🇳🇿 Ponsonby Road Cafe, a New Zealand shop on La Cienega in Beverly Grove

The pandemic has certainly ruined many lives across many industries, with restaurants continuously seeing more and more casualties. But amongst this carnage, there have been quite a few brave souls that have continued their plans to open new businesses. In Beverly Grove, Ponsonby Road Cafe announced their opening to the world at the beginning of August, just when outdoor dining only rules were starting to feel normal and ok.

Trips to Auckland, New Zealand invariably end up at least once on the namesake thoroughfare, home to a busy dining, drinking, and shopping district. This name will invariably pull in customers from New Zealand that have relocated here to Los Angeles, and first impressions look good from expats who are using many exclamation points and quite a high ratio of capitalization in their online reviews.

A case full of meat pies faces you when you walk in the skinny space, and of course some non-meat ones since Beverly Hills is only a couple minutes away. In fact a lot of their initial menu seems set up to stay in business from that post-workout crowd, one of which walked in during this visit and asked very seriously if they had cold brew OR JUST iced coffee, then got the former with oat milk “THANK GOD!”

The friendly Kiwis that own and run the place seem to have figured out this balance though, and were delighted when they took orders for meat pies and flat whites, which is obviously their real passion and reason for opening. Any coffee order will probably get you one of their miniature chocolate chip cookies, but do order that flat white since you know that they will nail it properly.

So yes, there are plenty of panini and toast with avocado options on the menu, as well as a shrimp burrito that actually sounds pretty tasty, but focus on the real raison d’être and order as many pies as you can afford. Meatpie shops are so dear to the people of New Zealand that their creations are competition and as such they keep improving.

If the playing field of Los Angeles could have been surveyed before Ponsonby Road Cafe opened, it would have safely been assumed that those expats from Australia and New Zealand were left wanting more.

Since it is currently impossible to eat either inside or outside of the cafe, plan to pick up and warm the pies later at home. The staff will give you clear instructions for getting them perfect in the oven, which will include 30 minutes of prep to get the center hot.

The other benefit of getting this on a plate at home is that the flaky crusts will not be all over your lap and/or car seat. Part of the real masterpiece here is that flaky container, each one shaped and decorated a bit different to set them apart from one another. The dough has areas of denseness and others of lightness and its layered quality is almost like that of phyllo dough.

As the pies were being packed at the shop, the proprietor made mention of the ketchup he was including with the order. “In New Zealand most people will put ketchup on them, it’s really popular there.” His word must be taken at face value, but thankfully the pies require not a drop of ketchup and are marvelous on their own.

The steak and mushroom meatpie ($9, above and below, right) is especially fatty and luxurious, as presumably the other steak options are as well. Biting into it is one of those delicious moments where you are forced to look over at your eating companion (or possible a pet) and nod together in approval with wide eyes.

Curry options like the chicken curry meatpie ($9, above left) are always popular and use the same great outer wrap. As you can see this is more dense and does not quite fall out when cut in half like the steak.

Less off-putting than the ketchup is the included small container of habanero sauce, which you will be warned to use sparingly. In fact it is not that overly spicy for folks who enjoy those things, but it is nice to use on a bite here and there just for some variety. On future visits, the steak, cheese, and jalapeño as well as the mince meatpies are very much being looked forward to. Welcome home to Ponsonby Road.

:round_pushpin:Ponsonby Road Cafe, 361 N. La Cienega Blvd., Beverly Grove


I’ve been browsing this site for while now and have gotten a lot value out of the reviews. As a Kiwi in LA, I thought I could finally add to the conversation! I used to live just off Ponsonby Road in Auckland and can confirm the meat pies at this cafe are pretty legit. The fillings are better quality than what you’d get at most cafes/bakeries/gas stations in NZ. The pastry is also a little bit thicker than normal but that probably makes it more suitable for reheating. It is true that Kiwis will alway eat their pies with copious amounts of tomato sauce (what you call ketchup). The pies here are a bit pricier than back home, most pies in NZ are less than 5NZD = 3.5USD, but it’s a lot cheaper than a flight to Auckland and 14days in hotel quarantine! All in all, I love that whenever I get homesick, a decent pie is under an hour away.


great review @EattheWorldLA, i can’t resist a good meat pie, or any meat pie for that matter. looking forward to trying this out.

is there a difference between an aussie pie and a kiwi pie?


Limited flavors :laughing:


Went to school in NZ for a bit. It was such a treat when my mom would give me a whole dollar and I could buy a meat pie for lunch at school. In the morning, the teacher would ask who wanted meat pie for lunch and we would hand over our dollars. At lunch time, our still warm pies would show up in our classroom. God, I missed meat pies so much when we moved to the US. I remember I found mince pie in the frozen section of the supermarket and convinced my mom to buy one. Was distraught mincemeat pie isn’t the same as mince pie!

My family thinks it’s funny that I’m so obsessed with getting in a meat pie or two when I visit Australia now.

Another place added to list…whenever I can visit LA again.


Used to be true. Meat pie was basically just mince meat pie. When we ordered one for lunch, we all got the same pies. Kept the order easy! But a lot has changed since then. But yeah, I actually find the variety of pies in Australia to be too much. Sometimes it’s impossible to find a good old fashion meat pie! There are some really fancy gourmet bakeries and they have great pies but sometimes I just wanted a square one that fits in my hand.

EDIT: this was supposed to be in reply to Sgee.

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Ooh, thanks for the write up. I really enjoyed Aussie Pie Kitchen (RIP), so perhaps this will fill that void a bit.

No lamingtons on the menu. Never had one, but a Kiwi acquaintance loved them.

Welcome, @EataCity!


A bit pricier for sure, but if you loved Aussie Pie Kitchen, you will really like these as they are superior. Mmmmmm Lamington…

have you tried Bronzed Aussie?

Same here. At primary school, we only got 2 choices - potato top or normal pastry top. Filling was always ground (mystery) meat.

Nice info @EattheWorldLA and thanks for the heads up, that crust looks legit flakey. Gonna check this place out for sure.

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Me or @EattheWorldLA? :wink: I have not. Do you think it’s good? Meat pies are too heavy for a true bang-bang, but maybe on a consecutive weekends. :wink:

I think there are some around here who can bang bang BANG meat pies.


The crust is marvelous. @Sgee I have not tried Bronzed Aussie yet but it’s on my list!


I know. He had me at meat pie.

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In retrospect why would anyone from NZ wanna relocated to America?

I kid, but seriously its ironic how NZ is one of the top destinations people are googling to leave America from.

Anyway, looks good I love me a meat pie, will have to make the trek out one of these days.


Yeah I get jealous seeing friends back home at pubs, going to sporting events like everything’s normal.

I love your food as well. My parents are from Hong Kong so it definitely hits the spot especially now since I haven’t seen them in over a year.

My mom left NZ for the US…twice. Eventually we lost our NZ residency rights and now can only visit as mere tourists. Trust me, when a point needs to be won, I remind her of this…


Eater LA FTC shout out courtesy of @matthewkang
Nice sleuthing @EattheWorldLA!


Haha, while I don’t remember reserving any enthusiasm for avocado toast or paninis, I am happy the little cafe gets some boost. The folks that run it are extremely nice and those meatpies are fantastic!