A New York style cocktail bar inspired by the golden era of bar tending. Reviving forgotten classics with a focus on thoughtful service, fresh fruit, fine spirits and hand cut ice.

Hidden in plain sight this intimate basement bar is a destination for discerning drinkers. Choose from our ever changing menu or trust your host to suggest the perfect drink for you.

Caretaker is an intimate bar committed to creating a truly welcoming atmosphere. We believe bar tending is a question of character, it’s all about taking care of people and that personal interaction. We treat each shift as an opportunity to improve our craft, striving to make it perfect. We have a meticulous approach to cocktails, focusing on classics created in the 18th, 19th, and early 20th century.

Caretaker is grounded in the belief that the cocktail is a simple thing and what matters is if you make it right. Every detail has been considered, from the fresh pressed juice right down to the ice in your glass. We believe simplicity is a virtue, our cocktails usually have few ingredients, allowing each individual ingredient to shine. 

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In the spririt of decadence and luxury, Miann Britomart takes the concept of sweet treats to a new level. Infamous dessert duo, chef Brian Campbell and wife Roselle, invite aficionados and curious (hungry) newcomers alike to try their selection of bonbons, gateaux, macarons and gelato sticks.

The flavour of the day – always – is chocolate, with a specialty hot chocolate menu one of the most unusual offerings at Miann Britomart. They are the first patisserie in Asia Pacific to have their own, bespoke blended Valhorna hot chocolate which is exclusive to the store. Overlooking Takutai Square, the space feels opulent but comfortable, with outdoor seating available in summer.

Somehow perfect for both special occasion dates and business meetings, Miann Britomart is a magic little spot – and you can take a piece home with you. With packaging luxe enough to rival their neighbours Tiffany & Co. and CHANEL, gifting something is easy – if you can bring yourself to let it go.

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There’s a lot to love about REC – but we’ll start with the reason for its existence, which is twofold: to give artists a place to perform, and music lovers a great space to enjoy music. Simple, but magic

REC is a record store by day, serving sandwiches and filter coffee. Also on offer are – you guessed it – records, both new (from international and local distribution labels) and pre-loved (host Connor Nestor tells us there’s a great “Beginner Collector” section.) By night, the venue becomes a haven for live acts to thrash and thrive: first on REC’s bill are Cut Off Your Hands, Scuba Diva and Yukon Era – and if those names make no sense to you, REC would say come on down and have a listen.

Capacity is around 250, the feel is practical and comfy and the live bands will happen three nights a week. There’ll be club nights too; keep an eye on Facebook et al for details.

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From artisan bakers handcrafting pastries in the morning, through to oysters and gelato at night, Amano is an unbeatable source of local flavours with an international twist.

Amano means both “made by hand” and “with love” in Italian and this suits the spot perfectly, for every thing here is handmade with love.

Head baker Dan Cruden oversees the bakery, where the menu evolves throughout the day. Mornings open with a nod to France; glistening pain aux raisins, Paris brests and other pastries fill the cabinets, before hearty Italian sandwiches, seasonal soups, salads and pizza-by-the-slice are introduced for lunch.

As the sun sets, one end of the bakery develops into an aperitivo bar where you can indulge in a negroni or aperol spritz alongside pre-dinner snacks. This area then becomes a cosy den for diners to retreat with cheese and a digestif after dinner.

The bistro’s airy 120-seat dining room channels old-world Italy with a modern twist. Terrazzo tiles and Italian marble complement charming heritage features.

For the menu, Amano head chef Andrew Hanson and HIPGROUP executive chef Jo Pearson have interpreted Italian cuisine through a distinctly local lens, while celebrating the principles that HIPGROUP have built their business on. HIPGROUP are the first to tell you that Amano is not just a restaurant, but a platform to honour the quality and provenance of food.

The team behind Ortolana, Milse and The Store, Amano follows the same food philosophy: to use seasonal produce (often from the group’s own farm in Kumeu) to create delicious food. A simple goal with devastatingly good results, it means that everything is made fresh and each loaf is handcrafted using just a few key ingredients, harking back to the baking days of old.

From the best breakfast pastries, to the most nourishing lunches, to crudo, oysters and scallops that have been freshly plucked from the ocean and gelato prepared with local ingredients… Amano is a living breathing wonder.

Make a reservation online here.

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Little Bird Unbakery

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From your first croissant and coffee of the morning to your final red wine of the night, this Britomart corner spot has every dish of the day sussed.

Blanketed in warm wood, soft furnishings and a calm atmosphere, Oaken dishes out good food and great drink from 7am-late, Monday-Saturday. Combining carefully sourced artisan foods with traditional cooking methods and a serious wine list, the all day eatery has what you’re hankering for at any time of day.

Celebrating the versatility of the humble egg, breakfast is a choice of 10 imaginative dishes that centre around the oval offering: 63.5˚ eggs with house cured bacon; duck egg white omelette; coddled eggs with wagyu bresaola; inventive and intriguing, these aren’t your standard sunnyside uppers.

Rounding off the morning menu are seasonal fruits, grains and lassi (a yoghurt-based drink), all of which are complemented by a choice of coffee from three of New Zealand’s finest: Allpress, Eighthirty and Peoples Coffee.

At midday, the pace quickens and a new menu comes into play. Caramalised bacon butties; cauliflower, mushroom and buckwheat salad; chargrilled rump, it’s the sort of place you could take someone you’ve never met before and know they’d find something to devour.

During the evening focus shifts slightly from good food to fine wine with a neatly curated but expansive list that guarantees a suitable drop for every palate and budget. It’s a constantly changing selection with all bottles ordered in small quantities which essentially means you could be trying something new, every time you visit.

For the non-wine drinkers, there’s the delightful option of Aperol Spritz on tap and a gourmet assembly of craft beers that the well-versed bar staff will happily talk you through.

To accompany the nighttime tipples, Executive Chef Javier Carmona has dreamt up a selection of small plates, specifically designed to further the flavours of the exquisite wines.

Open early and closed late with good food and, arguably more importantly, great drinks served all day, Oaken is the right place to drop by, any time. Not exactly a café, a restaurant or a bar, the only way to really describe Oaken is as your local.

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WORLD

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After taking Kingsland and Ponsonby by storm, raw food supremos Little Bird are feathering a new nest in the heart of Britomart.

Exquisite food from nature’s finest raw organic ingredients

Little Bird has revolutionized the way Aucklanders think about food. Their delectable raw cakes, slices, and savouries taste as good as they look – plus they’re fresh, clean, tasty, and packed with natural goodness. Having made a splash in Kingsland and Ponsonby with their “unbakeries”, the Little Bird team has set their sights on Britomart, opening a tiny, nest-like space for downtown types to enjoy.

As well as their famous raw desserts, slices and savouries, the Britomart store will be introducing a cold-pressed fruit juice brand called ‘the Squeezery’, which will provide punters with a fix of goodness as they go about their day.

Little Bird was launched by chef Megan May and her husband Jeremy, an architect and designer. Having suffered from early food intolerances, and having similar symptoms reemerge while training as “regular” chef as an adult, Megan realised that a “normal” diet didn’t work for her. She began to experiment with gluten, dairy and sugar-free organic foods, and so the Little Bird brand was hatched.

Little Bird offers a range of nourishing, tasty, raw, gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan dishes that will tempt even the fussiest eater. With desserts that taste decadent, but are actually guilt-free, and savoury food that’s bursting with goodness, Little Bird brings a welcome slice of raw-food heaven to Britomart.

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Sister bar to acclaimed Vietnamese restaurant Cafe Hanoi, Xuxu Dumpling Bar is the perfect place to begin or end your night – or settle in for the evening.

Xuxu Dumpling Bar (say “Su-su”) is one of the city’s small gems, a cosy table-service bar just across Commerce Street from its older sibling Cafe Hanoi.

Its whimsical decor carries a whisper of Eastern elegance and old-world romance: rich peacock-design drapes, stained-glass lampshades, bamboo-patterned wallpaper and an intricate turquoise and white wall mosaic.

There are no bar stools or leaners here; just intimate tables where you’re hosted by attentive staff, with the kind of warm but unobtrusive service we know and love from Cafe Hanoi. The open kitchen bustling with staff adds a touch of theatre inside, while the streetside terrace provides a front-row seat to the hum of the Britomart precinct beyond.

Drinks and Dumplings

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There’s a moreish list of Asian-inspired cocktails and a small, but thoughtfully created selection of dumplings to please even the pickiest of palates. On the drinks list select wines, boutique beers and spirits have been carefully chosen to complement the food.

With its quirky atmosphere and delicious dumplings, the delightful Xuxu Dumpling Bar is a worthy drink or dinner destination. With a fortnightly changing wine list and new cocktails constantly in the works, it’s a cosy corner spot worth a visit.

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The self-styled ‘merchants of freezery’ dish up decadent dairy from a stylish little servery in the Atrium.

Tucked away in the heart of Atrium on Takutai, White’s & Co. is a soft-serve yoghurt store in a league of its own. Open from early morning into the evening every day, White’s & Co. offers healthy, delicious options for dessert, breakfast or a snack.

White’s products are made using the all-natural yoghurt made famous by gourmet dairy brand The Collective. It’s dished up as the freshest soft-serve, as sundaes and in cones, in a choice of four flavours: perennial favourites vanilla, chocolate, berry and mango. As well as their delicious ice-treats, they also serve up a range of hearty porridges and bircher mueslis – the perfect thing to get you going in the morning.

Decadent toppings range from fresh seasonal fruit, nuts and granola to fruit syrups, curds and compotes. Or – if you want to balance out all that yoghurt-eating virtue – fudge, handmade lollies and meringue. Also on offer are fresh yoghurt ‘smoovies’ and parfaits of fruit, yoghurt and granola.

All that makes White’s the perfect place to stop by when you’re in the mood for a sweet treat during hot summer days and nights, or for a quick breakfast or pick-me-up on the go.

The brainchild of good friends Angus Allan (co-founder of The Collective) and Kirk Saunders, White’s & Co. is dedicated to delivering the very best in quality, because in their words, “people deserve yoghurt as yoghurt should be”.

Add to that stellar coffee from one of Auckland’s best roasters – Eighthirty – served on weekdays by one of the sharpest baristas in town, and you have one of the central city’s most innovative new foodie hot spots.

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This casual diner and takeaway serves fresh, seasonal meals to eat-in or go, with an in-house artisan bakery producing bread and pastries.

The Store is an eatery of two halves. At one end a chic diner serving casual meals and drinks with attentive table service. At the other a neighbourhood store selling an ever-changing menu of house-made ‘gourmet convenience’ food and superb coffee to take away.

Serving quick nutritious bites from early till late seven days a week, The Store specialises in ‘great takeaway food, fresh pastries and bread’, and for those who wish to dine in, the focus is on ‘quick-fire service for casual tables in the inner courtyard.’

The space also houses a bakery, which supplies The Hip Group’s entire stable of cafes and stores with bread and pastries. Producing artisanal foods 16 hours a day, the bakery is visible to passers-by, in line with the idea that food ‘tastes better when you see someone make it.’

Fresh, local food to eat in or take away

The Store’s European inspired menu mirrors its founders’ farm to fork philosophy, celebrating fresh local produce and incorporating citrus fruit, pears, figs, pecan and macadamia nuts grown at the Hip Group’s own orchard at Kumeu.

The focus is on seasonal ingredients and high quality food: from ‘healthy kickstarts’ such as petite goat’s cheese omelettes and metropolitan mainstays like a great early morning coffee, through to Kiwi classics like takeaway fish ‘n’ chips.

As well as superb meals, The Store proffers a dizzying selection of house-made beverages. Freshly made fruit syrups are served with sparkling water made using soda machines specially imported from Italy, and there is a full menu of juices, smoothies and coffees to drink-in or take away.

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This stylish contemporary sushi bar offers fresh, innovative sushi and hot Japanese dishes, prepared while you wait.

‘Old values, new attitude’ is how the team at Smart Sushi sum themselves up – that, and ‘sushi people rave about!’ The to-rave-about sushi is self-evident: spankingly fresh ingredients, scrupulously sourced and prepared in a range of traditional and new styles. The old values, new attitude approach is also clearly discernible, the modern Japanese detailing of the tiny store echoing the ‘new take on traditional cuisine’ values of the food. And while hard work, discipline and passion all customarily underpin the making of great sushi, for Smart Sushi it’s also all about warm, friendly service and the personal touch.

Japanese cooking and catering

As well as an innovative range of fresh sushi, Smart Sushi offers Japanese dishes such as donburi, katsu, tempura and udon noodle soup, prepared hot while you wait. Open seven days a week, Smart Sushi is great for a healthy lunch on the go or for picking up dinner on the way home from work. If you’d rather linger, there are tables in the covered Atrium area. Smart Sushi also offers corporate and private event catering, serving up beautifully presented party packs handcrafted by a master sushi chef. Talk to the team at Smart Sushi about any catering enquiries.

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They may claim fondness for a bit of ‘mammal-straddling malarkey’, but when it comes to great food and coffee, the team at Shaky Isles are deadly serious.

This second outlet of the much-loved cafe has plenty in common with its Kingsland cousin: signature cartoon graphics, offbeat interior design details and large-scale text reminders of why coffee is good for your personality.

The Britomart Shaky Isles, however, has an atmosphere all its own. Occupying the Customs Street East side of Excelsior House and extending into neighbouring Stanbeth House, it’s a large, characterful space that celebrates the layers of the building’s history.

Interesting historic details include the big wooden warehouse doors, ceiling rosettes and original rafters and exposed swathes of brick and plaster – all overlaid with lashings of Shaky Isles attitude.

A light food menu and seriously good coffee

The cafe’s food and drink menus focus on scrumptious dishes and superb coffee. Their breakfast and lunch options feature healthy bites like organic granola or avocado, heirloom tomato, goat’s cheese and tabbouleh on ciabatta plus a large selection of house-made counter food.

Their reputation for making damn fine coffee has been cemented with the introduction of syphon coffee, and the unveiling of a new filter bar serving up single origin coffee on the go.

And being just a hop and a skip from Vector Arena, it’s the perfect location for a pre-show bite. As well as free WiFi, Shaky Isles dishes out regular special offers – keep an eye on the Shaky Isles website for details.

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Like a small slice of Havana in the heart of Auckland City, Racket has a laid-back Cuban vibe, an impressive drinks list and a real nineteenth-century humidor.

Hidden down Roukai Lane, Racket’s rustic candlelit interior and eclectic array of antique furniture give this late-night rum and cocktail bar plenty of atmospheric charm.

Racket is next door to Orleans, and opens out onto the same secluded laneway.

With its tall trees, comfortable armchairs and a magnificent open fireplace, the lane is the perfect place to enjoy a genuine Cuban cigar from the bar’s antique humidor.

Premium run and live music

Racket is home to New Zealand’s finest collection of premium rum, an extensive selection of expertly made cocktails and a fridge full of international beers. It’s also one of Auckland’s entertainment hotspots, with live bands and DJs playing till the early hours six days a week.

Guaranteed to keep rocking long after the final curtain call, Racket is the ideal meeting point for a drink after (or before) a show at nearby Vector Arena.

Read Racket review by NZ Herald

 

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