We tend to be creatures of habit when it comes to our favorite bars. Even if you don't have your own stool at the bar, everyone has their "Cheers" that they like to go to after work on a Friday. Auckland is certainly spoilt for choices with a good number of really great cocktail bars, brew pubs and eatery/bar combos, so whatever type of bar you are looking for you'll find something to suit.
If you are looking new to try we've compiled a list of what we think are the best bars in Auckland, some are real Auckland institutions and some are newer bars offering something different. All worth giving a try…
The Elbow Room
The Elbow Room is a local favorite in Herne Bay that serves cocktails, wine, beer, and snacks. Leather armchairs, heavy curtains, and dim lighting make the atmosphere cozy and relaxing. Outdoor seating is great for a sunny afternoon. It is open seven days a week, available for functions, and features live music.
The drink menu offers classic and tailored cocktails and a bespoke wine list. Their interesting range of beers on tap includes Peroni, Sapporo, and Laginitas IPA. For bar snacks, they serve olives, risotto balls, chicken liver parfait, pizza, and cheese and crackers.
- Cozy atmosphere
- Tailored cocktails
- Bespoke wine list
- Live music
Awesome ambience and the perfect vibe for a midweek evening drink.Michelle
Hidden away in a basement, Caretaker is New York style cocktail lounge that will bring you back to the prohibition era with its smoky atmosphere. The downstairs location, cozy tables, dark woods, and leather seats give it an intimate feeling. The staff will make you a custom cocktails based on your preferences. If you don’t like it, you can send it back for a different one.
One of their famous drinks, the Blow My Skull, is a beer cocktail from 1864. The food menu changes weekly, so you will always find something new to try. Live music and great décor make this a fun and lively place. It is hard to find, but worth the effort.
- Old school cocktail lounge
- Custom cocktails
- Intimate atmosphere
- Fun décor
Fabulous service… Great ambience… Perfect music… Amazing cocktails.Raewyn
1947 Eatery is a great place to go for Indian-fusion food and drinks. The friendly staff will help you decide what food to order and tell stories about each cocktail. The ambiance is beautiful and relaxed. It is a great place for sharing plates and experiencing new flavors.
Sahil Patel makes custom-designed cocktails that combine syrups, garnishes, and infusions. The gin and tonic with barrel-aged, tea-infused gin is a specialty. Many whisky choices are available as well. Curry-covered fries, okra fries, paneer maska, and spinach kofta are some of the delicious food options on the menu.
- Amazing Indian food
- Relaxed atmosphere
- Custom-made cocktails
- Friendly service
Beautiful food with excellent service. The cocktails are also very good. Highly recommended.Louise
Coley & Punch
Found on Princes Wharf between Euro and The Culpeper, Coley & Punch is a cocktail and whisky lounge by the sea. Views of the Waitemata Harbour contrast with the dark wood, leather, and brick interior. A moody atmosphere is created with candles and green velvet and whisky-decanter lampshades and lively music.
Featuring beverages from around the world, it is named for Ada ‘Coley’ Coleman, a famous London bartender active in the early 1900s. They offer a list of creative cocktails that includes Ada's legendary hanky panky and rare, aged, and hard-to-find spirits. Their whisky selection is 250 strong. Food choices include garbanza bean hummus and crispy potatoes.
- Creative cocktails
- Harbour views
- Excellent whisky selection
- Fantastic service
The best barman in Auckland. We live 320kms away and when we visit he knows what we like. Just fantastic.Mark
Located in a former stable at Victoria Park Market, The Oakroom is a modern bar and eatery that serves high quality spirits, wine, and cocktails. The ambiance is warm and inviting with solid oak, natural brick, and soft lighting. Views of the park are can be seen from the outdoor deck.
The food is great, and so is the service. Their indoor seating is comfortable and casual, and the outside deck seating has huge umbrellas and heaters to keep you warm and dry. They serve delicious snacks including pizza, curry, and seafood to go with the drinks.
- Contemporary atmosphere
- Outdoor deck seating
- Huge bar selection
- Views of the park
Great atmosphere, staff are very friendly and welcome you with a smile! Awesome range of food and beverages.Shanelle
Established in 1997, Tabac is a nightlife institution that serves premium drinks and bar food. Recently renovated, it has polished floors and tables and an improved courtyard area. Behind the main room is a private velvet room. It has a relaxing and welcoming vibe and friendly service. Comedy nights with nine comedians performing take place on Tuesdays.
They serve a good selection of cocktails, wine, champagne, and beer. Their house cocktail special is an Espresso martini with vodka, Tia Maria, white crème de cacao, and espresso. They provide complimentary chips and salsa to go with with your drinks.
- Great selection of cocktails and wine
- Friendly staff
- Comedy nights
- Private room for hire
Great bar! Lovely staff. Highly recommend. Had an awesome night for our friends private function.Suzanne
46 & York
Established in Parnell in 1929, 46 & York is a casual and chic bar that serves premium wines, imported tap and craft beer, cider, and seasonal cocktails. Located in one of Auckland’s heritage buildings, it is designed by Virginia Fisher, a famous NZ interior designer. The ambiance is local and friendly.
In the summer, it is a great place to sip sangria in the courtyard. In the winter, mulled wine in front of a fire will help warm you up. The kitchen serves diner-style fare including wings, burgers, steak, seafood, and salads.
- Casual and chic bar
- Friendly atmosphere
- Seasonal cocktails
- Diner-style food
Top notch cocktails. Friendly staff. Great atmosphere.Tre'
The Glass Goose
The Glass Goose is a bar and restaurant in Auckland CBD located at the end of Federal Street. It is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Modeled off a glass house, the space feels like a garden oasis in the city. From the rooftop bar are views of the Sky Tower. It is available for private and corporate functions.
The drink menu features a good selection of champagne, wine, beer, cider, and creative and classic cocktails. A specialty is the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party made from Maker’s Mark, Chambord, Earl Grey tea, and mint. The food menu offers delicious small plates made for sharing.
- View of the Sky Tower
- Garden oasis
- Delicious small plates
- Fantastic selection of drinks
This place rocks ! Awesome night with friends. Great ambience and vibe.Farookh
The Vodka Room is a Russian bar and restaurant in Ponsonby. Plush velvet seats, gold walls, and chandeliers give it a glitzy 1980s ambiance. The two karaoke rooms upstairs, one with bear skins on the wall and the other with kalashnikovs, are a lot of fun. There are rooms and spaces available for special functions and parties, each with its own theme and décor.
True to its name, the Vodka Room offers an impressive array of vodka and tasting flights. Russian bar snacks, platters, sharing plates, and main plates are on the menu to go with the drinks. Some specialties are the gravlax and the potato dumplings.
- Range of vodka and vodka cocktails
- Russian-based food menu
- Amazing décor
- Fun karaoke rooms
What’s not to like. Friendly staff, beautiful decor, unique cocktails and mouth watering food. What more can you ask for.Natalija
Located at the end of Princes Wharf in the Hilton hotel, Bellini Bar is a great place to enjoy views of the waterfront with cocktails and gourmet food. The floor to ceiling windows and outdoor balconies provide amazing views of the Waitemata harbour and city. Suspended fireplaces, a clean modern design, and excellent service create a relaxing atmosphere. On the weekends, there is live music, and the bar is available for private hires.
They offer classic and signature cocktails, whisky flights, beer, wine, and cider. Bellini’s Twisted High Tea is a special experience you won't want to miss. House-made pastries and a full menu including sharing plates and main dishes are also available. Their award-winning mixologists teach interactive cocktail-making classes.
- Lavish atmosphere
- Waterfront views
- Twisted High Tea
- Cocktail experiences
Lovely day, great service and the view is spectacular.Shelza
Elmo’s Pizza Bar
Located in Ponsonby, Elmo’s is a family-built pizza bar. They offer handcrafted pizza, traditional pasta, and excellent drinks and cocktails. They are open for lunch and dinner on the weekends. At their Sunday Italian brunch, they serve pizza, eggs Benedict ravioli, breakfast martinis, and have a Bloody Mary station.
Their drink menu includes a good selection of New Zealand and European wines and assorted cocktails. Specialties are the miso white chocolate martini and the espresso martini topped with coconut and amaretto crème. The food menu changes monthly based on the availability of seasonal ingredients.
- Elevated pizza and excellent drinks
- New Zealand and European wines
- Italian brunch
- Changing food menu
Love Elmos. During lockdown we had this so much. Our boss takes us here for our celebrations dinners as they are dog friendly and child friendly.
Highly recommend their cocktails especially the one that comes in the glass that’s shaped like a head. Garlic flat bread is delicious and the linguine is to die for.Lara