AUCKLAND | Ponsonby is an inner city suburb just west of the Auckland CBD that’s known for its shopping, bars and dining scene. Like many inner city neighbourhoods in cities around the world, Ponsonby was a wealthy upper-middle class area until the age of the motor vehicle and suburbia started a decline. Cheap rents meant that it became an area popular with artists and bohemians, immigrants, and the gay community. By the 1980s the area started to gentrify and today Ponsonby is an area that’s middle class in nature with lots of food, culture and fashion.
Visitors to the area will be attracted by the mixture of new hot spots and Ponsonby stalwarts that provide many options for shopping and entertainment. Start your day with a coffee and some tasty breakfast from stalwart Dizengoff, who have been serving up Jewish inspired fare since 1994. If it’s something more modern you’re after, breakfast at the produce driven Orphan’s Kitchen is always a good idea.
Once you’re fueled up, take a stroll up Ponsonby Road where you’ll find an assortment of boutiques that specialise in upmarket fashion, homewares, jewellery, accessories and specialist foods. Check out local label RUBY and A Little Shop for women’s fashion and accessories. For design-led children’s clothing and other items, Grey + Wild is well worth checking out.
For lunch, you could head back to Orphan’s Kitchen if you did Dizengoff for breakfast, or check out the juicy citrus-brined, spice-rubbed rotisserie chicken at Boy & Bird, or the fantastic low & slow cooked American BBQ at Miss Moonshine’s. When you get peckish later on that night, all three options are also a great idea for dinner.
You’ll probably want to do a bit more shopping before stopping for a drink. The Cav has been around in some form or another since 1860s and is an Auckland institution. If its live sports you want to watch along with some tasty beer and quality pub food the offering here is hard to beat. For a cocktail in a place that’s a bit more upmarket, check out the New York City inspired Grand Central Bar which, along with Little Easy, are great venues for some live music and dancing later in the night. The East meets West offering at Revelry also fits the bill later on in the night.
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