As summer finally settles and we move through the waves of lockdowns, crowds across the city are beginning to return to the office. It sees the end of meetings in athleisure and midday showers, and some familiar habits are slowly returning. One of our favourites? After work drinks. With the easing of restrictions and offices across the city welcoming their workers once more, plus another long weekend afoot, there’s never been a better time to celebrate Friday knock offs among your team. And when it comes to choosing the perfect spot, there’s a handful we would never look past.
Although one of our favourite inner-city haunts for an after-work dinner, it makes an apt venue for a day’s end drink too. Alma offers a burgeoning wine list and reliable cocktails (including a 0% alcohol list for sober friends), and those outdoor spots are the ideal possie to watch the world go by.
130 Quay Street, Auckland CBD
Annabel’s Wine Bar
Those lucky enough to nab a seat at this Ponsonby Road wine bar have something to celebrate. A menu that focuses mostly on wine, and just enough on the aperitivo menu that accompanies it, here you’ll find the ideal place to celebrate (while escaping the inner city crowds).
277 Ponsonby Road, Ponsonby
For those who find themselves working in the Inner West, Bar Martin has you covered. It’s a surprise for the suburbs but one that we welcome with great reverence. Boasting a larger than life wine menu, and a few favourite beers, this humble spot has put Mount Albert on the map.
43 Martin Avenue, Mount Albert
Ponsonby’s Beau is a Denizen team favourite, part-restaurant and part-wine bar, the courtyard makes a gorgeous place to send off the week. With an extensive wine menu and delicious food to match, it’s just another of Ponsonby Road’s great offerings when it comes to after-work drinks.
265 Ponsonby Road, Ponsonby
A crown jewel on the water’s edge is Park Hyatt’s Captain’s Bar, the hotel bar that feels anything but. Amid an aptly fitting curation of fine rums, extensive cocktails and terrace views to rival the city’s best, this is an under the radar spot for an end of week wind-down.
Park Hyatt Auckland, 99 Halsey Street, Auckland CBD
East Street Hall
Is there anything East Street Hall can’t do? Now that live music has resumed, East Street is back to its lively self once more. Knock offs are best spent with a cocktail and pizza to share in the courtyard, making the most of the DJs on offer.
5 East Street, Auckland CBD
Parnell outposts are more of a challenge to find than those in the city itself, which is just one reason we were so glad to see Faraday’s Bar open its doors last year. Serving champagne and caviar, it’s not a venue to be taken lightly, but the bar is as accommodating as it is opulent, and it’s an essential addition to this list.
8 Faraday Street, Parnell
For those lucky enough to work in the Three Lamps quarter, you’re treated to some of the city’s favourite knockoff spots. The talk of the town? Hotel Ponsonby of course. When that post-work sunset hits the courtyard on a Friday afternoon, an Elderflower G&T in one hand, a bowl of truffle fries in the other… That’s knock offs done right.
1 Saint Marys Road, Ponsonby
Fondly dubbed ‘Culprit’s mischievous younger brother’, this locale embodies a hole in the wall take on drinks. Yet the scale is what makes the venue so palpable (alongside the famed cocktails), and the location is truly the cherry on top.
Corner of Wyndham &, 151 Queen Street, Auckland CBD
Karangahape Road’s contribution of Madame George is a regular on our after-work drinks roster. Conveniently located on what could be the precipice of a bigger night, the delicious modern Peruvian cuisine comes second only to the cocktail menu. If you’re craving one of the infamous pisco sours, or something a little lighter, Madame George makes the quintessential end to a busy week.
490 Karangahape Road, Auckland CBD
Non Solo Pizza & Bar Non Solo
NSP’s aperitivo hour is what we’re all about. Spending the late afternoon in the famed courtyard, every Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, enjoy a late afternoon drink and a delicious selection of complimentary finger foods to ‘tease your appetite.’ For those a little closer to town, as an extension of NSP’s offering, Bar Non Solo is the new inner city mainstay that brings a slice of Italian life to your after-work drinks. Here you’ll find the legendary aperitivo hour again, accompanied by live DJs and an inner-city location you simply can’t say no to.
Non Solo Pizza — 1052/259 Parnell Road, Parnell
Bar Non Solo — Level 2, 52 Tyler Street, Britomart
Rooftop at QT
The only thing better than a rooftop bar is a rooftop bar as the sun goes down. Here, on the edge of Viaduct Harbour, Rooftop at QT is simply the most beautiful place for after-work drinks. Open Wednesday through Sunday, it’s conveniently close enough to the office to warrant dropping in, but far enough away to feel like the ideal space to wind down.
4 Viaduct Harbour Avenue, Westhaven
Adored by many for the live music offerings, this waterfront mainstay is the perfect blend of sea views, beer, wine & cocktails, live entertainment and a mouthwatering locally inspired menu — everything we crave when it comes to knockoffs.
Level 1/204 Quay Street, Viaduct Harbour
Soul Bar & Bistro
Viaduct Harbour stalwart Soul Bar shouldn’t be looked past for a more casual drink with colleagues and friends alike. After all, its waterfront location offers incomparable views, paired with the bustle of a busy venue — where everything is always just right.
Lower Hobson Street, Customs Street West, Viaduct Harbour
The Britomart precinct has a new lease on life with the return of people to the city, and The Brit Pub & Eatery is a fitting place to unwind over an after-work beer (or whatever you fancy, the bar staff aren’t fussy). The cocktail jugs are perfect for sharing, and it’s a nice place to watch the day turn into night.
122 Quay Street, Auckland CBD
The Lodge Bar & Dining
Housed in the most convenient of locations, this Commercial Bay outpost makes for the ideal after-work drinks venue. Amid the hustle and bustle of corporate life is this ever-reliable mainstay, where you can enjoy anything from a casual drink to Matt Lambert’s incredible cuisine on offer.
7 Queen Street, Commercial Bay