Needing to go somewhere hip and with good coffee while the summer lasts in Auckland, New Zealand? Why not venture to the Takapuna Beach Cafe located at the end of the Promenade Parade, literally right next to the Takapuna beach - perfect location on a sunny day. They have a great selection of breakfast/brunch food (including many gluten free options), fantastic coffee and what is more important is their big selection of Gelato including the classics as well as the exotic flavours like coconut, which is amazing by the way!
Coffee lovers, you cannot leave this place without a proper ice coffee - two generous scoops of vanilla ice cream, a shot of espresso and a small pint of milk to go with it (otherwise you just have an affogato which is also fine by me). It comes in 3 separate vessels so you can choose to eat your ice cream first or have it as an affogato and then wash it down with milk or you can combine them all! - the choice if yours, you have the power :)
For many years now, one dish has drawn me to Takapuna Cafe - their pan fried sole with garlic butter served with grilled sourdough. Unfortunately 2 years ago it seems to have disappeared from the menu which is a HUGH disappointment to me as it was delicious, reasonably priced and you get a whole sole to your self! Since the disappointment I had to find replacement, so here it is below, Crispy Agria rosti with baby spinach, feta, free range poached eggs and hollandaise sauce, served with crispy organic bacon and greens - delicious! The bacon is cripy, the rosti is crunchy and you have the egg yolk slowly oozing out that get mixed up with the hollandaise sauce, this is my kind of heaven :)
This place could be overwhelming for those not used to the crowds. They do try to squeeze as many people in as possible, so you will be very cosy to your friends and families as well as your new found neighbours. They had approximately 15 waiters on deck on a busy sunny Sunday afternoon, and it took all 15 waiters approximately 20 mins of walking pass a group of us to realise that we existed and needing service. But after the first encounter, their service was great, tentative and the food came out fast. So if you find it hard to get their first attention, don't feel it's personal. What I love is on a sunny day, the waiter goes around and offer people hats to wear - though from a hygiene point of view I wouldn't accept the hat, but it is good to know that the option is there. Lastly, if you do want a more personalised service, avoid rush hours and you would be fine, or just come for the coffee and gelato and enjoy what Takapuna Beach has to offer.
So why not try something different and try the Takapuna Beach Cafe, and what is great is you get to walk along the white sandy beach and enjoy the gorgeous view of Rangitoto Island and maybe some sailing to aid your digestion :)
FOOD: Great cafe food.
PRICE: Moderate to high for cafe food price.
SERVICE: On a busy days (sunny Sat and Sun afternoon) you can be ignored but other days they are very good with their service.
ATMOSPHERE: Noisy but lively inside and great outdoor area.
Summary: Sunny day spent in Takapuna Beach Cafe is just great over a cup of delicious coffee and finishing it with even more delicious gelato.