Auckland's Best Bars
You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it drink, as the saying goes. Well you’d have to a be a right donkey not to slake your thirst at one of these locally loved bars in central Auckland. From bespoke cocktails to curated wine lists and the most impressive gin selection in New Zealand, there’s a watering hole for everyone. Craft beer your thing? Not a problem as brewers exist right in the heart of the city too.
Here’s a selection of our favourite bars, listed A-Z, all within easy walking distance so you can make a night of it. We've sampled their atmos, service, drinks list and bar food personally. They’ve also coincidentally made the top 50 list of Auckland’s Metro magazine, a leading influencer. We’ll be the first to say that there’s many other outstanding bars in town, it’s just we haven’t tried them yet! .
1. Coley and Punch - Princess Wharf, Quay St.
Named after Ada Coleman, the famous bartender at the Savoy of London, our C&P bartender certainly impressed when we asked for a bespoke cocktail with a gingery, lime flavour! Ten out of ten for presentation too with a great harbourside setting.
2. The Caretaker - 38 Roukai lane, Britomart
Your bartender will interview you on your preferences - sweet or sour? Creamy or refreshing? Then design a cocktail to suit in this hard-to-find cosy underground bar. A destination experience.
3. The Chamberlain + Talulah - 120 Quay St, Viaduct Harbour
British-themed craft beers, board games and live sport while upstairs Talulah’s is a lively Pacific-rim bar with a portside view. Try both!
4. Deadshot - 45 Ponsonby Rd, Ponsonby
Prepare to be blown away by these cocktail creations. From the team behind Caretaker, this bars dark and moody atmosphere offers a unique setting, that pairs well with their daring drinks.
5. Dr Rudi’s - Corner of Quay and Customs St, Viaduct Harbour
Possibly the best terrace deck and harbour views in the city. The beer’s brewed on-site and the pizzas are great too. Includes free bowling lanes for added entertainment!
6. Saturdays - 48 Customs Street East
Celebrate the best day of the week, all week long! Saturdays is a fun and lively spot perfect for all occasions. Grab some food at Royal-G, a hole in the wall creating Indian street food bites with an American twist. Serving “grab and go” sharing food, Saturdays has designed a cocktail list that specifically compliments these dishes.
7. Holey Moley - 204 Quay St, Viaduct Harbour
This part bar, part mini-golf playground is a whole lot of fun. You can’t not have a smile on your face as you putt around a 27-hole course and sip on a ‘putta coloda’ or ‘sugar caddy’ cocktail. A true novelty experience.
8. Hotel De Brett House Bar - 2 High St, Central City
A very cosy boutique bar featuring an open fireplace and stunning open atrium. It’s a local secret for a pre-dinner or theatre aperitif. Great lunch menu too.
9. Mezze Bar - 9 Durham St East, Central City
Treat yourself to an expansive list of tapas and mezze. Sip on Spanish and New Zealand wine, maybe a Sangria or Sherry too. This inner-city haven is a perfect spot to unwind or wait for an upcoming Aotea show.
10. Vulture’s Lane - 10 Vulcan Lane, Central City
Taking its name from the precinct’s red light heritage, this bar has 22 rotating taps of craft beer and a great bottled beer selection too. Try the kumara hot chips.
Many of these establishments are en route on our Hello Auckland walking tour. So work up a thirst with us then dive into the city’s thriving bar scene for a warm welcome and a local brew or two. You won’t be disappointed.