The city centre boasts an abundance of great bars in Auckland that are perfect for that pre-Christmas catch up drink with friends and family. Whether you're looking for cocktails, champagne, craft beer or something else, you're bound to find something here in the heart of the city.
Rooftop at QT | 4 Viaduct Harbour Avenue
Perched above it all on the sixth floor, Rooftop at QT offers a peak drink and dine experience flowing from laid back afternoons to lavish late nights. Here, you can sip on signature cocktails by renowned bar manager Roberto Giampaolo like the watermelon frosé or even enjoy nitro espresso martinis on tap.
Ghost Donkey | Commercial Bay
What's more festive than sitting under twinkling fairy lights for a pre-Christmas catch up? At Ghost Donkey you can do just that. Set inside Commercial Bay's 'One Queen Dining', Ghost Donkey is a mezcal and tequila bar featuring a range of intriguing drinks like a mushroom margarita and prosecco served with a mini Mexican popsicle inside.
Captain's Bar | 99 Halsey Street
Grab a spot on the outdoor terrace at the Park Hyatt's Captain's Bar for an afternoon of classic cocktails (with a local twist) and a selection of around 60 different rums, all while being treated to stunning views. If the evening gets cool, head inside to the cosy den like interior of Captain's bar for a seat near the roaring fire.
The Jefferson | Imperial Lane, Queen Street
The Jefferson can be found down the stairs in a darkly lit and stylishly cosy basement on Imperial Lane, off Queen Street, filled with hundreds of bottles of top shelf whisky and gin. This hidden gem strikes the perfect balance between comfort and sophistication - relax in the welcoming space and experience the excellent service provided by the staff as you toast to the season.
Sardine | 149 Quay Street
Whether you're making plans for a drink or a drink with some nibbles, Sardine, tucked inside pan-Asian eatery White + Wongs in the Viaduct is an ideal spot to head to. With views straight out to the ocean, nothing quite says celebrations than delicious bespoke cocktails, craft beer and stunning waterfront views.
The Parasol & Swing Company | 7/204 Quay Street
Award-winning Parasol & Swing is one of The Viaduct's most loved rooftop gems, set over two stories with a stellar cocktail list, bar snacks and great entertainment. Catch up with friends and soak up the afternoon and evening rays as you celebrate the festive season that's in full buzz.
The Glass Goose | 78 Federal Street
A garden oasis right situated in the heart of the Federal Street dining precinct, The Glass Goose is one of the best rooftop bars Auckland has to offer. Enjoy a toast to Christmas with the Skytower directly above you, and while you're there, we recommend their duck fat potato skins which are often dubbed the best in town. The Glass Goose is also a great option for a quick drink when you're planning on heading out later for a fancy dinner along this famous foodie street.
Everybody's | 7 Fort Lane
At Everybody's, there's something for everybody! Take advantage of the outdoor deck area now that the weather is on the up and be transported into the decadent split-level oasis of this Fort Lane hidden gem. Perfect for gathering with a group of friends for a few drinks before going your separate ways over Christmas.
XuXu Dumpling Bar | Galway Street & Commerce Street
XuXu Dumpling Bar is an intimate dumpling and cocktail bar perfect for a Christmas drink with another person or small party. There are no bar stools or leaners here; just intimate tables where you’re hosted by attentive staff. 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. Check out their delicious dumpling offer and the moreish list of Asian-inspired cocktails.
The Good George Brewery | 17 Jellicoe Street
A spot near the water with good food and even better beer? The Good George on North Wharf checks all the boxes. Their range of craft beers are world-class and award winning. We suggest that you branch out and try one of their funky beers like the toasted marshmallow stout, and summer citrus IPA.
Tucked behind a bamboo screen on Federal Street, Huami Bar offers a sanctuary in the heart of the bustling inner city precinct. Sister to SKYCITY’s new Chinese restaurant Huami, it’s the ideal spot for a quiet drink or to start that big night ahead. What's more, join Huami Bar's Gin Club online for free and get $10 gins all day every day, plus early access to gin of the month promotions, special gin club events and more.
Frida's Margaritas | 23 Britomart Place
Crafted by Mexico's clever bar team, head to Margarita heaven at this funky cocktail bar. It will be hard to go past another Blackberry & Coconut Margarita but trust us, the refreshing Melon & Mint or the intriguing Lychee & Chili Salt is worth staying for one more, or five....shaken or frozen with premium 100% Blue Agave Tequila. If you're celebrating the silly season, this is a great place to be!
The Shakespeare | 61 Albert Street
An iconic establishment on Albert Street, The Shakespeare is a must if you're a fan of craft beers, traditional pub grub and great happy hours. This gem on Albert Street is the oldest working micro-brew pub in New Zealand, and you're always guaranteed great atmosphere.
Parked Up Beer Garden | Victoria Park
In New Zealand, we're lucky that the festive season takes place in summer, meaning we can enjoy celebrations and catch ups in the sunshine. The Parked Up Beer Garden is perfect for this. The old caretakers villa on Victoria Park has been revamped to become Auckland's secret beer garden and urban oasis with live music, resident DJs and special guests, plus delicious sharing menus. Their festoon and fairy lighting takes effect when the sun goes down and the party heats up.
Mezze Bar | 9 Durham Street
Set in the cultural heart of the city centre, the Aotea Arts Quarter, Mezze Bar is an institution amongst city dwellers and with a relaxed ambience, it's a great place to meet for a drink after work or on the weekends. It's Durham Street East location also makes it a great place to be if you're planning on heading to a show afterwards or wanting to peruse High Street's great gift shopping offering before or after.