The best options for places to crash after a night out- when you’re not up for the cab fare back to mum’s in Howick- are usually around the G Lynn. If the budget is extending to New Flavour, I’ll hit up Mt Eden (yes they stay open until 3am), otherwise I usually find myself somewhere just west of the city centre. No surprise, most of the best hangover comforters are in Ponsonby - or thereabouts. So when the pesky vegetarianism of Kokako lets you down, or you’re not feeling what inevitably becomes a long long lunch at Café Cezanne, those hangover cravings are perfectly soothed by Fred’s.
Photo Cred // Rogan Nash
To be honest Fred’s is good for any lazy lunching episode. It’s tucked down a walkway on the Ponsonby Road end of Franklin Road; a big red front door lets you know you’re in for a funky place. The music and staff match the cool vibe completely. The music sounds a lot like at Burger Burger where the staff largely chooses what’s playing. So you get stuff like that awesome Duke Dumont remix of Haim’s Fallin’ and some old(er) school Kanye. The waiters are all dressed pretty slick, think a considered mix of K’ Road op shopping and Ponsonby Road designer. There’s a big dining room table smack in the middle of the café with a lighting piece strung on top of that. Menus are hung on nails on the walls above the tables, which follows the rustic/retro vibe of the place. There’s no pretention. Probably the best though in way of design are the big bay windows on one end of the café that look out over Franklin. So you can chill and people watch, while drowning your hangover in coffee.
Courtyard View - Photo Cred // Rogan Nash
The coffee is great, it’s Supreme and the baristas know what they’re doing. The menu is short (they have a limited kitchen) but it’s all you need for a good lunch. The savoury waffles are really nice and the breakfast bruschetta is amazing- surprisingly satisfying and kind on the overdraft. It’s not the sort of place that requires analysis like other recent openings- really friendly cozy atmosphere really perfect for weekend lunching. Simple and sweet.
Photo Cred // The Oyster Weekend
There is a note to take though in the overall trend appearing with these CBD-fringe suburbs and the new cafés that are sprouting up. Contrasting the recent Hip Group revival around Auckland of quasi-café, more bistro style eateries like Rosie and Ortolana we are seeing places like Goodness Gracious in Mt Eden and Dear Jervois in Herne Bay. They tend to be on the whole cheaper and more humble with smaller more basic food. Downsizing and simplifying the experience, Fred’s is a great addition to this category. It’s super cool, really rustic, completely unpretentious and definitely a worthy candidate for your next hangover cure spot.