Cool restaurants in Auckland

Claire Murray | Date posted - 22 Nov 2018
From super trendy Ponsonby to beautiful Waiheke Island, Auckland now has its fair share of amazing areas filled with hip restaurants. But where exactly do the cool kids hang out? We’ve rounded up a list of our favourite cool Auckland restaurants that will make you the envy of all your Instagram friends.

Gypsy Caravan

Cool name, cool place, delicious food. What’s not to like? This place quite literally does what it says on the tin, starting life as a pop-up from a gypsy caravan in Ponsonby. Now, the caravan is settled in a full-time position surrounded by a beautiful restaurant. Renowned for their cocktails, they serve up drinks with names like The Mirage, or Bittersweet symphony, and ingredients like blood orange, absinthe, and Hennessey Sherry. The food is pretty tasty too with options for veggies, vegans, and gluten free.


One of Parnell’s most popular spots, Rosie is a glass-fronted cafe-cum-restaurant filled with natural light and even better light fittings. Their food is locally sourced (like most cool Auckland restaurants) and these guys really do focus on the locals. Filled with people from the neighbourhood tucking into ceviche, cauliflower chickpea fritters, and bbq’ black pig most days, it’s a great spot whatever time of the day you head down.

Miss Clawdy

We are such suckers for a cool name, we know. This soul food joint is hugely popular with Aucklanders who love big flavours and getting their hands dirty. No small plates with delicately arranged flowers here; these guys serve up po’boys, gumbo, steaks, pulled pork, and more. They suggest that their food is best eaten shared, meaning it’s a great place to go with a big group where you can order loads of food and all dig in. Oh, and don’t forget to order one of their jugs of cocktails. They’re famous in the area.


This “garden-fresh” bistro in Britomart is quite literally that. The team here use produce from their own farm where possible, and failing that, from local growers. If you’re on the hunt for cool restaurants in Auckland, you’ve definitely hit gold here: they’re even part of a company called “The Hip Group”. The menu changes with the seasons and Spring 2018 features Agria gnocchi, octopus, scallops, and much more.

Circus Circus

We’re not sure if this counts as a cool Auckland restaurant in the "hip" sense of the term, but it’s definitely different. The building does actually look like a circus, with striped awnings, bright red and gold paint, and circus-themed statues dotted around. For over 20 years, they’ve been offering a carnival-themed experience, feeding diners cake in a jar, Circus burgers, and steaks in their impressive space. Their cakes are so popular, you can even order and buy a whole one to take away. Hang out on their lovely terrace or head upstairs to their “Upper Deck” to enjoy some drinks after your meal.
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