Cafes in the inner city

Working in the CBD means I have ample opportunity to seek out various coffee spots and lunch at different cafes. Not all are good, but here are some that are certainly worth going to:

Neo: being so close to where I work, my friends and I frequent Neo often for a) breakfast, b) coffee, c) lunch or d) all of the above. Neo is trendy, simple and has lots of natural light, which is exactly what I love in the mornings. It has great vegetarian and vegan options, tasty coffee (including bottomless filter) and mostly good service.

Ti Kouka: conveniently located next to New World on Willis Street, Ti Kouka is a firm favourite amongst the locals. It is light and spacious (although it gets very crowded at lunch time). The menu is classic yet quirky; simple food combined with an air of elegance. I adore the savoury scones, salted caramel cookies and the broccoli salad – all of which linger seductively on the counter top.

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Nikau: Absolutely beautiful on a nice day; the outdoor courtyard is pretty sheltered and overlooks the home-grown herb garden. The cabinet is to die for – I am a huge fan of the scones (rocket and cheddar especially) and the donuts are also really hard to look past (the flavours change regularly).  Everything in the cabinet is worth trying; the chefs at Nikau are great at experimenting with new flavours that make the most of seasonal produce.

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Machete Coffee : Casually cool, with personable staff and yummy food and coffee options. The tacos are extremely fresh and flavoursome. The space is also awesome; exactly the kind of place that serves me well when I want to do some writing or work, away from work. It is big, spacious and open and make sure you check out their resident doggo!

La Cloche: This cutesie little French place is so much more than just a bakery. With its flagship store in Kaiwharawhara, it has more recently opened in the CBD – both on Featherston Street and The Terrace. A delectable cabinet full of sweet treats and savoury goods, it is not uncommon to see the queue stretching out the door. The café in Kaiwharawhara makes for a great excursion; the décor is funky and the place is full of (sophisticated) character.

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Louis Sergeant: A French patisserie that rivals every other, this place excels not just in croissants and macarons, but everything in between. The standout for me is the coconut hot chocolate (dairy free) and any of the sweet treats in the cabinet. I try not to have the same thing twice, because everything is delicious! Louis Sergeant is renowned for its High Tea; therefore you often need to book if you plan on going during the weekends. Sadly, it isn’t open for dinner.

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Pickle and Pie: Described as a ‘take on a NYC delicatessen’, the apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree. It is open from 7am – 7pm, enabling itself to be an option at all times of the day. The menu is small yet accommodating with a range of pies, salads, cakes, tarts and sides. If you like what’s on offer, check out the shelving unit offering a wide range of pickles, chutneys and condiments available for purchase.

Goldmine: With a pleasing aesthetic, friendly staff and tasty menu options, this place has the makings of a winner. The food for me has been a little hit and miss, but each time I go I like it a little bit more as the overall experience is always good. The smashed avo is delightful as is the Buddha bowl and Korean glazed chicken burger, but I was not a fan of the pancakes.

Seize: This trendy organic café of Lambton Quay radiates fresh, quality and wholesome goodness. The salad bar and the blackboard list of smoothies, not to be outdone by the #cleaneats cabinet makes for a great menu. It is massively popular at lunch time and seating is limited, so I would advise getting takeaway or avoiding that rush hour if you want a seat.

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