Where to find the best cabinet food in Auckland
Tue May 26 2020
by Nina Franklin
Auckland’s brunch culture often results in us neglecting the pre-made snaccc’s sitting pretty in the cabinet. While a sit-down, a la carte catch up is often in order, a foolish bypass of such offerings could result in you missing a nutritious bright salad from Westmere’s Catroux, or God forbid, a moist, decadent muffin from City Work’s Depot’s stalwart Odettes. Here are some Auckland cafe’s redefining the way we think about food-to-go:
Growing up in Berlin, Isabel Pasch of Bread & Butter is no stranger to a cake. “I came from a cake family...every Saturday when I was little we would go to my grandmothers and all the women in the family would bring a cake”, she says. “This was in the seventies, you know, so everyone is smoking and the whole room was filled with smoke, and everyone would drink filter coffee by the litre and eat 3-4 pieces of cake, that was just normal then.” Fast forward to today, Isabel has been living in New Zealand for twenty years and is the proud owner of successful bakery brand Bread & Butter which has two eateries in Ponsonby and Grey Lynn as well as supplying wholesale delicacies. Despite the passing time, Pasch still admits she struggles to get through a day without some form of pastry or cake, and luckily for Auckland she is now sharing that passion with us. Everything on offer is a delight with superb service, but you’re not going to want to pass up the Portuguese tart.
34 Westmoreland St. West,
Located on Onehunga’s main drag, it’s almost shocking to find food of Mr T’s calibre in the price range. The bread is quite possibly the best in Auckland, a noticeable step up from the masses anyway. If you’re not local, it’s worth a trip to the outer burbs to get the bread alone, but if you’re after other savoury delights - the ham and cheese roll is also noteworthy.
210 Onehunga Mall,
Westfield Newmarket has quickly made a name for itself as Auckland’s top address for retail therapy. But there’s a lesser-known gem in the form of coffee, snacks and all-day fare at Leafé cafe. If you don’t have much time between bouts of retail therapy, there’s plenty of action to be found in the cabinet. Opt for a coffee and strawberry tart - for sustenance, of course.
Level 2/277 Broadway, Newmarket, Westfield
Any baked-good fan worth their type 00 flour knows that seaside cafe Catroux are some of the best in the business. Majority of Aucklanders have already felt the pull of the white Westmere room, where you’ll find nutritious bright salads, tasty paninis, salmon fillets and much more. Dessert options deliver too. Being somewhat of a muffin connoisseur, I can vouch for these being some of Auckland’s best - the flavours are spot on, with a perfectly balanced contrast of sweet, sour, and tart. For the meat lovers, the sausage rolls are a game-changer, but no matter what you choose, I’m confident it will be the perfect accompaniment to an Eightthirty coffee.
129 West End Road,
Hospitality masterminds HipGroup know food, which likely attributes to the flagship eatery Rosie always attracting a crowd, with lengthy queues on the weekend. It’s a relaxing place, with views of the lovely Parnell rose garden, and never short of a few dogs to pat while you wait for your morning coffee. Another major draw are the sandwiches, the chicken for example instantly claims a spot in the league of Auckland’s best, accompanied by crispy fresh lettuce encased in a perfectly baked baguette. Sweet tooth? There’s deft work being taken on the flakey cinnamon rolls.
82 Gladstone Rd,
Fans of the cabinet food genre will likely be familiar with the work of hospo-duo Francesca and Aaron of famed Winona Forever. One of their more recent ventures Rude Boy, lives up to the impervious reputation the two have acquired on the cabinet food circuit. More art form than food, it’s clever, precise baking that will even have the most devoted menu orderers exploring their options.
34 Sale St,
Ripe Deli has been supplying hungry Grey Lynn patrons with a jam-packed cabinet of goods for all palettes. It’s the perfect place for locals to meet up for coffee lunch and pastries, and now it's extended it’s legacy to Auckland’s North Shore, occupying a spot in Smales Farm dining precinct. Goodside. I could get into details about the cabinet food on offer, but it’s so vast you’re better off going to see for yourself (the peanut butter dessert nibbles are to die for).
172 – 174 Richmond Rd,
72 Taharoto Road