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The Occidental Belgian Beer Cafe

4 star rating 72 reviews

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09 3006226

6-8 Vulcan Lane, Auckland CBD, Auckland

  European, Kiwi, Seafood
7:30 AM to 12 Midnight (Mon-Fri), 9 AM to 1 AM (Sat-Sun)


Reviews for The Occidental Belgian Beer Cafe

4 star rating
by Sarah M
19 hours ago

Went here for some lunch and had the mussels in white wine sauce with a Leffe. Really good amount of food for the price. Wasn't expecting so many mussels and also came with fries. The sauce was delicious and the mussels were really large. I'd recommend it. The only criticism is that the mussels had a few of those mini crabs in the shells - but that might be me being picky. I came back later in the same night and there was a band playing who were really fun!

1 star rating
by Preeti B
2 days ago


Last few months I’ve loved visiting your restaurant especially for the delicious food. It would be always exciting to visit you guys everytime (with my husband)
Hence, when I got my “First job in New Zealand” because of a friend who referred me in her company, I decided to treat her and my flatmate at your restaurant on 22 Nov (Sunday). I had already told her how amazing is your place hence she and my flatmate were all very excited.

Imagine My BIG Embarrassment that each one of us were asked for Identity proofs soon after we were seated !!!  

None of us had our proofs since me and my husband were never asked for any identification in last so many months at your place…Even though I told your staff that we aren’t gonna order any alcoholic drinks, but just food & also, that we’ve never been asked for any identification before …but we were still denied service.

I felt so bad for my friend; because of HER I got my first job in NZ and now she had to walk out.. this ruined our lunch party. Thanks to You.

Next, On 28 Nov (Saturday) I visited you guys again this time with my husband, as usual, ordered our food, served as well and No One asked for any identification!!

FYI : I feel this was very unfair and unjustified.

2 star rating
by Wilson Huang
9 days ago

This place is a mixed bag. Went there tonight, took them over 40 minutes to serve the food. Voiced our concern to one of the staff, the staff said "it is coming" without even checking with the kitchen staff. You should only Come here for the beer, don't come here for anything that requires more than 3 ingredients and requires more than 3 actions from the staff.

Moving on to the food. We ordered the beef burger just because we have tried their famous mussels a number of time. The burger was really ordinary, nothing special about it that is worth commenting on. The beef patties broke into parts very easily, it felt like I was eating mince. The Mayo was about a tea spoon, this was accompanied by a single piece of lettuce. The buns were not toasted or warmed up, it was cold and soft. The best tasting thing on my plate was the tomato sauce - I am not exaggerating.

3 star rating
by Reservation For Two
16 days ago

We went here for our birthdays. Group of 10 including 2 children aged 3 & 8. Was quite noisy for dinner but that's expected as it is a bar. If you order from your table you can't split the bill. However, if you order at the bar you can pay individually. Staff were friendly.

I chose this restaurant as I love seafood and my partner loves steak. The wide range of mussels and the 500g rump on the menu made it a must try.

I had read on Zomato that meals take a while to come out so as soon as we arrived I ordered a bread and dip platter to tide people over until the mains came out. I didn't look at exact times but would say it was roughly 25 mins until entrees came out then further 30 mins until mains came out.

Entrees - they didn't have have entree size mussel dishes so we ordered two servings of mussels. Garlic, butter and breadcrumb (grilled) platter small. Came with about 18 mussels. Spinach and blue cheese (baked). Came in a bucket 1/2kg, forgot to count sorry :( both servings were cooked well and delicious!

Mains - scotch (rare), ribs, gnocchi & chicken Schnitzel were all yummy. Kids meals were also great. I found it odd that all the adults meals came with thin fries and the child's fish and chips meal came with very large chunky hand cut wedges/fries. Both fries were delicious however trying to get a 3 year old to eat those large chips, wasn't going to happen. We swapped and she was stoked.

The down side - my partner ordered the 500g rump (medium). This came out very rare (borderline blue) and was sent back twice. It still came out rare the third time and went un-eaten. Given the time already spent waiting nothing else was ordered. The staff took it off the bill & better burger across the way got my partners business that night.

All in all it was nice, food tasty, but given the chefs inability to cook a medium steak, 3 times, we would probably not go back again.

5 star rating
by Sam Kuek
21 days ago

Very nice and cozy. Perfect for some drinks and catch up with friends on a cold night or sunny afternoon. Wide variety of beers. Muscles are too die for!! ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘

4 star rating
by Jimmy
one month ago

Food is good !! Mussel dish was very nice !! But too busy place here. I could not get a good service. Dish serve time very longer. : ( most thing is good !!

5 star rating
by Rona Dalgleish
one month ago

Great vibe with super friendly staff. Perfect for any beer lover. I'm not the biggest fan of beer but the cider and food kept me happy. Bread and dip with calamari mmm ๐Ÿค

5 star rating
by Jak Chang
one month ago

Went there today for lunch with some uni friends, as I got the voucher on grabone . The interior decor is just like the Belgian beer cafe in mission bay.

We order the large grilled mussels with cheese and bacon, was absolutely amazing, lots of cheese but not enough bacon, but pricey 29 dollars for around 23 pieces. The fries was worth it. 8 dollars for a large portion with garlic mayo.

Would definitely Come again

4 star rating
by GideonMarisa MasterchefNz2015
2 months ago

This place has it going on for them! great location and really does feel like a little bit of Europe on our doorstep. The food is good ol pub food and enjoyed every bit of my time here

4 star rating
by Auckland Food Tours
2 months ago

Typical pub like atmosphere. Good cross section of food on the menu. The mussels are what they are known for so we had to try them and they are expertly cooked. My companion had the Caesar salad and it was nicely done. Tip: ask for the dressing on the side as they give you quite a lot

4 star rating
by Eat.eat.eat.
2 months ago

Great ambience, great food. We waited for almost two hours for two tables. But it is totally worth it. Particularly, their white wine mussels. Enjoyed it very much. Big portion big flavor. The prices also quite reasonable.

5 star rating
by Frenchie
2 months ago

Went there twice.

Monday is "Mussel Mania", all mussels are cheaper than usual. We had to wait bout an hour to get a table but it was definitely worth it. The mussels were massive and the sauce tasty. We took the dessert plate which was huge and hard to finish!

Tuesday is Steak Night, big piece of tender meat for less than $20 with a few chips. No waiting time to get a table.

Overall the staff is quite friendly and the atmosphere very warm. We'll for sure go again!

2 star rating
by Eric Gyzmo Sleegers
2 months ago

Drove here from the Shore for their Leffe Brun and Parisian Croquettes.
Order placed and taken. Five minutes later waiter pops 2 glasses of Leffe Brun (small) in front of us, no explanation why we didn't get the mediums we ordered. I asked, answer 'as we have no medium glasses we just gave you these...'.
Then another five minutes later we were told 'we ran out of croquettes.... ' that's TWO definite no-no's in my book.
Been coming here 15 years but this is worst EVER. my Arancini balls were liluke warm and underwhelming to say the least.

Sorry but just not good enough

3 star rating
by M_92
2 months ago

We spontaneously decided to come here one day. When we arrived, we noticed how busy the bar/restaurant was. It took a while for our orders to be taken and it took three times longer for the food to come out. Seriously I think we waited 35-45 minutes for a couple of burgers and fries! Luckily the burgers were incredibly delicious. I can remember the soft buns, juicy meat patty and all the right fillings - delicious! Just a shame the service was slow.

I don't think I would come back, only because the loud pub/busy bodies/restaurant scene makes me feel unrelaxed and uncomfortable.

5 star rating
by Julie Tran
3 months ago

It wasnt planned but me and my friend went to occidental last night and been told that they were having mussels half price on monday (woohoo). The staff was very nice, as we came in about 6:45pm, its so packed but she managed to sit us very quickly and food was served very fast. Anyway, we ordered a small grilled mix platter and 1kg mussel pot with lobster and brandy sauce. they were sooo nice, i very very enjoyed the pot as the mussels still have the sweetness on them and the sauce was amazing (doesnt taste lobster though but its ok :D). The grilled ones apparently are a bit drier but not chewy. There are about 5 different ones on the plate, my favourites are those with lots of cheese, and also the bacon one. Spot on. I cant drink much alcohol coz im easy to get drunk but I also got cherry beers coz my friend said its very very good. And it is real awesome, this batch was brewed very nicely and fruity, low alcohol percentage as well so you wouldnt go wasted. Its a lovely dinner

I will definitely come back

1 star rating
by Heidi Clark
3 months ago

Terrible service. The bartender lady had a very stroppy attitude. I ordered a round of 8 jupler beers... she delivered 8 hoe garden beers. Then she tried arguing with me in front of my friends about it... when it came to taking the hoegarden she was very forceful and rude about it. To top it off she gave us a steamed mussel pot when we ordered a baked mussel platter... the mussels had a spoon of tinned tomatos on top and the pot was half filled with water. Very disgusting! I will never return to this bar and will continue to use the Belgium beer cafe in mission bay where they take pride in what they do!

4 star rating
by Kellie Lee
4 months ago

Came here for lunch on a weekday with two other friends ( I think a wednesday) as I had purchased a voucher from grabone :D We had decided on the seafood platter to share ( Taste of the sea), and for two people, this was definitely a sufficient amount. All the components on the platter were delicious, however the standouts for me was probably the mussels that were cooked in the pot; I now knew why people came here for their mussels :) The grilled mussels were really good too and it was great how you could try a variety of flavours. $40 was a reasonable price to pay for such a yum platter, highly reccomend the mussels tho!!

4 star rating
by Claudia Serra
4 months ago

Great spot that always has good food and service. Be careful though - the place is so popular it can be super hard to get a seat at peak times! Tried the cherry beer on my last visit - pleasantly surprised! I'm not a beer drinker normally. My last meal there was the calamari which was cooked nicely. The chocolate mousse is heavenly and a must-have if you have a sweet tooth :)

4 star rating
by Tanz
4 months ago

Good spot in the city, always busy around dinner time.

First time I was there, I ordered large plate to share, 'Taste of the sea' which was good mixed of seafood and good for sharing with friends.

Second time I just felt like having their signature dish which is mussels, so I just ordered large mixed platter grilled mussels and chips. The oriental is my favorite out of 4 choices. Personally I don't like ginger but this one has good balance with mussels and soy sauce. The other 3 are alright...actually the cheesy spinach one is my second favorite. I love the chips I had though! They were so yummy; crunchy, good amount of salt and the sauce that came with chips was good too.

Service was alright, price is little bit too high I think; $29 for 22 mussels. Anyway I think it's worth to go and try their mussels!

5 star rating
by Ashish Bijwe
5 months ago

Òne of the best restaurant to drink Belgian beer with their famous mussels and their tastiest chips. Coconut cream and lemongrass curry is the best, its very flavoursome and not too acidic. The taste reminds me of an Indian curry. Although the restaurant is dark, but hey that's the best way to enjoy the beer with good company of your best pals.

2 star rating
by Gentlepig
5 months ago

These Belgian Beer Cafe's used to be an exciting dining spot - now they seem to be mere shadows of their former selves. The restaurants feel tired and old - the manager constantly tries to up sell (this isn't McDonalds by the way..). Food is acceptable at best but in all honesty, you'd do better at Elliot Stables where competition is fierce between each restaurant in there. This is the second 'Belgian Beer Cafe' I've been disappointed by now, balls in your court De Fontein.

2 star rating
by P L
5 months ago

Really disappointed. Better service here compared to The Belgian Beer Cafe at Mission Bay as it was not peak time, but food was not as expected. The mussels - flavorless and one of the "mussels" in the dish was just a full shell - no mussel inside. Waffles were to standard - fluffy and flavorsome. The inside environment: very dark, tables could have had another wipe down (table was a bit sticky), but good live music. Also - no takeaways allowed for leftovers...hmm?

4 star rating
by Keith
5 months ago

Have been here a few times and really enjoyed the food. Most recently visited with a grabone voucher and found the menu had changed and didn't include the open steak sandwich we used to like. We ordered the squid, flemish stew, fish and chips, salmon salad and the food was still served in generous helpings and tasted pretty good although not as good as before. The place had a bit of a stench though, from the smoke outside drifting in which wasn't ideal with a baby at the table. It was a bit dark and dingy inside and very noisy.

4 star rating
by Holly Grey
5 months ago

Came here a few weeks back on an in between uni study break with a friend. I ordered the salt n pepper squid which was really yum, friend got wedges those were really good too. Service was great only downfall was that no water was served beforehand. But that's okay - the food and service was great!

4 star rating
5 months ago

Am a big fan of Jupiler and Belle-vue-kriek so a big thumbs up to that! I have visited this place numerous times so is hard to pinpoint one particular experience. Overall, this place provides good food and drinks. Wouldnt really recommend the breakfast dishes but the mussels here are delicious!! I would recommend the kilo of 'italiano' in the grilled mussels sections as well as 'creamy white wine and garlic' and 'lobster and brandy bisque' in the steamed mussels section. For meat lovers, try their steaks! They are quite tender when considering how thick the meat is (for the 500g steak) but is a bit too salty to my liking (I believe they have specials on Wednesday for 500g of steak at less than $20 bucks! Thats a pretty good deal!). If you're into seafood, try their 'taste of the sea,' is not filling for two, but has bit of a mixture which is always good.

4 star rating
by Yayleen Pao
6 months ago

Went there on Queens Birthday weeknd service was quick & friendly, all the food was delicious, steak cooked to our liking, seafood chowder was good. Food a bit pricey though.
Would definitely go back.

4 star rating
by Fylde
6 months ago

Been here quite a few times but less so than previously. Nothing wrong with the place but the range of beers is limited - suggest they offer more NZ craft beers and they are being outdone by Vultures' Lane next door.Hearty food which is basic but true to label - the mussel pots are a speciality and the large sausages a reliable option.Worth a try.

4 star rating
by Kera Wong
6 months ago

Been coming here for many years now. My friends and I are regulars, and why not? Good food, friendly staff, and they even do live music. The menu is a little pricey, but since my favourite meal are the mussels, and their mussels aren't too expensive, then that works out just fine by me. I also appreciate their large range of alcoholic beverages. My only problem with the place is that it gets a bit crowded at times, and when the music is on it gets super loud and I can barely hear myself talk. But then again, it's in the CBD - but hey, not much I can do about that.

4 star rating
by Sungsam7
6 months ago

All meals I've ordered from here have been great but the place could do with a huge spring clean as it smells worse than crusty. It seriously could do with a good spruce up otherwise its a good place for a good feed of mussel and frites, a good bottle of wine and great company.

3 star rating
by Mam Mam Time
7 months ago

We came here for breakfast as we got the voucher from grabone. The place always seem to be busy for lunch. However we were disappointed. Our meals were mediocre. Nothing to write home about..underseasoned. and when I asked for a fluffy for my son, the waitress looked at me blankly and asked what is that. We couldnt believe they don't know what a fluffy is. But she must have felt bad as she gave my son a drawing pack afterwards. Maybe the place is better known for its lunch

5 star rating
by Reonr Di
7 months ago

ํ˜ธ๊ฐ€๋“ ์„ ๋งˆ์‹œ๊ธฐ์œ„ํ•ด ๋ฌผ์–ด ๋ฌผ์–ด ์ฐพ์•˜๋˜๊ณณ ๋ถ„์œ„๊ธฐ ์ข‹๊ณ  ์ Š์€ ์‚ฌ๋žŒ๋ณด๋‹ค ๋‹ค์†Œ 30๋Œ€ ํ›„๋ฐ˜?์ด ์ฃผ ๊ณ ๊ฐ ์ธต์ด์—ˆ์œผ๋ฉฐ ์•„์‹œ์•ˆ ๋น„์œจ์ด ์ ์—ˆ๋‹ค. ์ˆ ๋ง›์€ ๋น„์Šทํ•˜์ง€๋งŒ. ๋ถ„์œ„๊ธฐ๋Š” ์ •๋ง ์ข‹์•˜๋˜. ์Œ์•…๋„ ๋ผ์ด๋ธŒ๋กœ ์‹ ๋‚˜๋˜. ๊ธฐ๋ถ„์ข‹์€ ๊ณต๊ฐ„์ด์—ˆ๋‹ค. ๋‹ค์‹œ ๋ฐฉ๋ฌธํ•˜๊ณ  ์‹ถ๋‹ค. ๋‹ค์Œ์—๋Š”. ํ™ํ•ฉ์ด ์œ ๋ช…ํ•˜๋‹ค๋Š”๋ฐ ๊ผญ ๋จน์–ด๋ด์•ผ์ง€

4 star rating
by Grace Sifa
7 months ago

been here a few times now for breakfast and lunch.. the caeser salad was delicious and the prawns done in butter served in a small hot pot were finger licking good and they came out sizzling hot.. the ribs were a small size but worked well for me as I'm not a big eater.. next time I go will definitely try a mussel pot that my sister keeps saying is delish..

4 star rating
by Chin And Prony Powichitkul
7 months ago

I've always enjoyed their extensive food menu options and interesting atmosphere. Love the sausages menu and the popular baked mussels. Good for a nice lunch and tea or even dinner and just casual beers. Service on the other hand though, is getting less and less attentive each visits for the price of how much we pay. I hope this is just due to the shortage and staff and hope for better service in the future.

3 star rating
by Aaron Han
8 months 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
8 months 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
8 months 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
9 months 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
9 months 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
10 months 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
10 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
Oct 16, 2014

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  sugar mixid into the  coffee upon order, it was served with the sugar sachets on the side and that has never happened  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
Oct 01, 2014

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
Sep 25, 2014

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
Sep 14, 2014

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
Sep 09, 2014

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
Aug 28, 2014

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
May 07, 2014

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!

4 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.

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

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.

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