Takapuna Beach Cafe and Store

By Janetta Mackay

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Herald rating: * * * * *

We came here because finally it's open and we locals have been counting down for months. With the pedigree of its owners (Scott Brown and Jackie Grant of Richmond Rd Cafe, Cafe on Kohi and RoseHip in Parnell) and a cracker site, this is the place to go - if you can get a seat.

Parking was not too bad weekday, but a real challenge at the weekend. In winter you can squeeze between the boat trailers, but come summer it's the boaties' turf, so expect to circle the local streets or take a tiki tour via the main street, mall and carparks.

We walked in and immediately thought we're so lucky to live near this beach and isn't it great that the space has been designed to let the outside in.

The most unusual thing on the menu was lots of offerings beyond the standards. Even those were served with rare finesse. We ordered a peachy porridge ($12.50) and the Moroccan eggs ($16.50) with puy lentils, just the thing for a slightly seedy start to the day. But that was only one outing; we've tried the smoked fish brandade and blinis ($16.50), the big breakfast just for vegos, mushrooms on sourdough ... and we'll be back.

The service was top-notch and at the weekend they juggled the queue admirably. And if you have to wait, enjoy the outlook and think it's cute to see that four-legged friends have their own hitching post and water bowls.

The coffee was quick and good.

We recommend if you come here you bring overseas guests, or just relax before a beach walk and reassure yourselves some things really aren't better abroad.

Overall, we thought why are we telling people about our new favourite place?

- NZ Herald

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