Cafe and food market
Ordered: brown rice salad, pork belly, green smoothie
The Boric food market can be found off the main highway just before you enter the small township of Kumeu - it is about 20km from Auckland city. It's a wonderful place full of delicious fresh organic free range produce, with a fantastic range available at the cafe located inside. They have fresh pretzels, a cabinet full of salads, vegan cheesecakes, sumptuous pork belly and a side cabinet full of slices and muffins. They also have beautiful juices and smoothies available as well. The outdoor area is lovely, with ample space for children to run around and play. The food was absolutely delicious - the brown rice satay salad was very tasty and well portioned for how much it was. The pork belly was divine, a melt in your mouth kind of experience, and the pretzels - made fresh daily - were also incredibly tasty too. A lovely place to stop for a coffee or some lunch as you drive out of the city, and a great place to make the most of farm fresh produce at great prices.
Ordered: Acai bowl, Salmon eggs benedict, flat white
Sorry I've been awol lately have had a lot of stuff going on! We're taking aklfoodie down to Tauranga today so apologies for this not being strictly Auckland - you've got to have a holiday sometimes! This is one of my favourite cafes to go to in the mount. Situated on the main drag closer to the beach end, this little unassuming cafe is everything you love about deliciousness and health. With a fantastic menu ranging from eggs bene to fish cakes and acai bowls, you won't even get to the menu before you see the incredible range of tasty - often gluten free, refined sugar free - treats on display at the counter. It was so hard to choose which ones to get - we ended up getting four to share between the two of us for later! The acai bowl was beautiful as you can see and also delicious, a great quantity of all the ingredients. The salmon eggs bene was served on a bun and a fish cake - the best of both worlds. The decor is modern and hip with cute little wooden tables. Staff are very friendly and welcoming. Highly recommended place to visit when you go to Mount Maunganui.
Ordered: roasted eggplant sandwich, poached eggs with apple and pork sausage, agria fries and decaf flat white
This homestead cafe is wrapped around the exterior of the famous historic Pah homestead located in Hillsborough. Beautifully maintained, this building has been preserved by curating a reputable art gallery within its vast walls. The cafe has indoor and outdoor seating with the outdoor verandah looking out onto the beautiful grounds of the homestead, which would be a wonderful relaxing place to eat in summer - unfortunately it was raining today. It can get cold and drafty on the verandah so it is best to find somewhere inside to sit if possible. The staff are quite busy so take their time in taking your order and getting you water and silverware. The coffee was quite a disappointment - very bitter so obviously underdone. The sandwich and fries were great but the eggs were a little overdone and small. Quite expensive for what you get but again in summer you would easily pay for the atmosphere and beautiful outlook.
Hare Krishna eatery with Indian fare
Ordered: Combo meal (rice, dhal soup, veggie curry, pakora with chutney and Halava dessert)
Price: $8.50 or $6 for students
This humble vegetarian restaurant serves up beautifully wholesome simple food with a broad smile. The staff are incredibly welcoming and friendly, making you feel right at home straight away. The menu is simple and easy, allowing you to soak up the beautiful flavours of each dish independently without all the frills to confuse you. The decor is reminiscent of Hare Krishna - they even provide books and other educational tools available to purchase. Their side orders like samosas and roti's are the perfect addition to an already very satisfying meal. You know that when you enter here they want you to leave in a better mood than the one you brought in. It's the perfect opportunity for meat eaters to experience vegetarian food at its best, and for those of you that are already vegetarian or even vegan it's an awesome cheap option when eating out. Very pleasant experience that will leave you full and satisfied and wanting to return again soon.
Ordered: Poke Bowl, Chicken Burger, kumara fries with aioli
This easy indoor outdoor flow cafe is situated just around the bend on the main drag of Devonport, a sleepy seaside town located over the harbour bridge near the NZ navy base. Surrounded by quaint historic buildings hosting a cinema, bookshops and pubs, this cafe is in the prime position for a fancy breakfast with some delicious coffee, or a relaxing mid afternoon lunch with a glass of wine. Their menu is vast albeit a little bit pricey, but you certainly get what you pay for as the meals are delicious and substantial in quantity. The staff can get a bit frazzled when it's busy and forget things in the order, and your meals don't always come out in the order that they were given, but overall this is a lovely place to dine at any hour of the day if you're looking for a good meal and a delicious coffee before a relaxing walk along the peaceful seaside.
Ordered: Avocado, pineapple and spinach smoothie
This quaint cafe nestled in the bustling brand spanking new Orakei bay village, right before Farro's, is the perfect place to go for a health fix. Minimalist in nature with large paper sheets for menus and beautifully polished wooden benches and chairs, this boutique cafe is all about health and well being whole keeping it simple and easy. They have smoothie bowls, smoothies or porridge on offer, with the option of turning your bowl into a smoothie which is what I did. Delicious albeit a little expensive, definitely one of the dearer smoothies I've had, but again incredibly tasty and good for you so it's a win win. Because the menu is so simple it's easy to choose exactly what you want without getting overwhelmed by it, which makes it nice for the indecisive ones out there. There's little seating because it's in the middle of a shopping area, but definitely a couple of tables if you want a quick break from it all. Otherwise their grab and go smoothies are the perfect thing if you're short on lunch ideas and don't have a lot of time!
Ordered: granola, poached eggs with carrot hummus, eggs benedict with bacon, potato hash with bacon
Returning to familiar territory, we are moving on from gelato and trying our hand at rating the food. Situated on the corner right in the heart of St Heliers Bay Village, with a beautiful outlook on the bay and beyond to Rangitoto, this cafe has good food and great vibes. While a little bit pricey, the food itself is absolutely delicious and original in its combinations. The carrot hummus poached egg in particular was a fantastic combination of flavours, additionally because it was such an unexpected one. The decaf coffee was delightful as well, probably one of the best decaf coffees I've had so worth while coming here even if just for the coffee. Despite being run off their feet the staff are friendly and attentive, making you feel relaxed and right at home in this trendy and warm atmosphere. A lovely place to sit and relax over a coffee, a glass of wine or a superfood smoothie.
Ordered: Portobello Mushroom Toasted Sandwich (Vegan), Banana and Choc Chip Muffin
This hip and trendy cafe has started sprouting up locations all around the Auckland CBD area as its popularity has increased. It has replaced the defunct university cafe that you could find just below the short loans library. It has a bright, friendly and bubbly atmosphere, fitting in perfectly with the youthful vibe of Auckland University and its students. The staff are helpful and friendly and it always appears to be bustling and busy, which can make finding a seat somewhat difficult at times. Unfortunately, the prices are a little dearer than expected for a University cafe, most of the cafes located around campus attempt to provide at least a few items that are well within a students budget, however, the cheaper options available are definitely limited here. The food was delicious and caters to all different kinds of needs from vegan to carnivore to gluten free.
Boutique chocolate cafe
Ordered: Salted Caramel Parfait
This old staple of Parnell rise has been around for many years, situated right on the initial central tourist belt of Auckland. It is set out like a tourist chocolate shop - lots of gifts, trinkets and novelty items surround small dark tables where you can sit amongst the sweetness. Personally, however, I find this place to be somewhat overrated. The atmosphere is nice but the staff are a little slack, with many of the tables standing uncleared which makes it hard to choose a seat initially. Additionally, the kitchen is situated in the middle of the shop, where it is easy to overhear personal staff conversations that aren't work related, which can be off putting when one is trying to enjoy a relaxed atmosphere. The desserts were ok, they definitely weren't the best thing I've ever eaten for dessert, and it was hard not to feel like it wasn't something I could've just made at home. However they do have a great selection of lollies in jars to choose from which are only $1.95 per 100g so if you're looking for a trip down memory lane back to dairy store candies and lolly bags, this will fulfil that desire.
Ordered: Paradise special paneer masala x2, garlic naan x2, mango lassi
It's hard to fault a place as good as Paradise Indian. Touted as the Indian cricket team's favourite place to eat when they come through on tour, Paradise is wildly popular amongst the locals of Auckland. Their vast Restaurant is always packed on any given week or weekend night, with a lovely team of staff who are extremely helpful and efficient. Conjoining the Restaurant is the just as equally popular takeaway shop where you can pop in for your pre-ordered takeaway. This two almost always has a long line coming out the door. The food is delicious every time, with generous portions at great prices. The atmosphere is joyous with a lovely mixture of cultures all coming together to enjoy the authentic cuisine of an Indian meal.
Ordered: baby back ribs, seasoned wedges, vegetarian burger, kumara fries, 1x beer
We're going a little bit out of Auckland today to rate some food, so if you're ever in the Whangarei area and want to know where to go, this would be a good start. Located in a stone building that's over 100 years old that requires a medieval descent down two or three flights of steps to get there, the Old Stone Butter Factory is full of character. With a set list full of local and national NZ comics, bands and DJs, this cafe and bar is the perfect place for a laid back lunch or a lively outing on a Friday or Saturday night to mix with the locals. The food is delicious and generously portioned. There is also a great range of craft beers, NZ wines and cocktails as well. A great little piece of Whangarei that reflects the kiwi weekend scene nicely.
Ordered: Berry Bowl
This quaint eatery is so understated it's located in a shipping container on the campus of the University of Auckland. Situated just outside one of the main blocks of buildings on Symond's street, this simplistic place is perfect for a pre or post lecture snack. Extremely minimalist in its approach, it only has four items on its menu - tropical, protein, granola or berry bowls. All served on a bed of coconut sticky rice or natural porridge - or a combination of the two - this simple concept turned eatery is exceptional for students who needs affordable nutritious food they can access while going about a busy day of lectures and tutorials. The helpings are generous and filling, especially on a cold winter day like today. The price is phenomenal considering we're in the middle of the city and the ingredients are quality - every bite is full of nutritious delicious sustenance. It's so understated that it doesn't even come up on locations - you just have to go on an adventure and find it. This is the perfect place to pick up a late breakfast, an early lunch, or just a quick healthy snack that will redefine the definition of student food.