SPQR Cafe Restaurant and Bar
150 Ponsonby Road, Ponsonby, Auckland 1011, New Zealand
For the Senate and People of..."Institution" doesn’t begin to describe this eatery, where patrons are followed by TV cameras, the staff giggle and scream with laughter, the passers-by pretend not to see who’s eating there and the wine just keeps on flowing. SPQR (named after the Latin phrase “Senātus Populusque Rōmānus” that used to be carried at the head of Caesar’s banners) is one of the longest-lasting restaurants on Auckland’s Ponsonby Road strip, surviving the fickleness of diners and the attraction of the new. Its food and wine list has diehard fans, and if you’re lucky enough to score a table outside on the weekend it’s worth its weight in Taittinger.