Auckland’s bar and restaurant scene is incredibly wide-ranging – there’s something for all tastes and budgets. If a classic pub with plenty of good-old Kiwi hospitality is what you seek, look no further than these incredible options dotted around New Zealand’s largest city.
Famous for being the very first English-style brew pub to open in New Zealand, the Shakespeare Hotel and Brewery gets full bragging rights for serving up the local pub crowd for a solid 100 years. In contemporary times, the Shakespeare comprises a main bar, a 10-room hotel and a restaurant. Craft beers are brewed on-site and the pub also has music playing during the week.
A refurbished Ponsonby classic that has been around since 1866. In recent years, the Cav has earned a strong reputation for its gastropub vibe. Crowd-pleasing highlights include a great selection of craft beers, an extensive food menu that goes above and beyond the typical pub fare, and an airy-but-dynamic ambiance that ably caters to both chilled-out patrons and the avid sports fans who come to watch a game on the large TV screens.
Located in Auckland’s historic Vulcan Lane, right at the heart of the city, the Occidental is the go-to haunt for Belgian beers, classic pub vibes, and a mouth-watering food menu. Steamed mussels are its top culinary speciality, and beer-loving patrons can sample all the pub’s best tap selections by ordering a taster tray.
Galbraith’s Alehouse is an independent pub well-known for its selection of house-made ales and traditional heritage feel. Its Mt Eden road home is a historic building that was originally opened as a library in 1913. In this most recent incarnation, Galbraith’s offers plenty of food for the gastropub crowds, plus a seasonal selection of New Zealand made brews for the keenest of beer tasters.
The Clare Inn is an Irish pub known for its frothy Guinness pints, dynamic events calendar, and award-winning food menu. This hospitable Dominion Road venue has earned accolades for its beef and lamb mains for three years straight – meaning this is as great of a place to chill out with a good pint as it’s ideal for a proper sit-down meal.
A 25-minute drive from Auckland (or a quick ferry ride over summer) will take you to New Zealand’s oldest riverside tavern. The Riverhead consists of three different venues: the a la carte Landing Restaurant, the Boat House Function Centre, and the Portage Neighbourhood Bar. The latter is the place to down some hops and spin some yarns, play a few rounds of pool, or simply watch some live sport on the big screens.
The Lumsden is Newmarket’s home of craft beer – and it’s a place that takes pride in the fact that it doesn’t rely on big-name breweries to shine. With 15 taps and a regularly changing selection of brews, as well as more than 120 different types of craft beers and ciders and one of Auckland’s largest bourbon selections, this place knows how to please all tastes and customers.