Delivering on its mission of ‘fresh, healthy food – fast!’, Pita Pit takes takeaways into a virtuous new dimension.

International success story Pita Pit is giving fast food a whole new healthy reputation. Gone are the processed ingredients, stodgy carbs and deep-frying of traditional takeaways. In their place are light pita shells, lean protein and plenty of crisp vegetables, freshly prepared and served up at high speed.

Every Pita Pit sandwich is made to order, starting with your choice of meat or vegetarian filling. You’ll see real meat grilled in front of you while you choose from a wide range of salads, spreads, cheeses and sauces; you can go as health-conscious or indulgent as you like.

Your pita is then assembled and rolled for you to enjoy fresh or toasted, on the run or in the friendly, informal atmosphere of the store.

Perfect pit stop day or night

The Pita Pit menu is designed to please just about every diet and appetite, from the calorie-conscious to the ‘bacon-and-cheese-with-extra-bacon’ lover.

Fillings range from roast lamb, beef and pork to tuna, falafel, hummus and babaganoush. Long-standing customer favourites include the Chicken Caesar and falafel with tzatziki and feta. Any pita can be served as a salad without the bread and smaller-sized and kids’ pitas are also available.

They even do catering so you can have pita platters delivered for your next meeting or function.

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This captivating brasserie and bar boasts a menu by Josh Emett, sweeping sea and city views and an interior celebrating the seafarers building’s colourful past.

Taking its name from the Italian word for ‘a southerly wind’, Ostro is a bold New Zealand interpretation of an international-style brasserie, with an upscale yet unpretentious atmosphere and multiple Michelin-starred chef Josh Emett at the culinary helm.

Ostro sweeps across the entire second floor of the Seafarers Building, a onetime home to transient sailors which is being transformed by the team behind Ebisu, Tyler Street Garage and Fukuko into six dynamic floors of eateries, bars, a screening room and a private members’ club.

The Seafarers development’s flagship eatery and bar is a literal feast for the senses. An all-weather terrace affords diners breathtaking views of Waitemata Harbour from the brasserie side, while glimpses of Britomart and the wider city can be enjoyed from the more casual City Terrace Bar.

All day dining and cocktails

Ostro’s all-day dining menu is seasonal and effortless, with Josh’s elegant, produce-driven culinary style on show. Small plates and fantastic bar food sate laid-back diners, while seafood platters and a raw bar serving fresh fish catches can be relished in an aptly seaside setting.

As well that unparalleled dining menu, Ostro’s enticing list of exotic libations numbers house-made rum, wine, non-alcoholic house-made sodas and an ever-evolving list of covetable cocktails whipped up by some of New Zealand’s most inventive mixologists.

The brasserie and bar’s simply chic fitout – designed by award-winning architects Fearon Hay – pays homage to the 1970s building’s industrial nature. Translucent glass block walls mirror Ostro’s beautifully aqueous outlook, with concertina glass walls opening up the expansive space.

The Ostro team is a who’s who of the New Zealand dining scene, with hospitality veterans Brendan Turner (EbisuTyler Street Garage), Cam Timmins (Mea Culpa, Fukuko), Paul Franich (42 Below New York, Matterhorn) and Vee Vasan (Hospital Club London) steering the brasserie and bar to greatness.

Make a reservation online here

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With a style of ‘neighbourhood casual dining’ all its own, Ortolana is a chic little bistro concentrating on garden-to-table dining in a very verdant setting at The Pavilions.

Set within an elegantly sunlit conservatory at the heart of Britomart, Ortolana – meaning ‘market gardener’ – is a 90-seat contemporary bistro serving fresh, light food for breakfast, lunch and dinner seven days a week.

An open kitchen implores diners to watch as their food is prepared, and the fitout is classic and understated, with textural organic linens, natural stone flooring and exposed brick walls offset by shelves laden with gleaming copper pots and jars of colourfully preserved produce.

European inspired food fresh from the garden

Aptly nestled beneath a lofty glass canopy within the garden-esque Pavilions complex, Ortolana’s ‘garden to fork’ philosophy dictates that all food served is locally sourced, with ingredients such as citrus, pecans and figs hailing from the Hipgroup’s orchard at Kumeu.

Executive chef Jo Pearson’s menu is ‘European with a local feel’ and the focus is on exceptionally ‘light, seasonal fare, fresh from the garden’. A boutique selection of wines has been carefully chosen, and ambrosial house-made syrups of rhubarb, rosemary and passionfruit are served with sparkling water.

Ortolana’s breads and baked goods are prepared fresh each day at sister eatery and artisan bakery The Store, while sweets and desserts are prepared at Milse.

Make a reservation here

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Blending the best music, liquor and food of its namesake city, this bar, restaurant and live music venue has all of the energy and charm of New Orleans itself.

Inspired by the culture, diversity and vibrancy of New Orleans and dreamt up by the team behind Mexico, the basic ingredients of this characterful Britomart venue are its upbeat yet relaxed atmosphere, its incredible food and its extraordinary value.

Located on quaintly cobbled Roukai Lane, everything about Orleans is designed to transport you to another place. Its interior is dotted with flickering candles and antique ephemera from the Deep South, with a fitout mixing antique pendant lights with exposed timber walls.

The menu is all about fresh, no-fuss ‘bowl food’, packed full of Cajun and Creole flavours and inspired by classic soul food. Diners can choose from big sumthin’s, little sumthin’s, salads, side sumthin’s, po boys and sweet sumthin’s and the drinks list features beers, wines and old-fashioned Southern cocktails.

Live music and legendary cocktails

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Orleans’ superb food menu celebrates the freshness, diversity and intense flavour of Southern cuisine: roast sweet potato salads topped with whipped feta, chilli and kale; crab cakes served with burnt chipotle, and desserts like classic apple cobblers and pecan pies.

The cocktail menu harks back to nineteenth century New Orleans, featuring classic libations like the Sazerac, Ramos Gin Fizz and Creole Red Snapper, which can be nursed al fresco at one of Orleans’ outdoor tables on Roukai Lane, or indoors at one of the venue’s intimate tables.

Music is a key part of the experience and Orleans is the only place in New Zealand offering live music while you dine. Live blues, soul, funk, jazz and regular DJs add to the venue’s energetic atmosphere, with live music from Wednesday to Saturday every week.

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With its quirky, eclectic decor, excellent food menu and nine perfectly chilled mac’s beers on tap, the Steamship is a bar to make yourself right at home in.

This big, beautiful, comfortable bar is exactly the kind of establishment you want just around the corner from your place. An airy, high-ceilinged space with plenty of cosy seating, it’s stocked to the gunnels with good things to eat, drink and look at.

A hundred and thirty years ago it was the HQ of the Northern Steamship Company of New Zealand. Today, beautifully restored, it’s one of Auckland’s finest heritage buildings.

With plenty of lovingly preserved historic detail and an engagingly eccentric contemporary fitout, this is a bar to explore as well as a place to meet, hang out and enjoy a drink.

Good food and entertainment

The Northern Steamship Co. opened its doors in 2006, making it the very first establishment in the Britomart precinct. Its prominent site on the corner of Gore and Quay Streets marks one of the main entrances to Britomart.

In the daytime the bar is flooded with natural light, making it a sunny spot for lunch or an afternoon swifty. Food is available any time, in the form of beer-matched starters and mains, sandwiches, salads and tasting platters.

After dark the Steamship is host to some of Auckland’s top DJs, who hit the decks on Friday and Saturday nights, plus plenty of big-screen sports action.

Close to Vector Arena, it’s an excellent place to meet before or after an event, and offers a special quick menu on show nights.

Hire the Northern Steamship Co. as a function venue

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A dedicated dessert restaurant serving exquisite cakes, pastries and decadent degustation menus, Milse is mecca for dessert devotees.

Touted as a ‘sugar temple’ laden with sophisticated sweet treats and seasonal, local desserts, Milse is a dessert restaurant and patisserie.

Milse’s lattice bound corridor is lined with ‘wonderful sweet treats to take away’, while the adjoining restaurant – a ‘secret and virtually hidden dessert dining room and bar’ – serves dessert degustation menus and à la carte indulgences.

À La Carte Desserts, Cakes and Award-Winning Gelato

Styled as a ‘secret dessert garden’, Milse’s light-filled booths peer out upon The Pavilions’ fashion boutiques and planted courtyards. Its interior is chic and cavernous, juxtaposing recycled timber floors with delicious design confections like honeycomb shaped bathroom tiles.

Compact bar-style seating provides an enviable view of Milse’s open kitchen, enabling sweet-lovers to watch as chefs prepare and then serve delectable desserts with matching Chateau d’Yquem champagne, dessert wines and spirits.

Milse’s elegant cakes can be ordered for special occasions, and the restaurant serves award-winning gelato made daily at The Store. Its pastry masters also expertly produce all sweets and desserts for neighbouring Hip Group bistro, Ortolana.

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Drenched in bright colour and spiked with bold imagery, this joint has a fast-paced atmosphere reminiscent of the streets of its namesake nation.

Moodily lit with dripping candles, whimsically decorated with offbeat Mexicana, Mexico instantly transports you to another, cooler place. You can drink in the eclectic front bar or settle into the cosy dining area to explore the short but compelling menu.

Mexico celebrates the vibrant, fresh and lighter side of Mexican cuisine. The flavours are big, spicy and complex: grilled corn on the cob with lime-chilli butter; street-style salad and ceviche; soft tacos filled with pulled pork, grilled fish or skirt steak.

Plates are topped with house-made salsas and slaws and peppery mayonnaise spiced with jalapeño and chipotle.

Cocktails and tequila

The drinks keep the vibe loud and lively, with jugs of sangria and margaritas, including variations such as watermelon and tamarind, and Mexican twists on classic cocktails. There’s a good selection of top-shelf tequila and mezcal and a long list of Mexican beers.

Everything is served at prices that will leave you plenty of change to carry on your night or come back soon for more.

This place operates a strict walk-in policy, to accommodate everyone wanting to experience the food, fun and buzz that is Mexico. If they can’t seat you straight away, you might enjoy a sneaky drink or two just around the corner, at Mexico’s intimate new bar called IKTO.

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This stunning bar is like nothing else in the city. With its superb fitout and multiple distinct spaces, 1885 has all the ingredients for a serious night out.

Taking its name from the foundation year of historic Stanbeth House, 1885 is a sophisticated multi-level bar accessed off a private laneway behind Customs Street East.

Superbly designed, the interior is a clever blend of restored heritage features with rich contemporary styling. A high-ceilinged main room with massive wooden beams and raw concrete bar gives way to the 1930s-inspired G.H. Mumm Champagne Room; a sumptuous retreat adorned with low ceilings, marble surfaces, dark woods and ‘push to order’ champagne buttons.

Opposite, the original warehouse doors open out onto a long covered verandah: the perfect vantage point for watching the Britomart nightlife go by.

Basement bar and live music

Hidden away downstairs is a luxurious basement bar, leather-upholstered and staffed by dedicated hosts. Here you can choose from an extensive cellar wine list or cocktails created by some of New Zealand’s best bartenders.

As well as a great place to drink, 1885 Britomart is a buzzing live music venue. Evening performances from some of New Zealand’s leading jazz, soul, blues and funk musicians are followed by a line-up of late-night DJs.

Close to Vector Arena, 1885 is ideally located for a drink before or after a show. A small, elegant bar food menu is also available at all times.

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Contemporary French cafe L’Assiette offers freshly baked pastries and tarts, daily specials and a full sit-down menu served on a sunny outdoor terrace.

Like any French cafe worth its salt, at L’Assiette food is definitely the hero. Its small but inventive menu celebrates the simplicity and quality of the best French food, from classic croque monsieur to salade Niçoise.

They also offer a delicious selection of delicate sweet crêpes and gorgeous galettes, with a dedicated ‘crêpe station’ unveiled in January 2014 where you can sit and watch the crêpe masters at work.

Owners Romain and Natalie met in a small pizza shop in Chamonix, France. After cooking their way around France, they returned to New Zealand, where Frenchman Romain fell in love with the Kiwi way of life.

Missing the everyday pleasures of French food and pastries, however, he and Natalie were inspired to bring a taste of Europe to the heart of Auckland City.

French-Kiwi cafe classics

L’Assiette’s modern industrial interior is a chic backdrop to the cafe’s eclectic, homely mix of old and new elements. With its comfortable banquettes, whimsical mural and colourful outdoor bistro chairs on the sunny terrace, the effect is cosy French local meets urban espresso bar.

As well as a tempting array of freshly baked goods – gorgeous macarons by J’aime les macarons, pastries and tartlets – L’Assiette offers baguette sandwiches to go. For those moving at a more leisurely pace, there’s a full à la carte breakfast and lunch menu, including French interpretations of Kiwi cafe classics.

The cafe and bistro is also licensed, offering French wines, ciders and beers which are a fitting accompaniment to the simple, excellent fare this fine establishment is known for.

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The name means ‘lucky child’, but the delicious drinks and dishes on offer at this über-cool Japanese bar makes us Britomart bar-goers the fortunate ones.

Tucked away down Tyler Street, Fukuko is a wee gem of a neighbourhood bar specialising in cocktails based on shochu. This traditional Japanese spirit lends itself to gorgeously-flavoured infusions, taking on and enhancing whatever flavours you marry it to: Earl Grey or juniper, chargrilled pineapple or cucumber, raisin or berry.

Fukuko’s cocktail list offers its own take on the classics, like a Japanese gimlet using a triple citrus infusion or the Pimm’s-chanelling Fukuko No. 1 Cup, infused with orange and sweet vermouth.

As well as the wide range of shochu – which can also be enjoyed on its own as an aperitif or digestif – Fukuko offers an extensive sake list, Kirin on tap and the biggest range of Japanese whiskies in New Zealand.

Japanese-inspired bar food

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The fitout is a cool fusion of raw and polished; waxed concrete and plaster are offset with oiled timber and industrial steel mesh. The walls glow with jewel-like vessels of infused shochu, with backlit resin tables and reversed-pelt stools injecting a shot of casual glamour.

Fukuko styles itself a ‘shochu and snack bar’, but ‘snack’ is far too modest a term for its range of delightful small plates, which blend Kiwi and Japanese food styles into elegantly scoffable morsels.

Wagyu sliders, steam pork buns, Japanese hot dogs and tasty tacos – the food, like the place itself, is fast and fun and entirely conducive to an excellent night out.

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Totally serious about quality coffee and service, Espresso Workshop’s mission is ‘fantastic flavour in every cup’ – and they’re always happy to share the love.

It’s fair to say the guys at Espresso Workshop are fanatical about coffee, and what they don’t know about sourcing, roasting and serving fine coffee probably isn’t worth knowing.

They’re passionate about quality single-origin coffee, offering regularly changing specialty coffees whose provenance they’re only too happy to reveal. Ever willing to share the secrets of their latest feature coffee, they’ll prepare it for you as espresso or by pour-over filter – a fantastic, smooth way to experience the subtleties of specialty coffee.

The Espresso Workshop team know, however, that excellent coffee alone isn’t enough to ensure an outstanding cafe experience. That’s delivered through the total Workshop package of seamless, efficient service from highly trained baristas and the superb sweet and savoury cabinet food.

Champions of coffee

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Named for the God of daily food and fishermen, Ebisu brings together the best of traditional Japanese and modern international dining.

Ebisu takes the traditional values of Japanese cuisine – freshness, simplicity, painstaking attention to the quality of ingredients – and fuses them with the buzz and excitement of contemporary dining.

In Japanese mythology, Ebisu is the god of daily food, good luck and plenty. He is also the guardian of fishermen and merchants, making the restaurant’s location a fitting one.

Situated in the fine Union Fish Company heritage building overlooking the wharves, its stripped-back design makes the most of the soaring ceilings, large arched windows, exposed brickwork and raw timber columns of the character space.

A glassed-off indoor terrace lets in light and views from Quay Street and creates an intimate space for group dining or events. Luxurious leather booths in the centre of the space face the theatrics of the cocktail bar and sushi kitchen or back into the lively arena of the restaurant.

Live DJs and fresh seafood

Unusually on the Auckland dining scene, Ebisu introduces live music and DJs into the restaurant, adding to the contemporary atmosphere.

Back of house, however, the kitchen set-up is truly authentic. Highly skilled Japanese chefs with both traditional and Pacific Rim credentials create a selection of exquisite sharing plates and mains.

The menu celebrates the best of local fresh seafood and produce, including sushi and sashimi, fresh shellfish and lunchtime bento boxes. Dishes such as Momofuku pork buns, seared beef with garlic chips and soft shell crab with orange ponzu and wasabi tartare sum up the menu’s ‘traditional with a twist’ approach.

As well as an innovative cocktail list and a carefully thought out wine list, there is an extensive range of traditional sake. Ebisu is an excellent destination for an after-work tipple or a pre- or post-show bite or drink at Vector Arena – open every night till late.

The restaurant and its terrace space are available for private function hire – contact micaela@seafarers.co.nz with any enquiries.

Make a reservation online here.

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