Believe it or not... Auckland knows how to party. The city may appear a tad quiet throughout the day, but if you know where to go as the sun sets then you're in for a treat! Auckland's CBD, the iconic K Road and the happening suburb of Ponsonby are bustling with rooftop bars, basement night clubs, craft beers, DJs, live music and great food. So check it out... our top 10 best bars in Auckland (the slightly secret ones).
1. Brother’s Brewery
5 Akiharo Street, Auckland CBD
"Beer as fresh as it gets"
A very low-key craft brewery in the heart Auckland's CBD where you will find 150+ beers from all over New Zealand and a rotation of 15 beers on tap. Brothers Brewery is a great place for beer lovers to taste what NZ has on offer beer wise, while hanging out with the locals. We would definitely put this one on top of the list, as their beer selection is on point and it’s never too crowded. Actually, not that many people know about this place, which makes it even better - they also do a mean American style BBQ. TIP: ask to try the local Brothers Beer straight from the tip (it's brewed on site)!
2 Ink Bar
268 Karangahape Road, Auckland CBD
"Auckland's go to club for underground house and techno"
One of the only places in Auckland where you can listen to some deep house or techno. It’s a rather small bar on the infamous K road where you’ll meet a bunch of music connoisseur. If you are looking to party like you are back in a club in Europe, this is definitely the place to go. Ink Bar always have a DJ spinning some of the freshest tunes around and they serve pretty decent drinks. People go there mostly for the music though.
3. Cassette 9
9 Vulcan Lane, Auckland CBD
"Teapots and late nights"
A must do for anyone passing through Auckland. This is usually where everyone goes on a Tuesday (yes there's no rest for the wicked). The music is what you can expect form any large crowded bar - mostly commercial music but sometimes they bring special DJs. It's the place to go where there's no where else to go and it's pumping most nights of the week. Cassette 9 is definitely the place if you are looking for a one night stand with a fellow traveller. Tip: You've GOT to get a Teapot (Queenstown's World Bar fans rejoice)!
4. Freeman And Grey
43 Ponsonby Road, Ponsonby
"A great way to kick off a night out in Ponsonby"
Freeman and Grey is located in Ponsonby, so it’s a little bit outside the CBD but it’s accessible by bus, taxi or even walking. They offer happy hour on their delicious pizzas between 12pm-2pm and 5pm-7pm every day where you can grab an entire pizza for just $4. Food wise, it’s easily one of the best happy hours in the city. Plus they often have live DJs in the evening and a pretty neat selection of beers on tap. It’s the right way to start a night out in Ponsonby.
5. Neck Of The Woods
155 Karangahape Road, Auckland CBD
"If you are looking for a wild night out - this is the place to be!"
Another great bar located on the vibrant K road. Neck of the Woods is favoured among the live music lovers of Auckland and host loads of live gigs ranging from Drum and Bass to Hip Hop. We recommend checking out their Facebook page to know what’s on as their events are always different. Tip: they also have a mean street food menu where you can grab yourself some $10 Dumplings.
6. Glass Goose
78 Federal Street, Auckland CBD
"Rooftop views. Garden like Oasis."
This one is located right at the bottom of Auckland Skytower. Glass Goose is a classier bar but it has a large outdoor area with a tremendous view of the tower (if you dare to look up of course). The cocktails are delicious and their food selection will surely leave your taste buds asking for more. You can go there any day, as they are open until 4am 7 nights a week. I’d say this is the spot if you want to take the girl that you met at Cassette 9 on a nice date..
7. Bedford Soda & Liquor
shop 10, corner of Richmond Road & Richmond Lane, Ponsonby
"New York style neighbourhood bar"
Another fancier bar located in Ponsonby Central, but well worth a popping in for a cheeky refresher. Bedford Soda & Liquor serve some of the best cocktails in the neighbourhood. Plus they are located right next to Burger Burger (the best burger joint in town according to many). If Glass Goose went well, then this is the spot for date number 2. Tip: great for an afternoon bevvie in the sunshine (if the sun is shining) and don't forget to try the New York style subs!
27 Galway Street, Britomart
"Multi level bar accessed from a private laneway"
1885 is a chic yet affordable bar located in the heart of the viaduct. Chilled atmosphere and plenty of different drinks on the menu. This is the place to go if you want to meet some locals or long term backpackers.Tip: head there on a Friday or Saturday night as they tend to have some sweet DJs on the decks.
9. Bungalow 8
Corner of Market Place & Customs Street West, Auckland CBD
"Funky house. Electro. Cocktails"
They have replaced one of the walls with a giant fish tank filled with tropical fish and apparently it's the place to go on a Wednesday night. Bungalow 8 hosts resident DJs, all round good vibes and is open until 4:00am Friday and Saturday nights. TIP: Head there for Happy Hour Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday nights between 4:00pm and 7:00pm for cheaper drinks.
So get that drinking cap on and explore the best Auckland Bars! Make sure you also check out the Best Auckland Cheap Eats.
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Heading to Australia? Check out our best secret bar guides to Melbourne and Sydney.