What are the best bars in Auckland?

Answers from Our Experts (1)

Nicky Park

This is a tricky one, as my feelings on Auckland's bar scene change with the seasons. As it stands, right now, these are my favourite watering holes. This list, no doubt, will be ever changing.

* Brothers Beer: Located in the popular City Works Depot downtown, I love this bar for a spot of day time beer drinking. Brothers Beer boasts the largest range of craft brews from around NZ, Australia, Europe and the US. They have 18 beers on tap, I suggest getting a tasting plate and asking the staff to set you up with their picks. The décor is quirky and cool, it’s sunny and a really great watering hole for a date.

Racket: Ask the flirtatious bar staff to whip you up a daiquiri, this sexy rum bar is worth a visit. It’s nestled in an alleyway in the Britomart precinct downtown, giving it an out of Auckland buzz. The fireplace, the cobblestoned pathways and dark wooden surfaces all add to the sultry charm. A great place to finish the night.

* Neighbourhood: This eclectic pub is set in the groovy inner-city suburb of Kingsland. The massive outdoor space out the front is a drawcard when the sun is shining. Sample a couple of locally brewed Mac's beers (my favourite is the low-carb Spring Tide) and lounge about with the locals. The food here is also really good (the sliders are always on the money, and the mushroom pizza with truffle oil is also good). If it's not the day to be outdoors, the interior also has a warm, hip vibe.

* The Golden Dawn: The drinks list at this grungy Ponsonby bar is outstanding. Pulled together by one of the country's best mixologists, Golden Dawn features a huge variety of international grapes, boutique beer on tap and an outstanding cocktail list. Pick your poison and pull up a pew at one of the shared bench seats out the back. This place also plays host to a bunch of different music acts so check out what's on.

* 1885: This is one smooth and sexy bar, located in the popular Britomart precinct downtown. The dim lights, the dark wooden fixtures, the chesterfield leather couches - it's perfect for sipping a warming spirit on an Auckland evening. Hidden away downstairs is a cool space used for special events - my favourite is the jazz night on a Wednesday - well worth  the $10 at the door. If you're up for something a bit more happening, the adjoining Britomart Country Club (http://www.britomartcountryclub.co.nz/) boasts the city's biggest beer garden. This place is packed with suits for Friday night drinks and they have heaps of good deals (like half price food and beverage on Monday night).

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