People should go on more breakfast dates. There I said it. Is there anything better than a generous helping of brekky food with a hot, creamy coffee to make you feel comfortable, safe and happy? There’s a reason they say it’s the most important meal of the day, and I personally feel it’s the most underrated. Next time you are chatting to your array of potential suitors on Tinder, why not suggest a catch up over a nice pancake stack or egg’s benny? You’re sure to find love over a mutual adoration of the first meal of the day. But what is the king of breakfast you ask? Surely the waffle. Not quite pancake, not quite French Toast but some beautiful combination of all of the best that breakfast has to offer. My favourite part is that you can have them savoury or sweet, served with fried chicken and maple syrup, chocolate and banana, or berries and ice cream. Waffles let no man down. And that’s exactly why they are so sought after. So if you are searching for some of Auckland’s best kept secrets, check out these waffle wonders all over town.

Urban Soul

Ok, hear me out. I know this one is a bit of a wild card as it’s about a 35 minute drive south of Auckland but just past Rainbow’s End and on your way towards the Bombay Hills, you’ll find Urban Soul. Don’t be swayed by the enticing golden arches right next to it because if you resist the call of the Big Mac, you’ll be treated to a savoury waffles dish that will make your trip to the deep South worth it. These ones are particularly tasty because the waffles themselves are stuffed with three kinds of cheese. This cheesy heaven is then topped with buttermilk fried chicken, lashings of chipotle sauce, smoked aioli and a generous serving of jalapenos. It’s cheesy, saucy, chicken-y and most importantly, it’s waffle-y. Just because there are waffles on the menu doesn’t mean you shouldn’t peruse the other options, they also do killer french fries and aioli.

Location: Karaka

Peach’s Hot Chicken

Peach’s is a 16 minute drive from my house. How do I know this off the top of my head? I’m never not in the mood for Peach’s. There’s not much I wouldn’t do for their traditional Nashville style hot chicken, and a 32 minute round trip could never stand in my way. Plain and simple, don’t ask me where I want to go for lunch unless you want to hear Peach’s Hot Chicken. Their waffle dish is called ‘Chicken & Waffles’; standard, straight to the point, genius. It’s fried boneless chicken thigh, tossed in your choice of spice as hot as you like, on a thick and fluffy waffle with whipped garlic butter and chilli maple syrup. And it will change your life. If you are particularly hungry (or not, who cares) then get the Pimento Mac & Cheese as a side, and don’t try to share it with anyone because the second you taste it you’ll want it for yourself. My friends have learnt that lesson the hard way. If I was going around town rating waffles – which it appears that I am – these would be my #1.

Location: Panmure

D’Refinery Eatery

When in lockdown I did the same walking circuit around Parnell each and every day, dreaming of the moment when I would once again be able to waste all my money on food. D’Refinery is an unassuming little place, tucked away on the Parnell strip, you could blink and miss it but after passing it every day of my captivity I headed online to check out the menu. And there it was, menu perfection; Chicken and Waffles. D’Refinery serves modern European food with a touch of Asian inspiration that make their meals appeal to the masses while having a bit of flair. The Chicken and Waffles is no exception; chicken karaage, bacon jam, toasted almonds, pork floss cracker, spiced maple syrup, sriracha aioli and a fried egg all combine for a very good time. They also serve great coffee, have a great alfresco dining area that is pet-friendly and cabinet treats that you won’t be able to resist.

Location: Parnell

Because I know that savoury waffles can be somewhat of an acquired taste, I had to include some sweet options as well. Though I would never choose a sweet waffle over a savoury, I would choose a sweet waffle over no waffle at all.

Geeks on Sainsbury

Geeks boasts a great name, and not one but TWO waffles on their menu so they were a shoe-in for a top spot on this coveted list. You’ve got your ‘healthy’ waffles that come with freshly cut fruit, grilled banana, house-made granola, mapled peanut butter and unhealthily topped with a scoop of Kapiti vanilla bean ice cream and then when you can’t be bothered with the pretense of health and wellness, you’ve got the Waffles Affogato. These bad boys are freshly made waffles with a shot of hot espresso, served with your vanilla ice cream and ‘jolly-pong.’ To this day, I’m still not sure what ‘jolly pong’ is but it’s crunchy and delicious and i’m here for it.

Location: Mt Eden

Dear Jervois

Dear Jervois also know exactly what they’re doing in the waffle department with two choices proudly displayed on the menu. While it is particularly hard to look past the other refreshingly unique and equally tasty brekky items, if you persevere you’ll find Gluten-Free Waffles and Matcha Waffles. The Matcha ones are served with a coconut ‘nicecream’, house-made cruesli, raspberry mascarpone and maple syrup while the gluten-free ones come with caramelized banana, bacon, blue mascarpone drizzled with maple syrup and maple walnut ice cream. It’s a waffle lover’s dream. While you’re there you should also grab the Polenta Fries as a side and be treated to the little surprise pot of Marinara Sauce that accompanies them. 

Location: Herne Bay