As we move into Autumn, we thought a round-up of our slightly cosier places to grab a drink and catch up might be handy… we know, we’re still in denial too… Check out our list that will take you on a journey through some of the city centre's most exciting and cosy little bars.

XuXu Dumpling Bar | Cnr of Galway Street and Commerce Street 

Step through the doors of this enchanting little bar and sit down to an intimate night of fragrant cocktails and delicious South-East Asian inspired dishes. A sister restaurant to the beloved Cafe Hanoi, XuXu’s is a foliage lined space waiting for you to explore.

People sitting in a bar

Caretaker | 40 Roukai Lane

Below the ground level of Roukai Lane hides a cocktail bar of unique charm and cool ambience. Caretaker takes table service to the next level – discuss flavour profiles, favourite spirits and fruits with your bartender and sit back as they prepare you a one-of-a-kind beverage. Reminiscent of speakeasies of the past, this dimly lit bar with beautifully arranged leather seating is cosy in all the right ways.

Saxon and Parole

Saxon + Parole | Commercial Bay, 7/21 Queen Street 

While popular Commercial Bay restaurant and cocktail bar Saxon + Parole boasts wide open spaces and expansive views out to the waterfront, there's a secret little room not everyone knows about. Perfect for a night cap or a intimate drink for two, their Lorillard room is a homage to the opulent taste of Pierre Lorillard, the owner of the two eponymous horses Saxon and Parole. Sink into the comfortable seating, listen to a record and toast to a truly special experience in the heart of the city. 

Interior of a bar

Housebar | Hotel Debrett, 2 High Street

This Art Deco style cocktail bar is located on the first floor of Hotel Debrett and serves classically inspired drinks as well as boutique beers and wines. Enjoy the luxury of the hotel without having to book a room as you relax in velvet chairs next to the fireplace and are waited on by the excellent staff.

Interior of a bar

Mo’s | Cnr of Federal and Wolfe Street

Catch up with friends at this classic after work watering hole and enjoy the personal atmosphere of Mo’s. This laid-back bar has a community feel and employs some of the best bartenders in the city. Grab a quick drink or settle in for a night of unique cocktails.

Interior of a bar

Fukuko | 43 Tyler Street

Reflecting the excitement of Britomart, Fukuko is Tyler Street’s best little bar to grab a drink and a snack. As the little brother to Ebisu, Fukuko has an equally impressive snack menu as it does beverage list. This bar offers a classic refreshingly cosy feel with hidden elements of Japanese culture.

Interior of a bar

The Jefferson | Imperial Building, Basement Level, 7 Fort Lane

This unique Imperial Lane bar designed by Paul Izzard strikes the balance between chic and comfort. Relax in this welcoming space and experience the excellent service provided by the staff as you sip away on one of the 600 whiskeys or 350+ gins The Jefferson has on offer.

Little Culprit

Little Culprit | 151 Wyndham St

Situated on the corner of Queen and Wyndham Streets, directly across the road from popular big brother restaurant Culprit, Little Culprit is a perfect place to slow down, relax and sip on delicious cocktails, beautiful wine and scrumptious bites. The atmosphere is cosy and sophisticated. Make sure to get their platter to share to accompany your drinks.

Ghost Donkey

Ghost Donkey | Commercial Bay 

One of the newer downtown Auckland bars, is mezcal & tequila bar Ghost Donkey. Step inside and be dazzled by the twinkling fairy lights that cover the entirety of the ceiling - doubling as the ideal setting for a romantic date night, or a spot to kick the night off with your mates. Ghost Donkey has a selection of more than 40 styles of mezcal, tequila-laced bottled Mexican sodas, mini Mexican popsicles served in prosecco, Mole Negronis, Mushroom Margaritas and more.

Last updated: 26 March 2021