Being a local in the area for a few years now, I've always felt like something was slightly amiss in Browns Bay. There's a perfect little beach, a busy library, one of the best Japanese restaurants in Auckland, and a few cosy little bars, but no where that has ever been able to make me feel like Homer Simpson at Moe's, Chandler Bing at Central Perk, or Chris Warner at the bar on Shortland Street. In Soulshine Cafe, I have an inkling that I may have finally found this mystical place.
Soulshine sits across the road from New World and next door to a kindy. It's housed in a rather unspectacular building that I have a feeling used to be a hair salon. Venture inside and they have turned a room of nothing into the cosiest cafe in the suburb. There's '70s-esque seating arrangements, quirky artwork, and the smell of fresh baking. It kind of feels like your grandma's lounge, but with better music.
On sunny days Soulshine opens up its awnings and puts bean bags out the front, on rainy days they stay tightly shut to provide refuge from the elements. While it may have only recently opened, there seems to be a steady stream of regulars and people catching up. Given the intimate space it doesn't take much to create some atmosphere.
The Roasted Addiqtion coffee is the best I've tasted in a while and the staff behind the counter greet with smiles and chats. Expect free range and seasonal organic ingredients, the buckwheat pancakes are a must try, and the paleo muesli has healthy Sunday written all over it. There are a bunch of freshly made muffins, frittatas and such at the front counter and a hand written menu full of cafe classics with healthy twists.