While Melbourne might fancy itself the Southern Hemisphere’s capital of specialty bean, Auckland has rapidly climbed best-coffee lists in recent years, and it’s easy to see why. The best Auckland cafés speak for themselves.
Thanks to an explosion of creative, compelling and exciting cafés, roasteries and retailers – all dishing up some of the best brew on the planet – the coffee scene in Auckland has never been in a better place.[related_articles]50135,47967,46435[/related_articles]
Next time you hit up the North Island, check out some of these hotspots for a sumptuous brunch and delicious dose of specialty brew. [listicle]
Established in Ponsonby in 1992, Atomic was a trailblazer of the third-wave coffee scene in NZ, one of the early great Auckland cafés. A generation later, its reputation perseveres as one of the most sought-after roasters and retailers in the country, supplying many of the country’s best coffee haunts in Auckland and beyond.
Check out the HQ at Kingsland for seasonal and single-origin heaven, or one of the brand’s four city pit-stops on Shortland Street, Parnell Road, Wynyard Quarter, and the spruce Rocket Espresso pop-up collab in Ponsonby.
Where: 420c New North Road, Kingsland
Image: Atomic Coffee Roasters / Facebook
Bursting with light and modern décor, Kokako is named for a local endangered bird species, and its exceptional coffee and culinary offerings will put the wind beneath your wings.
Though first and foremost a specialty roaster, Kokako’s HQ is not open to the public, so you’ll need to head down to the Grey Lynn showroom for your morning cup. Deeply dedicated to sustainable, ethical coffee, the blends are nothing short of artisanal, a perfect pairing to a nourishing gourmet menu, including highlights like Black Rice Porridge, Heirloom Carrots and Chargrilled Courgette.
Where: 537 Great North Road, Grey Lynn
Image: Kokako Organic Coffee / Facebook
With a vibrant menu of delicious treats and sensational brews, Bestie is guaranteed to be just that on your next trip through the Big A. Serving up Eighthirty coffee from their eye catching canary yellow La Marzocco, its owners are local mavens when it comes to simple good times and a satisfying, modern café experience. The Ricotta Doughnuts and Mushroom Ragu Bruschetta will have you returning again and again.
Where: Shop 13, St Kevins Arcade, 183 Karangahape Road, Auckland
Image: Bestie Café / Facebook
There’s a reason why people flock to Mount Eden’s Olaf’s – the bread. Wielding his unique expertise, German-trained baker and pastry chef, Olaf, busts out an amazing array of artisan and foreign-styled breads each and every morning, including French Pain and German-styled Vollkorn brot.
A sumptuous breakfast and lunch affair, the menu at Olaf’s features some of the best sandwiches, salads and pastries in the region.
Where: 1 Stokes Road, Mount Eden
You’ll get good, honest coffee and good vibes aplenty at Chuffed, tucked away in the heart of things in High Street. For over three years, the Chuffed crew have been slinging some of the city’s tastiest and most invigorating brew, while dishing up a menu of flavoursome morsels designed to cajole the most hardened of tastebuds.
Where: 43 High Street, Auckland
Image: Chuffed / Facebook
L’Assiette: yes, it’s French, and yes, it’s amazing — the crepes, the brioche, the buckwheat savoury galletes; the innovative simplicity of the fare, and the intoxicating fresh-baked artisan aromas to go with it. Putting a French spin on Kiwi classics, the Chamonix-born couple behind this place deserve every accolade. And the coffee’s great, too.
Where: 9 Britomart Place, Britomart
Image: L’Assiette / Facebook
When you’re in need of a stiff cup, a light meal and a bouquet of lovely flowers, there’s only one place in Auckland to turn: the Botanist. Enjoy all-day brunch, an artisan brew or two, and head home with your belly full and a couple of plants in each hand. It’s a feast for the stomach, the eyes and the nostrils.
Where: City Works Depot, 13/90 Wellesley Street West, Auckland
Image: The Botanist / Facebook
With its lush green exterior and evocative floor-to-ceiling 1950s Māori maiden mural, Queenies is an explosion of colour and taste, a nourishing spot in the tradition of cosy cafés, featuring great coffee and a lively menu of fresh, locally-sourced fare. Add to the mix cute and quirky decor and ultra-friendly staff, and this place will have you going out of your way.
Where: 24A Spring Street, Freemans Bay
Image: Queenies / Facebook[/listicle] [related_articles]58624,36202[/related_articles] [qantas_widget code=AKL]Check out Qantas flights to Auckland.[/qantas_widget]
(Lead image: L’Assiette / Facebook)
Cam Hassard is an international penman, sax-wielder and rogue wayfarer who writes for Junkee, Carryology, Huckberry, Caddie, Fairfax Media, Carryology, Intrepid, Peregrine Adventures and Europe Up Close. He’s eaten ant salad in Laos, hauled trucks from NYC to Vegas, and destroyed himself on the Camino de Santiago. Originally from Melbourne, he currently calls Berlin home.