If you're ever in Auckland, here's a list of old favorites:
For sweeping 360 degree views, Mount Eden is a must-see. It's the highest point in the city and also a dormant volcano.
In the heart of the central business district, Vulcan Lane is a beautiful laneway filled with shops and restaurants. Take a lovely stroll along High Street and check out one of these places (scroll down below).
Raw Power Cafe
While you're on Vulcan Lane and in search of healthy but tasty, vegan/vegetarian friendly food, check out Raw Power Cafe. My personal favorite is the marinated tofu burger with greens on foccacia bread. They also squeeze fresh juices. In this photo, I enjoyed a carrot, ginger, beet root juice.
Still hanging around Vulcan Lane? Keep strolling through the laneway toward Cafe Melba for a damn fine cup of Australasian coffee (preferably a flat white) and brunch. On a bright, sunny day, this little, hidden, cozy, charming pocket made me feel like I was in Europe.
Michael Joseph Savage Memorial Park
This park has a mint view of Mission Bay and Mount Rangitoto. In the summer, you'll see families flying kites. Afterward, go to Mission Bay and get some ice cream at Movenpick.
St. Kevin's Arcade
Back in the city on Karangahape Road, I loved spending time at St. Kevin's Arcade. It has vintage shops, cafes, etc. I've noticed they put a Lord of the Fries in here (basically a fry bar with toppings), which I loved from Australia. The Wine Cellar was cozy and the Whammy Bar was a fun dive. While you're there, grab a slice of Sal's pizza.
Revel Cafe & Kati Grill
Across the street is Revel Cafe, described as a "grunge" cafe with great coffee and food. Next door is Kati Grill. I've dreamt about this place since I left. They serve Indian Kati rolls with a savory coriander fillings and Kati fries (curried fries). YUM.
Le Garde Manger
Stop into the charming Le Garde Manger for a nutella crepe. Auckland can feel pretty gloomy during the rainy season, but this cute cafe will perk you up.
Hands down our most favorite Indian restaurant of all Indian restaurants. Whenever we eat Indian food in Seattle (not as often since we eat more Vietnamese food these days), we always talk about how it feels like we're back in Auckland at this place. We used to eat here at least 1 to 2 times a month. So many birthday celebrations and parties held here. On the menu, there's a "must-have" Dahi Puri dish (a sweet, spicy, creamy potato dish). You certainly should have it.
Other places to check out in Auckland:
Umi Sushi (inside the Atrium Foodcourt on Elliot Street), Legendary Thai, Elliot Stables
Cassette 9, King's Arms
Waiheke Island, Mission Bay, Rangitoto Island, One Tree Hill, Devonport village
It was a total whirlwind pulling this list together and looking back at all the old photos. When I lived there, it was tough to make new friends, so I took a lot of photos instead and became a total wallflower. I'm glad I documented it. I've heard Auckland has changed so much, and I look forward to seeing it along with my old Auckland friends!
Also, check out my Local Guide to Vegas