Set in an up-and-coming precinct of Ponsonby, on the corner of Crummer and Vinegar Lane, Roost is the perfect breakfast bagel pit stop for the busy city dweller. The joint is owned and operated by the trio Wayne Schuler, Shaun Marlo and Ruben Maurice, the latter who helms other illustrious bagel stop off, Vulcan Lane Bagels in the CBD. From the outside the cafe is all washed concrete facades; through a wide open corner window you can usually spy a sole barista hurriedly frothing milk and spreading avocado on bagels.
Inside is welcoming and homely, with rustic wooden walls and seating, a roof high rooster mural and hanging globes bathing the small space in a warm glow. Despite his workload, the lone barista will smile and have a chat while he takes your order; I get the feeling it would only take a few visits to be on first name basis.
The menu is simple but almost beyond reproach, with three topping options for your bagels from melts, to schmears, preserves and spreads. You won’t wait long for the coffee and it easily measures up to some of the best in Auckland (perhaps equal to Dizengoff). When you order go for a bagel schmear, avocado and lemon, with a sprinkling of chilli to help perk you up, or creamy salmon, with cream cheese and dill; both are absolutely delicious and were inhaled in minutes. Other tempting options include a melt with swiss cheese, prosciutto and whole grain mustard or the classic dessert for breakfast bagel smothered in nutella. All of which you can purchase as a combo with your selected caffeine fix for an unheard of $10. Yes, $10.
If you’re feeling like a spot of post breakfast dessert, there’s a cabinet brimming with freshly baked goodies from Scratch Bakers as well as several cold drink options, including the delicious locally made Karma Cola. Ideal for breakfast, coffee or a snack on the go, Roost is a hip little neighbourhood cafe, which serves up some of the best coffee and most delicious bagels you’ll find in Auckland. While you won’t sit down and eat a breakfast degustation here, there’s few better spots to perch up and start the day.