North Island drinking and nightlife

Top Choice Irish Pub in Great Barrier Island

Currach Irish Pub

This excellent pub offers craft beer, seafood, steak and burgers, and is GB's main social centre. Wood-fired pizza combines with an alfresco salad bar, and there are regular live gigs with a Gaelic and folky bent. S…
Top Choice Bar in Auckland

Madame George

Two patron saints of cool – Elvis Presley and Al Pacino – look down in this compact space along Karangahape Rd. Shoot the breeze with the friendly bar staff over a craft beer or Auckland's best cocktails, or grab a …
Top Choice Cocktail Bar in Auckland

Lovebucket

Lovebucket is a more sophisticated alternative to K Rd's often youthful after-dark vibe. Courtesy of shared ownership with the Hallertau Brewery in West Auckland, Lovebucket's craft-beer selection is one of Auckland…
Top Choice Pub in Mt Maunganui

Astrolabe Brewbar

Astrolabe conjures up a funky retro bach (beach-hut) vibe, with floral carpets, bookshelves jammed with old novels, beach umbrellas and battered suitcases. If all that doesn't float your holiday boat, a Mac's Brewer…
Top Choice Craft Beer in Hastings & Around

GodsOwn Brewery

This super microbrewery 22km east of Hastings is run from a safari tent, a caravan and a few outdoor tables. On a compact brewing set-up, traditional European beer styles like biere de gardes and saisons are crafted…
Top Choice Craft Beer in Wellington

Golding's Free Dive

Hidden down a busy little back alley near Cuba St, gloriously garish Golding's is a bijoux craft-beer bar with far too many merits to mention. We’ll single out ex-casino swivel chairs, a nice wine list, a ravishing …
Top Choice Rooftop Bar in Wellington

Dirty Little Secret

While it's not strictly a secret (it's packed to the gills on balmy evenings) this hip bar atop the historic Hope Gibbons Ltd building plays hard to get, with a nondescript entrance on Taranaki St next to Jack Hacke…
Top Choice Bar in Auckland

Freida Margolis

Formerly a butchers – look for the Westlynn Organic Meats sign – this corner location is now a great little neighbourhood bar with the ambience of the backstreets of Bogota. Loyal locals sit outside with their well-…
Top Choice Bar in Mt Maunganui

Mount Social Club

A knowing blend of recycled materials, designer elements and lashings of utter kookiness, the Social is a visual feast. You can sit down to a proper meal inside but we prefer commandeering a bathtub couch in the cou…
Top Choice Brewery in Auckland

Galbraith’s Alehouse

Brewing real ales and lagers on site, this cosy English-style pub in a grand heritage building offers bliss on tap. There are always more craft beers from around NZ and the world on the guest taps, and the food's al…