It would be pretty accurate to presume that Auckland's Central Business District would also be your "Central Drinking and Dining District." You can always run off to a number of nice waterfront locations at the edge of the city for an overpriced glass of wine, but for those who want an astounding variety of styles, attitudes, and options, then the CDDD (ahem, we mean CBD) should be your first choice in Auckland.
As you may suspect, there are public parks (Victoria, Albert, Myers), a large university (Auckland U), about a dozen theaters and cinemas, museums (Auckland Art Gallery and Auckland Museum are biggest), and true preponderance of nightlife and cuisine establishments. We've narrowed down what we believe the cream of the crop to be.
There is a lot to account for with cuisine, whether you're looking for chic, high-end dining or a quick, greasy bite between adventures; luckily, the CBD caters to all. Breakfast and coffee are the expertise of establishments like the tourist-free Remedy Coffee on Wellesley, wonderfully located Cafe Melba on Vulcan Lane, and the Fort Street gem, Ben's Cafe. Dinner can go myriad ways if you're on a budget, from authentic New York-style pizza at Sal's (Commerce Street) to healthy fast food at the Food Truck Garage on Wellesley and a handful of cheap Asian joints scattered throughout the city. You can also get good food in a sophisticated, unpretentious environment at restaurants like Occidental, which pairs incredible Belgian beer variety with top-notch seafood on Vulcan Lane, or Depot Eatery, which capitalizes on local eating and shared dishes for an exquisite culinary experience (Federal Street).
As for nightlife, a walk north and south on Queen Street and onto offshoots like Vulcan Lane and Fort Street will run you aground of at least something to catch your interest. It's hard NOT to find a place that'll get you a microbrew that you've never had and a whole lot of locals clamoring for them (Vultures Lane, Fort Street Union, the wonderfully off-the-beaten-path Brothers Beer on Nelson Street). Great dancing and atmosphere are staples of Sale Street and Flight Lounge, while live music and intimate club vibes are the reasons for hitting up Cassette Number Nine.
Before heading anywhere else, your first nightlife or dining destination in Auckland should be the CBD (or as we've appropriately renamed it, CDDD). Check the included link for your most up-to-date information.