It’s been an exciting year for new openings in the heart of the city, with a variety of new restaurants, bars and retail stores opening. Here are some of the places we recommend paying a visit to on your next trip to the city centre.
Playpark by Karen Walker | 31 Galway Street
Set inside the ground floor of the new Hotel Britomart on Galway Street, Karen Walker's Playpark store features a surprising and ever-changing range of cult classics and special pieces from some of Karen's favourite brands from around the world. Check it out for a great range of items and price points.
Maggie Marilyn | The Pavilions, Britomart
If you're a luxury fashion designer fan, but you're also into sustainability, you'll want to check out Maggie Marilyn's first flagship stores in the Britomart Pavilions. The space has been designed with peony-pink walls, wood-lined reeded glass panels, sliding wardrobes and home-like furnishings, and features her stunning, sustainably made designs that have catapulted her to stardome within the fashion world.
Huffer | 34 Customs Street East
Huffer has launched its brand new retail concept aptly named the Huffer House in the new Britomart Hotel Building. The concept of the House is to replicate one’s own house with it all coming together in the kitchen and at the centre of the kitchen you will find the Yellow Desk. It's a must-visit shop for those looking for streetwear items and who love casual style.
Aotea | Commercial Bay, 7/21 Queen St
Named from its place of origin in the Great Barrier Island, Aotea is a community centered health business which takes inspiration from Rongoā Māori, creating a wide range of balms, creams, oils, and masks from natural ingredients. By adhering to the principles of tikanga Māori and placing deep value into sustainable practices, Aotea puts native flora as the centerpiece of their products, from the likes of kawakawa leaves, mānuka oil, and harakeke seed oil. Visit their stunning flagship store in Commercial Bay to discover the rich world of nature-inspired products.
Edmund Hillary | Commercial Bay, 7/21 Queen St
A New Zealand icon, Edmund Hillary’s 1953 Everest expedition and his adventures in the Antarctic inspired thousands of Kiwis and now there's even a clothing store named after him, perfect for the keen adventurer. Both functional and stylish, the designs of Edmund Hilary are made to last while also standing out from the crowd.
Yu Mei | Commercial Bay, 7/21 Queen St
A luxurious leather goods label, Yu Mei was born in Wellington with the mission to create high-quality products which are made with care. Yu Mei’s intention is to engage with forward-thinking women who are drawn to refined aesthetics and who deserve a bag which will last a lifetime. The new store in Commercial Bay is simple and showcases the bags in all their glory - it's worth a visit!
Wynn Hamlyn | Commercial Bay, 7/21 Queen St
Hailing from Auckland, designer Wynn Hamlyn created his fashion label in 2014. The new store in Commercial Bay exemplifies the feminine, elegant and simple silhouettes Wynn Hamlyn has become known for. Take a look through the dainty dresses, structured blazers, and summer staples, and you will notice the intersection between bold and soft and casual and formal designs.
Scotch & Soda | Commercial Bay, 7/21 Queen St
A Dutch fashion label founded in 1985, Scotch & Soda's Commercial Bay space is hard to miss, full of vibrancy and fun energy before you even step through the doors. Perfect for the summer season, Scotch & Soda’s clothes are bursting with colour and life - check them out for yourself and grab a new statement piece today.
For Christmas celebrations:
kingi | The Hotel Britomart, 29 Galway St
Located next to the Hotel Britomart, kingi is a seafood restaurant which showcases the best Aotearoa has on offer. Sourcing from the oceans, dunes, river mouths, and reefs, owners Josh Helm and Tom Hishon have put great effort into creating a meaningful and memorable dining experience for all. Not just a restaurant, kingi (short for kingfish) also advocates for sustainable fishing practices, working alongside fishermen and women, as well as working towards a hopeful future for New Zealand fisheries.
Mr. Morris | Cnr of Galway and Commerce St, Excelsior Building
The most recent passion project of acclaimed chef Michael Meredith, Mr. Morris is a newly opened dining space in the old Cafe Hanoi building. Mr. Morris reflects New Zealand’s diverse cultural cuisine, as Meredith was born in Samoa, and head chef Fabio Bernadini is from Brazil and an experienced traveller. The space features an asado grill - an Argentinian grill creating a full flavoured and firey menu. When you come to Mr. Morris, you can expect a one-of-a-kind dining experience, with warm and attentive hospitality.
Esther | Within QT Auckland, 4 Viaduct Harbour Avenue
Enjoy the authentic tastes of Mediterranean at QT Auckland's signature restaurant in collaboration with chef Sean Connolly. Now open, this European-style bistro serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner with a menu inspired by Connolly's travels chasing food of the sun, using flavours and spices from Sicily to Southern France to Morocco. Many items are served by trolley service - think tableside salt-crusted fish, salads and desserts.
La Marée | 21 Viaduct Harbour
Restaurant La Marée, helmed by Michelin starred chef Marc de Passorio has opened at the new-look Sofitel Auckland Viaduct Harbour. This restaurant has a refined atmosphere to suit any occasions and we recommend you to try the Lobster bisque with Espelette pepper, lobster ravioli, coriander and deer milk. Absolutely delicious!
The Lodge Bar and Dining | Commercial Bay, 7/21 Queen St
Both guys and girls will love this - Rodd & Gunn has created a fully immersive experience which combines both retail and dining in Commercial Bay. With a 90-seat eatery space within the store, The Lodge Bar & Dining is led by chef Matt Lambert, showcasing New Zealand’s delicious fresh produce. The Lodge features a Josper charcoal oven and draws on the mind of master sommelier Cameron Douglas to create an international and local wine list. On the food menu, dishes range from grilled line caught Swordfish, confit pork belly, and lamb shoulder ragu rigatoni.
The Poni Room | Commercial Bay, 7/21 Queen St
An Asian-inspired dining experience, The Poni Room is another popular new dining hotspot within Commercial Bay with a menu featuring a variety of small and large plates, from chargrilled crayfish to nori chips, and coconut laksa. The space itself is beautifully designed, airy, and filled with dried flowers and a spacious seating area.