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The Best Bars and Pubs Around Auckland for When You Want to Drink Outside

Knock off work early and head to one of these sun-soaked spots for a few afternoon brews.
By Concrete Playground
November 02, 2022
By Concrete Playground
November 02, 2022


Knock off work early and head to one of these sun-soaked spots for a few afternoon brews.

Nothing says New Zealand summer like an afternoon courtyard bevvy, whether you're at your local for a few pints, or kicking on after a brunch date and making the most of the good weather. After all, getting fresh air and vitamin D is known to be good for your health, right?

Whether you're looking for a backyard beer garden or a deck with both wine and water views, we've compiled our favourite sun-filled drinking spots around Auckland — all with stacked wine and beer lists to cool off in the heat.


  • 7

    Less than a 30-minute car or ferry ride from the CBD, you’ll find an ale-drinking sanctuary on the banks of the upper Waitemata. The unpretentious hospitality, rustic (but delicious) food and free-flowing beer complement the soothing sounds of the nearby river and lush views of native bush. Holding the second-oldest liquor license in New Zealand and thought to be our most historic riverside pub, there’s a reason why the Riverhead is still thriving. You’ll want to set aside a full day, as there’s few better spots to get away from it all in Auckland.

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  • 6

    There’s a reason this spot is an Auckland post-work institution: it’s a bar, a restaurant and a bowling alley in one. Basically, there’s no ailment Dr Rudi’s can’t treat. The rooftop deck is the ideal spot to set up on a sunny afternoon and soak up views of the Viaduct Harbour. The bar also serves as the only functioning microbrewery in the Viaduct, meaning you’ll find five fresh varieties on tap.

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  • 5

    To mark its tenth birthday, west-Auckland brewpub Hallertau unveiled an all-weather Biergarten. Designed by architect Allistar Cox, the outdoor pavilion comes beneath a beaming orange retractable canopy that proves its worth year-round. An outdoor kitchen also runs the length of the space and comes armed with a wood-fired pizza oven that brings to life a menu of smoky wood-fired pizzas, salads and sharing plates. A tasting paddle from the brewery also never goes amiss. There are often performances and gigs on the outdoor stage here, making it a great place to while away a weekend afternoon outdoors.

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  • 4

    Fairy lights and multi-coloured lanterns hang over La Zeppa’s expansive rooftop deck, which looks out over Victoria Park and the Skytower. There’s comfy seating aplenty, a toasty fireplace for those nippy cooler evenings and te central location means jumping to the next spot won’t necessarily require an Uber.

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  • 3

    Merging a relaxed American bistro-style menu with a huge outdoor area and separate bar, the night can take on a ‘choose your own adventure’ feel at this Kingsland bar. You can sprawl out with your mates over a couple of glasses of wine and a selection of sharing plates or tuck yourself inside for a more intimate evening. This quirky outdoor industrial space is always heaving during the week, so go see what all the fuss is about.

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  • 2

    It’s a waterfront stalwart for a reason. If you’re looking for an excuse to wear a new outfit, Soul Bar is the ideal place to dress to impress. Hands down one of the classiest venues on the Viaduct, the celebrated location draws crowds from all over Auckland. Sit back and watch the yachts while eating a feast of the freshest ceviche, blackened hapuka and of course, as many oysters as you can handle.

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  • 1

    Heading into Northcote Tavern is not too different to jumping in a time machine and heading back a few decades. This grand old dame has been around for over a century — but has been beautifully restored to keep up with the times.  Merging the feel of a classic English country pub (tartan carpets, ornate fireplace) with New Zealand’s penchant to sink a cold one outdoors and you’ve got the Northcote Tavern. Only a stone’s throw from the ferry in Northcote Point, leave the car at home and enjoy a few pints in the huge grassy outdoor area. Warning: the lawn fills up quick, so get in early.


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