They had me at “bottomless coffee”, and the lumbersexuals (yes, there’s a name for that bearded, flannel-wearing, coffee-drinking specimen you’ve seen around town) sitting outside didn't hurt either.
To someone whose closest encounter with a New York diner is an episode of Seinfeld, Five Boroughs seems like a pretty authentic American-style diner: plastic water cups, white tiled walls, and booth seating. Thankfully, the coffee couldn’t be much less American – the bottomless coffee ($3.50) is Peoples single origin roasted right here in Wellington, and there’s plenty of it.
The wait staff were extremely friendly, and talked us through the menu, recommending drink options and helpfully explaining that side of Bread ‘n’ Butter pickles ($2) “taste kind of like the McDonald’s gherkins, but better” (they were right!). We ordered a triple chocolate shake ($7.50) and Jelly tip shake ($7.50) while we decided what to eat. I make no hesitation in declaring the triple chocolate milkshake, complete with chocolate sprinkles on top, as the best milkshake I have ever had.
The burgers arrived in classic diner-esque plastic baskets, with a side of potato crisps. The Chicken Burger ($16) with buttermilk chicken and chipotle ketchup was extremely satisfying, while the Cheese Burger ($10) provided everything you could ever want and didn't mess around with that green salad-y stuff. The rest of the menu is an exciting take on diner standards done well. A Dirty Randy ($14), fried eggs, bacon, and hash browns served in a bun, with bottomless coffee in the courtyard would definitely see you right after a hard night out. Of course they know this, and breakfast is available all day and all night. I like the way they think. I recommend asking to sit in the outdoor courtyard on a sunny day or a fine summer eve and enjoying the greenery and coloured lights with a banana split.
Five Boroughs is a welcome new local haunt for Mt Vic residents who can practically roll down the hill and straight in the door for their daily caffeine fix. Five Boroughs is also perfectly situated for a dinner and movie date as it’s right across the road from the Embassy Theatre, or if you’re in the mood for a little live theatre, BATS is just around the corner.
Photography by Dave Pearce