A warm little sandwich and coffee bar nestled in by the Auckland central library.
Running Hours is a stripped-back trendy little cafe a few steps away from Queen Street, which focuses on doing a few things really well. Its a great spot to warm up with a cup of coffee and a delicious gourmet sandwich, and a bit of banter to boot.
The coffee at Running Hours is something special. Using a range of Supreme beans, their coffees are all designed so that the blend and roast of the bean matches the purpose that it is being put to. At Running Horse you'll get dark roast for the black espresso-based coffee, medium for the white espresso-based coffees, and single origin for their filter coffee - as it should be. The coffee is made with love and skill and is very pleasant to drink. The cold drinks on offer include cold brewed coffee, Karma Kola and a few more juices and smoothies.
Running Horse also has a great vibe to it. The staff are friendly, relaxed and accommodating with a sense of humour: not the ponytail pulling variety, mind you - more the answer any annoying questions you might have with a smile and a real sense of hospitality type.
The space is small and fairly bare with a few plants and one painting around the place to break up the stark white/ minimalist studio-chic look they've got going on. Great music is played at a level that is conducive to both listening and holding conversations. The space is kept comfortably warm, making it a cosy little respite from the Auckland winter. Tables seat two or three and trying to squeeze in a group larger than this might be a little awkward, particularly on a cold or rainy day when the outside tables are out of action.
The food is limited but very good, with only three menu items available and sandwiches and cakes in the cabinet. The sandwiches are hearty, filling and very tasty with vegetarian options such as the portobello mushroom sandwich - made with hearty grain bread and avocado, feta and salad as well as meat options like the corned beef roll - made with an artisan roll, pickle and salad. While the sandwiches are filling enough to constitute a meal, the price reflects the volume and quantity of ingredients used at $9.50 each. Pastries and cakes are also available, these are also good but not the best in the central city.
Being located right by the Auckland library, this is a great spot for anyone working in the vicinity to pick up their morning coffee or to grab lunch in the city.