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The Occidental Belgian Beer Cafe

4 star rating 43 reviews

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09 3006226

6-8 Vulcan Lane, Auckland CBD, Auckland

  European, Kiwi, Seafood
07:30 AM to 12 Midnight (Mon-Fri), 9 AM to 1 AM (Sat-Sun)


Reviews for The Occidental Belgian Beer Cafe

5 star rating
by Wei Guo
3 days ago

If you like beer, you need to pay the Occidental a visit. I've yet to find another place that offers such an extensive range on tap and bottled. Ordering a pint of Hoegaarden and a glass of Belle-Vue Kriek is essential. The latter is a cherry lambic and goes down well with even those who dislike beer. The food here is also really tasty and hearty, with sizeable portions. The menu is a perfect accompaniment to the beers. As for the interior, it's small, warm and welcoming and the TV is normally showing some sport match. The Occidental is normally very lively after work and bookings are recommended for dinner.

3 star rating
by Aaron Han
9 days ago

Went there monday afternoon, walked in and made eye contact with the staff member who did not greet us, instead just looked away with a cold stone face. The food was really good though however that one staff (one with the ginger hair) pretty much ruined the experience.

4 star rating
by Delyce
12 days ago

This place is great for after work drinks. Quite packed on Friday night but worth the weight for the great Bellevue cherry beer and muscle pots. A great atmosphere, where you can socialise and chill out after a long day.

5 star rating
by Tami T
20 days ago

I am not a mussel fan... But WOW, that changed when I dined at The Occidental! I had the mixed platter of grilled mussels and each flavour was absolutely beautiful! I loved my experience here... I'll definitely be coming back again soon!

5 star rating
by Benjamin Founes
29 days ago

The best mussels I've ever had. The place seems a bit dodgy and dirty, doesn't look like much other than a regular pub but the mussels are beyond DELICIOUS. Had the blue cheese and spinach as well as the creamy garlic and white wine. Both were excellent but a preference for the blue cheese. Great value for money too!

5 star rating
by Sue Smith
one month ago

Love this cute little alleyway pub in the central business district. It has become my regular for lunch and after work drinks on fridays. Love the staff and the live music, adds to the atmosphere. Feels like your in london! Awesome place

3 star rating
by M_food Lover
one month ago

Loved this restaurant for their ribs and mussels but my latest visit was a let-down. Service was not prompt, maybe due to the busy hours. Ribs was serviced tough unlike my last 2 visits which were off the bones. 

Was really a disappointment for my friends as its their first visit. Told the staff about it but was only replied with ' i will feedback to the chefs.'. Sounds pretty indifferent to me. But mussels are still really good. 

Recently I had a chat with my colleagues and they seems to have similar 'rib' experience. Hoping that the food will improve so that i can go back for my favourite rib place in town.

2 star rating
by David Tong
2 months ago

Had dinner with a friend there last night, food was great and all the girls were very friendly. However this blond chubby waiter was ruining my night. He did our payment at the bar, with no smile no patient, he had to change the eftpos roll, without any information we were just stand there and wait didn't know what was going on. Finally he threw the keypad to us and that was it. No "Thank you"! Man you don't belong there! Get yourself another job and good luck for your life! This is totally personal and occidental still a good place for food and beer.

3 star rating
by Neeraj Kumar
5 months ago

On a Friday afternoon my friend (who was a regular) and I decided to use a GrabOne voucher worth $40.  When we walked into the cafe it seemed popular,  all available tables were dirty and we literally had to hunt down someone to  clean a table for us. We asked a waitress what the conditions on the voucher were, she did not bother to mention that drinks were not included ( which we found out upon settling our bill, I'll take the blame though for not reading the GrabOne fine print) . Service was very slow and the waitress made it seem like she was doing us favours. Where was her smile? 
I ordered the chicken sliders which arrived promptly and tasted alright. I had also asked the waiter to recommend me one of their alcoholic hot chocolates  which was presented stunningly but ended up being a huge let down in terms of taste , it was served optionally with 3 chocolates ( at an extra cost) that were mundane and seemed supermarket bought. My friend's waffles were served with an unfavourable amount of citrus fruits that drenched the waffles in sour juices. 
Upsettingly, the barista didn't follow my friend's preference of having her sugar mixid into her coffee upon order, it was served with the sugar sachets on the side and that has never happened to her before at The Occidental. Upon our departure, for the sake of future improvement  we let the waitress know about our concerns,  but she was disinterested and continued  to maintain her obnoxious attitude.  Better service and food available elsewhere with a free smile inclusive, I forbid my friend from dining there again.

5 star rating
by Isaac Dewstow
6 months ago

Delicious food. Laid back yet professional service. Food and beer is reasonably priced. Great location and nice decor to suit.

3 star rating
by Thefoodloverrr
6 months ago

I had my 21st birthday in the tintin room last year. I really loved the service and the food. Everyone was reallly satisfied, and the mussels topped it all. Loved the cherry beer as well.
But recently, I went there for the mussels again, my 4th time, the quality of the food has deteriorated. I am craving for the yummy good mussels that I used to have last year.

2 star rating
by Tania Steel
6 months ago

Dined here on Wednesday 27th August 2014 for lunch. I wasn't overly impressed with the service nor the food this particular day, in fact I was rather appalled by the waiters attitude when my friend stated that her char grilled steak that she ordered tasted really burnt.I tried it and to be honest it tasted like it had been cooked on a dirty grill. It was really burnt and very unpleasant to the taste. The waiter stated when we brought this to her attention that this is how its supposed to be cooked. Having worked in the top restaurant in Auckland for a period of 10+ years I am well aware of how cha rgrilled steak should be and this is one time it was over cooked to the extent of being inedible. Needless to say my friend was unable to eat it. We were not offered a replacement nor for it to be cancelled off the bill and the staff basically looked at us like we had no right to complain at all. I have dined here many times over the years and never had any problems. I am not sure if its under new ownership or not but I can say that I honestly will never dine here again nor will I ever recommend this place to anyone.

3 star rating
by Linda Dockery Cox
6 months ago

After a nice beer we decided to order dinner, lamb shanks, whiich was one shank not 2.  Enjoyed our meal but drinks abit expensive and as it was early in the night we dicided to move on.  Thanked the staff and started walking down the lane.
Suddenly a woman who claimed to be the manager came running after us saying could we please go back and pay for the meal.  After explaining that I had already paid for it we went back to the bar and I once again explained that I had paid and I didnt appreciate the tone or manner or the fact that I was being accused.   I am a business woman and felt very insulted by thiis woman who then told me I wasnt welcome back in the bar.  No opologies were offered and when we left the young man who I had paid was outside and said he was sorry he should have said something.  I would not recommend this place when Auckland has sooo many nice little bars and restaurants, why would you bother .  I think the previous reviews about the staff are self explanatory when you see the way the manager acts.

4 star rating
by Mira
7 months ago

service 3/5environment 4/5food 4/5cost performance 4/5drink 3/5My order ( 1 kiro mussle white wine & garlic)

3 star rating
by Jennifer Jo
11 months ago

Food was really nice and good size portion. However, the way the food was plated wasn't practical. Ordered the pot of mussels and was given a plate that was too small to put the empty shells which ended up all over the table. A bowl would have been better. Also we were not given the usual bowl of water to clean your fingers. The dish came with side of fries and 2 of us had ordered the mussels pot, so our fries came in 1 big bowl to share, except we were seating at opposite end of the table with 6 people in between us. I would go back but probably not very often.

3 star rating
by Mrs. Passionfruit
Mar 28, 2014

I find the Belgian Beer Cafe chain slightly overrated; food and drinks are good enough but not exceptional for the heavier price tag. On my last visit I tried their calamari and found the taste to be one-dimensional, and quite oily. They are pretty generous with portions though, and I love their specials days (half price a kilo mussels on Mondays for example), that's when you can get value for money I reckon. The Occidental does quite good belgian waffles and decent bangers and mash. They also have really good beer selections so this place is perfect for happy hours and nibbles in my book!

4 star rating
by Frinah Ofaniva
Mar 02, 2014

Beautiful food and beverages . Needa work on th air con thou

3 star rating
by Loved By Katie
Jan 24, 2014

It was a long time ago since I last dined here so I was looking forward to enjoy nice Belgian beer. Half kilo steamed mussels ($18.5), Chicken croquette ($14.9) and Belgian sausages ($21.50) came at the same time. Wow, it was a lot for two mains and an entree. Sausages were tender, onion gravy was little runny but tasty, croquettes were crispy but soft inside. All food went well with our Belgian beers. Although Occidental is famous for their mussels which I am not a fan of, but this place is worth going for their other dishes and lovely beers.

Please visit ♥ http://lovedbykatie.blogspot.co.nz/2014/01/occidental-bar-city.html for more photos and stories.

4 star rating
by Dog Eats World
Dec 16, 2013

Really popular little bar/restaurant in the heart if Auckland. Every Friday evening you can bet that this place is buzzing with music and people. The atmosphere is really good and the food is pretty good too. The only thing that disappointed me was the staff. They didn't seem to take much interest in serving guests, perhaps because it was really busy, but even so they should probably have made more effort. Other than that, I would recommend this place to anyone looking for a after work drink or weekend catchup. Woof.

4 star rating
by Neala
Nov 03, 2013

I came here as part of a group of six for breakfast, using GrabOne vouchers. We ordered coffees, which weren't bad, and most of us ordered waffles while others ordered the Belgian Breakfast and the bacon and eggs.

There are not many/any options for people who are on gluten-free diets, but the chef kindly changed the toast in one meal to a potato mash called Stoemp, which was quite tasty. The Belgian Breakfast included Stoemp, two poached eggs, hollandaise and optional bacon. It was all right, I would probably not choose it again though.

The waffles were quite stodgy, not crispy as we had thought they would be. They were very filling, however.

Afterwards we tried the cherry beer on tap - very interesting, perhaps one for those with a sweet tooth!

0 star rating
by Luke
Oct 31, 2013

I've eaten here a number of times over the last few years and have always thoroughly enjoyed the food and service. Most recently in August 2013, I had an open chicken pie (can't remember the exact name from the menu) and it was delicious! The Belgian chocolate mouse here is one of the best I've tested anywhere! You have to try it... Atmosphere is always good and service great, can be very busy quite early on so get there early if you want a table for dinner.

1 star rating
by Brett Allen
Oct 21, 2013

This establishment was the single worst restaurant/cafe I have ever been to.
It all started when we walked in the door and stood awaiting service while another couple complained about something (unfortunately I didn't overhear what their complaint was about)
We were seated promptly enough but were not provided with cutlery and the table was not wiped down properly. We ordered meals and coffees and after being served our coffees we waited for our food. And waited. And waited. I ordered a second coffee and was assured our meals were "not too far away now". After a wait of much more than an hour and having watched two tables, one larger and one smaller than ours, be served meals before us despite having arrived after we did, we left without having ours arrive (the large table was even finished eating and left in the time we sat waiting for our food)
There was 0 explanation as to why our meals were taking so long and I find this inexcusable, it's not like our order was complicated or exotic (waffles, pancakes and a cooked breakfast)
We will never be back and will warn all of our friends, family and co-workers to not visit this place.

3 star rating
by PeterMS
Oct 12, 2013

I like the beer,but cannot rate the establishment very well. On more than one occasion
I have visited and found the staff more interested in themselves than the customers. The location is excellent and the food is not bad, but it is badly let down by the staff on occasion.

4 star rating
by Nz Foodie
Aug 28, 2013

This place is definitely occidental.

Once upon a time, me and my mates while walking on queen street; stopped at this beautiful lane called Vulcan lane surrounded by pubs on all side. This place then became a common meeting / hangout spot for our group. Loved it because of the ambience and the funky jazz.

For a great welcome, good belgian beers and fun visit this place - never tried the food so cannot comment.

4 star rating
by Keith Beh
Jul 25, 2013

Great place, love the food and service was great even though we used a deal voucher. Slightly pricey without the voucher but generous helpings and tasty food.

1 star rating
by Sarah
May 13, 2013

Have been here many times and enjoyed the food, however, this experience was very bad. We had 5 people at our table for some waffles at lunch time. Wasn't very busy yet it took over 1 hour to get 5 servings of waffles and a plate of chips out. We ended up having to get it takeaway which took another 15min and eating the chips and food cold. There was no explanation for the delay or apology and we were still expected to pay full price. Very disappointing.

4 star rating
by Nicole Tremain
Mar 17, 2013

Great surroundings.

I like the rustic look. Very few drinking place has this yesteryears charms.

Nothing unusual on the menu. Good variety of drinks.

Great night out.

5 star rating
by Tony Ma
Mar 12, 2013

Great place for Belgium beer, and not having the need to drive to Ponsonby or Mission Bay.

Their beers are superb for an after work drink with friends or co-workers. And their special movie ticket deals allow you to buy one get one free.

Great steak, great mussels, simple things that make everything else awesome :)

Great customer service too (most of them)

Cheap, good value for money

4 star rating
by Anna Nayyar
Feb 13, 2013

Update: Decided to go here again and was pleasantly surprised. The salmon was melt in your mouth good! Good service too! Definitely would go again

3 star rating
by Mwkyla
Aug 10, 2012

The mussles and flavoured beers are a great novelty and the service is good. Last time we were there the waitress was really friendly and attentive. Live bands here on the weekends are great too!

4 star rating
by Deena Youssef
Jul 23, 2012

This is my #1 choice for Friday drinks. It gets really busy but if you can find a seat it's worth it. I hardly order food because beer + frites is pretty much all you need.

The only problem is that they are not big enough! They get so busy there's hardly anywhere to sit - I know this is not their fault but last time I was there they asked us to shift tables to an empty one next to us so they could take our table away when they could have just taken the one that was already empty! Don't know what they were smoking but overall an awesome bar with a lot of atmosphere.

4 star rating
May 31, 2012

Came here during a public holiday, even with the huge holiday tax it was a pretty good experience! My meal wasn't that amazing (salmon with kumara), tho it was tasty, i thoroughly enjoyed the huge pot of mussels and my bf's pasta! Lovely place with a slightly expensive menu but you do get what you pay for. The service was OK, nothing to complain about.

5 star rating
by Wilson Jmac
Mar 14, 2012

Great food, great beer, great prices.

Have been here a few times now, and it has not disappointed me yet. Great service, the staff are particularly friendly and go out of their way to help you.

The Occidental has a really nice vibe about it, been here with a few of my mates and it's been a great place to catch up and have a beer.

Try a Belgian beer they are delicious.

Very highly recommended, will definitely become a regular.

3 star rating
by Kaylie
Mar 12, 2012

My friend and I came here for lunch today for some mussels. We asked the waitress when we ordered if it was half price for mussel dishes today, she informed us it was. When we came to pay, the lady at the tills told us because we had ordered a half kilo it was NOT discounted. This means that we paid more for less, had we been informed when we ordered we would've ordered the 1 kilo option.

Update: it was staff misinformation that resulted in this error which they have since rectified, hopefully they will put up better signage regarding their deals in the future. The food itself was quite nice. We had one dish of steamed mussels and one grilled. We found the steamed one much nicer.

So, while the food is quite nice make sure you check the bill and only the 1 kilo mussel option is half price on Monday's.

5 star rating
by Food Voyeur
Feb 25, 2012

Our CBD pub&food crawl last night wouldn't have been complete without some mussels & beer at the Occidental.

The mussels were fabulous as always. Plus, the kitchen prepped us some extra vege-topped mussels without any bacon toppings when we asked if we could avoid any red meat on the $19.50 mixed platter of grilled mussels (there were about 5 different toppings... all were delish - especially the ones with melted cheese). We appreciated the extra & unflinching effort from the waitress & the kitchen to go the extra mile. Great service.

I enjoyed a lovely wine, while the Leffe Blonde went down a treat for my partner.
We were 'oohing' and 'aahing' over the mussels throughout the meal... and the waitress downstairs was excellent in finding us a table for two upstairs next door.

The space next door is like a little private function space with its own bar, and they had filled it with 6 or 7 tables for casual diners. It was fab, because it was quiet, so a great space for conversation.

Loved it.

2 star rating
by TheTaster
Jan 08, 2012

Felt really disappointed today, I've been there couple of times and ok, I knew service isn't that great, but today was just ridiculous. Arrived there for lunch with my partner, we got stand for more than 10 min, while the waitress was chatting with a couple aside us and didn't give a sh*# we were there waiting, then we decided to take a table, I'd to clean my table, got the menus and wait, wait, wait and no one came to get our order. So we left the place...
Come on, the place wasn't full...
I think the staff should be more professional and perhaps go to a hospitality course and learn how to do customer service properly, or just find another job if you are not happy doing it. Shame on you.
I'll come back cos I like the food and I really hope the manager can fix this situation.

4 star rating
by Jen
Jul 06, 2011

Not a big fan of their food since I absolutely hate mussels. I like their selection of beer. Might be more expensive then what you are used to paying but when you look at the price to alcohol content ratio it is pretty good. Love the pretty glasses.

5 star rating
by Pivon
Mar 23, 2011

Excellent place to go. Good value for my money. Great Food and fantastic range of Belgian Beers. Staffs were friendly and efficient. Live music on Friday & Saturday were the best in town. I think they were Recliner Rockers and KGT. My favourite place when I am in the CBD.

4 star rating
by Susan
Mar 22, 2011

Great Food, Fantastic Beers!!!!!
The staff was really friendly though they are super busy....
Highly recomended, absolutely my favorite bar!

1 star rating
by CherylM
Feb 05, 2011

The Occidental was always a favourite of ours, but over the past couple of years has really gone downhill. We had boycotted coming here for dinner as there was always something wrong with the food (eg seafood chowder full of veges with A mussel). But lunches were ok until recently we noticed just how filthy the place really is. It perpetually stinks, and is full of flies. Disappointing.

1 star rating
by Bubble Wrap
Jan 07, 2011

I have enjoyed the Belgian Beer Cafes in the past, but it has been a while since I visited one.
The Occidental is in need of some maintenance. The foot rest at the bar has fallen down, one on the seats in a booth has fallen through, the place smells of old kitchen cooking fat.
The staff did not pick up any rubbish (including mussel shells) from the floor and seemed quite disinterested in serving.
While the food was adequate, although steak over cooked it was on the high side for it's quality. The beer was well overpriced.
I will not be going to another Belgian beer cafe. Very disappointed.

5 star rating
by Annamay Hinton
Oct 04, 2009

1. Great mussels
2. Great service
3. Great location
4. Great prices

Six of us arrived and sat at a small table because it was so busy, just after we ordered the bartender offered us a larger table because our food would not fit on our table, it was very kind, and he was right.

Another bartender came up to us during our dinner and offered us a loyalty card this put 10% of our meal onto the card for next time, you can also add to this card every time you go. This was great, because we had just spent so much money, we automatically gave us a free meal for our next visit.

Highly recommended.

4 star rating
by Chris S
Feb 08, 2008

The food at Occidental Belgian Beer Cafe is always great and their belgian beer is always nice and cold