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.
Sardine at White + Wongs | 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.
John & May's | 1-12 Vulcan Lane
Formerly The Gin Room, John & May's do cocktails and they do them incredibly well. Sink into their luxe velvet booths and toast to the year that was while catching up with friends. Their wait staff are full of fervour for their hand crafted and innovative drinks list and will happily recommend something to match your cravings.
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 potatoes 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.
The Conservatory | 17 Jellicoe Street
A North Wharf favourite, The Conservatory is a wine bar, cocktail bar and restaurant with a relaxed, comfortable atmosphere with areas for lounging, dining and having a drink. It even has an outdoor open fire with views towards the sea, making it a perfect spot for waterside catch ups.
Talulah | 52 Tyler Street
You might not be finished with work for the year yet, but a visit to Talulah will have you transported to island time in no time! This vibrant tiki bar situated directly above The Chamberlain on Tyler Street in the heart of Britomart has celebrations and fun catch ups written all over. We recommend their new Neo Tokyo Punch cocktail, a fun and fuss-free drink to be shared (and Instagrammed!) amongst four, featuring a blend of smooth Sake, Yuzu, lemon, coconut, vanilla, sherbet and a mystery foam.
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. The oldest working micro-brew pub in New Zealand, from Sunday through to Thursday (4-6pm) you can enjoy $5 house wines and beers and every day of the week, a 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, international DJs plus a full lunch and dinner menu. Their festoon and fairy lighting takes effect when the sun goes down and the party heats up.
The Churchill | Inside the Four Points by Sheraton, Level 20, 396 Queen Street
Specialising in gin with a view, The Churchill, Auckland’s highest rooftop bar is located on the 20th floor of the Four Points by Sheraton Hotel. The Churchill offers panoramic views of the city, stylish surroundings and a carefully curated beverage selection sure to satisfy the most discerning drinker. This cosy bar is the ideal spot for a end-of-year celebratory drink, and you can cheers to one of the best views of the city while you're there.
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.
Located within M Social Auckland, Beast & Butterflies is a casual all-day dining destination complete with an outdoor terrace. It's a great place for a casual catch up with a menu featuring exotic flavours from the Pacific Rim with street food influences,and an ever-changing cocktail menu and extensive beer and wine list. We're loving their holiday drinks menu, including November's 'Defrosting Jack' with sweet and sour notes of bourbon, peach and lemon, and their 'White Christmas' with bourbon whiskey, blue Curacao liquer, Creme de Peche liquer, Peach syrup and lemon juice.