Reviews for Late Night Diner
by Sammy Hill
4 days ago
My sister and I decided to give Late Night Diner a whirl on a Tuesday night after an well known competitor was closed. We walked in and thought the decor was hip and matched the hip hop tunes playing in the background. Staff were attentive and friendly but not in your face. Unlike their competitors LND do one kind of burger (beef) and they do it well! You can add cheese and other goodies, and you tell them rare, medium rare or well done. I had the hamburger medium rare with pickles, salad, and capsicum relish, and in one word = delish! The burgers aren't ridiculously big - think quality over quantity, the bun was so fresh and perfectly formed, and the meat patty was to die for. Sis n I shared some potato skins covered in paprika with some sort of aioli dip - and with two soft drinks and a total of $42 we were impressed. I'd love to come back next time to try their non-burger items.
23 days ago
If you don't mind getting messy, a burger from the late night diner may be for you. I dined here at around 11pm on a Thursday night. Keep in mind this is a popular late night spot directly next door to a bar so music is very loud (which I don't mind). I ordered a cheese burger medium rare with a side of salad and pickles. Salad and pickles cost an additional $1.00 each making the burger $16.00. The pattie was more on the rare side which was a bit of a disappointment however overall was still delicious. Sides came separately so we had to make the burger ourselves. The bun is quite thick making it hard to eat in bites. I cut mine in half, subsequently losing a lot of filling along the way. I would recommend this diner for a late night snack if you are in the ponsonby area however not my type of dinner place in general.
by Eat Pray Love
2 months ago
Went to Late Night Diner last night after hearing a lot of good things about their fried chicken and it's safe to say it didn't match up to what people have been saying!
I ordered the fried chicken and the spud fries. There was nothing wrong with the food and I think I just went with a lot of expectations. The fried chicken was not worth $16 in my opinion, as you get around 5 pieces that seem to be an okay size but the meat to batter ratio is very uneven. It's mostly just the crispy batter. I didn't enjoy the maple syrup on it as well, as most Southern Fried Chicken packs a bit of heat in it. Mexico/Clawdy fried chicken is definitely better, but that is just a personal preference. The fried chicken here wasn't inedible or anything - just didn't hit the spot for me!
The atmosphere and setting of Late Night Diner is really nice though and it's a good place to have a quiet drink. Their music was on point and so was service.
Their menu isn't extensive but I'm keen to go back and try some thing different that might appeal to me more:)
Give it a shot if you're in the Ponsonby area - nothing to lose!
by Ashley Barratt
4 months ago
Love this place. Fresh food. Attentive staff. Open when you want it to be. Awesome.
by Pankaj Kini
4 months ago
American diner style restaurant. Good quality food at reasonable prices even though its in Ponsonby. I had the bone marrow, cheese burger and vanilla thick shake and everything was excellent!! Friendly staff and quick service. Only downfall - lights could be better over the table to see what you are eating!!
by Carmyn Hunt
4 months ago
great service, food was tasty, however we went on a Wednesday so half the dishes on the menu were not available, they are also a little pricey for what you get, if you are hungry then this is not the place to go for, you might feel like making a trip to McDonalds after .
by Danny Simpson
4 months ago
A truly up and coming dining experience . Cheap food but great quality ..the bonemarrow is fantastic and you can smell the freshly baked bread when you walk through the door .
Peanut butter hardshake yes please
A must try.
by Kerrin Parkes
5 months ago
Went to Late night dinner last night ( friday) around 9pm. We were initially going in for dessert only, but came across the bone marrow dish. we ordered two + two desserts to follow. AMAZING! highly recommend if you want to try something new!
by Steffen Rusten
5 months ago
There's little better than great food late at night.
Why? Because, if you find yourself hungry late at night, you're probably inebriated/tired/jetlagged/whatever and in that state, any food tastes good. Therefore, great food tastes really bloody great.
The Late Night Diner does great food. Their drinks are great too and nothing here is boring. It's labelled an 'American style diner' but that really does it a disservice.
Eat here. At 10pm. Tonight.
by Kayleigh Simpson
7 months ago
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.
by Alex MacDonald
7 months ago
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.
by Pete Sims
8 months ago
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.
by Charles H.
8 months ago
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.
by Suzanne Butler
8 months ago
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.
by Catalina Espinoza
9 months ago
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.
by Magenta Thompson
9 months ago
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.
by Bandit Lord
10 months ago
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.
by Stef Haydock
Jan 10, 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.
by Nicholas Pound
Dec 04, 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.
by Kiwi Food Wonders
Dec 01, 2013
Ponsonby-ites can rejoice, as their late night eating choices have just been considerably expanded with the opening of the Late Night Diner.
Snuggled next to the Ponsonby Social Club in a long, narrow space, the Diner epitomises 1950's Americana; no, not Happy Days, but more retro times. The wooden panelled walls are plastered with posters, you can choose to sit at counter stools or cosy up in a booth and the tunes will have you crooning along with the best of 'em. Even the waiters are decked out with braces to hold their britches up.
Head Chef Tom Clouston is right out there on display with his team in front of a wall of pickles. His menu is diner-rific; burgers, slaw, deep-fried pickles & Oreo doughboys. There's a wonderful bar selection to wash it all down with, including a great range of NZ & US craft beers. And you gotta try the "hard" shakes, such as the Vanilla shake with cigar-infused bourbon & dry curacao. When they say thick shakes, they mean thick.
We indulged in the cheese & bacon burger. This is the first time I have ever been asked how I wanted my burger cooked, and it was a revelation. Why don't more "gourmet" burger bars do this? My medium-rare burger was the most succulent & juicy burger I have eaten, and the kitchen allow you to add your own condiments - again, a stroke of burger genius.
In the interest of a fair & honest review, we had to try the fried battered pickles with spicy mayo to start. American diners can stand or fall on their deep-frying prowess, and this light tempura batter was crispy, finger-lickin' goodness. If you prefer your pickles au natural, you can also buy them by the jar.
The prices for most items on the short order menu fall in the $16 and under category, making the Late Night Diner an economical & stylish dining option.
If you liked this review, check out more like it at: http://kiwifoodwonders.com
Nov 29, 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.
by Bernadine Phillips
Nov 12, 2013
Assorted jar of pickles: Yum
Chocolate shake: Delicious
Burger (comes medium rare): OK (BF loved it)
Lemon Pie: Yum
Doughboys: To die for!!
by Cheap Eats
Nov 05, 2013
Serving up the best of American diners on the Ponsonby strip. Open when most places aren’t, you’ll find classic sandwiches and burgers here, as well some more sophisticated options like the duck and potato hash with soft-boiled egg. An excellent spot, whether you’re after dinner, dessert or just a drink. For a full review and dish recommendations go to http://cheapeats.co.nz/late-night-diner/
by Emma H
Oct 16, 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.
by Pulkit Khorana
Oct 02, 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.
by Amanda Choong
Sep 22, 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.
Food truck will be better place for food, with that kind of price range.
by Stephen Culp
Sep 02, 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.
by Rodney Gower
Aug 12, 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!
Jun 06, 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!!!
May 16, 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!
by Jackie Tallis
May 09, 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.
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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