The 10 Best Coffee Shops and Cafes in Ponsonby, Auckland

Thatll wake you up in the morning!
That'll wake you up in the morning! | © David Goehring / Flickr
Joe Coates

Auckland is well-known among New Zealanders as being one of the cultural hubs of the country. This is hardly surprising when you consider that it is home to 1.6 million of the almost five million-strong population. In a city that is famous for its coffee culture, read our guide to find out the top 10 spots in Ponsonby to get caffeinated.

1. Bambina

Cafe, Australian

Corn Fritters at their finest
© Alpha / Flickr

There are a few Bambinas dotted around Auckland now. They have their coffee down to a fine art, and their staff are pros at whipping you up your morning cup o’ joe. Yes, there are cafes with a bit more character at the end of the day, but sometimes what you really crave is reliability. Some mornings you might be feeling a little too delicate to want to run the risk of burnt beans or the wrong milk. Consistency is what Bambina is all about. Head in on a Sunday and treat yourself to some of their corn fritters.

2. Allpress Coffee

Cafe, Australian

Allpress Breakfast
© Bex Walton / Flickr

The idea behind Allpress Coffee is simple: it follows along the thinking that you buy your bread from a baker, your vegetables from a greengrocer, so why wouldn’t you buy your coffee from a coffee roaster? This company has spread around the world, and they’ve done that by perfecting what they do. That happens to be providing outstanding coffee to their customers. As well as beans, you can also get a fresh cup made to order.

3. Dizengoff

Cafe, Restaurant, Australian, Israeli

When it comes to old hands that have been serving quality gear to the taste buds since – comparatively – way back, then Dizengoff would probably top our list. This establishment has been churning out the good caffeine, scrumptious brunches and sweet treats since ’94, which in New Zealand terms makes it practically neolithic. There’s a Jewish influence to the menu with pastrami, chopped liver and salmon on offer – which might strike you as a bit rich until you get your chompers round the offerings. This place has been attracting a wealth of clients, from rich Auckland housewives to Green Party politicians to hipsters for years, and for good reason. Come and join the cool kids, because this is a place to be seen.

4. Little Bird Organics and The Unbakery

Cafe, Deli, Healthy, European, Vegetarian, Vegan

Raw Vegan Coconut & Almond Truffles
© Veganbaking.net / Flickr

Are you part of the cynical crowd when it comes to the idea that vegan and raw food can be delicious? Does the idea of a chocolate cheesecake with no dairy fill you with disdain and contempt? Well, be brave, swallow that cynicism and head down to the Little Bird Organics and The Unbakery. To experience the best, most healthy, nutritious, fresh, unrefined, non-pasteurised, non-pressurised, non-heat-treated, pure, delicious whole foods, this is the only place to go in Auckland – with the possible exception of Revive Café. It’s a revelation when you first try it, and comforting to know that you really can walk out of a restaurant and be healthier for it. It makes every dollar count for double, as it’s tasty, too!

5. Craft Kitchen

Cafe, Australian

Flat White
© Katherine Lim / Flickr
The simple decor and furniture gives Craft Kitchen a fresh look that represents the meals that are created with attention to detail and accuracy. This cafe is where you will find some of the best coffee in the city. It is located on Ponsonby Road, which is known for its brilliant restaurants, cafes and bars. As well as a great selection of brilliant sandwiches and savoury options, Craft Kitchen offers many sweeter treats. These include cookies, cakes and muffins.

6. too Good

Cafe, Australian

Latte Art
© Michael Allen Smith@INeedCoffee / Flickr

too Good is a proper espresso bar in the way that it serves very little else except a fantastic cup of your favourite kind of coffee. There are teas and some cold drinks, as well as a few sweet treats and pastries, but mostly this is a place for people who really appreciate a skilled barista and the end product that they produce. With that being said, this place is open early in the morning to catch those morning commuters, so if you’re in the area at the crack of dawn you might just see that this is the only place open at half six.

7. Merge Café | Auckland

Cafe, Australian

Black
© Ken Yamaguchi / Flickr
Embedded in the central hubbub of Auckland is not-for-profit Merge Café. An initiative of Lifewise, Merge Café provides wholesome, low-cost meals for those with and without homes, encouraging everyone to eat together at the same table. Every cent raised goes towards housing Auckland’s homeless, with the aim of ending homelessness once and for all. Before opening Merge Café, Lifewise had a long history of serving meals to the homeless, going back to 1885. In recent times, Lifewise ran a popular inner-city soup kitchen, which served over 40,000 meals per year. The coffee is as good as anywhere else, but it’s the stellar work and thought behind this idea that makes it an essential for our list.

8. Salta Cafe

Cafe, Australian

Coffee & a brownie
© Celeste Lindell / Flickr

The thing about Salta Cafe is that, if we’re being honest, the interior decor is pretty vanilla. It’s really not that much to look at, but when it comes down to the quality of the coffee then you really cannot complain. Sitting outside and enjoying your mocha in the sun is worth the interior of the place being a bit dull. Also, because some might judge it and pass on before they’ve given it a try, it means that you’re not standing in line for 10 minutes whenever you go in there. The stars of the show though are the staff, who not only make you a heck of a cup of coffee but have smiles on their dials whilst they do it.

9. Fusion Cafe

Cafe, Australian

Cold Drip Coffee
© Katherine Lim / Flickr

Yes, the coffee is so good that it will appease even the most stubborn coffee lover from Melbourne. In particular, try Fusion’s cold-drip coffee if you happen to be visiting Auckland during the summer. Sitting with a good book or the morning paper first thing, with one of these brews at your elbow, well, that’s one of life’s simple pleasures right there. What’s excellent about Fusion is not only do they have some delicious coffee, but they also do a mean sandwich so your lazy Sunday breakfast can easily stretch into lunch.

10. WELL+GOOD

Cafe, Australian

Granola
© Rob Bertholf / Flickr

This is just the sort of cafe that Aucklanders are loving these days. Essentially, WELL+GOOD makes top-notch coffees. That’s a given. They also supply a range of vegan protein options on their breakfast menu, which has been lapped up in Ponsonby – as it has elsewhere in the city. What’s doubly great is the prices aren’t exorbitant and the cups are 100% biodegradable. Welcome to the future of cafes!

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