Snaking their way behind the main streets and in between shops, discover the hidden gems that lay off the beaten track.

Durham Lane

Tucked far enough away from the bustle of Queen Street lays Durham Lane, proffering a variety of bars and eateries to tickle your fancy. MoinMoin Kaffeehaus serves Supreme Coffee, and sweet pastries supplied by Little Cake Kitchen. Named after the German slang for hello, this cute coffee bar is relaxed in both its interior and atmosphere. After dark head along to The Bluestone Room, a contemporary restaurant and bar which occupies one of the oldest heritage buildings in the city. On a Friday or Saturday night from 9pm enjoy their Live & Late music sessions.

Durham Street East

If you're after a quick and relaxed bite to eat, Durham Street East's Mezze Bar offers a range of delicious tapas to whet your appetite, not to mention a divine wine selection. Japanese chain Renkon proves a popular spot to pick up a donburi for lunch, while My Bar provides the perfect locale for a 5pm bevvie.

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Exchange Lane

This blink-and-you'd-miss-it laneway connects Queen Street with Mills Lane. Pick up your morning espresso at Mojo Exchange Lane, or climb the spiral staircase to one of Auckland's most mysterious after dark venues – Tabac. With happy hour from 4pm – 6pm Tuesday to Thursday, and 3pm – 6pm on Friday nights, you'll happily park up here to enjoy a tipple or two with friends.

Orleans' Fried Chicken Waffle Burger is our idea of fried food heaven. Picture / Supplied.
Orleans' Fried Chicken Waffle Burger is our idea of fried food heaven. Picture / Supplied.

Vulcan Lane

Weaving its way up the hill from Queen Street, think of Vulcan Lane as the perfect meeting spot for an after-work drink or a weekend catch up. The options are plentiful, with bars, restaurants and cafes to suit even the pickiest eater's taste. Sip on smoking gin concoctions and soak up the opulent interiors at The Gin Room. The Occidental Belgian Beer Café serves a selection of Belgian beers on tap or by the bottle, or order yourself a cocktail served in a teapot and enjoy the balcony views at Cassette Nine.

Fort Lane

Famed restaurateur Sid Sahrawat's Cassia sits proudly in the middle of Fort Lane, and offers a modern take on Indian cuisine. More adventurous dishes, like the caramelised duck, chettinad sauce and onions, sit alongside old favourites like garlic naan and cauliflower bhaji. Follow a delicious dinner with a visit to The Jefferson, the speakeasy bar where you can taste more than 600 whiskeys.

Roukai Lane

Connecting Customs Street East with Galway Street, Roukai Lane in Britomart is best enjoyed after dark. This secret cobbled laneway is lined with maple trees, and features open fireplaces to cozy up next to. Aptly named after the Maori term, 'Te Rou Kai', or The Food Gathering, Roukai Lane is the perfect place to do just that, gather and eat. Sip cocktails at The Caretaker, Racket Bar, or REC, or chow down on Orleans' legendary chicken and waffles.

Explore the different neighbourhoods and experiences in the heart of your city, with Heartofthecity.co.nz