Left: Bar Non Solo. Right: Andiamo

Denizen’s definitive guide to the best lunch spots in the city for a quick bite

Despite best intentions, it’s not every day that we have the time to enjoy a long, leisurely lunch. Fortunately, for occasions when quick and easy is the only option, some of our favourite spots in the city have tailored offerings for those in a time crunch. From express menus to lunch deals served in haste, we’ve rounded up where to find the very best quick yet satisfying midday fare that doesn’t compromise on taste.

Jervois Steakhouse

Jervois Steakhouse

This Ponsonby institution has long been a great choice for a casual but delicious workday lunch, and recently, the addition of a ‘Power Lunch’ (available on Thursdays & Fridays) has made weekday dining simpler than ever. Here, you’ll find an entree, main and a glass of house wine for $55, and the options are plentiful. As you’d expect, steak takes centre stage with four cuts to choose from, served alongside market fish, grilled chicken, or vegetarian gnocchi and cult-status sides such as the truffle mac ‘n’ cheese, duck fat roasted rosemary potatoes, an unforgettable signature creamed spinach, roasted beets with goats cheese and more. Bookings are encouraged — secure your spot here.

Faraday’s Bar

Faraday’s Bar

Intimate in its nature, at Faraday’s Bar, impeccable service is always guaranteed. The weekday menu is refined, making for a perfect, quick lunch sure to delight. Seasonally driven and always changing so as to incorporate the freshest ingredients, the menu delivers on all fronts — we are currently loving the grilled octopus with fennel, blood orange and ajo blanco, but must admit that the ‘Edddie Special’ — a tomato bouillabaisse brimming with market fish and shellfish is also utter perfection. If you’re feeling a tad fancy, add a bump of Sturia vintage caviar to finish on a high note. We’ve said it before but we’ll say it again, Faradays is one of the best places to dine in Auckland, as perfect for a quick weekday meal as it is for a drink with friends or a leisurely weekend lunch.

Federal Delicatessen

Federal Delicatessen

From Al Brown, this CBD stalwart is Auckland’s answer to the classic New York deli. Here, food is simple, flavourful and utterly indulgent, and guarantees to offer a satiating meal at every sitting. For those seeking a quick and altogether satisfying lunch, we suggest opting for one of the sandwiches or salads (the chicken salad sandwich with chicken skin crackling, iceberg and dipping gravy is a staple) although a side of Montreal poutine never goes amiss.

The Blue Breeze Inn

It’s a known fact that rain or shine, Ponsonby Central’s Blue Breeze Inn is always bursting with a lively atmosphere. The consistently good food — the pork bao is arguably the best in town — the inventive cocktails served in coconut shells and the presence of the always enigmatic Mark Wallbank, combine to make this spot a no-brainer for a quick lunch that packs a punch.

Sìso

Sìso

This Remuera favourite specialising in soul-warming Mediterranean fare offers one of the most delightful lunches on the block. From Wednesday until Sunday, you can make like the locals and devour some of Sìso’s most beloved dishes. Begin with the Big Glory Bay salmon, served with whipped pea and asparagus (topped with chicken skin crackling) before indulging in a divine take on chicken Milanese drizzled with anchovy butter and a side of fried golden potatoes with buttermilk and chilli dukkah. Of course, like all good lunches, Sìso’s should be paired with a glass of wine from their extensive list.

Ebisu

Ebisu

Here, in the heart of Downtown Auckland, this Britomart stalwart offers an Express Menu for those needing a good meal in the midst of a busy day. Choose from a considered list of Ebisu’s most beloved, contemporary Japanese dishes, including the chef’s selection of fresh market sashimi or an umami miso glazed eggplant to begin, one of three hero mains to follow (the teriyaki chicken with truffle oil is our preference), and a delightful fresh sorbet to finish. A consistently failsafe crowdpleaser, we can’t look past Ebisu for a fantastic lunch in the city — express or otherwise.

Somm

Somm Cellar Door & Bar

In celebration of Somm’s Guest in Residence series, the Princess Wharf newcomer has released a special set menu created with Te Kairanga winery in mind. The menu sees a glass of Te Kairanga’s exceptional sauvignon blanc or rosé paired with a seasonal dish of your choosing — each decidedly delicious. Embrace the warmer days and opt for the fresh market fish crudo with citrus, fennel and verjuice, or indulge in the Parisian gnocchi — a seasonal take featuring asparagus, fresh peas, mint and stracciatella. The Guest in Residence set menu is $40pp and is available for a limited time only. Book a spot here.

SPQR

SPQR

We’ve all spent an afternoon or two situated outside SPQR’s ivory-adored Ponsonby outpost, and now, the institution is adding to our list of reasons to visit with their tailored ‘Working Lunch’ offering. Running seven days a week from 12.30-2pm, the eatery offers either a two or three-course menu featuring a selection of the Italian favourites we all know and love. From a delectable eye fillet carpaccio to prawn and scallop spaghetti, to an elevated rendition of a classic Caesar salad, there’s no shortage of sensational fare to fill a lunch break — no matter how brief.

Andiamo

Andiamo

While often topping our list of leisurely long lunch spots, Andiamo is equally as equipped to turn out a fantastic, quick midday meal sure to satisfy. Luckily for Herne Bay locals, there’s still one more week remaining to make the most of the special set lunch menu running with Perrier-Jouët. Available Wednesday through Sunday, from 12pm until 3pm until the end of October, for $69 per person, guests will be greeted with a glass of Perrier-Jouët Grand Brut, and invited to indulge in a delicious, two-course feast including their choice of entrée and main. ‘Tis the season.

Hello Beasty

Hello Beasty

With its contemporary, Asian-fusion menu, Hello Beasty is the ideal spot for a light and delicious lunch. You’d be hard-pressed to find a better spot for a quick bite with a side of sunshine, best enjoyed in the eatery’s courtyard — the perfect vantage point to take in the sights of Viaduct Harbour. When it comes to the top dishes, anything goes, but for a quick and satisfying option, we’d suggest the katsu chicken sando, fantastic when paired with Hello Beasty’s very own KFC (Korean fried cauliflower) and a bokbunjaju bramble. Sensational.

Bar Non Solo

If it’s speedy but satisfying fare you’re after, look no further than Britomart’s Bar Non Solo. This impeccable Italian spot offers up a lunch special Tuesday through Friday that’s hard to beat. For a modest $25, you can choose from a selection of Bar Non Solo’s delightful seasonal pizzas or handmade pasta dishes, paired with either an ice-cold Peroni, Aperol Spritz, a glass of Idle Hands wine or a signature mocktail. For us, Aperol is the obvious choice of libation (given the setting), perfect when paired with the wagyu and pork bolognese or a mushroom, truffle, gorgonzola and walnut pizza.

Gastronomy

Taking over a coveted spot in Parnell, meet Rhu — the elevated new all-day eatery from an ex-Pasture chef
Raise a glass to rosé as Soul Bar & Bistro launches a month-long celebration of this delicious drop
Ahi is raising the bar with the introduction of its new, alcohol-free wild sodas