Raw, clean, wholefood, vegan, paleo, plant-based, gluten-free – such trending hashtags have hit Auckland too, and the city has a burgeoning café scene for this tribe. Here are my favourites.
Little Bird – The Unbakery Cafes
Queen of Raw Megan May opened her first Little Bird Unbakery in Kingsland in 2012 and now has and even larger and always buzzing café in Ponsonby and a little nest in Britomart. You cannot but drool at the sight of their rich cheesecakes and slices ($5-10) and your brain will implode at the savoury menu choices such as Sprouted Breads and Bagels ($17.50), Portobello Benedict ($18) and Taco Plate ($18.50), and they have also introduced cooked items such as Kimchi Pancake ($18). As well as a host of smoothies ($9-12), matcha ($5.50), kombucha ($5.80) and teas, they have cold brew, filter brew and Chemex brew coffee ($3.50). Pick up their prepackaged cereals, macaroons, crackers, raw meals, cleanses and juices for goodness on the go.
385 New North Rd, Kingsland, Mon-Fri 7.30am-3pm, Sat-Sun 8am-3pm; Cnr Summer St and Ponsonby Rd, Daily 7am-4pm; 14 Customs St East, CBD, Mon-Fri 6.30am-6.30pm, Sat-Sun 9am-5pm
Kingsland by bus:
Catch the 221, 222 or 224 from 19 Victoria St W, CBD, and get off at 383 New North Rd, 120m from the cafe
Ponsonby by bus:
Catch the Inner Link from 174 Queen St, CBD, and get off at 215 Ponsonby Rd, 100m from the café
Little Bird Unbakery, Kingsland: the Kingdom of Raw now has three locations
Little Bird Unbakery, Ponsonby: the coveted cake cabinet
Mondays has a sweet possie down a driveway off the main Kingsland shops so you can enjoy your meal in their peaceful leafy courtyard. Famed bloggers Eleanor Ozich from Petite Kitchen
and Hannah Horton from Health Yeah!
opened their cafe in 2014 and now also sell milks, pantry items and their cookbooks and journals. Their baked and raw DF/GF/V menu includes The Banana Bread Works ($14), Buddha Bowl ($18), Sourdough Toasties ($15) and Spelt Galette ($15). A toy box keeps the littlies entertained while you can sip an insane-looking smoothie for $9.50 or a turmeric or matcha latte for $5. Above Mondays you can do yoga at Ivy Studio then come downstairs to replenish your body.
503B New North Rd, Kingsland
Catch the 221, 222 or 224 from 19 Victoria St W, CBD, and get off at 332 New North Rd, 50m from the café
Mondays Wholefoods, Kingsland: for a real vine time
The third superfoodie café in Kingsland is Greenleaf Organics, which started out as an organic smoothie delivery business in 2014. Now their GLO branded arsenal includes cleanses, body scrub, premix balls, jam, cereals, seeds and milks, available at the café and other selected retailers in Auckland. Well-priced breakfast items include toast ($7), Blueberry Banana Superfood Loaf ($8), Breakfast Bap ($8) and Maui Mango Chia Pudding ($9), and their clever lunch menu will cater for your culinary desire of the day, with Indian, Mexican, Japanese and Falafel Bowls for $14. And they don't forget the kids – there's Teddy Bear Toast ($5), Organic Cornflakes ($6) and Toasted Sambo ($8). Finish off with an Allpress organic espresso or cold brew and a raw sweet treat. The décor is retro geometric cool in pastel blocks – a soothing ambience when the dappled light shines through. There are only seven tables but there are bean bags and space for kids to explore the toy box.
326 New North Rd, Kingsland
Mon-Fri 7am-3pm, Sat-Sun 8am-3pm
Catch the 221, 222 or 224 from 19 Victoria St W, CBD, and get off at 434 New North Rd, 120m from the café
Greenleaf Organics, Kingsland: geometric pastel chic
Greenleaf Organics, Kingsland: colourful Namaste Indian Bowl
Established in 2001, Kokako is Auckland's premier Fairtrade organic coffee roasters focused on sustainable growth. You'll find their coffee in cafes, restaurants and retailers all over the country and, of course, at their self-named café in the heart of Grey Lynn, opened in 2012. They've transformed the site of the old post office into a light and bright tiled space warmed with wood and blue accents, with the enticing aroma from the coffee roastery in the corner. Choices from the wholly vegan or vegetarian menu include Organic Eggs, Pesto and Kale on Sourdough ($14) to Chia Seed Bircher with Coconut Yoghurt, Rhubarb and Honeycomb ($18), Smoked Chipotle and Tomato Baked Eggs with Onion Baguette ($19) and Buckwheat and Spinach Gnocchi ($21). Naturally, the coffee is always good, as well as the organic teas ($4.50) and smoothies ($7.50-9.50). The salads, sandwiches and baking from the cabinet are great to-go options.
537 Great North Rd, Grey Lynn
Mon-Fri 7am-3.30pm, Sat-Sun 7.30am-4pm
From 99 Albert St, CBD, catch any bus heading west and get off at the Surrey Cres shops
Kokako, Grey Lynn: transforms a 1939 building into a hot spot of healthiness
Dear Jervois features in my Best Kid-Friendly Central Cafes
because of its super stylish baby change room. Their attention to quality infuses the entire café, from the bathroom soaps to the food presentation. You will feel so righteous ordering the Cacao Maca Granola ($15), Matcha Waffles with Nicecream ($18), Be Good Vegan Bowl ($17), Soba Noodle Salad ($18) or Best Ugly Bagels with toppings ($15). Carnivores can go for the Spicy Pork Loin Salad ($21), Soft-Shell Crab Roll ($18) or Beef Burger ($19.50).
234 Jervois Rd, Herne Bay
Mon-Fri 7am-4pm; Sat-Sun 8am-4pm
Catch the Outer Link from Wellesley St East and get off at 206 Jervois Rd, 130m from the cafe
The Raw Kitchen
Dear Jervois, Herne Bay: trendy fitout; tasty food
This little place at the Three Lamps end of Ponsonby offers prepackaged salads and wraps ($12.50-15) plus the cakes and slices ($4-9) The Raw Kitchen grew its reputation on – think banoffee, tiramisu, salted caramel, chocolate peppermint… Olivia Hunt began making raw cakes for private customers in 2013, opened her flagship store in 2015 and takeaway locations in Newmarket and City Works Depot, CBD, in 2016. Well + Good, the company's beverage brand, includes cold-pressed juices ($9), nut milks the likes of peanut butter chocolate ($8) and alkaline waters ($6) of different flavours, including black lemonade activated charcoal. And you won't be disappointed at the choice of smoothies ($9), coffee/chai/turmeric/matcha lattes ($5) and other healthy cold drinks on the large blackboard menu.
267 Ponsonby Road, Ponsonby, Mon-Fri 7am-4pm, Sat-Sun 8am-4pm; 9D Kent Street, Newmarket, Mon-Fri 7am-4pm, Sat-Sun 8am-4pm; Well + Good, City Works Depot, 90 Wellesley St, CBD, Mon-Fri 7.30am-4pm, Sat 8am-2pm
Ponsonby by bus:
Catch the Inner Link from 174 Queen St, and get off at 281 Ponsonby Rd, 65m from the café, or catch the Outer Link from Wellesley St E near ASB Bank, and get off at 2 Jervois Rd, 230m from the cafe
Newmarket by bus:
Catch the Outer Link from 10 Wellesley St E, and get off at 114 Broadway, Newmarket, 350m from the outlet, or catch any bus heading to Onehunga outside the Civic Theatre in Queen St, and get off at 440 Khyber Pass Rd, Newmarket, 160m from the outlet
Wilder and Hunt
The Raw Kitchen, Ponsonby: small but perfectly formed and perfectly delicious cakes
Wilder and Hunt's menu offers a haven for paleo purists, starting with No Grainola Breakfast Bowl ($10) and Wilder Benny on Paleo Bagel ($16) to Bunless Beef Burger ($12), Nut Mince Bagel ($15), Apricot Chicken ($17) and Nachos with Kumara Chips and your choice of protein ($22). Salads are $9.50 and the raw sweets will tempt you too. Tables are set in a light-filled nook that opens to a quiet courtyard. The company does a roaring trade in its grain- and sugar-free groceries which adorn a whole wall – you can take home cereals, crackers, almond butter, aioli, relish, coconut yoghurt and readymade meals.
65 Mackelvie St, Ponsonby. They also have an outlet at 15 Maskell St, St Heliers, 20 minutes drive from the city
Catch the Inner Link from 174 Queen St, and get off at 95 Ponsonby Rd, 70m from the café, or catch the 020 on Mayoral Drive by the Aotea Centre, and get off at 2 Richmond Rd, 160m from the cafe
Wilder and Hunt, Ponsonby: the Mackelvie St precinct has regenerated the area
Wilder and Hunt, Ponsonby: paleo paradise