Whether you’ve lived in Auckland all your life or you’re a newcomer to the City of Sails, there are always new (and tasty) things to discover in Tāmaki Makaurau. Get inspired for the weekend ahead and explore your own backyard with these seriously delicious destinations across Auckland city.
Make a date with Mission Bay
If you can’t quite remember the last time you made your way to the Eastern suburbs, now’s the perfect time to get reacquainted. Forever favourite Azabu has opened new outpost Azabu Mission Bay at the historic Mission House site, bringing its famed Japanese-Peruvian cuisine to a prime beachfront location. We suggest making a beeline for the Roku Gin garden and settling in for the afternoon. If you prefer something a little more laidback, Fishboy (the new venture from the team behind Herne Bay’s ever-popular Fishsmith), is the spot to grab some fish and chips. With the sandy shores of Mission Bay opposite, this is the perfect opportunity to enjoy some good old-fashioned fried bites on the beach.
Say hello to Hobsonville Point
Go west this weekend and make the most of everything Hobsonville Point has to offer. The former defence base turned thoughtfully-designed suburb has all the ingredients for a successful day out. Skip the traffic and hop onboard the ferry, which will whisk you from downtown Auckland to Catalina Bay in under an hour. Once on land, find the likes of farm-fresh produce, artisan cheese and organic coffee at the Catalina Bay Farmers Market. From there, choose from the always great Fabric Cafe and Bistro or family-friendly Little Creatures Brewery to while away the day — or be clever and fit both into your visit. With ferries back into the city running until 11.30pm on Saturdays and 9.30pm on Sundays, you can make your trip last as little or as long as you please.
Hit up Takapuna
Takapuna may seem like an obvious choice for a weekend beach jaunt, but what about as a foodie destination? The North Shore suburb is no slouch when it comes to its dining scene — with an excellent array of eateries to satisfy each and every craving. But before you dig in, we suggest you work up an appetite by trying the Milford to Takapuna heritage walk. Schedule your stroll for low tide and soak up uninterrupted views of the Hauraki Gulf and Rangitoto, rock pools and an ancient fossil forest. Post walk, reward yourself with great coffee, top-notch ramen, a casual drink or some of the best Filipino in town — take your pick from our round-up of the best restaurants and bars in Takapuna.
Get carried away in Clevedon
For an injection of rural energy without leaving Auckland, look no further than lovely Clevedon. A day spent in this charming town will be invariably well spent, with delicious attractions abound. First up, the drawcard farmers market (a runner-up in our inaugural Denizen Everyday Heroes awards) is a must, with an exceptional farm-gate-to-plate offering from local purveyors. Oyster lovers best make a pitstop at Clevedon Coast Oysters, where you can park up at a picnic table or dash down to a nearby beach with an ocean-fresh dozen of Clevedon’s finest, while The Farmhouse is the place to be for ice cream and baked delights in a picture-perfect setting. If all this activity has you desperate for a crisp glass of something good, Hallertau’s Clevedon outpost is sure to quench your thirst.