3 November 2022
As a self-proclaimed brunch connoisseur, I know what’s up with the brunch scene.
In Auckland, we’re immensely spoiled with our brunch culture. There are good options in pretty much every suburb which can also get kind of overwhelming. So the next time you’re stuck on where to eat, feel free to refer to my tried and true list of my favourite brunch spots, and my go to dishes at each of these places.
Nestled in the corner of Richmond Road in Grey Lynn, Honeybones has got to be one of my favourite brunch places. There’s nothing more unsatisfying than going out and eating something lacklustre that feels like you could have made that yourself at home. Why I absolutely love honeybones is because it is the antithesis of this. The dishes are considered, and oozing with culture as they serve menu items inspired from Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cooking.
The “must have” here for me is the Cilbir Eggs ($23) which are poached eggs in a dill greek yoghurt and chilli oil and butter served with sourdough. The Merguez ($25) is a close second, which is a red spicy sausage common in Algerian and Moroccan cuisine with tzatziki, fenugreek potatoes, baharat (a Mediterranean spice made with black pepper, cardamom, cloves, cumin, nutmeg, coriander and paprika) eggplant, dukkah, herbs and a fried egg.
Hot tip: this place is always busy so try to get there around 9:30/10am to put your name down for a table!
Many brunch eateries have come and gone, but Odettes has remained a constant in my life. Located in City Works Depot, this was a staple spot that I’ve been regularly eating at since 2015. It has both indoor and outdoor eating, making for a vast space. The interior feels sophisticated and the blue walls feel extremely homely.
Also, sporting a somewhat untraditional menu, this place does an incredible Herbed Scramble eggs ($24) with Halloumi, Broccolini and Date Chutney. The star of the show here, and a menu item that was actually brought back by popular demand after it was taken off, is their wildly famous (pun intended) Wild Mushrooms ($26) served with a black garlic toum, soy, basil and on a brown rice crepe. This dish is what has had me hooked for the last 7 years or so. Pair that with a side of chips which are seasoned in honey mustard, curry leaves and berbere (which is an Ethiopian spice blend), and you’ll have no complaints.
A family owned eatery in Wynyard Quarter, Williams Eatery has always been a standout lunch spot. The interior is cozy and inviting, and it’s always brimming with people who have just walked their dogs around the Westhaven Marina. With a menu that’s mouth watering and so diverse, you’re spoiled for choice.
Some interesting dishes that you may not encounter on your daily, Williams Eatery serves up a Oyster Mushroom Congee ($26) which is a type of Chinese rice porridge, served with chilli, fried tofu and chives. The must have for me here though is the Market Fish Scramble ($27) which is served with celery, crispy chilli and citrus. If you aren’t in the mood for something that flavourful though, there’s always plenty of cabinet food that looks exquisite! I’m guilty of snagging myself a sandwich or two every so often if I go past on a walk!
Herne Bay local, Dear Jervois is both a brunch oldie and a classic. Offering a casual dining space, this menu comes with all the traditional cafe items that we know and love, from a classic eggs benedict to a creamy mushroom. My favourite thing about Dear Jervois is that despite them opening Sno, located in Remuera, Dear Jervois is just far superior.
I absolutely love the Shakshuka ($26) which are eggs baked in a house made tomato sauce cooked through with spices, diced onions and red bell peppers. My winner here though is the Mushroom & Rosti Stack ($27) which is a combination of delicious portobello and shiitake mushrooms, served with poached eggs on a potato rosti served with lentils (in an exquisite garnish of herbs and an accompanying gravy), soft herbs and some pecorino. I can guarantee that you will be rolling out of there.
Burrowed in the Westmoreland scrap yard, Ozone Coffee Roasters has a fandom unmatched by most cafes. The ambiance of Ozone feels industrial, busy and chic with an open kitchen right in the middle of the dining space. You’re spoiled for options here, again with incredible cabinet options also.
My unmissable items here are the:
Omelette with Mangawhai mushrooms ($23.5), served with autumn greens and umami mayo, and you have to get the salmon add-on for the full effect.
The Big Breakfast ($26.5) or the Veggie Breakfast which are eggs on sourdough, with either bacon and sausage or halloumi, served with greens, chilli mushrooms and a hash brown.
L’affare on Melrose
Situated on Melrose Street in Newmarket, this cafe has coffee on tap (and hot tip: if you’re a Les Mills member you get a coffee discount). They are dog friendly (also a plus). With a huge industrial interior, this is the perfect cafe for families or a big group of friends wanting to catch up over a Sunday brunch.
The menu is simple and uncomplicated, yet exudes nuance. My top dish here is the Truffle Scramble ($17) which is exactly what it sounds like; truffle free range scrambled eggs served on whatever bread you want it on. Sometimes, if I’m feeling cheeky I add on a hash brown.
The Wild Rice Bowl ($24.50) is also phenomenal, it comes with a poached egg served with mung beans, radish, greens with glazed salmon and a house-made crispy garlic sesame oil.
By now, it’s probably increasingly obvious that I like untraditional brunch options which demonstrate flavour and ethnic ingredient inclusions. Candy Shop is no exception to this. Located on Osborne Street in Newmarket, this spot is sleek and vibrant. It’s so popular that it spans units 2 through to 8 of Osborne Street (right next to Duck Island). Created by the owners of Simon & Lee and Gochu, they are masters of the Korean-Western fusion food scene.
I’m a sucker for anything in gochujang sauce, so the gochujang spicy fried chicken ($22) served with crispy rice cakes (tteokbokki) is a popular choice. The top dish here though is the Creamy Mushrooms ($19), which traverses the bounds of just being a basic brunch dish. Flavoured in a rich balsamic sauce, grana padano, a house toasted focaccia (and if you’re cheeky like me a poached egg and a potato rosti), this is the dish that has me going back time after time.
Hopefully this has given you some brunch inspiration, but if you’re looking for additional recommendations I have to give honorary mentions to Crave located in Morningside, Browne Street in Avondale which is renowned and loved for its Huntsman dish and Honey in Takapuna!