Marina Cantina (Permanently Closed)
If you and your amigos love flavoursome Mexican fare and spectacular ocean views (who doesn’t?!), then make a beeline for Marina Cantina.
Nestled next to the much-loved Grangers restaurant, Marina Cantina is bright and oh-so cheerful. There are pops of colour in every direction—from the bunting and pot plants to the cushions and walls. A striking Day of the Dead-inspired mural watches on from the wall.
Cosy up in the cushioned seating inside or soak in the sunshine from the courtyard. Overlooking the glistening Half Moon Bay marina, the vibrant eatery oozes ocean vibes. Is this Auckland or are you chilling at a Mexican beachside town? It’s anyone’s guess!
We’re guessing you clicked through for the bottomless brunch—which we get, and to be honest, we’re 100% here for that too. For $65 a person you’ll get two delicious hours of food and beverages. Yes—that does mean you can set up by the water with a killer view, bottomless sangria and three courses of Mexican eats. Prepare your taste buds for pork rib bon bons, the taco of the month (yusss), skirt steak burrito with chimichurri burritos, loaded fries with pulled pork and queso cheese and churros to finish it all off.
Marina Cantina’s brand-new summer menu is a harmony of punchy, vibrant Mexican eats and cocktails that give us all of the Tulum vibes—there’s more than just bottomless tacos, guys! Get excited about the smoked kahawai rillette tostadas served with habanero, lime, and capers—proving definitively that you CAN and should make friends with salad. While the onion and red pepper queso fondito is the most delightful, cheesy dip you’ll ever lay your eyes on. Don’t you dare leave without sinking your teeth into the jalapeno-brined fried chicken either. Or the ginger and mezcal tuna ceviche paired with avocado and pickled onion. Look, just be safe and order the whole lot.
Oh, and that’s just the starters. The mains are a delicious ode to Mexico. Think, nachos loaded with all of the toppings, GF and regular burritos—pulled pork, roast veggies, skirt steak—and so many freakin’ delicious taco offerings (including GF!). Hi, chargrilled asparagus and kumara, or Pablo’s escabeche, aka, smoked kahawai with quinoa and roast veg.
All that feasting calls for a drink (or two). There’s an impressive selection of refreshing beers and a wine list that—of course—stars sangria. As for cocktails, we love the delightful Tejito—the Mexican version of a mojito. Reposado, mint lime juice with a dash of grapefruit = heaven. Alternatively, throw back a shot of tequila (when in Rome Mexico) or try their signature margarita on tap. Yes, you read that right—Margarita. on. tap.
There’s no need to fork out on a ticket to Central America, amigos! You can experience a taste of Mexico right here in Auckland—hola!
Image credit: Jared Donkin