Skip the mundane evening routine and come in to the city centre for a night of live shows and delicious food. With an extensive range of eateries to choose from, and a great line-up of exciting events and gigs, there's nothing better than a lively night in our buzzing city centre. This month, you're in for a spectacular line up of hilarious events as the NZ International Comedy Festival is taking place! It's also the month of the Auckland Writers Festival, where the best writers and thinkers come together to celebrate the world of books and ideas. 

Dine at Elliott Stables, then catch Ben Elton at The Civic | May 26 & 27

Bringing a brand-new stand-up show to the city centre for the first time since 2006, funny man Ben Elton will take to The Civic stage for two nights of rib-tickling comedy. Before, or after the show, grab a bite to eat at Elliott Stables. Just 100m up from The Civic where the show is taking place, wander in and choose a table in the Village Common – here you are greeted with a range of eateries offering different international cuisines. With a selection of $15 dinner offers, you are spoiled for choice. 

Cheap & Cheerful Eats offer: $15 for dinner at Big Little Grill
Enjoy your choice of: Burgers with Chips (Lamb, Chicken or Vegetarian), Chicken Schnitzel with salad and chips, or Chicken Fillet salad and rice. 

Dinner and drinks at Tanuki’s Cave, then head to the Town Hall to see Blindness | May 11-16

Travel down the stairs to Tanuki’s Cave, where you can sit at the bar and soak up the funky and intimate atmosphere at one of Auckland's favourite dining hot spots. There is an extensive selection of yakitori (assorted meat charcoal grilled on skewers) & Kushiage (deep fried breadcrumbed skewers) to accompany your Japanese beer or chilled sake.

After a delicious meal at Tanuki’s, head to The Town Hall for an incredible immersive theatre experience as part of the Auckland Writers Festival. Direct from the UK, Blindness is a multi-award-winning adaptation of Nobel Laureate José Saramago’s 1995 novel of the same name - a story about a wide-spread epidemic that is causing blindness in those it infects. The story has been adapted into a sound and light installation, experienced through headphones under glowing fluorescent lights and accompanied by a gripping narration. Read more, and book tickets, here.

Cheap & Cheerful Eats offer: $15 for an entrée + drink at Tanuki's Cave.
Enjoy a snack Otsumami plate and a glass of Sapporo beer (330ml).

Enjoy a meal at Brothers Beer & Juke Joint BBQ, then see Lana Walters' stand-up show Problem Areas | May 18-22

If you love BBQ style and slow cooked foods, then you need to stop in at Juke Joint, who bring mouthwateringly good southern style BBQ cuisine to the city centre. 

After a great feed at Juke Joint, walk the short distance over to Sweat Shop Brew Kitchen to see Billy T Award nominee Lana Walters take to the stage for her comedy set Problem Areas. An intimate hour of standup that promises to be loose, fun and a bit raunchy!

Cheap & Cheerful Eats offer: $15 for a platter + drink at Juke Joint City Works Depot.
Enjoy your choice of protein (free range chicken wings, pork ribs, smoked tofu), with tater tots, slaw, sauce, and a glass of Brothers Beer Leisuretime Lager. (GF,V, VG available. Also on offer at the Harbour Eats location).

Grab dinner at The Mexican Café before the Electric Kiwi Last Laughs show | May 23

An iconic Auckland establishment since 1983, The Mexican Cafe is a favourite amongst visitors to the city centre. Sit on the covered outdoor veranda with prime views of the Sky Tower, or get a table inside and treat yourself to a spread of vibrant, fresh and fun Mexican dishes. It's a great spot to dine when you've got a show to see at the SkyCity Theatre, just a minutes walk up Victoria Street, a little bit along Federal Street, and you're there! 

Fill your tummy before, settling in for an evening of laughs at the Electric Kiwi Last Laughs performance. This show wraps up the Comedy Festival for 2021, featuring a line-up of the best of the best in comedy talent - Brynley Stent, Lana Walters, James Mustapic and Josh Davies.

See here for more info and to book your tickets.

Cheap & Cheerful Eats offer: $15 for a meal + drink at The Mexican Cafe
Enjoy taquitos filled with slow cooked spiced beef and cheese or Mexican cactus (V), served with guacamole, sour cream and Pico de Gallo. Plus, choose from either and original or fruit margarita, house beer or house wine.

Staying the night?

Why not grab a room for the night and take a mini break in the city centre? From brand new to long standing favourites and boutique hotels, there's plenty to choose from. Below, we've listed a few of our top picks for an easy one night getaway close to all the live show action. Or, check out our hotel edit of the best hotels in the city centre for every occasion for more inspiration.

Last updated: 27 April 2021