Neighbourhood Watch: Mt Eden
Sunrise hikes, bookstores and funky Asian eats — we check out what's good in the hood
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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