Bar Non Solo

Denizen’s definitive guide to the best spots in the city for after-work drinks

While the summer break may now seem like a distant memory, the weather is on the up and up — reminding us that there’s plenty more time to enjoy everyone’s favourite season. And as we all settle back into daily life, familiar habits slowly return, including one of our favourite rituals… after-work drinks.

With the sun shining brightly and the hum of sunny optimism that a new year brings in the air, there’s never been a better time to indulge in Friday drinks with your colleagues. And when it comes to choosing the perfect spot, these are the establishments we’d never look past — from rooftop bars to quaint neighbourhood locales and everything in between, here, we round up the best of the best. Salute!

Left: Alma. Right: Annabel’s Wine Bar

Alma

Location: Britomart

Although one of our favourite inner-city haunts for a delicious dinner, Alma is also the perfect place for an after-work drink, too. This Britomart spot offers a burgeoning wine list and reliable cocktails (including a 0% alcohol list for sober friends), and a number of outdoor spots that are the ideal possie to watch the world go by.

Akarana Eatery

Location: Orakei

With a relaxed vibe and delightful menu, Akarana Eatery is the perfect place to park up and take in the views across the picturesque Okahu Bay — drink in hand. Better still, from Thursday-Sunday between 3-5pm, oysters are $3 each, perfect for pairing with a crisp glass of bubbles.

Andiamo

Location: Herne Bay

Otto hour recently launched at Andiamo, and you’d be hard-pressed to find a better way to spend a Friday afternoon. Between 4-5pm daily, revellers can enjoy an elevated selection of drinks priced at a modest $8 (Otto means eight in Italian). We encourage you to perch at one of Andiamo’s highly sought-after outdoor tables surrounding the Jervois Road post and live la dolce vita.

Annabel’s Wine Bar

Location: Ponsonby

Those lucky enough to nab a seat at this Ponsonby Road wine bar have something to celebrate. With a menu that focuses mostly on wine, and just enough on the ever-changing aperitivo menu to accompany it, here you’ll find the ideal place to mark the end of the week (while escaping the inner city crowds).

Left: Bar Magda. Right: Bivacco

Bar Magda

Location: Newton

It’s no secret that Bar Magda is a favourite amongst Team Denizen, and a more than perfect spot for after-work drinks. With an extensive, ever-changing wine list and some of the very best cocktails in town, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better spot to celebrate the week that was. We’ll see you there.

Bar Martin

Location: Mount Albert

For those who work in the Inner West, Bar Martin has you covered. A perpetually popular, bustling neighbourhood bar with a larger-than-life wine menu, and a few favourite beers, this humble spot has put Mount Albert on the map.

Beau

Location: Ponsonby

Ponsonby’s Beau is always busy after the work day ends. Part-restaurant and part-wine bar, the courtyard makes a gorgeous place to send off the week. With an extensive wine menu and utterly delicious food to match, it’s just another of the inner-city’s great offerings when it comes to after-work drinks.

Bivacco

Location: Auckland CBD

Between 4-6pm Friday-Saturday, make the most of Bivacco’s Sundown Sessions — running until the end of March. The perfect setting for summer satiation, with an ever-rotating lineup of DJs, tasty food, and seasonal drinks specials (including a series of summer punches) Bivacco’s delicious and convivial offering is best enjoyed at one of their long tables. Here, as the sun goes down, the volume goes up.

Left: Darling On Drake. Right: Faraday’s Bar

Captain’s Bar

Location: Auckland CBD

A crown jewel on Auckland’s waterfront is Park Hyatt’s Captain’s Bar. Offering a number of fine rums, and extensive cocktails to be enjoyed on the terrace with views to rival the City’s best, this is an under-the-radar spot for an end-of-week wind-down.

Darling on Drake

Location: Auckland CBD

Boasting a sprawling, sun-soaked terrace (the largest in Central Auckland, in fact), rotating DJs, a stunning fit-out, and a meticulously crafted food and drink menu (no wonder too, with hospitality maestro Fraser Kirby at the helm), Darling on Drake is the hottest new opening in Auckland and is the perfect place to be for some post-work sundowners.

East Street Hall

Location: Auckland CBD

Is there anything East Street Hall can’t do? After-work drinks are best spent with cocktails and snacks-to-share in the courtyard, making the most of this venue’s rotating roster of resident DJs.

Faraday’s Bar

Location: Parnell

Given that watering holes in Parnell can be more of a challenge to find than those in the City, we were so glad when Faraday’s Bar opened its doors. Serving Champagne and caviar alongside exceptional wines and a delicious menu of satiating bites, this intimate, beautifully-appointed bar is as accommodating as it is opulent, and is the perfect place in which to mark the end of the week.

Left: Little Culprit. Right: Hotel Ponsonby

Hotel Ponsonby

Location: Ponsonby

For those who work near Three Lamps, one of the City’s favourite after-work drinks spots is right on your doorstep. We’re talking about Hotel Ponsonby of course. When that post-work sunset hits the courtyard on a Friday afternoon, there’s nothing better than having a Coconut Margarita in one hand and a bowl of crisp fries in the other… this is work drinks done right.

Inca

Location: Ponsonby

When the weather heats up, there’s only one thing for it come Friday afternoon… a frozen margarita, of course. Luckily for us, at Inca, the frozen margs are a modest $10 all day, every day — and they also happen to be among some of the best in town.

Little Culprit

Location: Auckland CBD

Fondly dubbed ‘Culprit’s mischievous younger brother’, this locale offers a hole-in-the-wall take on drinks. Yet the scale is what makes the venue so palpable (alongside the famed cocktails), and the location is truly the cherry on top.

Madame George

Location: K’Rd

Karangahape Road’s Madame George is a regular on our roster. Perfectly located for those who might want to turn after-work drinks into something bigger, this delicious spot serves modern Peruvian cuisine and an exceptional cocktail menu. If you’re craving one of its infamous pisco sours, or something a little lighter, Madame George is something to look forward to at the end of a busy week.

Left: Bar Non Solo. Right: Origine

MASU by Nic Watt

Location: SkyCity

Make for MASU between 5-6pm between Monday and Thursday and indulge in the stalwart’s $70 happy hour menu. Hero dishes include fresh sashimi platters, smoked fish tempura roll, scampi miso soup, and the infamous teriyaki king salmon. Or, if it’s a casual bite and drink you’re seeking, relax at the bar with a glass of Asahi and the Greatest Hits snack menu, available for a modest $25.

Non Solo Pizza & Bar Non Solo

Location: Parnell & Britomart

NSP’s aperitivo hour has us regularly spending late afternoons in its famed courtyard, enjoying a delicious drink and a selection of complimentary finger foods to tease our appetites. For those a little closer to town, Bar Non Solo is an extension of NSP’s offering, a Britomart mainstay that puts a sophisticated spin on after-work drinks. Here again you’ll be able to make the most of the legendary aperitivo hour, enjoyed with live DJs in a lively inner-city spot.

Norma Taps

Location: Auckland CBD

If you’re looking to change up your after-work drinks and try something new, look no further than Luke Jones and Dave Lincoln of Honest Rum’s collaboration with Dan Pinto of Passa Passa — Norma Taps. Here, you’ll find mouthwatering bites, satiating seasonal drinks (all served on tap), live music and more, in a relaxed but sophisticated and very welcoming space.

Origine

Location: Commercial Bay

Commercial Bay’s magnifique French destination Origine serves consistently delicious French fare with spectacular views to match, but it’s perhaps a lesser-known fact that they also have one of the best drinks lists in town. The eatery’s master mixologists have crafted an exceptional cocktail menu that sits alongside the most impressive French wine selection in the city. Round up your colleagues, select your satiation, and soak up the stunning vista. Santé!

Left: Palmer Bar. Right: Saint Alice

Ortolana

Location: Britomart

Open from early morning until late into the night, this intimate, cosy spot is suitable for any situation — after-work drinks included. Sitting pretty in the heart of Britomart, you’ll do well to nab one of the outside tables and take in the bustling energy of the square, drink in hand. And if you’re setting up for a night on the town, be sure to order their take on an espresso martini with licor 43, reposado tequila, spiced syrup, it’s sublime.

Palmer Bar

Location: Auckland CBD

Whether you’re seeking a cosy, after-work drink or a convivial catch up with friends, Palmer’s inviting interior gives way to a sweeping terrace that provides the perfect al fresco spot to revel in a beautiful afternoon. And even as the sun goes down, a roaring fire takes centre-stage outdoors, offering night-long warmth for those who choose to indulge in another round.

Rooftop at QT

Location: Viaduct Harbour

The only thing better than a rooftop bar is a rooftop bar as the sun goes down. Here, on the edge of Viaduct Harbour, Rooftop at QT is simply the most beautiful place for after-work drinks. Open seven days a week, it’s conveniently close enough to the office to warrant dropping in, but far enough away to feel like the ideal space to wind down.

Saint Alice

Location: Viaduct Harbour

Adored by many for its live music offerings, this Viaduct Harbour mainstay is the perfect blend of sea views, beer, wine & cocktails, live entertainment and a mouthwatering locally inspired menu — everything we crave when it comes to the end of the day.

Left: SPQR. Right: Soul Bar & Bistro

Somm

Location: Princes Wharf

For those seeking an afternoon escape, paradise is found at Somm this summer, with a delicious happy hour running from 3-5pm daily. Know off work a little early to sip, savour and soak in the sunshine with a number of $7 drinks to choose from. A considered selection of local wines is available, spanning all of the usual varietals (they are the experts, after all), alongside ice-cold Little Creatures larger, and the infamous Somm Spritz.

Soul Bar & Bistro

Location: Viaduct Harbour

Viaduct Harbour stalwart, Soul, is perfect for a convivial drink with colleagues and friends alike. After all, its waterfront location offers incomparable views which, when paired with the atmosphere of a busy venue, makes for the beginnings of a very fun night.

SPQR

Location: Ponsonby

We’ve all spent an afternoon or two situated outside SPQR’s ivory-adored Ponsonby outpost, and now, the institution has added to our list of reasons to visit with their $15 cocktail offering (available between 4-6pm, timed perfectly for an arvo tipple or two). Park up at one of the coveted street-side tables and celebrate the week that was in style.

Sunset Bar

Location: Auckland CBD

Perfectly positioned to celebrate the spectacular beauty of Auckland’s landscape from above, Sunset is a place to which city-dwellers can escape after a long day in the office for a relaxing beverage or two. Here, satiating drinks and tasty food collide in a sumptuous setting — all the makings of a perfect sundowner spot.

Left: The Lodge Bar & Dining. Right: The Brit

The Brit

Location: Britomart

The Britomart precinct has a new lease on life with the return of people to the city post-holidays, and The Brit Pub & Eatery is a fitting place to unwind over an after-work beer (or whatever you fancy, the bar staff aren’t fussy). The cocktail jugs are perfect for sharing, and it’s a nice place to watch the day turn into night.

The Chamberlain

Location: Britomart

Britomart bar and eatery The Chamberlain is just the ticket for a post-work drink with colleagues, with a social vibe and its central city address. Here, you’ll find an impressive number of ever-rotating tap beers to choose from (15, at last count), and a delectable selection of bar snacks made for sharing.

The Lodge Bar & Dining

Location: Commercial Bay

Housed in the most convenient of locations, this Commercial Bay outpost draws us in for after-work drinks thanks to its cosy atmosphere, satiating drinks and delicious menu by renowned Chef Matt Lambert.

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