12 Cosy Booths To Wine, Dine & Warm Up In This Winter
The real magic of the booth is the way that it envelops, snugly and completely
Things are kept simple at Annabel's, a hybrid bistro and wine bar with a succinct menu that now boasts dinner. Choose from cheese by the gram, cured meats, caprese salad or sardines on rye, and pair them with a well-priced international wine or beer. Its new dinner menu is also well worth staying for, so carve out an evening and try the fritto misto.
277 Ponsonby Rd, Three Lamps
Baduzzi has garnered a following for its buttered maltagliati with duck, but it's also worth visiting for its hand-made pasta and seafood. And then there's the tiramisu, described, not insignificantly, "as the best in Auckland" by food critic Albert Cho, who co-judged Viva's Top 50 Restaurant Awards for 2021.
10-26 Jellicoe St, North Wharf, Wynyard Quarter
“I'm 99 per cent sure the booths at Daisy Chang started off as a temporary measure due to social distancing during Level 2, but every time I've returned back to this popular East Auckland eatery, they're still erect,” says Viva beauty editor Ashleigh Cometti. “The food is flavoursome and never fussy; an eclectic mix of dishes borrowing inspiration from every corner of Asia — bao buns, hawker rolls, dumplings, drunken noodles and sweet-and-sour salads.” The booths seat up to six people comfortably, but feel just as cosy and inviting during a date night for two.
31 Picton St, Howick
At Al Brown's esteemed New York-style deli, the best seats in the house are undoubtably the booths, with their green leather and warm wood touches. The Fed serves bagels and griddle cakes in the morning, matzo ball soup and poutine in the evenings, and filter coffee all day. Its pie department is unquestionably strong: order a slice of New York cheesecake, banoffee pie, pecan pie or lemon meringue pie, or yield to the menu's 'The 3-Way' and mix and match your baked goods.
84 Federal St, Auckland Central
Settle into a plush blue booth and indulge in Greek fare at this Parnell restaurant. For dessert, try its loukoumades — crispy little doughnuts with Nutella, coffee icecream and a sprinkle of hazelnuts — or order a slice of the dark sokolata cheesecake for something wildly richer.
269 Parnell Rd, Parnell
This Grey Lynn favourite is cast in an undeniably warm glow thanks to the lashing of wood and gentle lighting. Relax with a favourite cocktail in hand — and some crostini with chicken liver parfait.
455 Richmond Rd, Grey Lynn
This bistro has been something of a chimera, changing from a German beer garden to Augustus to Augustus by Mudbrick, and now, Hotel Ponsonby. Its latest iteration is fashionable and inviting, designed by award-winning interior design studio CTRL Space. Head to the restaurant side of this bistro and bar for luxe velvet booths and the ne plus ultra of sticky toffee puddings.
1-3 St Mary’s Bay Rd, St Mary’s Bay
Culprit’s smaller sibling is a cosy — certainly stylish — cocktail lounge with a clear personality. There’s waffle bites on the menu (topped with your choice of duck confit and dark cherry; cured pork, mozzarella and peach marmalade; or black fig and goat curd) and mini corn dogs complete with malt and paprika ketchup, and a playful drinks list that’s as creative as it is decadent. Try the Milk Punch with kiwifruit, pineapple, tea and fruit loops, or opt for the Pina Covado, a kind of pina colada spiked with jalapeno sugar syrup and avocado.
Corner of Wyndham and 151 Queen St
Open for lush breakfasts — like their vanilla crepe with stewed fruit, or their simple spinach and pea fritters — as well as lunch, dinner or an after-work refresher a la honey daiquiris, Odettes' enveloping booths with piles of soft cushions are perfect when nestled into.
90 Wellesley St West, Auckland central
This K' Rd haunt is almost incomparably cool, and offers good food to boot. It has a great beer selection and an Asian-influenced, vegetarian-heavy menu that continues, endlessly, to surprise.
352 Karangahape Rd
Stafford Road Wine Bar
Northcote’s local corner bar could easily be mistaken for a cosy mountain chalet if it wasn’t enshrouded by North Shore suburbia. Savour its vibrant drinks list and a few beef cheek brioche sliders.
141 Queen St, Northcote Point