Parisian Matt Gosset brings a tiny touch of European culture into our local dining scene with his latest destination Paname Social on Lorne St – start with a morning coffee and pastry, lounge through an afternoon glass of wine and return for the evening bistro-style menu. Hayden Phiskie (the talent behind Cotto and most recently at Ada in Grey Lynn) is on the move to Daphnes on Ponsonby Rd – can’t wait to try his new menu. Panacea is a hidden city cocktail bar that’s so intimate it doesn’t even have a bar – but it does have carefully curated bespoke cocktails and some snacks and sharing plates. It’s farewell to the Symonds St location of Forest but never fear, Plabita Florence will be opening at 243 Dominion Rd very soon. Oyster & Chop have added an intimate new oyster bar, The Terrace in Viaduct Harbour with Alfie Ingham (formerly of Hugo’s Bistro) in the role of consultant chef and the kitchen led by William Dang (ex-Mekong Baby and Culprit). Take Freemans Bay institution Queenies mix with Auckland hospo troopers Fran Mazza and Aaron Carson and say hello to Queenies Caffé and Vino, still a bustling neighbourhood café by day, but now ushering in an elegant wine bar evening offering, too. Seek out Lil Ragu, a mobile Italian restaurant on Northcroft St, Takapuna, where chef Tarik Tnaja makes pasta the star of the show. Whether you want a glass of wine, a tasting flight or a bottle of a special library wine, Somm on Princes Wharf is billed as Auckland’s first urban, waterfront wine bar and cellar door for a clutch of iconic Kiwi wineries.

The company that owns Auckland stalwarts such as Andiamo, Soul Bar & Bistro and Jervois Steakhouse has reinvented as Foley Hospitality, with Gavin Doyle as group executive chef, who will head up the culinary direction of its 10 restaurants and bars. Take beloved Britomart dumpling bar Xuxu and zhuzh it up with a spiffy refresh and you have Perch offering flavoursome East Asian cuisine, craft beer and cocktails. Ponsonby favourite Beau is expanding its Three Lamps operation to take in the premises next door, too. Goodbye to Fat Belly Deli, the Ponsonby sandwich spot famed for its signature Smokey and the Bandit Iconic Eats sammie. We are looking forward to a buzzy new revamp of Elliott Stables which is promising a hawker-style Asian street-market vibe, European café culture lanes and late-night DJs. On Graham St in the former Major Sprout spot, is Times of India a hot new restaurant from the owners of 1947. Blues and Harry Shim have created Toastie, a CBD spot where you’ll find tasty toasties inspired by the best pan-Asian breakfast influences matched with Ozone coffee.



The town’s much-loved Everest café has reopened with new owners and by all accounts it’s scaling new heights.


On the site of the old General Post Office is GPO, the new restaurant at InterContinental Wellington, with executive chef Carl Maunder’s menu referencing southern Europe, Levant and the Mediterranean. The scent of freshly baked bread will continue to waft over Leeds St, even though the Leeds St Bakery is gone – Sam Forbes of Shelly Bay Baker has taken over the premises so you can still get organic sourdough, fresh coffee and even the famous salted caramel cookies. Happy to see Lola Stays reopening with new owners – mother-and-son team Rose and Michael – but still with your fave coffee, delicious food and a warm welcome on Oriental Parade. We’re dying to know what’s going on at Willis Lane – the teaser is for an underground dining destination and entertainment hub with 14 eateries – guess we’ll just have to wait and see. We’re glad to report that Kuikui – the capital’s only bar specialising in 100% NZ-sourced products – has now reopened, and it’s just as delicious as ever.