If you've been once, you've most likely returned to Mt Eden's The Midnight Baker cafe. Picture / Josh Griggs

Neighbourhood Watch: Mt Eden

Sunrise hikes, bookstores and funky Asian eats — we check out what's good in the hood

Morning Hike 
Start the day in Mt Eden with a sunrise hike up its dormant volcano, which rises almost 650 feet above sea level. You will be rewarded with a panorama of the city. 

Circus Circus
An old faithful and village favourite Circus Circus is still pumping. Go for coffee and gigantic home baking.
Where: 447 Mount Eden Rd   Contact: 09 623 3833   Visit: Circuscircus.co.nz

Olaf's
Loaded with pastries, fruit tarts and generously stuffed sandwiches, Olaf's cures our temptations for European treats. Make sure to nab one of the sourdough loaves to take home. 
Where: 1 Stokes Rd   Contact: 09 638 7593   Visit: Olafs.co.nz

The Return of Rad
A trendy and welcoming spot is The Return of Rad, which has hot to-go Rocket coffee, and the must-try Grandma’s pork bánh mì. 
Where: 397 Mt Eden Rd   Contact: 09 631 5218   Visit:  Facebook.com/TheReturnOfRad

Time Out is a well-loved little bookstore in Mt Eden. Picture / Rebecca Zephyr Thomas

Time Out
This cosy and well-loved bookstore makes you feel right at home, as does its knowledgeable staff who keep its doors open from 9am to 9pm every day of the week. 
Where: 432 Mount Eden Rd   Contact: 09 630 3331   Visit: Timeout.co.nz

READ: Where to Find: The Best Bookshops in Auckland

Chapter Book and Tea Store 
A go-to escape with around 300 speciality loose-leaf tea varieties to choose from and fully stocked shelves of books. Enjoy your cuppa alongside a treat from the cabinet.  
Where: 442 Mount Eden Rd   Contact: 09 623 2319   Visit: Chapter.co.nz

Holy smokey (vegan) beans! We've eyed up all the dishes on The Midnight Bakers ever-changing menu. Picture / Josh Griggs

The Midnight Baker
This charming cafe, open just on weekends, plates up its signature wholesome and tasty bread with some of the best toppings in town. And more recently, dishes like homemade granola and a tasty looking beet burger with cashew aioli and kale chips. Sweet treats are also included upon a visit to this gluten-free, dairy-free and vegan heaven. Although if you're none of those requirements, you can enjoy it just as much. 
Where: 218 Dominion Rd   Contact: 09 623 3163   Visit: Themidnightbaker.co.nz

READ: Favourite Things: Yeshe Dawa, The Midnight Baker

Bulk Food Savings
Here, you'll find a great selection of bulk ingredients at reasonable prices - like nuts and seeds, flours, cereals and grains along with lots of spices, oils, natural beauty and hair products and chocolate. 
Where: 217 Dominion Rd   Contact: 09 630 6235 

Mt Eden is hot with fresh and funky Asian joints like Love Exposure. Pictures / Rebecca Zephyr Thomas

Love Exposure
The team behind Kiss Kiss (another must-visit, check it out here) have opened new Asian inspired eatery, called Love Exposure, on the corner of Dominion and Onslow Roads. Expect the brightest interior, bowls of 12-hour cooked pho and plenty of sparkling wine. 
Where: 191 Dominion Rd   Contact: 09 930 8371  Visit: Facebook.com/loveexposureauckland

Homeware and design store, The Bloc always has pretty and functional things. Picture / @BLOCcollective

Bloc Design Store 
We love Bloc for its one-stop-shop of high-quality local design. Find BoConcept, Città, Father Rabbit, Tim Webber Design, Alex and Corban Home. Enjoy your browsing with a pit stop at the cafe upstairs. 
Where: 20 Normanby Rd   Contact: 09 631 0916   Visit: Bloc.co.nz

READ: Best Boutique Stores To Update Your Home

Mamma Mia! Find the best handmade pasta in town at Mt Eden's Pasta & Cuore. Picture / Guy Coombes

Pasta & Cuore 
Pasta & Cuore is the holy grail of Italian eating — simple, handmade and delicious. You can buy pasta and sauce to go, or you can dine in on the handful of small tables inside or the courtyard out back. Read Viva's Jesse Mulligan's 9/10 review. 
Where: 409 Mt Eden Rd   Contact: 09 630 9130   Visit: Pastaecuore.co.nz

Find a hoard of pre-loved eclectic treasures at Antique Alley. Picture / Sarah Downs

Antique Alley
You never know what you'll find in a store like this. Antique Alley has been open since 1971, buying and selling almost everything. You'll find collectables, furniture and upstairs stacks of really great old prints and frames, just needing a bit of a polish. 
Where: 240 Dominion Road   Contact: 09 630 5979   Visit: Antiquealley.co.nz

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