Top 5 spots to BYO in Auckland

Josh Mellsop
By Josh Mellsop
over 4 years ago
5 min read

Nothing beats getting a good group of friends and heading out for a hearty dinner before a night out in Auckland city. Smashing back a great bottle of vino while eating some tasty food, it doesn’t get much better. Especially if you’ve got a big night out planned. These were some of my favourite BYO spots when I was living the good life in Grey Lynn.

Joy Bong Thai   

531 Karangahape Rd, Auckland 

Nestled on the most vibrant strip of Auckland, Joy Bong Thai offers punters an authentic experience, with an extensive menu covering everything good Thai. It’s always bustling on a Friday and Saturday night, and has a pretty awesome little wine cellar you can look down into. Start yourself off with some Roti & Peanut Sauce, then move onto their yummy Pad Thai. If you feel like curry, their BBQ Duck Curry is excellent. The best part? You’re a hop, skip, and a jump away from the trendy Ponsonby Road bars, as well as all the great drinking holes along K’ Road.

What to bring? Take a long a bottle of Brightwater Gravels pinot gris, it’ll match the food and up the ante on your whole experience.

Grand Harbour Yum Cha 

Cnr Pakeham St & Custom St West, Viaduct Harbour

Head down to Auckland’s wonderful waterfront around midday and get in line for the best Yum Cha experience the city offers. Always bustling, you’ll need to grab a ticket and wait (it doesn’t usually take that long). Service is always exceptional here, and there are more dumplings that you can poke a chopstick at. BBQ Pork Buns are top notch, as well as their Siu Mai, Prawn Dumplings and BBQ pork. It’s all delicious, but probably best to split your bottles because this is a smooth operation and you’ll be inundated with food very quickly. Grab yourself something a bit fancy, and start your day right. 

What to bring? A bottle of the Mimi Flamingo chardonnay would be you go-to pairing here, just make sure you don’t eat to fast, and definitely finish up on some Mango Pancakes and Ice Cream Balls. If you’re feeling flush, check out the wine list, jam-packed with a vast number of iconic global wines.

Oh Calcutta

151 Parnell Rd, Parnell 

An Auckland institution situated on the iconic Parnell Road. It opened 24 years ago, and is still owned by the same passionate family. If you’re a fan of Indian cuisine, this place offers some of Auckland’s best. An intimate setting, that is always full, take your time and soak up the atmosphere. If you’re in a large group, go for a banquet and get bottomless curry of your choice. The Kahdai Chicken Manhanwala is one of their signature curries and our top recommendation. 

What to bring? Grab yourself some Willunga 100 shiraz grenache and get into it, you’ll leave with a tighter pair of pants, but it’ll be worth it. Red wine with Indian may seem a bit strange, but powerful food needs a powerful wine, and the juicy acidity and spice will enhance your experience, finish it off with a beer and call it a night.


190 Jervois Rd, Herne Bay

Easily one of the best little Japanese joints in Herne Bay. Get yourself together with a decent group and they’ll give you your own little upstairs dining area, just make sure you make a booking. This place is always busy on Friday and Saturday, and the food is great and given the area it’s a cheap night out! Start off with some Edamame and Tayoyaki, and then order numerous plates of Beef Tataki, Karaage Chicken, and some top notch, fresh Sashimi. The best approach is to keep ordering until the table is covered, then feast like a king. On top of that, it’s just a short walk to Ponsonby Road’s best clubs and bars, so there’s really no excuse for a quiet night in.

What to bring? Grab a bottle of Foxes Island Estate Marlborough riesling (Their Urban Cellar door is just down the road in Grey Lynn) and unwind.

Bona Pizza 

286 Ponsonby Rd, Ponsonby

No great list of BYO restaurants is complete without some hearty pasta and pizza. A small Italian restaurant sitting smack bang at the start of Ponsonby Road in Three Lamps, it offers a great feed without breaking the bank. The Penne con Pollo Genovese is delicious, creamy and will make you feel complete (physically, mentally and spiritually), but the Carbonara is always a safe choice. The Quatrro Stagioni Pizza in large if your carb-loading, either way you’ll leave feeling as happy as an Italian when you leave.

What to bring? Match your Italian feast with the stunning Giovanni Rosso Barolo Serralunga 2012, and you’ll feel like a Don while munching down some epic pasta. 

How many of these BYO spots have you ticked off your list, mofos? Let us know if we’ve missed out on some of your favourites. 

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