Whatever you do, come hungry. For those seeking a feast of flavours look no further — we’ve curated the best places to eat and drink in Parnell. This city-fringe suburb has it all, offering plenty of mouth-watering moments throughout the historical village, as well as the stylish industrial quarter.
So whether you’re in need of an early morning coffee fix, a lazy weekend brunch, happy-hour cocktail or bougie dining experience, Parnell has got you—and your tastebuds—well and truly sorted.
1. Simon & Lee
For a modern take on Korean flavours, send Simon & Lee to the top of your dining list. They serve breakfast and lunch all week long, and dinner Wednesday through to Friday. A bowl of sizzling bibimbap slathered in house-made gochujang sauce will cure your mid-day cravings for sure. Or opt for their legendary Korean fried chicken lunchbox pimped out with slaw, pickles and fries. Prepare your taste buds—there are five sauce flavours to choose from, including wasabi and danger spicy.
Those with a penchant for French food won’t want to miss a decadent trip to Vaniyé Pâtisserie. This award-winning patisserie is the passion project of husband-and-wife team, Sonia and Laurent Haumonté. You’ll be dazzled by the colourful, eye-catching selection of sweet treats as soon as you step inside. Whether you’re craving a classic pain au chocolat, a lunchtime baguette or an epic birthday cake to impress your guests, you’ll find it here.
NEM, a lively restaurant in the heart of Parnell Road, will transport your taste buds to Vietnam. Featuring cosy, eclectic decor, show-stopping dishes and a creative cocktail menu, it’s the ideal spot for your next group hang. Whatever you do, don’t miss out on their signature dish, the flaming coconut prawn curry. This feast of flavours is served inside a coconut that has been set on fire. Now that’s impressive.
Situated in Parnell’s industrial quarter, Red Rabbit’s Faraday Street outpost is home to both a coffee bar and roastery. The café plays into the rustic vibe of the neighbourhood, with a warehouse roller door, exposed brick walls, and sky-high open ceilings. The expectation here is simple; damn good single-origin coffee served the way it’s meant to be. Whether it’s a weekday meeting or a lazy Sunday caffeine hit, Red Rabbit has you covered.
Just up from the picturesque Parnell Rose Gardens you’ll find one of the suburb’s most buzzing eateries—aptly named Rosie. Slinging breakfast, lunch and dinner, their seasonally curated menu is designed to share. Because let’s be honest, we want to eat it all. And if you can’t score a seat at this ever-popular spot, don’t fret, head next door to Little Rosie for a moreish selection of takeaway goods.
Moody lighting, cosy bench seats and top-notch cocktails are just a few reasons why we love Barulho for a date night dinner. The Mediterranean-style cuisine comes alive through a mouth-watering tapas menu—think marinated warm olives, croquetas, ceviche and empanadas. And we can’t forget the Portuguese custard tart dessert, a contemporary take on this well-loved sweet delight.
For your sushi fix, Moto Sushi Bar—quite literally tucked away along Parnell Road—is the local’s go-to place. You could easily walk straight past this one, as it’s hidden down a flight of brick stairs beneath one of the main street’s heritage buildings. Expect all your favourite sushi bites, from sashimi and nigiri to bento boxes, ramen and udon bowls.
Pasture is possibly Auckland’s most exclusive dining experience, and it’s unlike any other. There are only six seats at the chef’s counter where patrons can enjoy a magical tasting menu created by owner and world-class chef, Ed Verner. You’ll be treated to experimental cooking techniques like wood-fire and fermentation over the course of 17+ tasting dishes. Next door, you’ll find their 11-seater bar: Boxer, with an equally unique vibe. Trust us, it will transform everything you think you know about cocktails and bar snacks.
9. Atelier Shu
We could easily mistake Atelier Shu for a luxury fashion boutique—its modern interior and minimalistic decor is just that beautiful. However, Faraday Street’s newcomer is in fact a gorgeous patisserie and dessert shop. Offering expertly crafted pastries and Kōkako coffee, you’ll find it hard to choose just one thing to devour. The tiramisu is a fan favourite (booze and chocolate, no surprise there), but there’s also croissants, traditional French madeleines and fruit tarts galore.
10. Bandung Café
Inspired by home cooking from the team’s roots in Bali and Java, Bandung Café boasts a fresh take on Indonesian cuisine, with classic touches throughout. Set in plain sight along Parnell road, you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the colourful decor and the cute patio tucked away out the back. With breakfast, lunch and dinner up for grabs, stop in any time of the day for a foodie fix.
For a moody late-night sip, Pineapple on Parnell bar is the place to be. This regal hideaway offers an opulent escape from city life, encouraging patrons to unwind with good company and even better cocktails. Expect dramatic dark green walls accented with luxurious velvet curtains and cosy leather booths, plus an equally stunning drinks list to match.
It seems anything Pasture turns its hand to is rather good. So when they opened Alpha Test Kitchen and Bakery we expected great things. We can report it’s brilliant. During the day, Alpha is the destination for for baked goods, breakfast, and lunch. But by night the space metamorpshises into a test kitchen for Pasture’s R&D. You can expect an eclectic mix of breads and pastries such as Pasture’s famous sourdough, german style pretzels, brioche doughnuts and much more. Did we mention Roman Style pizza? You can get one of those too.