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Waterfront Cafe & Bar

3_half star rating 27 reviews

Telephone 09-359 9914

167-171 Quay St
NZ Maritime Museum
Auckland Central
Auckland City

Cafe, Mexican, Sandwiches, Seafood
Mon - Sun 9am - 10pm
Provided by business


Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, The Waterfront Cafe is designed to tempt the tourist, the long-lunching corporate, or Aucklander’s out for a special occasion. Relaxing over a good meal is one of life’s great pleasures, so The Waterfront has designed its menu to reflect it’s stunning surroundings, offering a broad range of cuisine. The team aims to exceed your expectations, offering excellent service, a wonderful environment and great prices. When the sun goes down The Waterfront transforms itself into a red hot bar and night club, kicking the night off with flaring bartenders, delicious designer cocktails and electric DJs spinning old school hip-hop and funk. Providing a spectacular space for live music, cocktail parties, seated dinners and product launches, The Waterfront is a spacious and inspiring venue for any event. When visiting The Waterfront be sure to ask for Anita Jackson and Jessica Gillespie who won the gold medal at The Culinary Fare 2010 for ‘Monteiths Beer and Food Matching’ . They will advise you on the right Monteith’s Beer that best compliments your chosen dish to ensure your meal is even more enjoyable!


Photo of Waterfront Cafe & Bar

More Information

Restaurants, Cafes
Pay & Display
Price Range:
Moderate, $15 - $25
Good For Groups:
Good For Children:
Wine, Spirits, Beer, Cocktails
Wheelchair Accessible:
Takes Reservations:
Dietary Restrictions:
Meals Served:
Dinner, Lunch, Brunch, Breakfast, Late Night
Payment Types:
EFTPOS, Visa, MasterCard, AMEX, Diners
Outdoor Seating:

Reviews for Waterfront Cafe & Bar

1 star rating
by Katie
9th March 2014

Great location and view but terrible service and food was meh. We went for breakfast and were seated at 9.15 – just after opening. Took our order and watered us fairly promptly but after 2 other tables which arrived after us and served before us had finished got a little annoyed (we are relatively patient people) we asked for our food. Plonked down in front of us with no apologies on grubby plates and with the secret ingredient – hair. Not impressed

3 star rating
by Genevieve V.
14th January 2014

We had dinner there on 10th January it was a lovely location by the water. We also had a great waiter although i felt sorry for him the margarita was very weak. The main i ordered was fish and Chips the portion was huge 2 big pieces of fish and chips it looked great until i ate it and found that the batter was too thick and the fish although snapper did not look fresh i left without finishing my meal, My partner had the steak and he thoroughly enjoyed it that is why i gave the waterfront 3 stars if it had been only me i would of given it 2 stars. I would of preferred a smaller portion of fish with a lovely crisp light batter.

3 star rating
by Kat M.
4th December 2013

Visited The Waterfront Cafe with a friend for drinks and dinner before a concert. Staff were very friendly & helpful, happy hour was good ($5 wine & beer) however food was decidedly average. We had Chicken parmigiana which was incredibly dry and tough, the chicken was very small (not the whole breast) and it had a ridiculous amount of cheese plopped on top and then grilled. Came with salad which was smothered in sweet chilli sauce?! Yuck. Garlic bread for starters was nice, but not hard to get that right.. The menu seems a tad boring – we only chose the chicken as it was the only thing we liked the sound of and most other options were quite expensive – $20 for seafood chowder? Overall we thought the atmosphere was nice, good location, friendly staff, good priced drinks, only let down was the food. Would return for a few drinks, but not dinner.

5 star rating
by Kelly R.
31st October 2013

Mum and I had a drink here yesterday afternoon and loved the ambiance so much we decided to return for breakfast this morning …was not disappointed, we ordered the big breakfast and yes it was BIG..and delicious! The Staff were friendly and we had a gorgeous bubbly waitress who was just lovely! Will definitely be back on our next visit to Auckland. (31/10/13)

2 star rating
by Sarah
7th October 2013

Had lunch here yesterday, most of the meals were okay, the service was very poor.
The calamari salad was drowned in a dreadful sauce and the calamari was not cooked well. This was removed from our bill when I complained.
The children’s meals are meant to include a dessert which never materialised so we went to the Movenpick Cafe by the ferry building to appease the small people.
We were delivered the wrong meals and wrong drinks on two separate occasions.
I was mostly irritated by having to queue in a line for about 10 minutes in order to pay – I find having to line up (like cattle) to pay my bill at the end of meal quite simply – tacky! I don’t know what every happened to good old fashioned service, it was absent here!
This was the second time we have eaten here, given the abundance of quality establishments in the waterfront area and at Britomart, we won’t be returning.

4 star rating
by Shaye H.
16th August 2013

Have been a few times and have had good experiences. I think any establishment scores high marks when the customer service is exceptional. On a couple of occasions when I’ve gone with 2-3 friends – we have had really great service. One waiter/bartender – Linh – Vietnamese guy – was very helpful, courteous and nothing was too much trouble. He even remembered our drinks when he came to our table. Admittedly we spend a lot of money when we go out – but we spend even more when we are treated like we are the only people in the place. Big 5 to Waterfront Cafe.

5 star rating
by Danielle W.
15th August 2013

Had lunch today at The Waterfront Cafe with my boyfriend, found the food to be reasonably priced and tasted amazing! We had the snapper and the steak, the snapper was devine and the steak was cooked to perfection. The service was awesome very friendly and attentive. The British waitress was very good at her job, she made us and everyone around us feel welcome. The views from the outside seating were unbelievable we will be recommending this place to all our friends!

1 star rating
by Nakul B.
8th August 2013

Food was horrendous. We ordered garlic bread – the bread was too oily and mushy. The pan fried snapper I ordered smelled horrible and didn’t seem fresh to me. My spouse ordered pumpkin gnocchi. She did not seem to taste pumpkin at all. As if that wasn’t enough the gravy came with tinned tomatoes. I could have certainly cooked better food for 80 bucks. Fantastic location but horrible food!

5 star rating
by Jules H.
17th July 2013

Went to the Waterfront Cafe with my husband and two kids for dinner. Great location, restaurant was lovely and warm, not too noisy but lively. The menu has something for everyone, the kids menu is great (my daughter had the chicken which was the most succulent whole breast not some crumbed previously frozen slab you get on most kids menus) and our other meals were equally delicious as was the Pinot Gris. Staff were very friendly and attentive. Prices were great too. Highly recommend!!!

4 star rating
by Lisa G.
12th June 2013

Have been there several times. great location and environment. like that it is not overwhelmingly noisy. service ok and food good. i am a major foodie, so not a hugely excited about their food, but it is never disappointing if that makes sense. a place i will consistently return to.

5 star rating
by Sophie K.
12th April 2013

Had dinner there tonight and we had a great time. Friendly and helpful waiters, very good food, the meat was of good quality as well as generous portion. The battered fries are a delight. We recommend AAA+++++

3 star rating
by Sue C.
25th March 2013

Went to Waterfront with a group of girls for lunch. Lovely setting but my antipasto platter was appalling. It mentioned on the menu “stuffed vine leaves, pickles, breads (plural)” – none of which I got. All that was on it was so many piles of different cold meats with minimal bread and dips. Very disappointing. When asked for more bread we were charged $2!! Would hesitate to go back

3 star rating
by Meghan
28th February 2013

We (group of 4 adults) went here for brunch today.

Service was OK but not anything to write home about.

2 of our party, including myself, had blueberry pancakes which according to the menu was ‘piled with fresh fruit’, between the pancakes was not even a handful of chopped apple, watermelon and pineapple. A lot disappointed.

My coffee was tiny IMO and wasn’t all that hot.

The others in our party had the Big breakfast and a C.L.T, both were unimpressed.

STUNNING place to sit and relax but the food could be so much better! After trying a few other places around the viaduct during our stay in Auckland it wad plain to see that the Waterfront does not offer value for money or great quality and customer service!

5 star rating
by Johnny B.
22nd September 2012

We were out for a celebration dinner with a friend… Our friend had chosen Waterfront because he had been here time and time again. The views over looking the water were fantastic, and we found the service to be friendly and attentive. I had the T-bone and they were only too happy to change the sides and stick a couple of fried eggs on the top. My wife’s tuna was clearly enjoyed as she did not let me anywhere near it!

Highly recommended.

2 star rating
by Delwyn M.
6th September 2012

Went for a birthday dinner. It looked to be the waiter’s first nightand he didn’t appear to understand english, we ordered the antipasto platter what a let down- most of the plate looked and tasted like they had just opened generic packets from the supermarket and dumped on the plate. I had the burrito and there was nearly a whole tin of refried beans tipped on the plate, this should maybe be offered as an entree

1 star rating
by Sahil M.
9th July 2012

Me and my friend went to waterfront cafe on Sunday(8 july) evening, as the staff member outside the restaurant holding the menu invited us gently, so we thought why not. We waited for ages at the counter and all the staff members behind the counter were busy having a chat with eachother. After waiting there for so long, couple of them noticed us but no one took an initiative to give us a service. At last we got so annoyed and went out of the restaurant. Just an advice for you guys as me being a restaurateur when a restaurant is quiet and you have someone outside to invite people in the restaurant, that is the time to perform. I am never going back to waterfront again.

5 star rating
by Wendy H.
26th May 2012

Came here for lunch with my children – have been several times and have never been disappointed. Great friendly service, perfect menu – something for everyone, and I am super fussy about my pino gris’, there was a glass to keep me happy! there was a stuff up with my bill (I hadn’t had 2 bottles of wine by myself!) however it was easily rectified….all good. Will be back

1 star rating
by Kathryn
4th May 2012

Utterly disappointed in the food and service here.
The staff although friendly were somewhat oblivious to our basic needs such as empty glasses on table and no offer forthcoming for more drinks. When we did catch a waitresses attention we had a half hour wait for our drinks to arrive. The restaurant was under half full so it wasn’t like there was a rush on. We sat in darkness and had to request they light the table gas candle.
We had a long wait for the food and were not rewarded with a good meal. The lamb shanks were rubbery and the gravy had an odd soap-like taste. The eye filet wrapped in “panchetta” (looked and tasted just like bacon to me) had a very game-y taste and was chewy.
Certainly not value for money for the poor food quality, taste and for the service.

3 star rating
by Lou88
26th January 2012

I have been to the Waterfront Cafe twice in the past few years. I went there with my partner presuming it would be as good as the first time but was disappointed. The service was good as many different staff members made sure we were looked after. The location was absolutely fantastic. However, we ordered a wine and a beer to have with our meals, but when they delivered our meals they had forgotten about our drinks. When our drinks were brought to us, the wine was luke warm so I sent it back asking for a cold glass of wine. They brought it back with an incredibly cold glass and a mildly cold wine in it – very cheeky indeed. You would expect a cold wine, especially considering it was a very hot day. I had the antipasto platter – some of the ciabatta bread was stale, the salami sticks and olives were very chewy, and the hummus very watered-down. Overall I still enjoyed being at the Cafe, but am in no rush to return. Plenty of other restaurants on the viaduct with good views!

Extra advice: If you are taking elderly to this restaurant, or anyone with very sensitive ears, you may want to be gone before 12pm or come after 12pm because at 12 the Explore company blast a cannon just metres away which makes a very very loud bang.

3 star rating
by c-force
11th September 2011

fantastic location, a lot of nice menu, cozy heater from the above. friendly staff who served us. we usually love being here for light meals. but today was not really good,their famous seafood chowder was nice but it was just warm, not hot enough so it did not taste nice the way it should be. they gave us someone else’s invoice which was more than our bill tho we got ours later. the loyalty card they applied was not available at the counter so they said they will post it to us. the counter woman was not that friendly either. after all we did not feel we enjoyed today’s visit to this place.

1 star rating
by Kathleen T.
29th August 2011

Caesar salad that comes with a boiled egg!! I’m pretty sure they are meant to come with a poached egg. They were really busy, and the service was rude and slow. I hope that they get some better waiters and chefs before the RWC starts!!

3 star rating
by Stephanie y.
27th August 2011

Nice atmosphere, ordered steak which was poor quality but great customer service as we were offered a complimentary dessert.

5 star rating
by Caroline T.
28th October 2010

Out of 10, this Cafe rates an 11. Went there last Friday for a company lunch. Excellent main, fantastic dessert and great service. Presentation of meals was outstanding. Take my hat off to the management team, chefs and waitresses, thank you for such an enjoyable meal. Great meal for great prices A++ Highly Recommended.

5 star rating
by fay
20th May 2010

when i went to the water front i was served by a lovely girl from Devon i had a very enjoyable experience and would definitely recommend it.

1 star rating
by Jenny F.
17th February 2010

We waited for over an hour for our meal and they didn’t even appear busy. When we informed them that we had a schedule to meet and really needed our food soon they came back with promising us they would have our food out within the next five Minutes. We were grateful for that however after 15 Min’s there was still no food and we simply had to get going as it was past check out time at our hotel. If only they hadn’t promised us that we would get our food as nobody likes getting led up the garden path ! So to anyone with limited time …be wary !

4 star rating
by Tmarz
5th February 2010

Went once just before breaking up for Christmas (12 people) and again last week (4 people). Food was fabulous, it has a great atmosphere and position right beside the water.

4 star rating
by Cathy
9th August 2009

I have been going to the waterfront cafe regularly for a couple of years and have always been very satisfied with the service and food. The location, overlooking the water adjacent to the Maritime Museum is fantastic and the cafe has plenty of outdoor tables with umbrellas. The food is cafe style, not five star restaurant and is always fresh, well prepared and presented. Yesterday I had sirloin steak with fries and salad; tender lean steak, hot crisp fries and lovely fresh salad with a good combination of veges. It was a sunny day and people were enjoying the boats. The waiters are sometimes foreign students with accents but are always helpful and polite and add interest to the dining experience. Don’t go to this cafe if you are a wine snob or are expecting lavish gourmet cuisine. I always take overseas guests to this cafe before going to the museum and looking around the viaduct. Everyone has enjoyed themselves and always take photos of the view from the deck.

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