After more than 20 years service O’Connell St Bistro truly deserves the kudos of an Auckland icon – a favourite that consistently serves up just what you want with a gentle surprise to keep your interest. Modelled as a contemporary European back-street bistro, it has the care and feel of an upmarket eatery, and with just 12 white-napped tables inside and some chic outdoor seating too, waitstaff deliver their smoothly professional attention with ease. Head chef Mark Southon (pictured above left with restaurant manager Jack Makin) has you covered whether you want to graze on a half-dozen oysters with a tom yum sorbet or choose from the interesting, mainly French cheese selection. If you’re after something more substantial then the wild rabbit pappardelle wears its signature dish label with pride.

IN BRIEF Stylish city bistro that’s still serving up the goods