The question of what to eat for lunch only gets more puzzling during winter. It’s cold, it’s grey, our levels of motivation to dine out have dropped to zero and when it comes to cooking at home… forget it. But whether you’re on the go and need a quick fix, or simply can’t be bothered to whip something up for yourself, these eateries offer the perfect solution. All you have to do is pop in and pop out, and only give up a couple of minutes of your time to get a soulful, heart-warming meal that will keep you comforted through the chilly season. Without further ado, these are our go-to lunch spots for a quick yet quality wintertime meal.
No matter what the season is, Caffetteria Allpress on Drake St never does us wrong. With a menu that offers simple flavours executed to perfection, everything that comes out of the Allpress kitchen just hits the spot. But despite the toasted sandwiches being a year-round favourite, it’s the daily soups that draw us in over winter. With ever-changing flavour combinations that include the likes of Pumpkin, ginger, miso and chickpea, hearty beetroot, and decedent mushroom, the delicious soups come paired with slices of perfectly toasted sourdough for a lunch that leaves us satiated without ever being too much.
From the moment you walk into Scarecrow Cafe, your day feels brighter and warmer. Its cosy ambience along with the wafting scents of the sizzling skillets coming from the open kitchen make this CBD gem a strong favourite. From its hot gourmet pies to its toasted sandwiches and the daily changing soups, there’s something for everyone at this cafe, but if you have a bit more time up your sleeve, we recommend waiting a few extra minutes for the shakshuka. The combination of the tangy tomatoes and creamy eggs paired with crisp, toasted bread for dipping is an experience well worth the wait — we promise.
Not only does this French cafe have one of the most authentic croissants in town (which tastes even better when heated and slathered in butter) but it’s also home to the tastiest French onion soup in town which is available to take away. The gloriously rich broth, topped with a decadent layer of cheese is the quintessential winter meal and only requires you to wait less than 10 minutes. If you simply don’t have the time or patience, L’Assiette also offers a soup of the day that will be ready for you to take away just a few seconds after ordering.
Renowned for its beautiful pasta and seafood dishes (the grilled kahawai is next level), Amano is also widely popular for its quick lunchtime offerings. Over in the bakery side of Amano, the lunch cabinet is no joke, filled with various pastries, sandwiches and wood-fired pizza breads. Takeaway soups are also on offer and are some of the best we’ve ever tasted. With flavours ranging from white bean, kale and pancetta to cauliflower and blue cheese, these takeaway bowls are the epitome of warming, gourmet goodness.
Situated in Grey Lynn as well as on the North Shore, there is no excuse not to drop into Ripe Deli at some point. This lunch spot has it all from sweet treats to savoury bites and most importantly a hot pot that is filled with something different every day. Regardless of what the daily concoction might be, Ripe Deli never disappoints, but our favourite has to be the macaroni and cheese. When this is on offer, you know it’s going to be a good day. Weather aside, a slice of one of the traybakes is compulsory when visiting Ripe — you will thank us after you bite into one of their unbelievable salted caramel brownies.
Tucked away on Sale St is Brunch Cafe, cooking up hot, ready-to-go lunches for the workers who spend their days in the many office buildings in the area (including ours). Recently, the cafe has introduced hot rolls to its offering, seeing a deliciously soft bread roll filled with various roasted meats. Brunch also has a soup of the day that packs an immense amount of flavour, our favourite is the hot Thai pumpkin.