The Viva Team Share Their Favourite Cafes

L'oeuf Cafe in Mt Albert and Kokako in Grey Lynn. Pictures / Babiche Martens, supplied

It's always good to get out of the CBD, and this cosy café tucked away in Mt. Albert is a favourite. I love the iced coffee and the delicious geisha bowl – soba noodles, red cabbage, avocado drizzled with sesame seed dressing – a filling option for brunch. 4A Owairaka Ave, Mount Albert
Dan Ahwa, fashion editor

You always feel super welcome at Kokako and I love the crisp blue and white fit-out and big windows  it feels so light and bright. They change their menu often and use the most sustainable ingredients they can find. I just spied their new dish of waffles topped with poached pears, coconut whip, miso walnuts and juniper praline and am now planning a trip this weekend. 537 Great North Rd, Grey Lynn
India Essuah, writer

The Annex
In the cutest little cottage on Putiki Road on Waiheke is The Annex. Owner/operator Jane Burn has created a beautiful café that serves the most incredible tarts and pastries in a light, elegant and rustically charming space. I'm always greeted with the nicest smile, and the coffee is so good, I'm usually there for a couple of rounds. If I'm feeling a little dusty, their grilled cheese toasted sandwich is the best cure. 10 Putiki Rd, Ostend, Waiheke
 Shoba Pillai, digital editor

The Annex cafe is inside an adorable cottage. Picture / Supplied
The Annex cafe is inside an adorable cottage. Picture / Supplied

Caffeteria Allpress
I've been going to this weekday cafe for more years than I care to admit. It's a roastery so the coffee is always spot on, but more than that it's the consistency that I appreciate. Whether I order one of their classic sandwiches from the cabinet (that get lightly toasted and served on a metal tray) or the cinnamon brioche, it always tastes the same. My favourite thing on the menu is the mixed plate, which is a perfectly proportioned mix of rye toast, avocado, sliced tomatoes, thinly shaved cheese and a boiled egg. It feels like a European breakfast with a New Zealand twist. 8 Drake St, Freemans Bay
 Johanna Thornton, deputy editor

Bowl and Arrow
This cafe makes delicious vegan and vegetarian food, smoothie bowls that are decorated with fresh fruit, and great coffee. 1 Faraday St, Parnell and Orakei Bay Village, 228 Orakei Rd, Remuera
Rebecca Zephyr Thomas, photographer

The smoothie bowls at Bowl and Arrow. Picture / Fiona Goodall
The smoothie bowls at Bowl and Arrow. Picture / Fiona Goodall

Circus Circus
When the barista passes you your coffee before you've even reached the counter, you know you're what people define as "a regular". Nowhere beats the coffee at Circus Circus and you can rely on a delicious meal every time that proves both quality and quantity. I have never dipped into their desserts cabinet, but I eye I up every time I queue for a coffee. I hope they never renovate because it's the old-style of the café with a great atmosphere that makes it so appealing. 447 Mount Eden Rd, Mount Eden
Lucy Casley, designer

It's down the road from where I live and they do great coffee (eight thirty), a fantastic pineapple, apple and mint juice and delicious food – the kumara rosti with poached eggs is my favourite. Most importantly, the service is fast, friendly and efficient. 129 West End Rd, Westmere
Dan Ahwa, fashion editor

Catroux cafe have delicious food and great service. Picture / Babiche Martens
Catroux cafe have delicious food and great service. Picture / Babiche Martens

At Mary's, the Herne Bay cafe that's not such a local secret, simple food made with finesse is their speciality. Perfect eggs (poached is always runny), avocado and halloumi are all in their power salad, which is my go-to order. The service is slick, friendly and they always have a great magazine selection.13 St Mary's Rd, Ponsonby
Sarah Downs, writer

Visit Mimosa for vegan fare that will keep eaters of all persuasions happy and healthily fuelled. Try a muffins or a tofu bowl and walk it off on Takapuna Beach. 460 Lake Rd, Takapuna

If you feel like venturing forth from the inner-Auckland café cluster, try a drive up the East Coast Bays. We occasionally visit Armadillo Café, which is perched high and has a roomy retro feel and a hearty approach. 2 Knights Rd, Rothesay Bay

In Torbay, Scout gets points for a stylish fit-out, good coffee and cakes and an inventive menu that works better on some dishes than others. 967 Beach Rd, Torbay
 Janetta Mackay, beauty editor

If you have information about a new opening, an event, a new menu or something interesting in the world of food, we'd love to hear from you. Email us at 

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