The exciting new Commercial Bay bars and eateries that Auckland foodies need to try

ghost donkey commercial bay
Inside Ghost Donkey, one of the new eateries in the Commerical Bay precinct. Photo credit: Anna Kidman Photography.

Auckland foodies prepare yourselves - after weeks of waiting, the city's newest hospitality and retail hub Commercial Bay is open the public. 

That means a bunch of brand new bars and restaurants opened on Thursday, just in time for some serious COVID-19 alert level 1 wining and dining. 

Over 120 new retailers have opened their doors in Commercial Bay including fashion stores, hair and beauty salons, cafes and New York-style food hall Harbour Eats.

I've picked out some of our most anticipated and exciting new offerings. 

The Poni Room

The Poni Room boasts a seafood-centric menu celebrating great New Zealand produce. The menu is inspired by Japanese and South-East Asian cuisines and the bar area hopes to gain a reputation as the ultimate spot to unwind and have a little fun - the drinks are the main draw, but it also offers lovely harbour views. 

In what could be perfect for girls night out there's rosé by the bottle, on tap, or even via something called a 'fish pitcher'. There's even a Rosé room, where you can serve yourself. Amazing? Yes. Dangerous? Absolutely. 

Ghost Donkey

This authentic Mexican restaurant looks set to bring mucho good times to the 09. Ghost Donkey is described as a lively, vibrant mezcal and tequila bar embodying the heart and soul of Mexican hospitality. The New York establishment recently took away such awards as 'Imbibe's 2020 Cocktail Bar of the Year' and 'Time Out's 2019 Best Bar Team', indicating the Ghost Donkey experience is pretty magical. 

There are over 35 mezcals and tequilas on the menu. Led by Nacho Jimenez, master of Mexican mixology, the Ghost Donkey bar team say they've taken the curation of their mezcal and tequila list very seriously. 

The menu hones in on nachos as the centrepiece - something we're particularly excited about. The selection of Nachos Especiales promises high-quality ingredients and unusual combinations. The rest of the menu is split simply into Tacos and Not Tacos and guests are invited to "sauce-it themselves" using Ghost Donkey's housemade hot sauces. 


This American-style casual cocktail bar is set to fill a gap in Auckland's bar scene. Open until late, the cocktail counter strives to present a cheekier side to the serious cocktail bar movement. According to reports, the champion of Liquorette's drink menu is the Cha-Chunker, a distinctly quirky vessel for cocktail enjoyment that turns drinks on their heads.

To help Kiwis feel less intimidated by cocktail-making, Liquorette will also host intimate cocktail masterclasses, giving people the tools to be more comfortable in making them at home. 

This bar will have a limited menu, but the highlight will be the freshly baked pizza in an open fire oven, made with hand-tossed dough and the best toppings around. 


This Korean eatery is a collab by David Lee and Oliver Simon of Parnell eatery Simon + Lee fame. They're joined by Jason Kim and Nathan Lord on this 80-seat restaurant and bar. The creators have promised new Korean cuisine, modern wines, cocktails and good times that "draw on the old to bring you the new". 

The team was inspired by both the traditional and modern eateries around Seoul and say they want to bring aspects of the street food and makgeolli (effervescent rice wine) to Auckland, combined with Kiwi hospitality.