So, it’s a Saturday or Sunday morning and there is nobody on the road. Where do you think Kiwis are? Sleeping off a hangover…maybe. Jogging down the side of Tamaki Drive…possibly. I’m not sure of the actual numbers but I would wager that a very large percentage are in cafes across the city. Auckland may look empty, but if you pop your head inside a cafe after about 10am you will probably find it full of activity. Some places may even be too popular for you to get a table. The various reasons New Zealanders end up at cafes at the weekend are to be alone with the paper and a coffee, or to get the family out of the house, or perhaps to meet friends, but nobody is working on their computer (that’s more of an afternoon sort of activity).
Want to join in? To choose a cafe I, firstly, always recommend looking at the attitude toward coffee. If you see a bunch of beans and/or a sign in the window proudly stating what brand they are using, the chances are higher that you have come across a cafe with good coffee. If there is no sign of any interest in the art of coffee making or if the establishment it is a chain, the coffee will be average. So, choose wisely because it would be a crying shame if you left New Zealand having only had bad coffee.
The next thing to look for is what kind of menu they have. The Kiwi cafe staples are Eggs Bene (Eggs Benedict) and The Big Breakfast, or its vegetarian cousin The Veggie Big Breakfast. After that each menu reflects the character of the cafe in question whether it be a fancy French place serving up galette, or a greasy spoon.
And finally, can you get a table? If it’s a busy place, this is usually a good sign but if you don’t want to wait you’ll have to go up the road a bit further. Also, all cafes welcome kids, but some are more welcoming than others and offer play areas, children’s menus, or at a least a toy or two.
Now you know where to go to observe the Kiwi in his or her natural weekend morning habitat. Will you partake? Go on, mate. You know you can’t resist the smell of latte in the morning.