Best Cocktail Bars in Auckland

Insta-worthy Cocktails: The Top 15 Auckland Cocktail Bars 

I’ll be honest, the first time I ventured into the world of cocktail bars, I had no idea what I was doing. Sure, I’d seen plenty of Instagram stories with smoke-filled glasses and fancy garnishes. But me? 

Well, I’d never had anything more exciting than a vodka tonic. Since then, though, I’ve gone from a cocktail klutz to a connoisseur (well, kind of).

After having spent most weekends scouring for promising craft cocktails, I can hold my own when it comes to the merits of mezcal vs. tequila in your mix.

And I’ve come across the absolute best cocktail bars in Auckland, which I’ll tell you all about below.

1. Caretaker


Address: Downstairs, 40 Customs Street, Britomart Place, Auckland 1010, New Zealand

Hours: Monday to Sunday – 5 PM to 3 AM

Forget mixology manuals, because Caretaker takes cocktail connoisseurship to a whole new level of personalised alchemy.

Here, the bartenders aren’t order-takers. Instead, tell the bartender your mood, your favourite flavours, and the spirits you like, and watch as they craft a bespoke elixir just for you.

And the atmosphere at Caretakers is as intoxicating as the drinks. Plush leather booths and smoky mirrors whisper of bygone errors. Live jazz nights add a touch of sultry sophistication, making it the perfect escape from the city’s buzz.

Pro Tip: They only let six people in at a time, so call in advance to make a booking.

2. My Bar

My Bar

Address: 12 Durham Street East, Auckland CBD, Auckland 1010, New Zealand


  • Monday – 4 PM to 12 AM 
  • Tuesday & Wednesday – 4 PM to 1 AM 
  • Thursday – 12 PM to 1 AM 
  • Friday – 12 PM to 2 AM 
  • Saturday – 3 PM to 2 AM

Phone: +64 09 309 3830

My Bar is known for attracting discerning palates with its playful drinks and meticulous bartending. Why? They don’t shy away from bold combinations.

Take the Rosebud, a tropical explosion of house-infused vanilla vodka, tangy passionfruit, and a touch of cranberry and pineapple. It’s sunshine in a glass, guaranteed to transport you to a balmy island beach.

Craving a nostalgic treat? Just the Jelly Tip will tickle your inner child. It’s like a grown-up (alcoholic) milkshake.

And their tiramisu drink is for those who appreciate their java with a sophisticated kick. 

Pro Tip: Their sunflower drink is a step up from the iconic gin and tonic. Beefeater gin finds its perfect match in Triple Sec and St. Germain elderflower liqueur, while fresh lemon juice adds a zesty edge. It’s a simple yet sublime tribute to a true bar staple.

3. Little Culprit

Little Culprit

Address: Corner of Wyndham &, 151 Queen Street, Auckland CBD, Auckland 1010, New Zealand

Hours: Wednesday to Saturday – 3 PM to late

Phone: +64 9 300 6426

Walking into Little Culprit is like stepping into a scene from a film noir. This is a place where time slows down, inviting you to savour the ritual of a perfectly crafted cocktail.

And yes, the drinks themselves are pure finesse. The Bombora is like a sunset trapped in a glass, warm and seductive, a taste of luxury.

Or, consider the playful Coco Coala, a tropical escape in every sip. The toasted coconut’s husk’s sweetness is tempered by the sharp bite of cherry bitters and the smoky kiss of charcoal.

For those seeking the epitome of classic elegance, there’s the Flawless. This isn’t your average martini. Tanqueray No. 10 gin, the quintessential London dry, forms the backbone embraced by Dolin blanc and Dolin dry vermouth.

Pro Tip: Order the Boot Liquor if you dare. Prepare to be delighted and perhaps a little bit tipsy.

4. Tomfoolery


Address: Shop 7/183 Karangahape Road, Auckland CBD, Auckland 1010, New Zealand

Hours: Tuesday to Saturday – 4 PM till late

Phone: +64 210 383 202

Tomfoolery captures Auckland’s vibrant spirit with its playful ambience, innovative drinks, and passionate bartenders. Step into a world of mismatched furniture and quirky art—every corner holds a surprise at this bar. 

Here, watching the bartenders craft a cocktail is a captivating show, filled with precision, flair, and a touch of playful fun.

Pro Tip: If you get the munchies, grab one of their bar bites!

5. Mo’s


Address: 5 Federal Street, Auckland CBD, Auckland 1010, New Zealand


  • Monday to Friday – 2 PM till late 
  • Saturday – 6 PM till late 

Phone: +64 9 366 6066

Forget fancy garnishes and molecular mixology—Mo’s charms come from its classic cocktails and unpretentious vibe. Mo’s oozes a speakeasy-esque charm and has an intimate atmosphere perfect for those first dates or a relaxed night with friends.

Gin lovers have to try Aviation. Tanqueray is blended with subtle floral notes of crème de violett, a touch of maraschino, and a squeeze of lemon for a crisp finish.

And for those wanting a delightful indulgence, the chocolate martini combines Stoli vodka with white creme de cacao, creating a silky-smooth concoction that’s as pleasing to the palate as it is to the eyes.

Or for a potent pick-me-up, the espresso martini gets its kick from Stoli vodka and Quick Brown Fox coffee liqueur, balanced perfectly with a shot of espresso. This is a coffee lover’s dream come true.

Pro Tip: Try their legendary grasshopper. Let’s just say it’ll have you hopping.

6. The Churchill Auckland

The Churchill Auckland

Address: 396 Queen Street, Auckland CBD, Auckland 1010, New Zealand


  • Tuesday to Thursday – 4 PM to 12 AM 
  • Friday & Saturday – 4 PM to 1 AM

This rooftop haven is a gin palace in the clouds. Boasting a staggering selection of over 150 gins, it’s a place for gin enthusiasts and the uninitiated alike.

Whether you’re a classic London dry purist or seeking a slow-infused gin, their knowledgeable bartenders will guide you to the perfect pour. 

And the view is amazing—spreading Auckland unfurls beneath your feet, twinkling lights paint the harbour, and the sky tower pierces the night sky.

Pro Tip: Parking can be tricky, so opt for the civic car park and stroll up Queen Street instead.

7. Sly Bar

Address: 354a Karangahape Road, Auckland CBD, Auckland 1010, New Zealand


  • Wednesday & Thursday – 7 PM to 12 AM 
  • Friday & Saturday – 5 PM to 2 AM 

Stepping into Sly is like stepping back in time. The speakeasy vibe is palpable, from the discrete entrance to the intimate, art deco interior.

Dim lighting, plush velvet curtains, and portraits of iconic figures like David Lynch and Iggy Pop create an atmosphere that is both stylish and secretive.

But the real magic happens behind the bar. They have both classic cocktails with a twist and housemade cocktails. Such as their Penicillin, which is a smoky warming twist on the classic, and their cucumber and mint gin sour, a refreshing take on the original.

Pro Tip: Come on Wednesdays and Thursdays from 7 PM to 9 PM for happy hour cocktail deals.

8. Panacea

Address: 23 O’Connell Street, Auckland CBD, Auckland 1010, New Zealand


  • Sunday & Tuesday to Thursday – 5 PM to 12 AM 
  • Friday & Saturday – 5 PM to 1 AM

At Panacea, Danny and Theo believe that a well-crafted cocktail can be the perfect remedy to a long day, an awkward romantic date, or even just a case of the same old bar blues. They have an impressive range of whiskies and bourbons, so whether you’re a whisky aficionado or a newbie, you’ll be spoiled for choice.

And their cocktails are famous for a reason. The Panacea Negroni is bittersweet and a must-try for any Negroni lover.

But if you’re looking for something a little different, why not try the Fun-loving Criminal. This drink combines smoked Biltong mezcal with truffle tequila and a dash of sage and paprika syrup for a cocktail that’s smoky, rich, and utterly unforgettable.

Pro Tip: Want something tropical? Ask for the Mangovi Beach Club. This refreshing cocktail consists of turmeric vodka with mango lassi, verjus, murraya, and tangerine for a drink that’s as invigorating as a dip in the ocean.

9. The Tinted Rose

The Tinted Rose

Address: 242 Ponsonby Road, Ponsonby, Auckland 1011, New Zealand


  • Tuesday to Thursday – 4 PM to late
  • Friday to Sunday – 2 PM to late 

Phone: +09 376 5670

The Tinted Rose boasts a meticulously curated menu that’s equal parts playful and sophisticated.

Signature drinks like Jobe the Cat tantalise with tequila, cacao liquer, and pineapple. While the Mrs. Harris drink offers a refreshing burst of vodka, peach, and passionfruit,

True, the cocktails are undoubtedly the stars, but The Tinted Rose excels in creating a complete experience. The atmosphere is warm and inviting, and the staff ooze charm and expertise as they answer your most obscure cocktail queries.

Pro Tip: Try the Mrs. Newton—with damson plum gin, lemon, and bitters.

10. The Broken Lantern

The Broken Lantern

Address: 198 Ponsonby Road, Ponsonby, Auckland 1011, New Zealand


  • Tuesday to Thursday – 4 PM to 12 AM
  • Friday to Sunday – 12 PM to 1 AM

Phone: +64 9 280 3477

This modern tavern isn’t just a place for expertly crafted drinks—it’s an experience that ignites all senses. The Broken Lanterns mixologists conjure up cocktails that are both innovative and impeccably balanced.

Dive into the summer apples: blended malt scotch, repeated single malt, PX sherry, honeyed apple cider, and lemon. Each sip is a whirlwind of autumn, warmth, and smoky intrigue.

Or craving a taste of the tropics? The Palawan Paloma transports you with its vibrant fiesta of blanco tequila, Bangkok syrup, citrous, grapefruit soda, and a touch of hili. This one’s a spicy, citrusy explosion that will leave you wanting more.

And The Broken Lantern doesn’t shy away from reinventing familiar favorites. Case in point: The Lonely Hearts Club—this modern twist on a Negroni uses peppermint tea gin, vanilla strawberry grenadine, aperitif wine, lemon, and a whisper of strawberry dust.

Pro Tip: Try the Seoul Food drink. It’s sweet, smokey, and refreshing.

11. Pineapple on Parnell

Address: 207 Parnell Road, Parnell, Auckland 1052, New Zealand


  • Tuesday – 5 PM to 1 AM 
  • Wednesday – 5 PM to 2 AM 

Phone: +64 9 336 1827

Pineapple on Parnell is known for its creative mixology, offering a menu with both classic and new cocktails.

One of the standout drinks is Surprise Me, a tropical cocktail that combines Especia Pilipina’s spiced rum with creme de banane, kaffir lime, and coconut syrup. It’s topped off with a spritz of kaffir perfume, creating a unique and tantalising aroma that pairs perfectly with its tropical flavours.

For those who enjoy more unconventional drinks, the Open Sesame is to impress. This cocktail blends Ukiyo Japanese rice vodka, dolin dry vermouth, and sesame oil, garnished with a rice cracker. It’s a smooth and savoury cocktail.

Pro Tip: Don’t miss out on the Midnight Delight—skipper demerara rum, amaretto, coffee syrup, and orange-infused dark chocolate.

12. Deadshot


Address: 45 Ponsonby Road, Grey Lynn, Auckland 1011, New Zealand


  • Monday to Friday – 5 PM to 2 AM

Forget your sugary, neon-coloured cocktails. Here, the focus is on the classics, but the bartenders are more than happy to whip you up something unique.

From house-made syrups to muddled fruits and top-shelf spirits, Deadshot uses only the finest ingredients. Try their Last Word—a prohibition-era cocktail made with gin, green chartreuse, maraschino liqueur, and lime juice.

Or get Blood and Sand, a bold and boozy concoction of scotch, sweet vermouth, cherry liqueur, and orange juice. This drink is perfect for those who like their cocktails with a kick.

Pro Tip: Come here early for the best seat in the bar!

13. First Class Cocktails

First Class Cocktails

Address: 3/175 Ponsonby Road,
Ponsonby, Auckland, 1011

Hours: Thursday to Saturday – 12 PM to 12 AM

Phone: +64 09 218 8992

First Class Cocktails is a gateway to a world where cocktails are elevated to an art form. From the pineapple chilli margarita’s spicy kick to the banoffee pie’s old-fashioned sweetness, every sip is a journey.

Sure, they do a mean Negroni, but their true genius lies in their adventurous cocktails. 

Take the coconut gimlet, a tropical twist on the classic, with a whisper of rum and a kiss of toasted coconut. Or get transported to a summer garden with their watermelon Negroni.

Pro Tip: Can’t make it to the bar? First Class Cocktails has a bottled collection that brings their magic straight to your home.

14. Cafe 39

Cafe 39

Address: 39 Ponsonby Road, Ponsonby, Auckland 1011, New Zealand


  • Wednesday to Friday – 4 PM to 1 AM
  • Weekends – 1 PM to late

Phone: +6493765008

Cafe 39’s cocktail menu showcases a deep understanding of mixology, with each drink a testament to the bar’s creativity.

The Death by Demi-sec is a prime example—expertly blended 1919 gin with champagne vermouth and wild mint hersaint, garnished with a caper berry. This cocktail will leave you thinking about it for days.

Pro Tip: Get their Black Pearl cocktail if you want something rich and complex.

15. Bellini


Address: 147 Quay Street, Auckland CBD, Auckland 1010, New Zealand


  • Monday to Friday – 8 AM till late
  • Saturday & Sunday – 9 AM till late

Bellini Bar, within the Hilton Hotel, has breathtaking harbour views and a mixology that wows. Dive into the island-inspired pink bellini, a tropical duet of prosecco rosé and guava.

Or take a smokey decor with the Dark Antidote, where Chivas meets Ardbeg in a tango of honey and ginger. No matter what cocktail you get here, you’re spoilt for choice (and you may be leaving a little buzzed).

Pro Tip: Elevate your Friday night with Bellini’s opera hour starting at 6:30 PM. to 7:30 PM.