Fancy a stop and a sip at one of the best central-city bars before a show. Perhaps an espresso martini, to keep you awake or a wine to unwind after a busy day could be at one of these places.

XuXu - is the place you want to take friends from out-of-town for a fresh taste of Vietnamese food and drink. The inspired cocktail and boutique liquour are great when not much else will do. Try the taro crisps with the chilli salt to go with your drinks.

Fukuko - Japanese spirits are the go at this fun little spot. But the bar does fill up quick. See how you go with the beautifully crafted and also fine seafood seasoned kingfish, chicken katsu, and sashimi. A cocktail from the bar is pictured below if you need any more proof that this is the place to be.

Brew on Quay - If it's beer you like this is the only place to be. For Brew on Quay there is a microbrewery on site so you won't have to go far for the original real deal bar.

Britomart Country Club - for that early evening outdoor area you will want to head to, and stumble out of work to. The place is filled with tap beer above and beyond the usual bar offering and there are DJs performing several nights of the week.  

Tyler Street Garage - The industrial and very urban bar is perfect for that balmy evening on the rooftop. The warehouse underneath is perfect and both spaces serve up their own no-fuss menus.

Orleans - If you like to be in a place that is heaving and upbeat you should take yourself down to Orleans where the beer is better and the cocktails consist of well-known New Orleans drinks like Ramos Gin Fizz, Creole Red Snapper, and Sazerac.

Northern Steamship Co. - The Mac's bar is perfectly plush and comfy with armchairs and interesting fittings. Get your fill of beer and take a brisk walk down the red fence to the arena.

1885 Britomart - this dimly-lit bar with leather couches and some outdoor seating has the feel of being anywhere in the world. And the spirits some of which are are distilled by the bar's own grains.

Ostro - If you are very lucky you might be able to score a seat in the bar's city terrace which overlooks the Tyler Street entrance. The newly opened hotspot of Auckland's waterfront dining does allow for walk-ups and take bookings so go with a fall-back plan.



Last updated: 21 August 2020