Sure, dinner dates are fun. But time is a commodity so precious that sometimes, you just don’t feel like sharing it with anyone else. Sometimes you just want to grab a meal on your own. To get lost in your own thoughts, maybe read a book or spend the night chatting to strangers. Hell, maybe you just don’t want to argue about cuisine preferences for once. Whatever the reason, why not treat yourself to a date with number one?
Looking for a happening place? Hidden down an inconspicuous alleyway in the CBD, Cassia is bursting with life. Booked to capacity night after night, the restaurant reserves bar seats for walk-ins only—perfect for the solo diner. Perch yourself up on the comfortable leather barstool and devour Sid Sahrawat’s modern Indian creations. Choose from a five-course tasting degustation, or opt for the a la carte menu.
Ponsonby gem Azabu features an open kitchen, making for endless entertainment. Watch the masters slice, dice, cook and arrange dish after dish—all at incredible speed. The restaurant’s cuisine won’t disappoint, either. Celebrating the flavours of Nikkei, the menu marries ingredients and techniques of Japanese and Peruvian origins, resulting in unexpected flavour combinations.
Federal, also known as The Fed, is a revered Auckland institution. Open from the wee hours of the morning till late at night, the eatery focuses on old-school NYC Jewish-style cuisine. But it’s not just the food dishing out American vibes, the restaurant itself is housed in a narrow space, creating for a chaotic NYC-like atmosphere when it fills up. Settle in to the bar with a cup of Joe and a bowl of poutine and observe the life of the place, as the waitresses rush around in cute, old-American uniforms.
Another offering from Al Brown (the man behind Federal Delicatessen), is Depot. Depot is a ‘no reservations’ restaurant, meaning you can’t book but must turn up and wait for a table, instead. Although the turn-over is quick, those dining on their lonesome are at an advantage here, as they can be squeezed in at most times. The restaurant uses fresh local produce, transforming it into the most decadent foods served in a range of share plates. They’re called ‘share plates’, but they can just as well be shared with just yourself.
Brought to us by the aficionados behind fine-dining Kazuya is Zool Zool—Kazuya’s younger, more casual-style sibling. Sitting on the main strip of Mt Eden Rd, Zool Zool is a cute little noodle bar specialising in Japanese ramen. Grab yourself a seat by the window and slurp away as you watch the world pass by.
The Blue Breeze Inn
If you’re looking for somewhere to load up on delicious cocktails and a meal, both, check out Blue Breeze Inn. Located in the heart of Ponsonby, Blue Breeze is somewhat of a marriage between China and the Pacific Islands—a truly intriguing combination. Here, you can try some of the best pork bao buns, dumplings and Peking duck that Auckland’s got to offer. And if you’re feeling chatty, grab a seat at the bar and let the bartenders keep you company.
Another Ponsonby offering, Chop Chop is a self-confessed noodle saloon. What might that be, you ask? A place where the best of Asian street food meets the attitude of American whiskey. We’re talking hot-dang delicious bowls of Japanese ramen, Korean-style fried chicken and Chinese pork paired with a smoking range of whiskeys. How could you go wrong?
Italian eatery Amano offers homemade pasta, smooth wine and long stretches of bar—either kitchen or cocktail side. Grab yourself a seat and observe the bustling environment as you enjoy rustic Italian fare created from sustainably sourced, local produce.
Continue your party of one and treat yo'self to a scoop of Auckland's best ice cream and gelato.