The Ten Best Karaoke Spots in Auckland
The best spots for belting out renditions of 'Bohemian Rhapsody' and 'I Will Survive' in Auckland.
The word karaoke is derived from the Japanese words kara ('empty') and okesutora ('orchestra'). I have no idea how that encyclopedic definition makes any sense since modern day karaoke has nothing to do with either of those words, but enough about logistics and onto the facts: most karaoke bars stay open ridiculously late, they serve alcohol at cheaper rates than regular bars, and as well as being good for you, singing is fun. Good enough reasons to go? You bet.
So we've taken it upon ourselves to provide you with a list of karaoke bars we reckon are best for belting out renditions of 'Bohemian Rhapsody' and 'I Will Survive' in the wee hours of the morning to those you've managed to convince to come along with you.
Imagine you were James Bond and you wanted to go karaoking in Auckland. Imagine what that place would be like, and you've pretty much got K-Box in mind - with its cool black reflective corridors, chandeliers and not to mention its spectacular location right on the waterfront. Private room prices range from $38 to $88, and there's also a general karaoke stage in the restaurant and bar area.
K-box has a pretty decent restaurant and bar, and is open from noon till, well, I doubt you'll be able to out-last the closing hours. Their karaoke system's easy to use, but (the only downside of this place) not quite as up-to-date as others - Top 40 anthems basically enter their register the moment they leave the Top 40 chart entirely. Reservations are recommended for a spot during the weekends, so call (09) 363 8881 to book a box.
Shed 19, 137 Quay Street, Princes Wharf, Auckland CBD
2. The Zoo
The Zoo's great. First of all, it has both a Pacman and a Spongebob-themed room. Secondly, it also has a great range of songs, even stocking lesser known English artists like Noah and the Whale (a rare thing at a karaoke place I assure you). The rooms are between $28 and $48 per hour, or you can go for the 'happy hours' deal (which runs 6pm-10pm on weekdays, 6pm-9pm during weekends), for $25 per person and includes a menu item and drink. The Zoo's open from 6pm - 4am.
5 Kent Street, Newmarket
Happy makes me happy. It's a two-storey complex, with the second floor decked out with luxe karaoke booths and the first floor dedicated to pool tables - if you feel like giving your vocal cords a rest. Not one to end a party too early, Happy's opening hours are from 5pm-5am daily. Their rooms cost between $28 and $48 an hour to hire, plus a $20 minimum bar spend per person; or if you're around earlier in the night Happy also has a happy hours deal, where a minimum bar spend of $25 per person ($28 on the weekends) gets you three free hours of karaoke between 5pm - 9pm.
245 Hobson Street, Auckland
4. Family Bar's Saloon
The Saloon Bar on K'Rd is very, very committed to its Western theme, with one especially great decorative result of this enthusiastic theme adherence being their cowboy hat hanging lamps. I love those lamps. Ride on over to the Saloon every Wednesday to Saturday from around 10pm onwards for a distinct karaoke experience lead by the diva Miss Ribena.
270 Karangahape Road, Auckland CBD
5. Rock Bar
Bang in the middle of Queen Street, the Rock Bar has a few things going for it. For one, there is alcohol, and cheap alcohol at that. Secondly they're open from 10pm to 4am, so a pretty ideal and easy way to keep the night going. Thirdly, their corridors are like a magical Japanese garden. Fourthly, at the Rock Bar you can satisfy your need to karaoke in English, Korean, Chinese, Vietnamese, Russian, Spanish and more. The Rock Bar has a public Karaoke bar as well as private booths, but personally I didn't like their private booth couches that much. Their prices are pretty reasonable, $30 per hour for four people or less, and after that it's another $5 per person per hour. Bookings are recommended for the weekend, so call (09) 302 3002 to book.
150 Queen Street, Auckland CBD
6. Modern Bar
Modern Bar is more of a restaurant plus karaoke bar than a karaoke bar plus restaurant, but the atmosphere's hard to beat. There are no private k-boxes, just a giant screen amidst dining booths separated by little black string curtains, giving it quite a cool intimate vibe. The bar also has some good deals on drinks like a $50 bottomless whisky glass per person per hour, if you're into that sort of thing.
27B Victoria Street East, Auckland CBD
Usually, when a place is called 'glamorous', or 'divine', or 'luxury' you'd want to steer right clear of it. Who knows what tackiness you'd be attacked with risking going in. However, this time I ignored my basic instincts, and was happily surprised. Luxury is clean, crisp and almost cosy. The staff are super nice, which give the place a bit of a family-friendly vibe. Prices depend on group sizes, 1-7 people pay $30/hour, 8 -14 $40/hour, and for more than 15 people it's $50/hour. Luxury's open from 10am - 2am on weekdays, 10am- 4am on weekends.
62 Queen street, Auckland CBD
8. Every Sing
The first thing I noticed about the conveniently located Every Sing was its marvellous pun name. Any place that can find a way to incorporate a pun is a-okay in my books - although they're definitely not the most aesthetically pleasing of the lot. They're open from 3pm - 4am, and their booths go for $30 per hour per room, making them one of the cheaper options on the list.
14 Commerce Street, Auckland CBD
Genji's a top marks Japanese restaurant based in Ponsonby, but unbeknownst to most, it also harbours a private karaoke room out back. The room itself is huge, but bookings are essential (phone (09) 360 5050) and so is a $100 deposit. Genji's karaoke room is available from 5pm - 11pm, but in order to make use of the room every person at karaoke has to order a pretty delicious set meal of either $30 or $38 in value. It's a good spot for mass karaoking, best suited to something like a giant birthday karaoke session. Unfortunately English song choices are quite limited.
26 Ponsonby Road, Ponsonby
Geinhinkan's ideal for a quiet night of karaoking, if that sort of thing even exists. The bar looks and feels like the 1950s, and has a super mellow but sophisticated vibe. There's a private karaoke room that you can corner off for $50 an hour. Geinhinkan's open from 8pm - 3am, so you won't be staying up too late.
17 Albert Street, Auckland CBD
Published on August 29, 2013 by Laetitia Laubscher