Dishing It Out x Surcharge Free Zone

Labour Day is great, but let's be honest, any Monday off work is great. It's time and a half for those on wages, a convenient self-assured day off of study for some, a long weekend for others. The only thing that sucks about Labour Day, apart from this weather, is that sneaky 15% surcharge most restaurants make you pay in compensation for the big wage bill they happen to accumulate on any public holiday (thank you, pay-and-a-half policies). So, we set out to find which restaurant owners are kind enough to take the hit; which bars and cafes are more than happy to earn less of a margin just so you don’t walk away from a light lunch feeling like you just invested in a snack at Ostro. Here are just a couple of places to visit if you’re maybe feeling less financially inclined tonight.


Snapdragon Kitchen and Bar

Who knew that Snapdragon was more than bar with a celebrity reputation? The viaduct hotspot opens its arms up to all who don’t want the extra 15% weighing on their shoulders. Serving up decent steaks, a great burger selection and classic bar food, you can't really go wrong, mixed with some of their more creative of cocktails (try the Smoking Pirate Hooker, not just for the name)


DeBretts Kitchen

Located at the foot of the DeBretts hotel, this kitchen certainly looks past the dining convenience of their hotel patrons. Located between O’Connell and High Street, DeBretts has created what looks to be an institution of the Auckland dining scene. A little bit more on the expensive side, but no surcharge is always a good thing, their website saying they have no surcharge, ever. Long before it became fashionable not to (quote their Maitre d).


Circus Circus

Definitely a local icon in Mt. Eden village, Circus Circus has been around for as long as I can remember, and is still packed day in, day out. Famous for their décor, this place is often cited as one of the better cafes in Auckland, open until 11pm everyday don’t be afraid to try this place out for dinner instead of lunch.


Given that most places are often closed on labour day, it might be hard to find anywhere that is open anyhow, but nevertheless we must still dine on. Moretons, in St Heliers, deserves a shameless plug for having no surcharge for those of you around the bays – granted, quick disclosure, I do work at Moretons so I’m a little bit biased, along with Dos Amigos in Mission bay (Our girl Ryah might even be working there tonight), yet nothing could beat cheeky fish and chips on the beach, here’s hoping the weather doesn’t pack in for that though, eh.


Title image cred here