A relaxed brunch or breakfast is such a wonderful way to set your day on the right path, and now we are in Alert Level 2 (as of May 14) it's the perfect way to catch up with friends or family after a couple of months apart and support local businesses while you're at it. We have rounded up the city’s freshest, brightest, most seasonally aligned morning meals for your dining inspiration. Add a post-brunch stroll along the water’s edge or through Albert Park with takeaway coffee in hand and you will be winning at life.
Chuffed | 43 High St
You can always count on Chuffed for a brunch slightly outside the box in the very best of ways. Their fresh space has you forgetting you're in the middle of the city with its bright and tucked away conservatory-inspired vibes. As for the menu, choose from their great cabinet selection or as its brunch, indulge in their hotcakes with cacao, whipped chilli butter, blueberry coulis and fresh blueberries. Chuffed reopens to the public under Alert Level 2 from Friday May 15.
Major Sprout | 21 Graham St
We’ve come to expect exceptionally fresh and colourful dishes with thoughtful flourishes from the team at Major Sprout. And the flavours are spot on too, which is why this is one of the most popular cafes in the Victoria Park neighbourhood. We recommend their Coconut Mango Bowl if you're looking for something light yet filling, and you can also never go wrong with their Buttermilk Pancakes if you're looking to photograph the occasion - this dish is beautifully presented with almond marscapone, butterscotch and toasted marshmallows.
Scarecrow | Cnr Victoria St & Kitchener St
The chefs at urban farmers market/kitchen/florist hybrid Scarecrow cook with the same artisan seasonal produce you see on its shelves. They’ve transitioned to a new winter menu which features delicious soups as well as other warming dishes, but if you're popping in for brunch we recommend checking out their bagels, we're big fans of their Brekkie Bagel which features Damson plum jam and ricotta.
Soul | Lower Hobson Street, Customs Street West
In the heart of of the Viaduct Harbour, Soul Bar & Bistro prides itself on its use of the finest, freshest local ingredients and has an elegant all-weather terrace with stunning views out across the water that take in America’s Cup boats, super yachts, water taxis and even fishing boats. With an emphasis on seafood for its menu, we recommend you try their delicious toast menu items if you're in for brunch - we're looking forward to the smoked trevally toast dish with lemon parsley mayonnaise - yum!
Amano |66 - 68 Tyler St
Reopening under Alert Level 2 from Sunday May 17 at 7am, brunch at Amano demands starting with an artisanal house-baked French-style pastry - try a pain au chocolat or a madeleine. Once your pastry needs have been satisfied, you can move on to the Italian-inspired a la carte menu concocted using produce from Hip Group's own farm in Kumeu alongside meat and seafood from sustainable local producers. The menu changes so frequently we can't predict what you'll find, but it's bound to be fresh and hyper seasonal - at the time of writing, the herb and mozzarella cheese omelette was just the ticket.
Giraffe 87 Customs St West
Giraffe certainly takes the first meal of the day seriously. Each dish, from the homemade granola to their big breakfast is packed full of flavoursome ingredients and the setting is great if you're keen for a stroll around the Viaduct afterwards. Our current menu pick is their 'Green eggs and ham' dish: free range eggs, rocket, pesto, cured ham and sourdough.
Pilkingtons | 41 Shortland Street
Within a Mediterranean style courtyard you will find a unique garden oasis – a utopia of calm, elegance and sophistication in the midst of Auckland’s urban jungle. With outstanding food available all day, Pilkingtons is the perfect place to meet friends for that weekend long brunch you've all been waiting so long to have again. We recommend trying their pea and broadbean smash, with deliciously fresh sourdough toast and buffalo curd.
The Botanist | City Works Depot, 90 Wellesley St W
The leafy, green surrounds of the Botanist thanks to the onsite florist make for a fresh ambience that's just right for a long awaited catch up with loved ones. They do hearty well here, with a pimped out mince on toast where the mince comes spiced and accompanied by a fried egg, chilli, coriander and crispy shallots, or a decadent creamy mushrooms served with a truffled polenta cake, poached egg and topped with shaved parmesan. But if you're looking for something light and fresh, don't go past their almond and coconut granola (pictured above) topped with seasonal fruits, citrus yoghurt and blueberry granita.
Odettes Eatery | City Works Depot
Head to this popular cafe at City Works Depot for brunch any day of the week and you won't be disappointed! They're also celebrating being open under Alert Level 2 again with an Instagram competition where you could win Sunday brunch on them for the rest of 2020! What are we most looking forward to devouring from their menu? It's hard to choose, but their Kotare Ave Smokehouse Salmon with quinoa tabbouleh, tahini, cashews and herbs with avocado is always a winner.
Masu | 90 Federal St
Auckland's best Sunday brunch for when you really want to push the boat out is at Masu. Start with as much sashimi, maki rolls, salads, and small dishes from the robata counter as your heart desires. If you're a seafood lover, your heart will desire plenty. Then, share a main dish - the cedar roasted ora king salmon teriyaki with pickled cucumber and sesame is a strong Masu classic with the optimal balance between rich and zesty - before concluding with a shared dessert platter.