Wellington is New Zealand’s culinary capital, renowned for its numerous and diverse range of dining options.
Coffee and cafes. Wellington boasts of having more cafés per capita than New York, and it all begins on Cuba Street in the heart of the CBD. Fidel’s Café, at the top of the street, has a cult-following, offering the freshest Havana coffee in town. Olive is a cosy café with outstanding coffee and meals – enjoyed in a sunlit courtyard sheltered by olive trees. Move over to Leeds Street and try some of the best coffee in town at Customs by Coffee Supreme or a delicious baked treat from Leeds Street Baker. The Hangar by famed coffee brewers Flight Coffee is well worth a visit or venture out of the city to Café Polo in Miramar, where you’ll find a lively atmosphere and a menu teaming with ethically sourced local produce.
Formal and casual dining. Café culture isn’t Cuba Street’s only draw card; the bohemian hotspot is Wellington’s go-to for all types of dining. Housed in a former 1920’s banking chamber, Logan Brown is one of the city’s best fine dining establishment, serving up contemporary New Zealand fare. Floriditas continues to impress as a European bistro with additional international influence and an off-street bakery for those on the run. For something a little more casual, stop in at Grill Meats Beer and appreciate a delicious casual dining experience coupled with the venue’s lively atmosphere. 1154 Pastaria is another Cuba Street fave for all things pasta and natural wine. For delectable French-inspired dining, head to Hippopotamus at the QT Wellington. Nearby Sheppard offers a hip dining experience with a focus on ethically sourced local natural produce. Ortega Fish Shack serves up creative fish and steak dishes within a lively atmosphere. Alternatively, enjoy absolute harbourside views and outstanding seafood at Whitebait at Clyde Quay Warf. Slightly north at Queens Warf, Dockside Restaurant and Bar is housed in a historic Wellington waterfront shed and as expected, offers amazing harbour views and a menu largely focused on seafood.
Something fun? A trip to Wellington wouldn’t be complete without a visit to the Wellington Chocolate Factory in Te Aro. The factory produces bean to bar organic chocolate from ethically sourced and traded beans, which comes in wrappers displaying the designs of famed New Zealand artists. Book in for a tour to learn about the factory’s chocolate making processes and enjoy a taste or two.
New Zealand’s capital boasts a variety of shopping precincts with a wide range of options, from the standard retail offerings to the hip and funky.
The Golden Mile. This CBD precinct is spread over Lambton Quay, Willis Street, Manners Street and Courtenay Place, and is home to an array of commercial retailers, including a premiere David Jones outlet housed in one of the area’s historic buildings on Lambton Quay. Away from the harbour, fashion and book stores can be found on Willis Street. There’s also the Old Bank Arcade display the wares of top local designers, and cafes and restaurants aplenty to refuel after a long morning on your feet.
Cuba Street. Appropriately located amongst beautiful heritage facades, and home to an eclectic mix of vintage and bohemian outlets and independent boutiques, don’t pass up a stroll down Cuba Street. Take in the cool artistic vibe and stop to recharge at one of the area’s excellent coffee options while you’re there.
Greytown. Don’t be fooled by the name; Greytown is anything but bleak. The Village is home to a beautiful range of boutique shopping options and is well worth the hour trip out of the Wellington CBD. Located in the Wairarapa wine region and voted New Zealand’s Most Beautiful Small Town in 2017, Greytown also has a rich history which can be enjoyed with a visit to the Cobblestone Museum or a self-guided tour of the village’s beautiful historic buildings.
Queensgate. If it’s convenience you’re after, it’s hard to go past Queensgate Shopping Centre in central Lower Hutt. It’s got all you’d expect of a Westfield; fashion, homewares, groceries and electronic goods, all located under the one roof.