From freshly baked brioche to killer fried chicken to locally brewed cider, Morningside is designed to satisfy all types of cravings. This once industrial district has now transformed into one of the hottest precincts in town. If you haven’t already, this collection of eateries is well worth a visit, and here’s why.
Perched on the corner of McDonald St and Morningside Drive sits the iconic Crave Cafe. Open from 7am till late; you can expect this eatery to be filled with a mixture of friends and colleagues all day long. To accommodate a range of occasions, Crave is equipped with a variety of seating options. From outside bar stools to indoor tables, to cosy sofas, you’re bound to feel right at home. Such comfort is further enhanced through Crave’s mission to do “Good in the Hood”, in which all their profits go back into the community. Whether it’s a street coffee party or a local workshop, the Crave team led by Nigel and Cathie are determined to give back. In addition to its philanthropic nature and welcoming ambience, customers are also obsessed with their selection of food and drink. On their popular Day Menu, you’ll find delicious options such as Buttermilk French Toast, Beef Brisket Burgers, and House-made granola. While paying, make sure to look up behind the counter at the breath-taking Mary painted on the wall.
Nigel and Cathy’s passion for the community continues with their 2018 venture — KIND Cafe. Like Crave, KIND is structured so that 80% of all profits go back to the community; with its name inspired by Jacinda Ardern’s notion that “you can be strong and you can be kind”. As you enter this tranquil eatery, you’ll be captivated by the sea of flowers and greenery hanging from above. Such lively decor does well to support their mostly plant-based menu. From pancakes to jackfruit tostadas to breakfast burritos, there’s a nourishing dish waiting for you to enjoy. You can also widen your search for a plant-based goodie by scouting out their cabinet selection. Inside is a range of raw treats such as mango macadamia slices and peanut butter slabs.
Miann Chocolate Factory
Since opening in 2018, Miann Morningside has been kryptonite for all local chocolate-lovers. At this mini chocolate factory and dessert bar, owners Brian and Roselle have truly outdone themselves. You can peak through their large glass windows and watch the magic happen, with all cocoa beans ethically sourced from places around the globe (such as Peru and Madagascar). To witness the chocolate creation first hand, Miann offers a variety of experiences such as Bean to Bar Tasting, Chocolate Making, and Create Your Own Waffles. If you're more into the eating than DIY, their accompanying dessert bar is filled with an assortment of ready-to-eat extravagant treats. From mousse cake to macaroons to gourmet gelato, you are guaranteed to leave on a sugar high.
Moringcider presents Auckland’s first and only cider-only bar. This novel gathering place is brought to us by active Crave member, Tim Shallard, who has been brewing his cider at the neighbourhood cafe for the last few years. At his quirky brick-lined bar you will find 10 rotating ciders on-tap. Flavours range from Iced Tea to Christmas Spice to Berry Nice. Their flight tasting board is the perfect way to start, giving you a preview of five different brews. Each cider is made with Nelson’s Kingston Black apples, with the long-term dream involving 200 Morningside trees to allow for a local harvest. The experience wouldn’t be complete without snacks, which is why Tim has a range of nibbles on offer – including classic burgers and fries.
Passionate Duo Tai and Bo Feng teamed up to bring their love for dumplings to life. Sandwiched between KIND and the Morningside Tavern, you’ll find this unique hole-in-the-wall mirroring that of a traditional Chinese Dumpling joint. While their 12-square metre slot may be small, Bo's Dumplings authentic parcels of flavour are far from petite. Flavours range from Vegan to Chicken & Mushroom to Juicy Pork. All of which can be enjoyed steamed or pan-fried. Their vibrant menu also offers several Spring Onion Pancakes Rolls and cold dishes such as Tofu Salad or Smashed Cucumber. Your authentic meal can be paired with a Lemmy Lemonade, Gingerlla, Blood Orange, or Karma Cola on offer. Plus, with their outdoor seating shared with Electric Chicken and Morningcider, you can always pair your dish with a locally-brewed on-tap cider.
Steps away is the Morningside Tavern, offering locals another unique drinking spot. Inside this two-storey loft space, their industrial-like vibe is well balanced with homely touches and splashes of colour. A key interior piece is their distinct retro mural revealing Morningside’s founding father, Allan Kerr Taylor on the wall. Here, you can enjoy around 20 beers on-tap including Christchurch’s Fermentist craft brew. For something a bit fancy, you can pick from their cocktail selection including a killer espresso martini. Alongside drinks, you’ll see a selection of high-quality bar food such as chicken schnitzel, spicy crumbed cauliflower, and wood-fired pizzas.
As its name suggests, Electric Chicken is your go-to for all things chicken. Amongst their best selling items are chicken sandwiches, buttermilk nuggets, and fries with gravy. Perched next to Bo’s Dumplings, this intimate dining lane is a trendy location no Aucklander can resist. To further distinguish this hole-in-the-wall spot, owner Matthew Fitzgerald kicked things up a notch with fluorescent and purple-hued lights and a neon sign. Their opening hours are varied, with Monday and Tuesday dedicated to dinner with the remainder of the week open from midday to late. To end your meal on a sweet note, their super bowl sundaes or decadent thickshakes will certainly do the trick. From toffey pop to gingerbread man to strawberry cheesecake, it’s a sugar-lovers dream.
Identifiable by it’s old-school ‘FOOD’ sign, you can pretty much spot Mustard Kitchen as soon as you tap off the train. Inside this joyful coffee joint, you’ll be warmly welcomed by their overall-wearing staff and a jam-packed cabinet. From hearty house-made pies to indulgent cinnamon brioche to freshly-baked sausage rolls, these guys have got it all. Plus, with consideration for healthy alternatives, they also offer a range of ‘fresher’ choices, such as wraps, chia puddings, and their popular rice paper rolls — perfect for those watching their waistline. All food is made fresh and on-site using a range of local ingredients. Owner Madeline also ensures that all their packaging is recyclable and mostly compostable. With their doors opening from 6:30am 6-days a week, you can count on Mustard to provide that early morning caffeine fix.
Peel to Pip
On the other side of the train tracks sits the cosy Peel to Pip. Since opening in 2015, owners Briar and Jesse have continued to provide locals with a lovely meeting spot – especially for the little ones. Their impressive play area has been the centre of mummy coffee dates, birthday parties, and catch-ups with friends. Equipped with chalk boards, books, and toy cooking equipment it’ll do well to keep your kids occupied while you enjoy a cuppa and a slice. On their seasonal menu is a variety of delicious goodies ranging from toasted bagels to crepes to classic date scones. Although the cafe is ideal for the young ones, it’s also a great spot for colleagues and friends to escape the bustling precinct and catch some vitamin D from their sun-soaked seats.