Address: 37 Queen Street, Northcote Point
Phone: (09) 480 7707
It isn't often you get the chance to sample a bit of history with your drink, but walking into the Northcote Tavern is like walking back in time.
Through the half doors and into the small bar and you are suddenly steeped in historical architecture, from the wonderful double fireplace to the scrolled skirting. The tartan carpet is something of an eye-opener, but once you take in the rest of the place, it fits perfectly.
I'll be brutally honest here - it's not a trendy bar. But it is a comfortable, friendly place with a decent range of beers and a truly heroic range of whiskies. It also gets points for having a stag's head on the wall, something far too rare in modern bars.
Apart from the pictures of Rabbie Burns and the muskets on the wall, it's a beautiful bar and the staff are friendly and chatty. The beer is good, too, well-kept and well served.
On the other side of the building is the sports bar, a big space that makes you think of 1974 rather than 1794, but it's a comfortable spot all the same. The food is good, solid pub fare and the prices are more than acceptable, while the toilets are clean.
The more I think about the Northcote Tavern, the more I like it - it's a good, honest pub set in a truly great building. And it's a taxi ride from the city centre, so give it a go.