We haven’t been to the OG French La Cigale market in Parnell for many years but judging by their Instagram feed laden with brunch food-porn, it’s still epic. Unfortunately the Britomart version didn’t really live up to my expectations.

We decided to check it out when my parents were in town, hoping to impress them with the delights of the city but to be honest, I think they enjoyed the ferry ride from Devonport more. The fact they’re from Hawkes Bay aka the home of one of the most incredible Farmers markets ever didn’t help I suppose. Seriously if you’re ever in the bay you must go… and take loooots of cash because it’ll disappear like that. I’m now converted to black pudding after trying samples there but that’s another post altogether, back to La Cigale Britomart.

I was starving having skipped brekky so needed something substantial. Unfortunately there were really only a couple of options that looked hefty enough to fill me up. Usually this wouldn’t bother me as it’s a great excuse to try a few different things but the variety just isn’t there yet. There’s also a distinct lack of French fare. I actually ended up gravitating towards a Latin food stall.

Olas Latin Food at La Cigale's French Market, Britomart, Auckland

I managed to scoff half a margarita Empanada with Tom before the main event – the vegetarian Arepa with eggs, tomato and cheese.

Margarita Empanada from Olas Latin Food at La Cigale's French Market, Britomart, Auckland

I enjoyed the DIY sauce station and loaded mine with homemade chimichurri which took it from standard egg sammy to amazing. The texture of the GF buns was interesting – reminded me slightly of polenta.  

Arepa at La Cigale's French Market, Britomart, Auckland

Tom also had a decidedly un-French brekky of a bacon sarnie. We figured Bacon Brothers must be good as the line was huge and the sandwiches coming out in droves looked amazing. Word of warning though, your standard bacon on bread (which Tom opted for) is still going to take around 10 minutes to muster up. He also said that the bread was too hard.

Bacon Brothers at La Cigale's French Market, Britomart, Auckland

My dad had a decent almond croissant which was our sole nod to France in the end, oh aside from my wee niece. I actually deprived her of a date scone she’d requested back in Devonport so she could choose something a bit more exotic at the market. After much deliberation at one of the patisserie stalls she chose a plain baguette. No butter, filling, nothing but bread. The heart wants what the heart wants when you’re five.

I was still a bit hungry after my Arepa (I told you my appetite is huge right?) so decided to go for a hot drink. I’ve always wanted to try a Turmeric Latte so grabbed one from a little drinks vendor there. They also had some tasty looking cabinet food. It was a bit disappointing to see them pour Turmeric latte syrup into my cup as opposed to using the actual yellow stuff but it tasted pretty nice. Like a chai latte really… but with way more street cred obvs.   

Turmeric Latte at La Cigale's French Market, Britomart, Auckland

You get the feeling that this market is very much in an experimental phase and they’ll hopefully keep adding stalls as it becomes more popular. I just hope that enough foot traffic keeps it going and this tempts more delicious vendors to jump on board because it’s an awesome thing to have in the CBD.   

La Cigale's French Market, Britomart, Auckland

Later that day I checked my Instagram feed and was a little gutted to see La Cigale posting Boeuf Bourgignon brioche rolls which were nowhere to be seen in Britomart. My arteries probably thanked me at least.

La Cigale's French Market Instagram



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