2018 has served up a number of tasty new cafes. From plant-based favourites to artisanal bakeries and a number of refined, all-day eateries, the idea of the ‘cafe’ has evolved to take on a far more multi-faceted existence than the bowl-lattes and stodgy scrambled eggs of yesteryear. Assuming an important spot in the heart of our mid-morning meet-ups and coffee hour drop-ins, the cafe is something of a cultural touchstone to reflect where we are as a society, and Auckland’s penchant for good coffee and brunch food has ensured that it now boasts an abundance of first-rate feasting spots.
In the spirit of encouraging you to try new things and considering that we are already in June, we round up the best new cafe openings of the year so far.
The Butcher’s Son
Taking Herne Bay by storm, the popularity of this eatery has steadily grown since its opening at the end of January. Offering an entirely plant-based, vegan menu, the slightly tongue-in-cheek cafe reimagines what it means to eat vegan, with a menu that combines typical, vegan dishes — like acai bowls — with plant-based renditions of traditionally meat-heavy ones, like the nachos, and the Sunfed chicken burger (made with an animal-free alternative). Building on their success to date, The Butcher’s Son will be opening for dinner from this Thursday, 7th June — so we can get our vegan fix, any time of the day.
Drawing us down to Wynyard Quarter, Williams Eatery is the new venture by brothers Charles and Patrick Williams, previously of Ceremony. A simple, unfussy space, the all-day eatery, with a strong focus on supporting local suppliers and artisans, offers a unique menu peppered with contemporary dishes borrowing from Japanese and Nordic flavours. From make-your-own breakfast options to the surprising homemade muesli with seasonal fruit sorbet covered by effervescent coconut katsu foam, the food is meticulously considered and defiantly unique. Keep an eye out for the delicious mushrooms with pine buttermilk, porcini crumb, honeycomb, quinoa crisp and pine-nut oil.
From the duo behind Orphans Kitchen, Tom Hishon and Josh Helm, this Point Chevalier opening has become our weekly drop-in for sourdough loaves and delectable sandwiches. Bringing old-school baking practices back to the fore for both their health benefits and flavour-enhancing properties, this bakery uses a 600-year-old sourdough starter and long fermentation for its bread and pastries, which makes them easier to digest and more suited to those with gluten intolerances. With a simple menu offering crowd-pleasers like eggs and soldiers with housemade marmite and poppyseed bagels with salmon gravlax, horseradish cream cheese and dill, this artisanal bakery has become one of our favourites.
The Candy Shop
Arriving in Newmarket’s Osborne Lane back in January, this delightfully cosy and understated spot boasts a menu that offers a Korean-skewed take on classic cafe food. Boasting a combination of traditional Asian flavours and decadent cafe favourites, items like the Beef Cheek dumplings with spicy soy sauce, quinoa and spring onion and the mouthwatering Korean fried chicken sit next to spaghetti and meatballs and mushrooms on toast. Despite there being plenty to choose from, we cannot go past the Hotteok Korean street food ‘fried pancake’ — an indulgent take on the time-honoured pancake, slathered in Nutella mousse, ice cream and optional thick-cut bacon.
Offering the perfect excuse to escape central Auckland, this new opening in Whenuapai (roughly half an hour’s drive out of the city) is a family-friendly brunch spot serving up fresh, simple fare from its beautiful location. Set in a restored villa in the heart of the new community, developed by Oyster Capital, The Parkhouse is casual, cafe dining at its best. The relaxed vibe is articulated by interior accents of wood and wicker, while on the menu, dishes like the open omelette with serrano ham and the build-your-own savoury bowls further reinforce the laid-back mood.
This East Tamaki cafe has made the list for more than just its delicious food and coffee. Offering a welcoming atmosphere thanks, for the most part, to its friendly staff, Woolfy’s (from the owner of Scout) has us happily heading east. Already a firm favourite with the area’s locals, the cafe offers plenty of delicious, freshly made cabinet food, while the menu, spotlights organic and free-range produce where possible. Indulgent options like the homestyle fried chicken — which sees fried chicken strips served on corn fritters with slaw and chipotle aioli — are countered by the deliciously guilt-free ones like the low-carb laksa with daikon, zucchini noodles and fried tofu in a wholesome orange broth.