Attic Backpackers Top 5: Best Cafes in Auckland

As the spiritual home of the Flat White (screw you Australia) we like to think that us kiwis know more than just a thing or two about coffee. And, like most New Zealanders, our team are also caffeine, coffee and cake addicts. We sat down and sipped our way through our thoughts on Central Auckland’s best cafés, finally grinding our list down to just five fantastic spots to get your flat white fix. Read on for the full list…

Remedy Coffee (Cosiest Café)

Remedy is by far our favourite cafe on this list. With a fantastically attentive, warm team and with the most adorable decor. It’s simply the most inviting and welcoming cafe found within the central city area.

Even better for guests of The Attic, you can find Remedy merely metres away from our fantastically central Wellesley Street location, and just a whisker away from the hustle & bustle of Queen St.

Escape the noise and traffic as you wander into a place that time seemingly forgot. Cluttered and anti-minimalist, Remedy blends the perfect balance of classic & cool to create an honest and homey atmosphere. With vintage furniture, dated arts adorning the walls, book exchange, board games and even a retro arcade gaming machine to use, it all combines effortlessly to result in an unapologetically cool cafe.

Remedy’s coffee, (mine’s a flat white) is consistently great. Their team partner with Hawks Bay startup Flight Coffee for their bean supply. Remedy’s menu is heavy on toasts, sandwiches and bagels with the addition of a few healthier breakfast options – but boy do they do some cracking bagels. Their Pulled beef sandwich is a masterpiece of slow braised beef, Swiss cheese, sauerkraut & pickles slapped between two heavily buttered slabs of toast; it’s also great value for money!

In the past, I’ve embarrassingly often, forgot my wallet when it comes time to settle up. I’m no regular, but their team have always treated me with nothing but love and respect; Telling me on those occasions to come back at a time that suits me. Remedy isn’t just any old contrived classy cafe. It, and its team are absolutely gems.

Amano (Best Breakfast/Brunch)

If you’re eager for some excellent quality food that is sourced sustainably, presented and plated in a beautiful manner and attentively served by high standard wait staff, then amble on down to Amano. Frequently ranked as Auckland’s best restaurant, be sure to head in for breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner.

Amano is housed in the historic Altrans and Quay heritage buildings near Britomart Station, and is an easy 10 minute walk from The Attic.
Using the aged framework, exposed bricks and high ceilings of the original port building, Amano provides a beautiful, spacious dining experience in a rustic and mature setting.

If you’re opting to dine in, Amano operates an open kitchen, watch their wonderfully talented chefs work their magic across the various stations. Around the restaurant, the addition of strategically placed bowls of fresh produce and fruit is a great touch and only adds to reinforce the notion of high quality, sustainability and care going into every dish.

When the last of the evenings diners have settled their bill and head home, the Amano Bakers come out to play. These hardworking boys and girls work through the night to craft artisan breads, pastries, cakes, slices, sandwiches and other goodies that pair perfectly with Amano’s Allpress coffee, and made by some of the city’s best baristas.

We recommend you go big & bougie, for brunch, hit up Amano’s Bolognese on sourdough topped with a poached egg and parmesan. It pairs perfectly with a cappuccino and a bloody mary!

Red Rabbit (Best coffee experience)

Wander around Auckland and you’ll find that many of it’s cafes, coffee spots and restaurants have one wonderful thing in common, Red Rabbit coffee.

Owner Steve and his team kicked things off back in 2013, from their tiny unit tucked away on Wellington’s famously trendy Hannah’s Laneway. Thankfully for us Aucklanders, they outgrew their small space and moved all of their operations up to their new permanent home in our country’s biggest city.

As you wander into their roomy, rustic and brick-centric Shed on Parnell’s Faraday Street. You really get a feel for what Red Rabbit is about. The open space truly reflects the open and inclusive nature of the company, with just a large coffee machine and an expert barista separating you, the customer, from the roasting machinery and the bagging processes. Meaning for just a moment you feel ‘behind the scenes’ and almost part of their team and bean roasting process.

More recently, the team have opened several new outlets around the city, with more planned. Red Rabbit’s closest outlets to us at The Attic are over on Halsey Street – found just off the viaduct waterfront. And, also their College Hill store, just past Victoria park. Both outlets are just a short 15 minute walk away.

Pair up the perfect coffee with one of the best salted caramel cookies you’ll ever chew through – imported all the way from Leed’s St Bakery in Welly and available at all Red Rabbit outlets.

The Shelf (Best place to get s*** done)

For a city full of coffee lovers, it’s our opinion that there are surprisingly few cafes at which you can flick your laptop out, plug-in and soak up as much complimentary WiFi as you’d need.
Thankfully for the workaholics, office-less nomads or laptop lovers out there, there’s The Shelf.

Found in a great location on High Street just opposite the Durham laneway and open seven days a week. The Shelf is a fantastic little cafe in which you can stick on your thinking cap and get down to the nitty gritty. Need to finish that assignment or update that travel blog that you left on the back burner? Then get yourself down to The Shelf.

It might look small from the frontage, but The Shelf has bags of seating, including booths in the back for those low-key meetings. The cafe is dimly lit, with the decor a malaise of dark walls and colour, combining with plain plywood it gives the outlet a really geeky, techy yet very IKEA feel but only in the good ways.

The Shelf isn’t just a one-trick pony. Their team are passionate about their coffee, which is usually fantastic. Offering the usual selections, along with single origin and filter. The choice of food available from both menu and their cabinet is really varied – a good selection of classics and also some asian fusion dishes blending well in their menu. From the cabinet you’ll find freshly made and great value sandwiches, salads and pastries.

Eight Thirty (Best specialty coffee)

When it comes to coffee, there’s no doubt in our mind which team take the crown as Auckland’s coffee masters.

Starting from a small unit on K-Road in 2009, Eight Thirty have grown into a juggernaut of the New Zealand coffee scene, exporting their quality espresso and single origin beans, knowledge and equipment out to over 50 venues in just the Auckland area alone. Yet operate just two of their own stores in the Auckland area.

For a truly unique coffee experience, head over to their roastery-come-laboratory found on Anzac Ave. Sign up to Coffee School and take part in one of their coffee-centric classes covering coffee creation from the basics right up to the mastery. Whether you’re a backyard barista or entertain a mug of instant coffee, Coffee school makes a wonderful gift or learning experience or learning for anybody with a passion for a cup of java.

If you already know your stuff, or instead want to simply sit, sip and soak up the vibes then this pristine chapel of coffee is a great place to hang out. Sporting white and concrete minimalism to blend nicely with the stainless steel equipment, from grinders to percolators, adorning the shelves and their ridiculously long bar, The Roasting Department is a beautiful coffee spot.

With so many choices of single origin, filter and espresso to choose from, and a ‘mystery coffee’ choice from their barista. The Roasting Department is our standout spot for those looking for more than just a standard flat white.

This article is part of our Team Attic’s Sights and Sounds within 5 minutes of The Attic. This series including everything from dining experiences to dive bars, noodles to nightclubs. Non of ours blogs are written in conjunction with any paid advertisements or product sponsors. All information is correct at the time of writing.
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