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O’Connell Street Bistro

4_half star rating 17 reviews

Telephone 09-377 1884

3 O'Connell St
Auckland Central
Auckland City

European, Pacific, Bistro
Lunch Mon - Fri from 11:30am
Dinner Mon-Sat from 5.30pm
O'Connell Street Bistro has won "Best Smart Dining" at the 2013 Metro Awards!

Winner of Best Smart Dining at the 2013 Metro Awards!

Announced 1 year ago
Provided by business


Lauded as one of 42 top dining locations around the world by Vanity Fair, O’Connell St Bistro is a cosy and intimate eatery of the European back-street Bistro style, located on the corner of O’Connell and Shortland Streets in the centre city. O’Connell St Bistro serves seasonal produce that highlights the natural flavours & qualities of the food. Known for its simple, yet well-seasoned and beautiful food and award-winning wine list, O’Connell St Bistro houses fourteen dining tables, plus the Corner Room, a private-dining room for up to twenty six people. Consistently ranking amongst the finalists of the Cuisine NZ Restaurant of the Year Awards, and twice winning “Best Wine Experience”, O’Connell St has won many awards in its 14 years of operation. Including the only central Auckland restaurant to receive an ‘Award of Excellence’ by the prestigious New York based ‘Wine Spectator’ magazine. And that’s every year for the last decade! “Vanity Fair on Travel” magazine named O’Connell St Bistro as one of 42 premium dining spots around the world in 2007, the only restaurant in New Zealand to be included.


Photo of O’Connell Street Bistro
Wild Rabbit Papperdelle, house smoked Bacon with Watercress Walnut Pesto and Parmigiano Regian
Seared Scallops with Pear and Vanilla Puree, Snow Pea Tendrils and Chorizo Oil

More Information

Restaurants, Bar & Brasseries, Bistros
Free On-Street, Pay & Display
Price Range:
Splurge, Above $35
Smart casual
Good For Groups:
Beer, Wine, Spirits, Cocktails
Wheelchair Accessible:
Takes Reservations:
Dietary Restrictions:
Gluten-free, Soy-free, Dairy-free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Meals Served:
Lunch, Dinner, Late Night, Dessert
Payment Types:
EFTPOS, Visa, MasterCard, AMEX
Seating For:

Reviews for O’Connell Street Bistro

4 star rating
by David P.
21st June 2014

Finally dined here for the first time (on a Sat evening) and overall a pleasant experience, however a little underwhelming..my friend enjoyed his octopus carpaccio and veal and I found the rabbit pappardelle and beef fillet tasty without being drop-dead exceptional..maybe I’m being too picky? The servings could have been slightly bigger at these price points and the spacing between the tables too intimate. Service was pleasant and unobtrusive.
Yes, deserves the 4 stars, however would try other establishments first before returning again.

5 star rating
by Eugene J.
16th May 2014

Popped in for lunch the other day. This is a regular haunt for us and this is easily one of the best restaurants in Auckland and so consistent in its food and service. The wine list is – in my humble opinion – the best in Auckland.

5 star rating
by Dave
6th April 2014

Been here a few times and just love the food, always the hardest part is deciding what to have. Highly recommend going here to everyone, local or not, it’s worth a night or lunch out. Staff are always amazing and know their stuff also. Worth six stars.

5 star rating
by Janak
20th November 2013

I have been here for dinner on Wednesday night, pretty full but somehow they managed to get a table for me!
In very short words service is outstanding
Wine list is great
FOOD is outstanding
And they know how to make Martini! !
My one of the favourite place! !

4 star rating
by Gus
3rd September 2013

We had dinner on a Saturday night, predictably the place was full. I started with the steak tartare which was excellent. The fish of the day was hake (unusual choice, probably not my first choice but I do really love hapuka…) panfried and served with a scampi risotto and beurre blanc sauce which was very nice indeed. Around the table the other dishes which stood out were the scallop entree and the enormous chicken liver terrine, the duck and venison mains looked very tasty. The wine list was good although we were recommended a rojas by our waiter which failed to hit any high notes, the other bottles were excellent. On the whole service was tidy although we were served two incorrect desserts which shouldn’t happen at this level. All in all a very nice dining experience, I don’t know why I just expected a little more

4 star rating
by Jason
11th August 2013

The food and service was very good. The owner was very nice and chatted with customers constantly to make sure they were happy. We were so impressed that we even hired the place for a private function which turned out great. The only reason I didn’t give it the 5 stars was when our large group ordered coffees it took longer to get the coffees than the meals. Eventually we had to cancel some of the coffee orders cause we had to leave. Would definitely come again but in smaller numbers =)

3 star rating
by Rob P.
10th June 2013

FOOD 6/10
Crayfish Ravioli
Leek Terrine
terrine? packed together leeks-no filling. mozzarella ricotta too gentle a flavour for this dish
Beef Cheek (day special)
Tender, fall off the bone. Plain presentation
Crayfish Tail with Witloof and Shallot Vinaigrette (day special)
Sauce not complimentary. (same one as for the scallop dish)
Cooked medium rare??! I should have sent it back
Side Dish Beetroot

Very good but not special. Rather like the bland service at The Grove. Should have suggested a side salad for the Crayfish



Arrived promptly but not replenished

Unisex at this level of restaurant? used towel bucket overflowing

Sommelier was asked for advice, not offered. enjoyed the wine selection

On arrival matre’ d ignored the woman, and addressed the man. Seemed rude. On leaving, he was with other customers, but could have caught our eye with a ‘thank you smile’



Not good, for a restaurant of this supposed quality.

5 star rating
by ar_tonga
27th April 2013

My sister and I have been looking forward to visiting this restaurant for a while now, and we weren’t disappointed.
The service was attentive and friendly but not overbearing. The staff made suggestions when appropriate, which we were happy to follow (and were glad we had.) The food was delicious. Of particular note, the eye fillet was cooked beautifully and the chips (yes we did order chips!) were hot, crisp and a joy to eat. Our overall impression was of a great dining experience without unnecessary formality. We will definitely be back!

5 star rating
by Viv
7th August 2012

My partner and I dined at O’Connell St Bistro last night, my partner has been several times but this was my first. The excellent reviews and awards this establishment receives, year on year are certainly true to form.
For a Monday evening there was a good buzz, so we were glad we booked. My partner enjoyed his Gnocchi & the recommended house speciality – Rabbit. The Chicken Liver Parfait was so divine it melted in my mouth and the Lamb for my main was cooked to perfection. The drinks selection is outstanding with many excellent wines available by the glass.

The mood was relaxed and we never felt rushed.
Our lasting impression was how impeccable the service was. Bart, our waiter is clearly passionate about food and has an incredible knowledge of every ingredient on the menu – right down to the Rock salt. He was just delightful and leaves every other waiter in New Zealand for dust.

Thanks for a fantastic evening!

5 star rating
by ParkingSleeping S.
24th March 2012

Yes as good as it gets in New Zealand and possibly the world . I always feel welcome , always feel as if I am receiving the best of service and style . Style is very important to me .The staff are very good .
I just order what ever the chef recommends and am never dissapointed .
It may seem strange to others but I enjoy the Bistro on nights when it is raining .Thr reflected light the patter of the rain and the rush of people out side ,I often feel that I am some where else in the world . I always catch a taxi back to the hotel after a nice glass of red wine .
The retuarant is not cheap and really it is for the after sevens or may be the later diner . Who has the time to enjoy the ambiance . A small bar area is great for before and after chit chat , meeting new people or doing million dollar plus deals .Thanks Chris and his wonderful partener .{my next booking is in place and I took time out just to savour the up and coming dinning event}.

5 star rating
by Greg
26th August 2011

By far our favorite restaurant in Auckland.

Food is amazing, staff are the best, wine selection has everything you could want.

Steak Tartare!
Beef Carpaccio!

Two favorites and done so well.

Always consistent and welcoming.

1 star rating
by Jennifer B.
26th August 2011

Had a pre-theatre meal here last night and was left feeling VERY disappointed…..

First, as soon as we arrived we were told in no uncertain terms that we had to be out at 7.30pm and shouldn’t order any of the slower cooking dishes (lamb etc). Wasn’t too perturbed at this as we had an event to get to anyway. What was seriously irritating was the fact that they then took well over an hour to bring our mains!! It’s not like the food was the hardest to prepare either- scallops and gnocchi, hardly a slow cook!

When we raised our concerns, the young American waitress was very grumpy and unfriendly, and full of excuses. Apparently, the kitchen is small and only has two chefs and we ‘had to understand that.’ Ok- but an hour plus???? Give me a break. If you can’t deliver food in a reasonable time, you either need less tables or more chefs. An apology would have been nice, not a defensive, snarly rebuttal. The maitre d’ was just as rude.

We won’t be going back. There are too many good restaurants in Auckland to be putting up with places that have such a massive chip on their shoulder…….

The food was ok but a bit boring- definitely not a mind-blowing experience

Comment from Chris U. of O’Connell Street Bistro 27/08/2011   
Hi Jennifer Thank you for your feedback. I’m sorry that your…    More »
5 star rating
by Mark R.
15th April 2011

I have been dining at O’Connell St Bistro since the day it opened and have only had extremely good experiences. When ever I am in Auckland I dine at the bistro and my last visit was as good as the first. Fresh Bluff oysters, Serrano ham and figs, a crispy fillet of snapper on a perfectly cooked risotto finished off with an interesting selection of cheese. Great food accompanied by a wine list with breadth, depth and interest. Great service – I look forward to visiting when ever I am in Auckland.

4 star rating
by Love f.
13th April 2011

We have eaten twice over the past year at O’Connell St. Its location in the centre of town makes it an easy choice, especially with business guests.

On our last visit the filet steak was perfectly cooked medium rare, with bearnaise sauce was beautifully made alas it came with only a very small portion which is healthy but one of Frances greatest sauces requires us to enjoy a little indulgence, pont neuf chips were also served.

A lovely meal, with attentive service and a wine list that has rightly made O’Connell st famous.

3 star rating
by Ramona D.
5th May 2010

Well, waited long for this visit. Yet, left feeling ok, yet not whow! Agree with service,excellent, yet the proof is in the pudding as they say. In this case the rabbit dish,way too salty, for a delicate meat to be served in this way. I was advised that this had been on the menu for 9 years, time to refresh the run for the rabbit! Pasta too firm, disappointed. O’Connell’s obviously thrives on its reputation on serving professionals who are indeed in need of old fashioned comfort food and would be best to go home early and prepare something.So, I will gladly let my yearning rest comfortably knowing I have not missed out on anything wondrous offered at O’Connell’s.

5 star rating
by Al
18th April 2010

The best restaurant I’ve been to in Auckland.

Before anything, the service at O’Connell is flawless. The staff makes you feel like a king. They service you with the best attitude, while making you feel at ease.

The four of us ordered all the famous mains: The duck, the lamb, the beef and the rabbit.

The maitre d recommended a few wines to go with our meals and we decided on a French Pino Noir. It was rich enough to match the taste of red meat, and yet smooth with a clean after taste.

We finished off with another wine and their famous creme brulee which were delicious.

The restaurant itself is quite small, but it provides quite a homely aura, and doesn’t get noisy.
The waiting staff were always attentive whenever we wanted their service.
And they also had wide knowledge about other bars nearby, and gave us much information about the place.
The pricing IS quite dear, but this is a high quality bistro with high expectations.

We were happy with everything for once.

5 star rating
by leslie
7th December 2009

This is my favourite restaurent in Auckland, its cosy, inviting and you only have a handful of choices (I hate overdone menus). I have had most of the dishes and they are all melt in your mouth delicious. Service is impecible and the best part of all….the creme burlee for desert!

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