Denizen’s definitive guide to the best weekend dining

We tend to be spoiled for choice in the City of Sails, so whittling it down to exactly where to eat each weekend is the challenge at hand. It’s in this vein that we impart sage guidance with our suggestions of where to dine, imbibe, and be merry as we (hopefully) welcome the sun out to play. Without further ado, read on for our definitive guide to the best weekend dining spots in Auckland.

Friday night knock-offs at The Brit
What’s Friday without a shared drink among friends? Whether it’s to celebrate your successes with colleagues or let off some steam with your mates, The Brit’s Britomart establishment is the perfect place to do just this. A pub at its core, it is the elevated take on The Brit’s casual nature that makes it so utterly visitable time and time again. Because the crowds love it too, if The Brit is too boisterous for your fancy, take yourself a few doors down the road for a more intimate pub experience at The Chamberlain, or head upstairs to Talulah for cocktails and whimsy.

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Takeaway dinners from Baby G Burger
Although this pop-up at Ponsonby Road’s Orphans Kitchen has been unprecedentedly popular, even a couple of months in, we think it’s just as delicious as its first week. Swing by on your way home for some knock-offs, or pull up a chair if you want to take in the lively surrounds (or are tempted by the thought of ordering seconds — because after all, who are we to judge?!).

Saturday morning pastries from Amano Bakery
Pro tip: while a trip into the CBD might not be high on your Saturday morning agenda, it’s the simplicity of this morning ritual is that makes it so enjoyable. And tucked down the side of Britomart stalwart Amano is its beloved bakery, which serves some of the most delicious viennoiseries in the City. Our persuasion? A coffee and spring onion croissant to go, enjoyed with a walk down to the water’s edge — or a spot of shopping at nearby Commercial Bay.

European-style long-lunching at Non Solo Pizza
Weekends are for long-lunching; that’s one thing we know to be true. And really, is there any place more iconic than Parnell’s Non Solo Pizza? With a courtyard that transports you back to European vacations and a menu that feels equally as authentically reminiscent, it is the perfect address to take up residence for the afternoon. Of course, pizzas are the main drawcard here, fondly thought of as some of the best in the city, but if you find yourself gravitating towards pasta, we’ll back you every step of the way. 

Post-shopping pick-me-ups at Faraday’s Bar
It would be remiss to find yourself in the heart of Parnell without stopping at Faradays, the luxury department store that houses some of the most coveted clothes in the country. And after a hard day’s shopping, a drink at the beautiful Faraday’s Bar, designed by the nonpareil touch of Cheshire Architects, is always encouraged.

Dinner-come-drinks with friends at Lilian
A neighbourhood local we can always rely on, Lilian is perhaps the perfect place for dinner that rolls into something more sordid. What’s a few dishes among friends, over a bottle or two of wine, to see you really celebrating Saturday night right? To avoid any alcohol-induced misery the following day, a serving of tiramisu to share is always a good choice — trust us on this one.

Weekend brunching at Park Hyatt’s The Pantry
If we’re not at the Farmers’ Markets on Sunday mornings, you’ll find us at brunch. Our destination of choice for weekends like this? The Pantry at Park Hyatt. Here, Executive Pastry Chef Callum Liddicoat offers nothing short of his usual excellence, with a menu that caters for manners of sin. But the real non-negotiable is a take-home pack of cookies, the hazelnut and chocolate chip being a Denizen team favourite.

Local’s Lunch on Sunday at Siso
Following up brunch with a long lunch might seem excessive, but it’s something we encourage. Despite being available throughout the week, we think Sunday is the perfect day to indulge in a Local’s Lunch at Remuera’s Mediterranean-inspired eatery, Siso. While local is the brief, the borders are somewhat lenient, and $35 for two courses and a glass of matching wine is simply too good to pass up.

Sunset Drinks at Viaduct Harbour
After a weekend of eating, swing by Soul Bar & Bistro if you’re craving a margarita and some of our favourite food (can we recommend the mac and cheese?). Otherwise, for a more casual affair, Saint Alice’s contemporary outlook is one we’re envious of every sunny Sunday, with live music and a crowd to match. If not there, you’ll find us at Rooftop at QT, Auckland’s original experience that set the tone for towering bars to follow. And as we watch the sun go down to the West, we like to reflect on the deliciousness of the weekend that was.


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