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Late Night Diner

3 star rating 20 reviews

Telephone 09 361 2320

152 Ponsonby Rd
Auckland City

A La Carte
Mon - Wed 5pm - Late
Thur - Sun 5pm - 2am


Photo of Late Night Diner

More Information

Beer, Wine
Wheelchair Accessible:
Dietary Restrictions:
Meals Served:

Reviews for Late Night Diner

5 star rating
by Kayleigh S.
23rd June 2014

Thus restaurant was an awsome experience you get to see the magic in the kitchen infront if you.the ideas of the dishes are something unique flavours and foods you wouldn’t expect to taste or hear about, but the chefs have made it happen to tantilise your taste buds. Highly reccomend if you want something fun and unique.

4 star rating
by Alex M.
13th June 2014

Seems to be a new menu since i last visited, the food is certainly different, but from what i had it was excellent, can definitely recommend the fried chicken and skirt steak. The staff were all friendly as well.

1 star rating
by Pete S.
2nd June 2014

This place has been a family favourite for some time. However, visited last night to find they have a new chef and new menu. All the old favourites (Mac n cheese, fried chicken, doughboys…) were gone and the new menu choices looked pretty strange for this type of place. We soldiered on (3-4 groups left without ordering after looking at the menu while we were there) and tried the special of the day – red cod on jambalaya. It was truly awful. The fish was overcooked mush and full of really dangerous bones. We gave up on it pretty quickly. We won’t be going back – such a shame as it was really good the way it was. Oh – one positive note – they still play great loud music.

1 star rating
by Charlotte H.
1st June 2014

A friend and I had been looking forward to going here for a while, but were very disappointed.
The food was entirely average, but most disappointing of all was the service. The staff were cold and could be heard -loudly and without a hint of embarrassment- gossiping rudely about customers sitting less than a meter away. This is not the type of service you expect from any establishment, and especially not when you’re already paying more than you should for mediocre food.

2 star rating
by Suzanne B.
26th May 2014

My boyfriend had been a regular to the Diner for at least a year through 2013 to this year. He introduced me early this year and we loved it until they changed ownership? Or changed the head chef. Up until this change which was maybe a month ago, we loved the atmosphere, the staff, the food was pretty good and we went frequently just to hang out with friends and enjoy the space.

Our last visit was two nights ago, and it will be our last. We were a group of four and we went to try the Pumpkin Pie, my boyfriend and I are both from the states so of course we were super excited to try it. Between the four of us we ordered a hamburger, fries, two portions of the Pumpkin Spice Pie and a chocolate thick shake.
The fries and the burger were really good, pretty tasty. The pie and the shake were both really bad, and the service doesn’t even compare to what it used to be.

The shake tasted like it was made with syrup, it looked good but it wasn’t thick at all and the flavour was super basic compared to what they used to be (aka they used to be great, real shakes).

We were both really disappointed in the pie. On the menu it was something like “Pumpkin Spice pie with Chives Creme Fraiche”. The presentation was great, but the texture was weird, the flavours were wrong and I wouldn’t even call it a pie. The crust was more of a tart crust; thin and not flaky or puffed at all. We hardly touched the Chives Creme Fraiche- what even is that and why wasn’t it vanilla ice cream or whipped cream?? Major confusion.

The spices used with the pumpkin were spices that I wouldn’t and didn’t really associate, or want to associate, with pumpkin pie. We were both expecting traditional spices like cinnamon, nutmeg or allspice, and I was especially disappointed- a little angry- when I learned that it was $12. We didn’t even want to finish it which is a bummer because we were ready to enjoy it.

We went in a week or so before this last weekend and tried a couple of the mains, we thought they were average but it disappointed us both to realise that it’s not a diner anymore. It’s pretentious and the food and service are both extremely average.

We won’t be going back again.

4 star rating
by Catalina E.
3rd May 2014

Love this place – have been in for a late night bite three times and have had amazing service every time. I highly recommend the doughboys (to die for) and he pretzels hit the spot every time. Waiters are lovely – a cool place to go for comfort food /snacks.

3 star rating
by Magenta T.
7th April 2014

Food is good quality but slightly overpriced considering portion size and comparative options e.g. burger fuel ($16.50 for a beef burger with a few non-crispy chips on the side).
Service over-zealous (it was quiet when I went).
Music was a bit too loud.

2 star rating
by Natalie L.
30th March 2014

Disappointing experience – we had been recommended we try this place and will certainly not be recommending it to others.

This place seems to be confused whether it is a bar or a diner. The food menu took half an A4 page and the drinks list took 1 and half sides. Food choice was somewhat limited in variety.

To me the word ‘diner’ suggests American inspired cuisine – we were expecting a more ‘American’ experience and having spent a lot of time in America a more authentic diner menu. Not sure why there were things like lamb chops and mashed potatoes on the menu but not waffles, hot dogs, coleslaw and hash browns!

I tried the green tomato cheese steak roll for $17. Literally it was a roll on a plate, no chips, piece of gherkin or scoop of coleslaw to accompany it. Lucky I like hot food as it was spicy and no mention was made of that. Certainly not an exceptional sandwich like I was expecting or should have received.

The special of the day was a chicken burger with a handful of lattice fries. Again very average and you would be better off heading to Burger Fuel for a really yummy chicken burger. This was the waiter’s recommendation so if this is as good as it gets they have quite some work to do!

Music was far too loud and we won’t be back.

2 star rating
by Stef H.
10th January 2014

I was really excited to try this place but unfortunately we were really disappointed. They were out of tap beer (ok, that can happen) but then our second choice wasn’t cold. I ordered a ‘hard shake’ which was OK…but it had yucky bits floating in it and just tasted like bourbon poured into a pre-mix vanilla milkshake. Not worth $17.

We ordered a pickle plate – which had some very tasty gherkins but also pickled beetroot (not very nice), pickled onion (a big brown onion rather than cocktail, so not very nice) and pickled green tomato (also not very nice). We left about half of the plate. We also ordered deep fried pickles which were tasty for the first one or two but then got really sickly as they had heaps of very oily batter around them with nothing else. The dipping sauce for these was really tasty though!

We also ordered a soft pretzel (with salt) but when it arrived didn’t have any salt on it that we could see so was really bland and tasteless. When I went to add salt I accidentally added rust as the salt grinder on our table was all rusted on the bottom.

The service was attentive but a bit over the top for our liking – the waiter kept taking plates, glasses etc away as soon as you put them down which meant we were constantly being interrupted.

The fried chicken that some other tables ordered looked and smelled amazing – so maybe we just ordered the wrong things? But four things off the menu being utterly disappointing is enough for me to decide not to come here again.

5 star rating
by Nicholas P.
4th December 2013

Thank you Late Night Diner.

The staff really make this place.
So good that the place gets 5 stars even !
Vege burger was delicious. Great music.
I really like sitting in the room and being looked after so well every single visit. Eating here after work is a damn treat and am very thankful for it.

3 star rating
by Plibt
29th November 2013

After hearing friends rave about this place, I was expecting some pretty exciting food. Sadly, the food was pretty average. My burger patty was really under-seasoned, and the sweet relish had cinnamon in it! Yeuch. The lattice fries that came with it were also lacking salt.
My BF’s fish n chips were alright, although the tartare was a bit heavy on the capers.
Our deep fried pickles were exciting to begin with, but after one or two they were pretty sickly and sour.
Service and atmosphere were great, though, but since the food was so disappointing, I definitely won’t be going back there.

4 star rating
by Bernadine P.
12th November 2013

Assorted jar of pickles: Yum
Chocolate shake: Delicious
Burger (comes medium rare): OK (BF loved it)
Fries: Good
Lemon Pie: Yum
Doughboys: To die for!!
Service: great

5 star rating
by Emma H.
16th October 2013

Late Night Diner is one of my favourite places on Ponsonby Road. I’ve been back three times now and each time the staff have been friendly and the food has been great. I would recommend the milkshakes and the deep fried Oreos. It’s also great to see a place that is open after 10pm.

4 star rating
by Frances Z.
2nd October 2013

I’m not normally one to write reviews on sites like this, but felt compelled to write this as I was so surprised by the negative reviews. We’ve been here several times and have always had great, casual but professional service and great food. Awesome burger, great shakes! As far as I can tell the Late Night Diner has never claimed to be a traditional American diner so if you’re after a kiwi-ised, more creative take on diner food this is the place for you.

2 star rating
by Amanda C.
22nd September 2013

we had mac and cheese for 12 dollars, and the size is 4 cm x 9 cm , I think .. the beef patties is dry. the fries is good.

We are not really keen to have our food touch by the hand of the head chefs, without gloves, altough the hands are washed.
Attentive service.

Food truck will be better place for food, with that kind of price range.

1 star rating
by Stephen C.
2nd September 2013

I’m pretty sure Jackie is the only one here who has any sense, got to be the worst diner I have ever been to being American myself this was no where near an American diner, the chicken was overpriced and used ready made gravey the deepfried pickles were well rubbish and the mac and cheese was nothing like mac and cheese. Sorry guys but just not what I expected plus the head chef was on his mobile phone the whole time, great look to go with the great food.

5 star rating
by Rodney G.
12th August 2013

Also really sorry to read Jackie’s review. We go here all the time and have nothing but great things to say about the place. Service is a 10/10 consistently! The menu is very well priced and well under what you would expect in Ponsonby – a value for money gem! Atmosphere and ambiance is always great ad has a good energy to the place. Love the clam chowder, fried chicken and the fondant is the best in town! All in all a very good establishment with awesome opening hours! Well worth the visit…..and don’t forget to try the American craft beers or hard shakes….again – a must!! Its not a fine dining establishment but a casual Diner that has hits the mark!

4 star rating
by Rae
6th June 2013

Pity Jackie had a bad time. We popped in at about 5.30pm.

Loved the menu – good old fashioned warm winter food, I had an awesome toasted cheese sandwich. My friend enjoyed her burger and chips. I don’t think the prices were overrated.

Service was spot on, however there were very few people there at that time.

Loved the Blues and Rock n Roll music, the decor, the outfits of the waiters.

I’ll be back!!!

4 star rating
by NomNomPanda
16th May 2013

Loving this latest addition to the food scene in Auckland. My first thought was that it was trying to copy Depot (waiters wearing braces, white tiles on kitchen walls) without the attention to detail (bag hooks under the bench area), but this tiny eatery has an exciting menu, from grilled sandwiches ($8-$12) to soups ($8-$10.50) to proper meals ($11-$22). How about rabbit pot pie, or crispy skinned fish on popcorn grits? Or if you are after something sweet, there are deep-fried oreos with a side of milkshake ($11), and a couple of other less exotic choices. The wide selection of drinks not only includes beers and wines, but also hard shakes ($15, chocolate milkshke with rum, Grand Marnier, Fernet Branca,…) and cocktails like the Pumpkin Pie Martini ($16). We have enjoyed everything we have had here so far, though the fried chicken was a bit burnt in places. We particularly liked their take on coleslaw, which included chopped dates, lime and mint. It could be difficult to find a seat in the three booths or at a bench, but Auckland needs more places like this!

1 star rating
by Jackie T.
9th May 2013

Stopped in here after a late night movie downtown with my partner and his friend, I thought I’d go to this new diner I’d read about in the Herald, rave reviews.

It was not to be. Terrible service. Will not be returning.

Lamb, average
Reuben sandwich, sour and unappetising
Burger & Fries, pattie OK, filling not so, fries fine
Drinks, expensive even by Ponsonby standards

Overpriced and overrated.
Unless you are going here really really late when everything else is shut just go to a real restaurant if you want good food.

Have lived in Freemans Bay for 13 years, there are a lot of other great options nearby – I can vouch for this area.

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