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A note on categories

Categories of restaurants are such vexed things, aren’t they? We had to update our system to make it searchable recently, which made us think about how places work. We’ve taken an approach that is user-driven rather than hard and fast and in many cases restaurants are two things. Hopefully this is of some use.

Fancy is for restaurants that are, well, fancy, where you will spend a bit more than in other places and where you can expect good service, maybe some extra courses and a fairly large bill at the end of the night. Expect to spend upwards of $150 a person.

Smart casual is a type of restaurant that we’re seeing a lot of in Auckland at the moment. They’re big, they’re bustling, they probably don’t do table cloths and you may or may not be able to book. They probably do things like make you drink in the bar while you wait for a table, and they usually have expensive fitouts and nice toilets and they might have a sister restaurant or three. In short, they’re a lot of fun. Funnily enough, they’re often no cheaper than fancier joints – expect to spend at least $125 a head.

Bistro is one of the oldest categories on EHN. These are small, usually though not always independent restaurants – they’re smaller though no less busy than Smart casual, but they’re usually not part of a hospitality group and you can usually expect the owner to be behind the counter and they’re often in the burbs – expect to see a lot more of these in coming years as the dining scene matures. You’ll pay upwards of $75 a person depending on how much you drink.

Popup is another new category that we’ll be covering more and more where we can. These are – obviously – joints that pop up. They might be around for a week or a month, or they might be a permanant but shifting presence.