The Best Cheese Scones In Auckland: A Highly Subjective Guide

By Emma Gleason
There are big fluffy doorstops and dense little cheesy delights. Photo / Babiche Martens

A cheesy, comforting and divisive baked good, these are some of our favourite cheese scones in Auckland.

An object of national obsession — some people even call themselves #sconnisseurs — and one reliably found on cafe benches around Tāmaki Makaurau, the humble cheese scone is a comforting and divisive baked

People also love to share their recommendations, gatekeeping be damned, and this story began with a very, very long list. We toasted and microwaved, slathered butter and sampled without, ate at room temperature, and tried some hours later to see how they held up to time.

There are big fluffy doorstops and dense little cheesy delights. Many deploy our nation’s famous, ambiguously named, news-headline-generating supermarket staple: “Tasty” cheese. Some were so intense you’d likely need a lie down afterwards, others were just the thing for when you’re a little bit peckish.

Most on this list are traditional, though some branch out with supplementary ingredients. Whether you’re a scone puritan or enjoy creative flair with your morning tea, read on.

Catroux cheese scones.
Catroux cheese scones.


This Westmere cafe does a lot of things well — the sandwiches here are great — and its scones are highly praised, having long been part of its offering. “Our cheese scones have been on our menu since day one,” says director Adele Jenner. “A classic scone recipe and method, loaded with plenty of tasty cheese.” Their scones are large, very large in fact, and one could easily do the trick for a light lunch. Moist and with a high cheese content, when toasted this makes for an excellent crisp and maillard reaction, but they also hold up well as is; fresh and room temperature, they’re pillowy and soft (quite different to the toasted experience) and just as good. Either way, lashings of butter do rather nicely.

Tasting notes

“There’s something special about this scone, a personal favourite of mine. Plush, pillowy in texture, this is a scone that really does need to be warmed up, with velvety melted butter sitting perfectly on top. It’s the type of scone you can easily eat while driving, which I have definitely never ever done before.” — Dan Ahwa, creative director

These are big, I mean seriously big. This is the kind of scone I’d crave the day after a big night out. Toasted and washed down with a large coffee.” — Amanda Linnell, editor

“Since this scone is a little heftier in size, it’s perfect for a quick toast in a sandwich press. A gentle press creates a crispy exterior, but the impressive volume of the baked good allows the inside to remain crumbly and soft. The pieces of cheese have been grated quite finely, so they blend really seamlessly into the golden dough. A few larger sprinklings also go silky smooth after being toasted.” — Madeleine Crutchley, multimedia journalist

Price: $6 each.

Where to get them: 129 West End Rd, Westmere, Auckland.

Clarence Road Eatery

Over the shore, this all-day Northcote Point corner cafe is popular with locals (so much so that it opens at 7am every day of the week) and it has that breezy, neighbourhood vibe distinctive of that part of town. The friendly staff, open-plan design and proximity to the Bridgeway Cinema make this place feel like a second home, somewhere you’re inclined to chat to your fellow patrons over a coffee, or pop in for a quick bite before or after the movies. Also a vibe: its classic cheese scones.

Tasting notes

“Whenever I visit Clarence Road Eatery in Northcote Point I find it hard to pass up their cheese scones. These are classic, no-fuss cheese scones, made the way your mum or grandmother probably make them: light and fluffy on the inside with a generous cross-hatched coating of crispy cooked cheese on the outside. Naturally, they’re best eaten warm with plenty of butter, and enjoyed after a brisk walk to the wharf and back. Park up at one of the cafe’s outdoor tables in the winter sun for a coffee and one of these babies and you’re starting your day off on the right foot.” — Rebecca Barry Hill, writer

Price: $5.50 each.

Where to get them: 124 Queen St, Northcote Point, Auckland

Fort Greene cheese scones.
Fort Greene cheese scones.

Fort Greene

This bakery-focused cafe with a humming open kitchen and street seating has been a nice addition to Karangahape Rd, and they have a thoughtful approach to what they serve up each day. “We always try to feature things on our menu that are special or significant to us,” explains baker and co-owner Liam Fox. Their scones are an adaptation of his grandmother’s recipe, which he grew up eating. “Major differences from the way Nana did are I like to brown the butter and mix it in rather than the typical rub-the-cold-butter-into-the-flour method. Also, there is almost as much cheese as there is flour. We try to always use vintage cheddar as it has that extra ‘bite’.” Far less floury than some scones, though with a structural crust, these are moist and soft inside; you want to make sure your sandwich press isn’t on a “squish” setting. While they’re great with butter (most things are), they also do just fine without it.

Tasting notes

“This was a great introduction to the scone series. The scones were light and succulent in texture and punchy with that cheesy flavour. The size was on a smaller scale but still sufficient for that mid-morning treat.” — Annabel Dickson, fashion assistant

Fort Greene’s scones are smaller than some on the list, though I don’t think this is a bad thing — it’s actually my personal preference — as sometimes you want a scone, not a meal. They toast up nicely, but they’re also moist enough to do nicely without toasting or heating, especially if you get yours fresh from the bakery and tuck in as soon as possible.” — Emma Gleason, commercial editor

Price: $5 each.

Where to get them: 327 Karangahape Rd, Auckland City, Auckland

Foundation on George

Good for a leisurely coffee and tasty food — the cabinet is full of delicious treats to suit everybody, young and old — the scones here are so good that Viva’s recipe editor bikes there, and this Parnell cafe benefits from a large outdoor area and plenty of seating. “The outside tables are often pumping, especially when the market is on Saturday mornings, just outside the gate. The inside is modern and tranquil, but personally, I go for the courtyard, good coffee, and sweet and savoury treats,” says Angela Casley. It’s also, apparently, a good spot for dog-watching.

Tasting notes

“The cheese scones are always a must. To me, they should arrive with an aroma of cheesy goodness. Also, well-toasted with a generous amount of butter to spread yourself on the side. They have not yet disappointed.” — Angela Casley, recipe editor

Price: $5.70 each.

Where to get them: 8 George St, Parnell, Auckland.

Herne Bay Foodstore cheese scones.
Herne Bay Foodstore cheese scones.

Herne Bay Food Store

Formerly known as Baccio, this Jervois Rd cafe may have a new name, but it still serves up the excellent cafe fare and good coffee that have earned it a dedicated neighbourhood clientele. “We’ve been selling our scones for five years, and along with our club sandwiches, they are the most popular thing we make. The scones sell out every day before lunchtime, and some Saturdays we sell well over 100,” says co-owner Dee Grant. “The recipe is our adaption from a famous South Island recipe, we use hand-grated aged cheddar and cayenne pepper.”

Another example of quality over quantity, these were some of the smaller scones we tried, though flavour trumps scale. Super-cheesy inside, glistening ribbons of it run through the soft interior, and the crispy exterior is layered with even more cheese, with a golden crust on the bottom; these brown nicely when toasted, ramping up the flavour even more.

Tasting notes

“Beautiful eaten fresh, these have a light-as-air texture and a great amount of cheese with a hint of heat in what looks like a sprinkling of chilli powder.” — Johanna Thornton, deputy editor

“The cheese scone from the Herne Bay Food Store really does what it says on the tin, delivering a serious hit of cheese flavour via its crisp outer shell and flavoursome interior, the punchiness of which suggests a ripe, aged cheddar has been used, enhanced by a subtle kick of cayenne or chilli. I appreciate this scone’s Goldilocks size — not too big as to induce a food coma, not too small as to get uptight about value for money, but just right. 11/10.” — Rebecca Barry Hill, writer

But what have we here? A scone that gives the Homeland variety a run for its money? The consistency is on the money, the flavour cheesy with a hint of pepperiness and the cheesy topping perfectly crusty.” — Amanda Linnell, editor

Price: $4.80 each.

Where to get them: 212 Jervois Rd, Herne Bay, Auckland.

Hill House Cafe cheese scones.
Hill House Cafe cheese scones.

Hill House Cafe

Not only worth a trip out to Manurewa for its sensational cinnamon buns, Hill House Cafe also turns out good cheese scones, which have been on its menu since opening in 2021. “We make over 800 cheese scones a week from scratch by hand (no fancy gadgets used) in our teeny tiny kitchen,” says Riccardo Le Roux, owner and head chef. Theirs are large and triangular, and the scones incorporate a mountain of cheese. The recipe is a secret, and Riccardo learned the key to a great scone when working in the UK as a teenager, from a former Buckingham Palace pastry chef no less. “He taught me how to make exactly the ones that are served today at Hill House Cafe. I had to swear that I will never share the recipe with anyone, but one tip that I can share is to use a good-quality strong cheese to really add that savoury taste.”

Tasting notes

“The texture of this scone is light and fluffy, the perfect sized scone for days like this, supporting a warming bowl of soup. There’s a lovely amount of cheese, offering a texture that’s not too overwhelming. Absolutely moreish.” — Dan Ahwa, creative and fashion director

“These scones were eye-catching at first glance. Substantial in size (but not too large), I ate one toasted and one fresh and can confirm that both are phenomenal.” — Annabel Dickson, fashion assistant

Price: $5.90 each or $29.50 for five (plus an extra free)

Where to get them: Buy them online in a bundle of six, or head to 70 Hill Rd, Manurewa, Auckland where, if you want a full-tilt scone experience, they serve a dish of cheese scones covered in slow-cooked mushrooms, cherry tomatoes and more.

Homeland cheese scones.
Homeland cheese scones.


It’s unexpected, though perhaps unsurprising, that something as simple as a cheese scone has become a cult favourite at Peter Gordon’s establishment Homeland; after all, he’s a household name and famously good at what he does, and since returning in 2020 after three decades in the UK. Peter first made this scone recipe in 2021 when he was working at The Providores and Tapa Room in London, so its inclusion in the Homeland offering is a nice connection to the early days of his career. Smaller than some, they demonstrate a considered balance of cheese with fluff; though the inside cheese ratio may not be as high as other scones, the crispy exterior cheese is delightful, and the scones have a good crust to them. There’s also just the right amount of salt. Homeland recommends microwaving these or heating them in the oven, but they’re also great toasted with the cheese crust crisping up to truly stellar levels.

Tasting notes

“I often fantasise about re-routing my trip to work and going via Westhaven to buy these cheese scones, but of course, that would just be ridiculously indulgent and terrible for the waistline. So hearing they were being sent to the office for research, I was more than excited. And they didn’t disappoint. Light without being too light, cheesy without being too cheesy. A fantasy come true.” — Amanda Linnell, editor

“I am devoted to these scones. Pillow-soft, cheesy in a non-confronting kind of way, generously sized and accompanied with lovely butter. I’ve walked through the depths of winter for them. I’ve also tried to bake them.” — Julia Gessler, digital editor

“I can taste sharp aged cheddar in these, which makes them feel like a grown-up scone with a sophisticated edge.” — Johanna Thornton, deputy editor

Price: $9 each if you eat in, $8 each takeaway. Frozen, two for $12 and four for $24.

Where to get them: Available fresh and frozen from Homeland’s food store, as well as on the menu with toppings for breakfast and brunch. 1 Westhaven Dr, Auckland City, Auckland.

Honey Sundays cheese scones.
Honey Sundays cheese scones.

Honey Sundays

This surfer-style spot has a distinctly out-of-town feeling, even though it’s located in beach-adjacent Herne Bay, so it’s fitting that a humble cheese scone is something it stakes a claim to. Honey Sundays’ iteration is traditional; cheesy but not outrageously so, sizeable but not jumbo, with a classic flavour profile. They are soft and fluffy with an aerated crumb and chunks of cheese inside.

Tasting notes

“Though the crumb of these scones is delicate enough to be eaten easily when fresh, they are particularly lovely toasted. The smaller pieces of cheese mean the dough is really evenly flavoured — there are no empty spots where I’m left longing for more.” — Madeleine Crutchley, multimedia journalist

Where to get them: 203 Jervois Rd, Herne Bay, Auckland.


One of the last, though certainly not least, scones to be trialled. With deadline looming I dashed to Fort St to grab one of Ima’s scones, hearing they were rather good. Like their other famous baked goods — including those famous hot cross buns — Yael Shochat respected kitchen turns out an excellent cheese scone. Located on Fort St, it’s an easy pitstop for anyone working in, or commuting through town, and with an early start (doors open bright and early at 7am) you can pick up a scone for later.

Tasting notes

“This was quite sensational. The cheese is tastier than Tasty (possibly due to parmesan in the mix) with a dash of alliums, chives or spring onion, I think. More than any other scone on this list, these suggest a very soft, very buttery dough that creates a beautifully crispy base. With a generosity of size and taste, this is a meal in itself.” — Emma Gleason, commercial editor

Price: $6.50

Where to get them: 53 Fort St, Auckland City, Auckland.

Ripe Deli cheese and potato scones.
Ripe Deli cheese and potato scones.

Ripe Deli

The Richmond Rd eatery’s latest iteration of scones is something special, and certainly the most unique of any on this list. “They aren’t our regular everyday cheese and herb scones but rather an elevated version,” says Sophie Mackenzie, Ripe Deli’s catering administrator. Thinly sliced potato is marinated in pesto and parmesan, sandwiched between two layers of scone dough, with more parmesan on top.

Tasting notes

“The premise of this one is pretty simple: a thick, hybrid scone-sandwich with layers of potato and pesto for its filling. The carbs and cheese were perfect bedfellows, the basily, nutty centre at the very least adding something new, at most offering a different kind of comfort to this particular recipe. Now I’m not one for outright gluttony, but pace yourself. These scones are as heavy (in the best way) as you think you are.” — Julia Gessler, digital editor

Price: $7.20 each.

Where to get them: 172/174 Richmond Rd, Grey Lynn, Auckland

Rombus cheese scones.
Rombus cheese scones.


Unless you live there, or know someone who does, you might not have cause to go to Howick regularly. However, these cheese scones may change your mind, with some of our sources calling them the best in the whole city. “We have been selling them for about five years but they really took off during Covid Level Three when we were doing takeaways only,” says owner Rohan Jhote. They now sell over 180 cheese scones every week, totalling 350 across all their flavour iterations, which include cheese and bacon and cheese and onion. Rombus’ scones are possibly the cheesiest of any we tried — certainly the weightiest — with chunky pockets of cheese inside, and a generous amount on the exterior for that all-important crispy lattice of crust. With such a hefty ratio, they absolutely need to be warmed before eating, which results in an eyepopping stretch of cheese as you pull them apart. They’re at their best when eaten fresh.

Tasting notes

“This scone was lovely and cheesy and while it had a fairly dense consistency it didn’t feel heavy at all. The top had a nice cheesy crust and it was delicious toasted. Definitely needed butter untoasted, but that’s the perfect combo!” — Amanda Linnell, editor

“Dense and cheesy. A meal of a scone that, if taken at breakfast, would probably get you through to dinner (and would turn a mediocre soup into actual dinner).” — Kim Knight, senior writer

Price: $6 each.

Where to get them: 35 Cook St, Howick, Auckland.

Savoury Sweet

Classic and consistent, this spot has built up a loyal following of people in the neighbourhood. Its scones err on the side of the traditional cafe and lunch bar variety; no faffing around here, just good scones. Savoury Sweet is a trusted spot in the central city — if you know, you know — tucked away down the end of Sale St, and it’s a reliable and friendly family operation, close to the Viva office.

Tasting notes

“This one is lighter on the cheese than some others on this list, but that’s not a bad thing — sometimes you don’t want a dairy-laden, carb-heavy snack. I have work to do! Savoury Sweet’s variety are cheese and herb. Soft and not overwhelming, they’re great microwaved and served with butter. Comfort food.” — Emma Gleason, commercial editor

Price: $5 each.

Where to get them: 25 Sale St, Auckland City, Auckland.

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