183 Karangahape Rd
Monday - Friday
Saturday - Sunday
Bestie’s predecessor, Alleluya, was more than a cafe. For eleven years the place embodied the spirit of K Rd, with its eclectic sense of community and relaxed realness. It was a very big hole to fill, but Bestie pulled it off with ease. It helped that new owners, Emma Lyell and Tane Williams, were already part of the wider K Rd family – Emma used to work front of house at Coco’s Cantina. Together they built a well-considered, lovely cafe that managed to retain the laid back, chilled vibe that Alleluya was famous for.
Bestie is spacious, with all of its seating found in the newly polished, fresh Arcade. Inside, the back wall is a deep, peaceful green and the coffee machine is sunshine yellow. There is a high shelf covered in plant life, and a sense of brightness and energy about the place that immediately wins you over. The menu from chef Nicole Standage is an ode to simplicity and comfort, with a lovely element of surprise in each dish: an olive oil waffle is served with white chocolate cream, eggs are fried in chilli butter, the salmon is smoked in house, and you can upgrade your sourdough to The Midnight Baker’s beautiful Freedom Loaf. I’ve tried a delicate smoked salmon and endive salad, with labne for creaminess and fresh herbs for bite. I’ve sampled one of their daily sandwich specials, a vegetarian foccacia with plump, sweet tomatoes and mozzarella. Undoubtedly my most memorable Bestie experience to date was a slice of three-layered brown butter cake, filled with vanilla butter cream and caramelised apples. Things got a bit emotional with that one.
In keeping with the community vibe, the coffee at Bestie comes from just down the road at eighthirty. It’s brewed with care and served in custom cups with a little green B on them. The Master Milkshakes come in flavours like choccy fish, strawberry tart, and apple pie, and there’s also Karma Cola and Hakanoa Chai and organic loose leaf tea leaves that sit in labelled jars above the counter.
When you sit down at Bestie with a magazine and a coffee, listening to friends running into friends, it feels like you’re in very good company.