Nanam

From morning coffee to decadent dessert, these are the best places to eat and drink in Takapuna

For as long as we can remember, Takapuna has been one of Auckland’s ‘up-and-coming’ areas when it comes to food and drink. And the appeal of the small beachside suburb on the North Shore seems to be growing every day with the recent addition of the Goodside precinct at Smale’s Farm, new restaurants popping up every week and a raft of classic spots that have long kept the locals happy. Whether its breakfast, lunch or dinner you’re seeking, a spot of dessert or even somewhere to sip a few cocktails, these are the best places in Takapuna to satisfy any and all cravings.

Morning fix
TEMS Coffee
This quaint and cosy cafe, situated on Lake Road, is the definition of a ‘hidden gem,’ and might be Takapuna’s best-kept secret. The micro coffee roaster — TEMS, prides itself on its small-batch roasts of coffee beans via a process that is overseen by people rather than machines, allowing for better management of the variables that can alter the result of the final roast. If you head here for your morning cup of Joe, pair it with one of TEMS’ housemade pastries, which include some of the most buttery, flaky croissants you’ll every try.
Location: 345 Lake Rd

Holy Shot
Located in the heart of Takapuna sits the fairly new coffee shop, Holy Shot. From the early hours of the morning, the friendly and highly-skilled baristas at this new local can be seen churning out fresh brews of the renowned New Zealand coffee brand, Havana. Moods are made at Holy Shot, thanks to its stellar service, premium coffee and of course, its assortment of tasty doughnuts from The Pie Piper.
Location: 4/18 Hurstmere Rd

Holy Shot

Breakfast
Takapuna Beach Cafe and Store
There really isn’t anything quite like tucking into some delicious food surrounded by a breathtaking view, and Takapuna Beach Cafe and Store offers both. Complement the vista by opting for the scampi omelette with fennel and sautéed greens, served with a crispy slice of sourdough. Sit back and enjoy the ocean aromas and flavours from both the beach and plate in front of you.
Location: 22 The Promenade

Honey Cafe
Although Honey Cafe does not have beachfront views, its quirky yet stylish space, along with the quality of the food that comes from it makes it one of our favourite places for a morning bite. And although its menu comprises a number of tasty breakfast dishes, the house vanilla pancakes steal the show every time. The fluffy stack is served atop a bed of mango and passionfruit coulis and is adorned with fresh fruit, fairy floss, crunchy candied walnuts and a generous scoop of vanilla ice-cream.
Location: 12 Huron St

Mimosa
Proving that healthy eating does not have to be bland, Mimosa showcases how food can be tasty and still nourish the body. Its cabinet is stocked with sweet treats, fresh salads and sandwiches, making it a favourite among those who work in the area as the perfect place to get a fast and fulfilling meal. Mimosa’s impressive menu manages to cater to most, if not, all dietary requirements but its tangy shakshuka is a serious standout and can be made vegan by simply opting for no eggs.
Location: 460 Lake Rd

Shake Out

Lunch
Shake Out
Inside the recently-opened food precinct, Goodside at Smales Farm is the burger joint, Shake Out, that has people from all over Auckland flocking across the bridge. Widely acknowledged as offering some of the best burgers in town, Shake Out’s signature buns are made from a blend of potato and pumpkin flour, rendering them pillowy soft and incredibly fluffy, while its fillings are exactly what a burger should be — simple and high-quality. Shake Out also offers a number of enticing shakes, sides (like crispy shoestring fries with cheese dipping sauce) and sweet treats, making it the perfect place to drop into for an easy takeaway.
Location: Smales Farm, 72 Taharoto Rd

Ripe Deli
It’s impossible to visit the Goodside and leave without being seduced by the sumptuous treats in Ripe Deli’s cabinet. With an assortment of fresh salads, wraps, sandwiches and savouries, it’s mandatory to end a meal at Ripe with something sweet. The salted caramel chocolate brownie is rich beyond words, and is a slice of pure chocolatey decadence that will end any meal on a high note.
Location: Smales Farm, 72 Taharoto Rd

Ripe Deli

Mamak
Offering aromatic, authentic flavours that accurately speak to the kind of hawker centres one might find in Malaysia, Mamak Restaurant has become the go-to for many Malaysian people residing in Auckland. With a number of delicious Malaysian dishes on its menu, the stand-out has to be the chicken satay skewers, with meat that is both perfectly cooked and enticingly smoky, and flavours that strike a delicate balance between sweet and savoury.
Location: 6 Huron St

French Rendez-vous Café
Tucked away on the shores of Lake Pupuke, French Rendez-vous is the understated Takapuna eatery that remains relatively unknown — even by many of the locals. The menu consists of French classics such as beef bourguignon and the much loved French onion soup. But no matter what dish you end up choosing, the view across the serene waters and peaceful setting makes it a culinary experience unique to the area.
Location: 2A Manurere Ave

Quench your thirst
Fantail & Turtle
Another entry from the Goodside — the precinct that never stops giving — Fantail & Turtle offers a comprehensive drinks menu, as well as a number of delectable bites such as spiced hoki croquettes, platters and pizzas to accompany your beverage of choice. Craft beer, real ale, cider and kombucha flow from its over 30 taps across its two bars, and its wine list comprises nearly 50 varieties from some of the most prestigious viticultural regions in the world. With a welcoming ambiance and ethos of offering something for everyone, Fantail & Turtle is somewhere where anyone is sure to feel at home.
Location: Smales Farm, 72 Taharoto Rd

Regatta Bar & Eatery
Perched just up from Takapuna Beach, Regatta Bar & Eatery catches all the rays of the sun, making this beach house-like eatery the ideal place to crack a cold one. Open from early in the morning, all the way until late at night, Regatta is the place to go if you’re looking for somewhere to kick back and relax while sipping on your favourite drink.
Location: The Strand, Takapuna

Burger Burger

Burger Burger
Despite its name, Burger Burger is capable of so much more than just the burgers we know it for. Its side dishes, including shoestring and curly fries with housemade aioli and fried chicken, are the perfect accompaniments to Burger Burger’s delicious (limited-edition) beverages. These include a pavlova milkshake, a chocolate fish milkshake, frosé (frozen rosé slushies), and a raft of creative cocktails a housemade lemonade with gin and New Zealand Manuka honey and a pineapple mojito. The options are always changing and evolving.
Location: 40 Hurstmere Rd

Dinner time
Nanam
Before its big move to the North Shore, Nanam had already garnered a cult following for its unique and modern take on Filipino fare. Takapuna locals were thrilled to hear that the Pinoy restaurant was making its way to their side of the bridge and they’re showing their appreciation by keeping Nanam consistently busy. Nanam’s chicken sinigang is unlike any sinigang we’ve tasted as it’s soupless which is unheard of in the Philippines. Where usually a flavourful, aromatic broth would be the star of the sinigang, Nanam’s Executive Chef, Jessabel Granada has managed to capture all the flavours in a thick sauce that she glazes over the chicken.
Location: 178 Hurstmere Rd

Soho Eats
For quite some time, there seemed to be a lack of Thai eateries in Takapuna. That is, until the chefs from Newmarket’s Billy Cafe (who are in fact, Thai) opened Soho at the Goodside, its quick popularity proving just how much Takapuna locals wanted somewhere to go to get a taste of this cuisine. The lamb and kumara massaman curry, tiger prawn pad Thai and the beef shin marrow are some of Soho Eats’ standout dishes, as they simultaneously remain true to the authentic flavours of Thailand and offer modern, refined flavours, the like of which we’ve never tasted before.
Location: Smales Farm, 72 Taharoto Rd

Soho Eats

The Place
One thing that the North Shore beats the central suburbs in every time, is the quality and quantity of its Korean restaurants. Takapuna is home to one of the best in Auckland and The Place located on Hurstmere Road is quite literally the place to be if you’re craving a Korean feed. Serving all sorts of traditional Korean dishes, this restaurant goes beyond the usual fried chicken, Korean barbecue and bibimbap, to offer more interesting and intriguing dishes, like pork backbone broth soup and army stew.
Location: Shop 10 78/62 Hurstmere Rd

El Humero
If you’ve never experienced a Colombian-style barbecue, El Humero is the perfect restaurant to start your love affair with what we can guarantee will become one of your favourite cuisines. The meats have been cooked over wood-fires and chargrills, lending them a succulent and juicy texture and also an unbelievably smoky aroma. And aside from its meat options, El Humero’s empanadas are an absolute must-try.
Location: Shop 3, 40 Hurstmere Road

Ramen Lab
Finding a good bowl of Japanese ramen in Auckland is harder than you might think, so Takapuna locals should consider themselves lucky to have Ramen Lab right on their doorsteps. The tonkotsu ramen at this joint is thick and creamy with just the right amount of salt. The thin noodles have a firm centre, preventing them from going soft or soggy no matter how long they sit in the broth for. And although karaage chicken is considered a compulsory starter dish at any ramen restaurant, Ramen Lab’s iteration is particularly delicious.
Location: R2/8 Huron St

Double Dutch Fries

Dessert
House of Chocolate Cafe
A sweet tooth’s paradise, House of Chocolate Dessert Cafe is regularly heaving with customers no matter what night of the week it is. Renowned for its freshly-made waffles that are served with a raft of indulgent toppings, NY baked cheesecakes and other creative desserts such as the s’mores brownie gelato sandwich, this Takapuna drop-in might have lines of people out its door, but never let that put you off — a short wait will lead to a big pay-off.
Location: 5/62-68 Hurstmere Rd

Double Dutch Fries
Fries for dessert? If that’s what tickles your fancy, then go right ahead. But we’re not including Double Dutch here for its fries. Its the delicious stroopwafels and poffertjes this place offers that have us heading there for dessert. A stroopwafel comprises two thin waffle sheets that are pressed together with caramel, while poffertjes are like mini pancakes that are doused in golden syrup, melted butter and icing sugar. These delightful Dutch treats are as difficult to find in Auckland as they are irresistibly delicious, so we couldn’t recommend an post-dinner drop-in on Double Dutch more.
Location: 40 Hurstmere Rd

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