheese frosting and topped with crunchy nuts, this pull-apart bun has been atop our lists for years. And now, Hill House is giving Aucklanders double the chance to get their hands on these coveted cream buns as they've just opened a Mount Roskill pop-up kitchen space. 

After a successful run over Christmas, the team are now busy getting their ducks in a row ready to open the Hill House Kitchen to the public on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 9am till 1pm from February 9. Yas.

A New Contemporary Chinese Eatery Opens In Ponsonby This Week

The dining room at Xie XieImage credit: XieXie | Supplied

As if Ponsonby Road wasn’t already our go-to for all things eating, dining and shopping, this foodie precinct / Ponsonby paradise is just about to welcome a new contemporary Chinese restaurant to the area.

From the team behind cult Asian eateries Eden Noodles and Biang Biang Noodles, new spot XièXiè, meaning 'thanks' in Mandarin, is a place where gratitude meets gastronomy—in short, an eatery that welcomes both exceptional eats and immaculate vibes.

Thoughtfully incorporating influential and iconic Chinese dishes with contemporary techniques and innovative flavours, the team at XièXiè prides itself on creative Chinese fusion that both astounds and delights. 

Now, food. Don’t look past the slow-cooked eggplant stuffed with spiced pork mince and honey to start that pairs perfectly with the beer-battered Asian mushrooms—to dip or not to dip, that is the question. Dumplings are mandatory—sorry we don’t make the rules—especially where truffle pork with oyster mushroom dumplings are concerned.

Save room for mains as the Xinjiang cumin lamb ribs are a true menu masterpiece. With small bites, big bites, dumplings and desserts on offer, XièXiè is made for rallying the gang to maximise trying everything on the menu. Get to the grand opening this Thursday, December 7. 

Speciality Auckland Roasters Atomic Coffee Has Opened A New Chic Espresso Bar In The CBD

Atomic Coffee Roasters opens fifth coffee spot in Auckland's CBDImage credit: Atomic Coffee Roasters | Instagram

Here cementing Aotearoa as one of the best in the biz when it comes to all things coffee is the latest opening from Atomic Coffee Roasters. The Auckland-based speciality roasters have just opened a new espresso bar on Graham Street in the CBD, offering that superb, speciality coffee experience we know and love from the talented team. 

While small, this fifth permanent set-up is perfectly sleek (and chic), boasting a deliberate, unfussy and uncomplicated feel. The complexity, however, lies within the coffee on offer. Known for taking no shortcuts when it comes to the perfect pour, the Atomic team is versed in crafting maximum flavour that delivers rich and robust extraction every single time. 

Along with ordering in your go-to six ounces, the new spot has a selection of sammies and sweet treats that’ll certainly trump your packed lunch, so you know what to do, go and see what all the rightful fuss is all about. 

A Hidden Korean Eatery And Bar Has Opened In Auckland And, It’s A Secret Spot Worth Sniffing Out 

A new hidden Korean eatery has opened in Auckland called Ssam'JangImage credit: Ssam'Jang | Instagram

Hidden underground, with an interior inspired by old school streets is a brand new, secret and oh-so delicious Korean eatery. 

Along with sharing its name with a Korean dipping sauce, Ssam'Jang specialises in ssam dishes, meaning ‘wrapped’ in Korean, referring to the art of wrapping meat and rice inside (typically) a lettuce leaf wrap.

With that said, let us introduce you to the mixed ssam platter. Designed to be shared amongst friends, enjoy a big ol' serving of succulent pork cooked three ways, including grilled pork belly (samgyeopsal) and an array of sauces and leafy greens. From here, simply load up your leaf with meat, top with your desired sauce and voilà—the perfect pork parcel. 

Other notable dishes include the beef tartare (yukhoe)—subtly spiced and served with a crispy rice paper cracker to scoop and stuff away—and the spicy noodle soup (jjamppong) boasting chewy noodles, spicy seafood and melt-in-the-mouth pork, alongside a few of your five-a-day, of course. 

Would it be an underground Korean eatery without a little soju? You’ll be pleased to know there’s plenty—and well-priced at that. Sniff out Ssam'Jang for yourself on Lorne Street—if you can spot it, that is. 

A World-Class Dining Destination Is Opening In Arrowtown Next Week, Boasting An Array Of New Eateries And Bars In One Heavenly Heritage Site 

New dining destination Ayrburn gets ready to open in ArrowtownImage credit: Ayrburn | Instagram

If you were looking for another reason to take a vacay to the picture-perfect Otago region, the new premier dining precinct Ayrburn is sure to do the trick. Set between the snow-capped foothills of Coronet Peak and The Remarkables, and just a hop, skip and sledge away from Arrowtown, is the region’s, if not the country’s, most exciting dining destination opening of the year.

Within a reimagined 150-year-old heritage building lies an array of world-class bars and eateries, welcoming guests of all ages through its doors to dine, drink, relax and, more importantly, have fun. 

Whether you’re looking for a special occasion supper or a post-mountain pour, Ayrburn has you covered. Eateries like The Woolshed are made for unfussy and uncomplicated casual dining, whereas the more adult-only Manure Room draws inspiration from hidden speakeasies, offering speciality wines from the area and beyond. 

A place that encourages anyone looking to celebrate special occasions and those looking to lounge on the lawns with sweet treats in tow, Ayrburn is shaping up to become your one-stop summer stop as it gears up for opening day on Saturday, 9 December. 

North Shore Residents, Get Ready For A Summer Of Soft-Serve Croissant Cones As Viral Bakery Luna Bakehouse Opens In Takapuna

Luna Bakehouse will open a third location in TakapunaImage credit: Luna Bakehouse | Instagram

News just in—Luna Bakehouse is coming to Takapuna. Everyone’s favourite OTT bakery and cakery is opening its third location soon (opening date TBC) in the heart of Takapuna, on Hurstmere Road, just a few doors down from the excellent Domo Bakery, and we're totally here for this new bakery hub.

Known for its innovative pastry offerings, classic croissant-filled cabinets and decadently decorated occasion cakes, North Shore residents, you’re certainly in for a treat (or two) when doors open. 

The passionate pastry team behind Luna Bakehouse is no stranger to viral sweet treat sensations, thanks to its queue-worthy soft-serve croissant cone creations. Having successfully transformed a typically buttery breakfast pastry into a cone, every few weeks or so, the creative croissant connoisseurs fill these cones with a rotating roster of special soft-serve flavours.

Previous flavours include Milo, Brown Sugar Bubble Tea and Biscoff. Along with these must-try ice cream creations, Luna Bakehouse is also recognised for its well-executed and perhaps more traditional pastries such as pain au chocolat and raspberry almond croissants. Of course, they often sneak in a limited edition supreme-filled croissant which, as you guessed, sell out like hot cakes croissants. 

Brothless Ramen Is The Latest (And Greatest) Dish To Touchdown In Aotearoa As Japanese Chain Kajiken Opens In Auckland

Japanese restaurant chain Kajiken has opened in AucklandImage credit: Kajiken | Instagram

Having taken Japan and the rest of the world by storm, Kajiken has finally landed in New Zealand. The popular Japanese-born restaurant chain has just opened its first eatery on O'Connell Street in Auckland’s CBD, and locals are already enamoured with Kajiken's unique noodle offerings. At first glance, Kajiken may look like the new ramen kid on the block but upon closer inspection, you’ll see these big bowls are eschew broth. Enter Mazesoba. 

In essence, Mazesoba is a soupless ramen dish, with ‘maze’ meaning 'to mix' all of the fresh ramen noodles and various toppings in your bowl. Umami, spicy and blended special sauces pack punchy flavour, while toppings ranging from soft-boiled eggs, sliced pork and fresh veggies are available to add to your chewy bowl of noodles.

And that’s the beauty of Mazesoba—it’s completely customisable. Fancy going all out with all toppings and sauces? Knock your socks off. Wanna let the team do the work for you? Order one of the pre-built bowls, such as the Spicy Keema Curry with curry minced pork, noodles and poached egg—easy. Whatever you choose, Kajiken is always a good choice. 

A Chic And Contemporary Korean Skewer Eatery Has Opened In Browns Bay, Boasting Innovative Flavour Combos And Cocktails

A new Korean skewer bar and eatery has opened in Browns BayImage credit: Dandi | Instagram

While you may already be familiar with juicy, lightly charred yakitori skewers from some of Auckland’s established Japanese hole-in-the-wall eateries (ahem, Tanuki's Cave), the new Browns Bay eatery Dandi is here to represent Korea’s offerings. Dandi is a new, contemporary Korean skewer bar offering speciality Korean skewers (traditionally known as Kochi) in a chic, minimalist space on Auckland’s North Shore. 

If you’re new to the world of Kochi, get ready to meet your new obsession. This popular street-food snack is, in its simplest form, charred skewers (typically meat). Dandi has taken this simple yet scrumptious street food snack and transformed it into an array of skewer-based dishes worthy of a special occasion lunch or dinner.

Like Kochi, the menu is simple—skewers are split into three sections (meat, seafood and vege), however, these Kochi combinations and flavours are far from. Options extend from slow-cooked soy-marinated short rib to garlic butter king prawns, and you’ll find that most skewers are served atop some form of posh mashed potato to add a little extra substance (and yum) to your skewer(s) of choice. Finish with a Korean cocktail or two and you're on for a truly memorable dinner. 

Karangahape Road Welcomes New South East Asian Eatery, Desa Corner, To The Neighbourhood

Desa Corner - A new South East Asian eatery - has opened on Karangahape RoadImage credit: Desa Corner | Nuan Sisi 

Karangahape Road is no stranger to standout eateries, and the popular foodie precinct has just welcomed yet another must-visit dining destination to its impressive restaurant portfolio.

Desa Corner is a new Southeast Asian restaurant located at the former spot of Hollywood Bakery on the corner of Mercury Lane and Karangahape Road, specialising in iconic and authentic Malaysian dishes. While large, this menu and its items don’t compromise on quality. From Nasi Lemak to Sizzling Yee Mee, Desa Corner has everyone’s cravings catered for—whether you’re accustomed to the cuisine or looking to try something new. 

Among the familiar favourites, you’ll find some lesser-found Malaysian dishes gracing the menu, including stuffed roti. Along with flaky, buttery plain varieties to dunk into your noodles, order in options such as the Roti Sarang Burung—a bird-nest shaped version filled with sunny side up eggs and served with a spiced, curry gravy—an invitation for dipping. We recommend wrangling the crew together so you can order as much of this equally extensive and delicious menu as possible. 

Cult Vegan Pâtisserie Maison Des Lys Is Opening A Second Bakery In Mount Eden Village

Maison des Lys vegan croissants on display as they prepare to open a second location in Mount EdenImage credit: Maison Des Lys | Instagram

Whether you’re vegan or not, you’re probably no stranger to the lines of people queuing for a freshly baked, flaky pastry creation from Maison des Lys and, chances are, you’ve been one of them. Whilst bearing all of the same (if not better) characteristics of a traditional, buttery croissant, at this Grey Lynn bakery, you won’t find any butter in sight—nor any other dairy or animal-based ingredients, for that matter. Yep, these perfectly laminated pastries are all plant-based. 

French-born, vegan owner Drissilla has struck the perfect balance between traditional French pâtisserie technique and a contemporary vegan ethos, baking sell-out vegan variations of pain suisse, pain au chocolat and hazelnut croissants.

And now, giving us double the chance to get our hands on one (or two) of these coveted croissants, Maison des Lys has just opened a second location in Mount Eden. What a time to be alive.

A New Bagel Eatery Is Opening On Ponsonby Road This Week With Free Bagels Up For Grabs On Opening Day

An almond bagel from new bagel eatery Auckland Bagel Club opening this week on Ponsonby RoadImage credit: Auckland Bagel Club | Instagram

Learning your ABCs has never been easier or tastier thanks to new bagel kid on the block, Auckland Bagel Club (ABC). Sharing the same location as Boss Don restaurant on Ponsonby Road, the new bagelry takes the art of perfecting chewy, dense, holey bagels very seriously and, you’ll be pleased to hear, they’ve cracked the code.

For the last week, the team behind the new bagel spot has been teasing a few of their soon-to-launch menu items, including plenty of fully loaded and filled bagel flavours. ABC specialises in open bagels, delivering double the topping fun and maximum ‘yum’.

The loaded ham bagel is a fine example of how sometimes more is more. Layers upon layers of house-cured, cooked and sliced ham top a daily baked sesame bagel, served with a dollop or two of tangy, homemade tartare sauce and a generous helping of cracked black pepper.

You thought we were done? Say hello to the almond bagel stuffed with cream cheese and a sticky, sugary syrup. 

Auckland Bagel Club will open on Friday, 24 November and, to celebrate, will be handing out 200 free bagels—see you there. 

A Popular Plant-Powered Filipino Restaurant Is Opening In Eden Terrace This Weekend

Vegan fried chicken from new vegan Filipino eatery LuntianImage credit: Luntian | Instagram

When thinking of Filipino cooking, mouth-watering meat dishes such as kare-kare and lechón may be two that spring to mind for a cuisine known to celebrate all things carnivorous. However, the new Filipino eatery Luntian is here to shine this cuisine into a new, plant-powered spotlight. 

After adopting a vegan diet five years ago, Luntian owner Angel struggled to find Filipino food she could enjoy, so she made it her mission to create and serve her favourite Filipino flavours reimagined into just as (if not more) delicious vegan versions. And now, after successful sell-out market stalls, Luntian is getting ready to open the doors of its permanent location on Saturday, 18 November in Eden Terrace. 

With a menu designed to be enjoyed by both non and full-meat eaters, Angel wanted to create dishes that appealed to those already familiar with Filipino cuisine and first-timers. We’re secretly hoping Luntian's famous plant-based Filipino fried chicken will make a star appearance but, like you, we’ll have to wait and see for the full menu reveal as this innovative and experimental eatery gets ready to cut the ribbon on opening night. 

A New Creative Korean Cafe Has Opened In Uptown And It's Got Sunday Morning Sippin' Sorted

A new Korean cafe has opened in Mount EdenImage credit: Cafe Ditto | Instagram

Uptown is on one heck of a roll when it comes to new cafes. After the recent arrival of Holiday and Small Mercies, Cafe Ditto is the latest coffee spot to join the ranks. The new cafe is the passion project of owner Claire, who, after running a cafe in Seoul and more recently a brand design agency in New Zealand, has poured her love of creativity and coffee into the new space. 

The new cafe already boasts an effortless home-away-from-home feel, making early Saturday mornings a lot more bearable. Claire has filled the space with eclectic knick-knacks and Bauhaus-style seats, creating a warm and welcoming sanctuary reminiscent of a Pinterest-worthy living room.

Along with the day-to-day cafe, Claire is hoping to use the space as a creative hangout, hosting art classes and creative workshops at night. 

With a Korean background, you can expect some familiar favourites on the menu at Cafe Ditto. Along with the usual coffee culprits, there’s frothy iced matcha and seasonal specials, including the current tomato basil ade (a refreshing Korean sparkling drink that’s bound to become a new summer fave).

Sweet treat specialities include the kouign-amann (crispy, caramelised pastry) available in original, lemon, cinnamon and chocolate flavours. All in all Cafe Ditto is the perfect coffee spot stop off before meandering up Maungawhau and beyond. 

Mexico Launches New Summer Menu Celebrating All Things Tasty And Tequila

Mexico launches new menu in time for summerImage credit: Mexico | Supplied

Home to some of the nation’s best fried chicken and tasty tequila tipples—it can only be Mexico. And now, just in time for tacos and tequila al fresco, the much-loved Mexican restaurant chain is launching its brand spanking new summer menu and trust us, it’s the ultimate flavour fiesta, celebrating all things saucy, smokey, sticky and spicy. 

First up, taking centre stage in the small plates domain is the fresh fish ceviche, layered with juicy melon, pops of pomegranate seeds and chilli, served with a nest of crunchy corn shards a.k.a posh shredded chips.

It would be rude not to follow with a couple of tacos (each) and be sure to order in the new chipotle and lime-buttered smothered prawns for afters—a Mexico must if you will. But the fun doesn’t stop there—no sir.

Last but by no means least are three new margarita flavours, including sour lemon and yuzu and raspberry and rhubarb—don’t mind if we do. Mexico’s summer menu has after-work plans well and truly ticked off.

Premier Patisserie Mibo Has Opened A Second Bigger Bakery In Wynyard Quarter 

Mibo Bakery opens second bakery in Auckland CBD Image credit: Mibo | Instagram

After only opening the doors of its Mount Eden bakery just last February, one of Auckland’s premier patisseries, Mibo, opened its second spot in Wynyard Quarter on Monday. The spot, famed for its seven-day-a-week queues and pastries worth lining up for, has moved into a bigger space for Mibo 2.0, meaning more room to bake larger batches and more room for early risers to sit and savour their preferred pastries.

The new spot will act as Mibo’s mothership, delivering fresh pastries to the Mount Eden site every morning, and with more bakes, means less chance of selling out. Can we get an amen? 

Speaking of bakes, for those who aren’t already fluent in Mibo’s flaky pastries, if there’s one place to start, it’s the almond croissant. Here, a perfectly laminated pastry plays host to a crunchy, oozy almond filling topped with sugar-sprinkled slithered almonds. And yes, your shirt/car will inadvertently get covered—but boy, is it worth it. 

A New Dining, Drinking And Shopping Precinct Is Opening In Hamilton This Weekend

A new dining, drinking and shopping destination opens in Hamilton this weekendImage credit: Made | Instagram

Hamilton, say hello to your new date night, coffee stop and grocery shop drinking, dining and shopping destination—Made. Opening Saturday, November 4, the new urban precinct is a celebration of local businesses and recognised Kiwi names, offering a plethora of eateries, bars and shops to tick off in one trip. 

Open day and night, visitors to the Grey Street location can stop in for a cup of the good stuff at the new Grey Roasting Co space in the morning, pick up freshly made bread and deli bits from the indoor farmers market in the arvo, and stay for dinner at one of the many restaurants.

With the likes of Mezze, Burger Burger and The Green to choose from, Made is looking like an all-day affair and we’re certainly not mad about it. And, just in time for summer, the Made mezzanine will also open, providing an expansive rooftop deck to soak in the sunshine with a glass of Hāpi beer or wine from Amphora in hand.

Top it off with a spot of shopping at an irresistible array of independent boutiques and stores, and you're looking at a solid way to spend a Saturday, Sunday or all damn weekend.

A New Secret Specialist Coffee Spot Has Opened In Uptown And It’s Seriously Cool

A new hidden specialist coffee shop has opened in UptownImage credit: Holiday | Instagram

Tucked between a sushi spot and a cycling shop in Uptown is a new coffee spot, Holiday. With only a small decal on the door revealing its location already, Holiday feels like a local hangout secret you’ll want to be in on.

The space itself is just as intentionally laidback—timber cladding lines the walls, simple bench seating surrounds the perimeter and bare concrete on the floors. It’s the perfect marriage of industrial edge and minimalist chic. 

But one component of Holiday is not so simple—the coffee. Taking centre stage on the wooden bench is the KVDW espresso machine—an impressive feat of caffeine engineering designed to deliver unrivalled coffee and that it does.

Despite being open for just a couple of days, Holiday is quickly making a name for itself as the one to watch when it comes to superb coffee—a craft the team have successfully mastered. There are a couple of sandwich options to choose from that showcase simple flavour combinations within thick, rustic baguettes. All in all, Holiday truly is a secret worth shouting about. 

Meet Norma Taps—A New Bar And Refillery From The Team Behind Honest Rum

Someone pulls a beer from a tap at Norma Taps.Image credit: Norma Taps | Supplied

From the team who brought us the most lip-smackingly sumptuous rum range, the dynamic duo behind Honest presents Auckland with their latest project, Norma Taps

Described as an Honest pop-up bar and refillery, the City Works Depot location gives a new outlook on sustainable dining and drinking. The premise is a bar of 24 carefully curated taps, eliminating single-use bottles and allowing for a quicker, swifter service. While the contents of said taps are still under wraps, it’s sure to be nothing short of delish. 

Of course, in true Honest fashion, there'll also be a slick menu of new batch crafted cocktails, premium spirits, wines and even bevs for designated drivers. And where food is concerned, with a little help from their friends at Auckland pop-up pizza frita place Passa Passa, Norma Taps has you covered with a menu of Italian dishes and light bites—YUM.

Norma Taps is scheduled to open Thursday, November 9, and we can’t wait to join, what we expect, plenty of you on their opening night. 

Cult Coffee Shop Receptionist Opens A New Auckland City Location And, It’s Just As Superb 

Someone wearing a suit makes a coffee at Receptionist.Image credit: Receptionist | @struancaughey

From a hole-in-the-wall set-up to permanent digs on Little High Street, now, uber-chic coffee shop Receptionist has opened a third spot in Auckland's CBD. There’s simply no stopping the suit-wearing team who, over the last few years, have grown from strength to strength, earning their spot in a list of 'Auckland’s best cafes worth bragging about'. 

The new spot, tucked off Queen Street, differs in decor from its Little High Street sister. Terracotta tiles line the walls from floor to ceiling, creating a warm sanctuary with more seating than before. However, one thing remains the same—Receptionist's ability to craft incredible cups of coffee and bake some of the city's most delectable artisan pastries. Special mention to their almond croissant, which alone is a reason worth leaving the comfort of your couch for. 

A New Cafe Is Coming To Epsom This November And It’s Got ‘New Local Hangout’ Written All Over It

New cafe Epsom Corner will open in Auckland this NovemberImage credit: Epsom Corner | Instagram

Epsom, you’re up. Coming soon to Manukau Road is a new cafe on the block, Epsom Corner. Opening sometime in November, while much is still to be revealed, this new neighbourhood cafe is quietly confident it’ll become your new local hangout. 

What we do know is a seasonal menu of classic yet contemporary brunch items will take centre stage within the heritage building location, with ample space for the whole family to relax. And with caffeine legends Supreme Coffee leading the cappuccino charge, we’re in the safest hands. More details as they emerge.

A Secret Gin Garden Is Popping Up In Ponsonby This Summer

The secret gin garden at Broken Lantern.Image credit: The Broken Lantern | Supplied

Everyone’s favourite Ponsonby road haunt The Broken Lantern is transforming into a gorgeous Scapegrace Secret Garden this summer and you’re invited to the launch party. 

Kicking off on Thursday 19 October from 6pm, the Art Dept and Scapegrace have collaborated to transform the courtyard into a vibrant summer gin garden pop-up that will champion summer flavours and the delectable Scapegrace range.

Expect concoctions like Blood Orange & Balsamic Strawberry Frose, several different kinds of Sangria, a versatile Negroni menu that can also be savoured as Sbagliato, sophisticated G&Ts, and an exquisite assortment of Spritz cocktails, all of which will change regularly over the coming summer months. In short? You've found your new summer hang.  

The Sweetest Collab—Ben & Jerry's And Tony's Chocolonely Join Forces To Make Chocolate 100% Slave Free

Ice cream and chocolate bars on a blue background.Image credit: Ben & Jerry's | Supplied

Sweet tooths take note, Ben & Jerry's and Tony's Chocolonely, two heavyweights known for championing social justice, have just collabed on three drool-worthy new products to tackle modern slavery and child labour that sadly still goes on in the chocolate industry.

Ben & Jerry's has dropped their brand new "Chocolatey Love A-Fair" which takes inspiration from Tony's milk chocolate caramel sea salt and smooshes it together with rich chocolate ice cream, salted caramel swirls, caramel chunks, and sea salt fudge chunks. Ooft.

On the flip side, Tony's Chocolonely is launching two chocolate bars inspired by Ben & Jerry's beloved ice cream flavours of Dark Milk Brownie and White Strawberry Cheesecake.

This partnership isn't just a delight for fans of both brands; it's a proactive step toward making the cocoa farming industry more ethical and just. It's a delectable way to lend support to an essential cause while indulging in some guilt-free treats. Who can say fairer than that? Find these treats at Farro Fresh, selected supermarkets, Ben & Jerry’s stores nationwide and here for the chocolate

A Colourful New Korean Doughnut Shop Has Just Opened In Grafton 

A new Korean doughnut shop has opened in AucklandImage credit: Small Mercies | Instagram

Auckland is certainly no stranger to remarkable Korean food but amongst the fried chicken and bibimbap, our sweet teeth have been feeling a little left out. Enter the new Korean sweet-treat eatery, Small Mercies. The colourful hole-in-the-wall bakery is the brainchild of owners Mikey and Eunsun, who wanted to bring a slice of Korean cafe culture to its Grafton residence. 

Fluffy, doughy treats are the name of the game at Small Mercies and within the cabinet, you'll find their core offerings such as chapssal (filled rice-flour donut holes) and yakgwa (Korean honey cake). 

However, much like its abstract exterior, some of Small Mercies' offerings are just as innovative and here to shake up the Korean bakery game. The team have incorporated innovative twists on familiar favourites where flavours such as tiramisu or brown cheese (a game-changer) steal the sugar-sprinkled spotlight. 

Creating a space that felt like a home away from home was top of Mikey and Eunsun's agenda—a spot where customers turn into familiar first-name basis friends. We're confident this cosy and colourful hangout will deliver just that. The best part? They're open from today so there's only one way to find out. 

Chocolate Store Cocoa Wilds Has Opened In Auckland CBD Giving Willy Wonka A Run For His Money

New chocolate shop Cocoa Wilds has opened in AucklandImage credit: Cocoa Wilds | Instagram

Meet Cocoa Wilds, the brainchild of chocolate connoisseur Byron McLean. Byron's journey started with a simple quest: to bring the joy of fine chocolate craft and production to the heart of Auckland.

After a year of meticulous, and what we imagine, delicious research across Europe’s chocolate capitals, Byron returned to New Zealand with a suitcase full of samples, ready to bring his dream of an O'Connell Street chocolatier store to life.

After opening its doors last week, it’s clear to see the rewards of Byron’s hard work within the hand-crafted chocolates that line the glass cabinets. Everything on offer at Cocoa Wilds celebrates the 'bean to bar' mentality in its purest and most decadent form.

Lovingly crafted with the finest ingredients and with minimal preservatives in sight, these handmade chocolates are designed to be savoured at the peak of their deliciousness, meaning you won’t catch them in cabinets for long—especially when we’re around. Alongside his own chocolate creations, Cocoa Wilds stocks an assortment of other independent chocolate bars and bites—call it a celebration of world-class cocoa if you will. 

Now, it would be a disservice not to mention Cocoa Wilds pièce de résistance: their signature hot chocolate station. Say goodbye to powdered mixes and subpar imitations. These hot choccies are made with the finest cocoa grounds, melted and then blended with milk to create a luxuriously thick and creamy chocolate concoction inspired by the iconic creations of Europe. You’ve simply got to see it (and taste it) to believe it, folks.

Thick And Juicy Tonkatsu Fillets Have Arrived In Newmarket As Katsu Katsu Opens Its Doors

Tonkatsu at new Newmarket eatery Katsu KatsuImage credit: Katsu Katsu | Instagram

ICYMI, Katsu Katsu has arrived in Newmarket. After opening just a few weeks ago, the authentic, hole-in-the-wall-style eatery has already received rave reviews and packed-out services. And we’re not surprised for one second. 

If the name didn’t give it away, Katsu Katsu specialises in thick and juicy crumbed fillets of pork (tonkatsu) and chicken (torikatsu), cooked to melt-in-the-mouth perfection. This simple star of the show is served the traditional way—accompanied by authentic side dishes such as miso, rice and cabbage slaw, which the team top up for free as you dine.

Like traditional eateries in Japan, Katsu Katsu operates an open-kitchen policy so those lucky enough to perch on the high stools can marvel as katsu fillets sizzle. 

Aside from all things crumbed, you’ll find classic udon dishes such as the kake udon (a simple yet hearty broth with noodles) and the iconic street snack, takoyaki (fried octopus bites). Wash it down with a highball or sake for a true taste of Japan.

What else is new? Here are the best new openings in Auckland you need to check out.

Main image credit: Doe Donuts | Supplied

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