As we went to print, Carlos Noel Buenaventura, Craig Thompson and Matthew Venables were hard at work on Bar Magda, a downstairs bar and bistro focused on Aotearoa’s seasonal produce through a Filipino lens. Details are scant, but look it up on Instagram – it promises to be a winner. Spiga has opened on Remuera Road, forging a marriage between a traditional pastificio and a trattoria, and serving daily hand-rolled pasta and Roman-style pizza with great gusto. We’re more than delighted to see that a wedge of cheesy goodness or two has landed in the Wynyard Quarter with the opening of the Whitestone Cheese Bar. See full details. Parnell has welcomed Va Bene wine bar on Parnell Road. The brainchild of friends Paul Patterson, Esmeralda Kasmara and Brent Newdick, it’s a place where you can expect sharing dishes and big flavours, an extensive wine list and a substantial Champagne menu. Bali Nights is a new Ponsonby eatery on Williamson Avenue dishing up street-style Balinese food. Dine in or take advantage of the takeaway options on offer. It’s unlicensed, but the BYO option is sure to be a winner. Natural wine bar, restaurant and wine shop Clay on K Road has welcomed chef Georgia Van Prehn (ex-Scotch, Blenheim), who is already leading the way with her new dishes and unique style. Puhoi Supper Clubs by Toa Mātauranga has sprung into action to bring you a seven-course plant-based degustation dining experience, with natural wines, great tunes and a killer setting in the beautiful Puhoi Valley, just 20 minutes from Auckland city. Recently opened Bucklands Beach eatery Bucks Bistro is the latest creation by Auckland restaurateur and caterer Amanda Frecker. Seafood is at the heart of a seasonal bistro menu by head chef Tom Loose (ex-O’Connell Street Bistro) that is already luring inner-city diners to the eastern suburbs. Previously known as Major Sprout, Yun on Graham Street delivers modern Chinese with a Western-style breakfast also available. Try the pan-fried dumplings.


Dark Horse Coffee Roastery from Paraparaumu has set up a flagship Welly store on Egmont Street, where locals are heading for the perfect brew and a bag of beans. Te Aro’s Upper Cuba Street is now home to Nolita, reported to be New Zealand’s first plant-based pizzeria. It’s already making waves with its dairy-free cheese, which feels like the real deal, and dough made from rye sourdough starters. The doors are open all day, and you can also grab a beer or cocktail. If you love Mr Go’s and Ombra, you might also love Kisa, a pop-up serving Turkish and Middle Eastern fare. Grab a loaded flatbread at LTD. on Dixon Street, Wednesday to Saturday from 5pm till late. Have you discovered Evil Twins on Vivian Street, a hole-in-the-wall coffee shop keeping it simple with coffee and iced drinks? Owners and twin sisters Natalie and Stephanie Chin are supplying the caffeine to some of the capital’s addicts.


A renovated café inside the Portstone Garden Centre is attracting gardeners and non-gardeners alike with its upbeat menu. You’ll find Red Eight at Portstone owner Stephanie Reeves at the counter dishing out home-style baking and a fresh menu.


As we write this, James Stapley (owner of Kika, Wanaka) and Sam Cooper (head chef at Kika) are set to open Arc Wanaka in mid-June. The plan is an all-day café, restaurant and bar, where we can expect the same creative approach that we know and love at Kika. By the time you read this, they should be ready to welcome you with eclectic global tapas and crafted drinks seven days a week!