Foraging at Café Ruben

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Conveniently close to our office, Café Ruben’s coffee plays a significant part in the productivity of razzbri’s staff members. The place is practically an extension to our meeting room, and the path between our door and theirs is certainly a familiar one. But there’s more behind our regular patronage than the short walk. Ruben’s has won over our hearts (and our tummies) by being consistently fabulous, and we just can’t bring ourselves to go anywhere else.

If you’re one to judge a café by its cover, then Ruben’s is sure to be a winner from the start. Their oddly shaped Parnell Rise store front immediately catches the eye, and stepping inside only improves on that first impression. Modern elegance is the theme here – pale wooden tables sit amongst the white décor, creating an illusion of far more space than is actually present. A courtyard provides fresh air in summer, and in winter the place is a cosy refuge of warmth.

But all this is forgotten once you spot the food. The Ruben’s counter is always overflowing with enough baked beauties to drive a diabetic to despair. The sandwich cabinet is equally enticing, with a wide range of bread (including gluten free) and fillings to please even the fussiest. And their homemade pies (surreptitiously lurking behind the counter) have cured many a razzbri hangover. In fact, Ruben’s food is so alluring, it can actually be quite distracting. If you’re there in a professional context and a meal’s not part of the plan, we recommend eating before you go. Trust us – your client or colleague will definitely notice if you spend the entire meeting giving that brioche the eye.

The coffee’s fantastic, too. Sourced from Auckland’s own Three Beans roastery, you can count on a cupful that’s hot, full of flavour, and exceptionally well made. So much so, that the razzbri recruiters have been known to brave the torrential Auckland winter downpours, just for a sip of a Ruben’s long black. They’re well worth the running mascara.

Ruben’s lovely interior is complimented by its atmosphere. Somehow the music, spacing between the tables, and clever lighting combine to create a feeling of privacy, even when the place is full. Conversations at a normal level pass unnoticed by those around you, which is perfect for a confidential discussion about how you’ve outgrown your current job. There’s one table in particular – hidden away in the back corner – that seems almost to have been placed with this purpose in mind. Be warned, though. Ruben’s is extremely popular amongst the Parnell locals, so if you work nearby and would prefer not to be seen with your coffee companion, best try elsewhere.

If you’re still reading this and haven’t already rushed off to Ruben’s for a caffeine hit, we have one more reason why it’s worth the trip. Unlike some of their fellow trendy Auckland cafes, at Ruben’s you’ll likely be greeted at the door with a sincere smile. The staff really know the secrets of good service, and it only takes a couple of visits before you’re treated like a regular. Making it the perfect place to visit when your ego needs a little stroking.

Much as we like the razzbri office, Ruben’s makes our meetings better. We sure are happy that it’s such a quick nip up the hill, but we’d likely be loyal frequenters even if it weren’t so handy. Ruben’s can be relied on to elevate both our heart rate and our temperament. We choose not to think about the other part of us they impact – our waistlines.

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