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AucklandSun 20 May, 7pmAucklandFridays & Saturdays at 11.30pmAucklandSat 5, 12 & 19 May, 3pmWellingtonSat 5, 12 & 19 May, 3pmTOURING NATIONWIDE14 - 26 MayWellingtonFriday's & Saturday's at 10pm

April - May 2012

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Dining Guide



As if there weren’t already enough reasons to head to The Basement during the Comedy Festival, MexiKai, New Zealand’s first authentic Mexican Food Truck, is setting up shop outside from April 28 - May 19.

The customised 1970’s Bedford ambulance will be serving gourmet tacos made with handmade soft corn tortillas and fresh, local ingredients Tuesday through Saturday nights, and mixing fiesta fun (taco eating competition, anyone?) with comedy madness.

On the menu there’s something for everyone, with barbecue beef, shredded chicken, 20 hr slow pulled pork and vegetarian options, and we’ve heard a rumor a crispy fish taco might make an appearance during the festival! Yummm!!! Everything’s gluten free and free range too.

Eat good food, make friends, be happy is MexiKai’s philosophy - chuck laugh on the end and this is a match made in comedy heaven!

Dinner: April 28 - May 19, Tues - Sat from 6pm


Q Theatre

Q is the newest kid on the comedy block, nestled snugly between the Classic and the Comedy Chamber, making their café Citizen Q and Bar Lounge absolutely ideal for a pre or post show drink or snack. Thirty Festival shows are playing at Q this year, so you can quite literally roll out of the aisles and into the bar.

Citizen Q opens up early for a delicious Mexican breakfast and hangover-cure smoothies that will see you through the day. For evening shows there’s an awesome small plate menu to share with your comedy buddies. Or why not indulge in a cheeky cheese board?

Meanwhile the Q Lounge boasts an eclectic selection of boutique beers and wines to kick your night off. But the real star of the show is their resident mixologist Laura Lopez-Lopez whose killer cocktails will keep you coming back for more – and the good news is they’re open ‘til the wee small hours.

So make Q your all inclusive comedy experience this Festival. Incredible performers, delectable dishes and quite possibly the best cocktails in town – you’ll be laughing all the way to the bar.

Q would like to thank their amazing sponsor Epic Beer and Spy Valley Wines.

Mon: 8am - 6pm
Tue-Fri: 8am - late
Sat: 4pm - late
Sun: Open for shows



El Faro Restaurant is a Spanish inspired restaurant and tapas bar with an intimate and eclectic atmosphere, nestled in the cobblestoned combined eatery that is Elliott Stables.

Stop in, order up a selection of tapas, a pot of mussels to share, and a jug of sangria (or five!) and you’ll be away laughing, prepped and ready to go for a fun night of comedy! Or stop in for a late night nibble and drink when you’re done giggling for the night.

At El Faro, they believe in sourcing local meat from local organic farms specializing in rare breeds.That's why they’re partners with The Farm Butchery Warkworth.

Come and taste why El Faro has been Auckland’s numero uno for pre-show dining for four years – you’d be a fool not to, with so many Comedy Festival venues just around the corner. And don’t forget to be adventurous with their Nose to Tail Specials this year - they are simply irresistible!
Hora de fiesta!

Open Hours: Monday to Saturday 11am - Late



Kura Japanese Restaurant has modern style Japanese food with a fusion twist. Situated amongst the Comedy Hub of Auckland, Kura can be found underground in an old grain silo (Kura means ‘warehouse’ in Japanese). The silo dates back to Auckland’s early days when the Waihorotui creek flowed down Queen St valley. Its original purpose is still made obvious by the large stonewall that supports Queen St and creates an impressive backdrop for the works of art which their Japanese chefs create and display.

Besides sushi, they delight in taking Japanese dining further, offering specialty dishes such as their famous Bridge Rolls and Spider Rolls (deep-fried soft-shell crab sushi!). Kura also has Japanese beer on tap and a wide range of sake to choose from.They also offer a special menu for lunches on Thursdays and Fridays, 12-2pm. A midday treat, why the hell not!

Come down the stairs and visit Kura before you go to your next show. It’s definitely worth the visit. Bookings definitely recommended!

Lunch: Thursday and Friday from 12-2pm
Dinner: Monday to Sunday from 5:30pm until 11pm



Don’t go home after work! What’s the point?! Especially when you’re hitting a Comedy Festival show. Why not grab drinks and eats at BOX Café and Bar, right next to Aotea Square and ridiculously close to the Comedy Festival venues in the city.

You can update your Facebook status on the free Wi-Fi, sip a ‘I have three shows to watch tonight’ flat white or relax with a drink while you're waiting for your mates.

They’ve got a great range of local and international wines as well as plenty of beer and non-alcoholic drink options. There are snacks and cakes in the cabinet too, so you don’t have to deal with your awkward tummy rumble while watching your favourite comedic talents peform.You don’t want to be that guy.

Here’s a tip: Impress your arm candy for the night with two glasses of wine and a bread and dips platter* (they don’t need to know you got it for a special Comedy Festival price of only $20). Now who’s laughing?

*selected wines, subject to availability



Talk about a fancy food hall. In fact The Elliot Stables is much more than a fancy food hall – its sort of like a cluster of mini restaurants bouncing of each others energy and taste sensations.

Offering everything from Spanish tapas, Nigiri sushi, Italian bruschetta, German sausage, French creperies alongside a distinctive marketplace where specialist artisans trade organic meats, wines, cakes, liqueurs and whisky.

Since opening in 2007, Elliott Stables has become a popular place to visit, especially before or after a show. Located super close to the comedy plethora, Elliott Stables is the ideal restaurant environment to meet friends and pick and choose between a massive selection of delicious foods.

Centrally located behind the iconic Smith and Caughey’s building on Elliott Street, and only a short walk from The Civic, it’s the perfect place for meal before or after a show and is open early until late Monday to Saturday.



Venture through the unassuming closed door and downstairs to the subterranean yakitori bar, Tanuki’s Cave – or, to the regulars, simply ‘The Cave’.

Yakitori literally means ‘grilled chicken’, but this isn’t all the Cave has on offer.The menu includes a wide variety of meat, seafood and vegetable dishes, all grilled on bamboo skewers and basted with their special in-house sauce or grilled with salt. Yakitori also tastes great with beer, and we recommend you try their Japanese Sapporo or Asahi beer on tap.

Tanuki’s Cave also has a large selection of Kushiage - breadcrumbed, deep fried morsels on bamboo skewers, served with a special savoury sauce.
The Cave is always packed, so they don’t take regular bookings. If you want to guarantee yourself a quiet spot, you can book the special ‘Cage’ table on Sunday, Monday or Tuesday nights. The Cage is great for large groups, but requires minimum spend of $300 (including drinks and food).

Authentic, tasty Japanese food in a unique atmosphere!

To make a inquiry or booking for the Cage, contact the friendly staff on
Dinner from 5:30pm until 12pm. First come, first served basis, no reservations taken.



Tanuki Japanese Sushi and Sake Bar is an Izakaya style restaurant, located slap, bang next to one of our favourite Comedy Clubs – The Classic. Izakaya originated from sake shops that allowed their customers to remain in store to eat while they were trying the sake. It’s huge in Japan and we love Sake at the Comedy Festival, probably a little too much!

If you’re looking for a quick, no hassle meal to fuel up before or after a show,Tanuki’s informal Japanese pub food could be just the ticket. Everything is made fresh and their delicious and traditional plates are perfect for sharing with friends (as is tradition at Izakayas).

Tanuki is the sake heart of Auckland, offering thirty different varieties – one for every taste and budget. If you’d rather bring your own wine,Tanuki’s is BYO on Sunday and Monday nights. Choice!

If you’re looking for a little more privacy,Tanuki also has a private function room. This room seats 35 people, offering a set menu and your very own waitress for the night.

Stop by for a delicious meal when you’re in the neighbourhood – you’ll become a local during the Comedy Festival for sure!

Dinner from 5:00pm - 11pm - Reservations recommended