The 10 Best Bars in Mission Bay, Auckland

Clocking off time in Mission Bay
Clocking off time in Mission Bay | © Richard Ashurst / Flickr
Joe Coates

Mission Bay is a beautiful spot just out of New Zealand’s biggest city, Auckland. This glorious area is all about soaking in the views during the day, messing about by the ocean, and basically living the New Zealand coastal dream. At night, its bars are some of the best lounging spots in the city, so here is our guide to finding the best ones to hang out at.

1. Kilala Bar

Bar, Australian

© marragem / Flickr

Kilala Bar is the sort of bar that every town in New Zealand has. It’s filled with friendly locals who have lived in the area for time out of mind, the bar staff treat you like one of their own, and there’s a bit of classic rock playing over the sound system. This pub is the epitome of “local” and is a great place to hang out with mates and shoot a little pool. At the tail end of a summer day you can sit out on the balcony and watch the ocean, beer in hand and think about nothing in particular.

2. Dos Amigos Cantina

Cafe, Restaurant, Mexican

© stu_spivack / Flickr
Not only is it one of the best restaurants in this part of down, but it’s also a great spot to go and grab a beverage when the thirst takes you. If you’re in the mood for some authentic Mexican cuisine, Dos Amigos Cantina offers fresh Mexican food with an affordable price tag. After offering complimentary chips and dip to all diners, Dos Amigos Cantina follows with huge portions that will not disappoint. The lively atmosphere here makes it an ideal place to bring friends for a festive celebration or a casual dinner. The venue hosts popular, themed evenings such as Chili Night Thursday and Sangria Sunday, and make sure to check their website for all the daily specials.

3. De Fontein Belgian Beer Café

Bar, Restaurant, Belgian

De Fontein
© Alex Santosa / Flickr

A place that advertises beer in the name would presumably be a safe bet for a drink, and so it is with De Fontein Belgian Beer Café. They have a fine selection of European and domestic beers on tap and in the fridge here. If it’s a beautiful day then there are few better places to take a load off than at their deck. Soak up the rays whilst you soak up a cold beer and watch the world go by.

5. Sea Cow on the Bay

Restaurant, Seafood

© Marcus Hansson / Flickr
When you’re in need of some refreshment of the wine variety and you want a view to go with it, then we have just the place for you. Sea Cow on the Bay is the hidden gem of the region. For generous portions of fresh, scrumptious seafood, this is the place to be. Known for its fried-to-perfection fish and chips, refreshing salads, and fruity cocktails, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a venue with so many choices in the Bay. The small establishment exudes a homely vibe, which creates a great environment for a casual lunch or dinner.

6. The Attic Bar & Restaurant

Bar, Restaurant, Australian

Simple but great
© Ewan Munro / Flickr
The Attic Bar & Restaurant is a great place to park up for a cooling beverage on a nice day. Their beer and wine lists reflect the best that New Zealand has to offer, and if you happen to linger over a drink or two and need some food, you’ll find that they only use the best local ingredients. There is a bar area, dining room, an outside deck for summer, and a cosy lounge with a fireplace for those winter nights. This is great as it means you’re in for a good time no matter the season or time.

7. Portofino

Restaurant, Italian

A Classic
© Kidz Activities / Flickr

If you’re feeling like wanting the sort of relaxed and calm atmosphere you might get at home, then head into Portofino and make your way to the bar upstairs. This lovely restaurant is yet another place in this little area that offers wholesome Italian food and great wine. You’ll find Portofino restaurants all over New Zealand, but what they might lack in unique character they make up for in the reliability of their meals. If you find yourself craving pasta, you can rely on Portofino to satisfy that craving so that you walk away with a smile on your dial.

8. Five Restaurant & Bar

Restaurant, Australian

© Glen MacLarty / Flickr

This is the sort of venue that begs to be visited on a bit of a miserable night so that you can be embraced by the ambiance and order a nice bottle of red wine. Five Restaurant & Bar definitely has an Italian influence – think gorgeous, oozy arancini or lamb meatballs to start, or gnocchi as a main – but it is very much cooked in a Kiwi sort of way. The emphasis is on the produce, and the stars of the show for us are definitely the cuts of meat. They are done simply, but in such a way that puts them in the spotlight. For instance, the pan-roasted eye fillet is a joy – heightened by the crispy polenta, kale and truss tomato, and parsnip puree for sure – but it’s the beef that is the hero. If you love simple yet effective cooking that uses fantastic ingredients, then this is the only place in town to go.

9. Andrea Ristorante Italiano

Restaurant, Italian

Fruits of the Sea
© Katherine Lim / Flickr
Wine is great. Wine and Italian food are fantastic. So head in for a glass of the Pinot Noir, and stay for dinner. Serving simple yet delicious Italian fare is exactly what Andrea Ristorante Italiano strives to do. For dinner with a beautiful view, there’s no place better than this restaurant. Boasting a stunning outlook across Mission Bay, and using only the freshest of ingredients, diners can sit back with a scrumptious dish here and soak in the incredible New Zealand landscape. From pizza to pasta to burgers, this restaurant has it all. Andrea Ristorante Italiano also offers “do your own dinner” cooking classes, perfect for diners seeking more than just your average meal.

10. Mamma Mia Pizzeria Restaurant

Restaurant, Italian

© Stephanie / Flickr

A good bar is one thing, but when that bar also offers the best pizza in the area then you know you’re onto a winner. Now, if you had to single out one type of cuisine that has a bit of a toe hold in Mission Bay, it would probably have to be Italian. There are a few restaurants in the area specialising in hearty pastas and tasty pizza. On the pizza front we are of the opinion that Mamma Mia Pizzeria is leading the pack. That’s not to say the rest of their offerings are in any way inferior to their pizza. For something a little more rustic, carnivores should have a go at the Fegatini de Pollo – chicken livers with ham, mushroom, white wine, onion, marsala wine, sage, and cream. If you’re of the vegetarian persuasion the Vegetarian Cannelloni is an exceptional little number.

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