Wellington is a city brimming with colourful eateries, vibrant markets and tasty laneways.
Being located around a harbour, it’s no surprise that a number of Wellington’s restaurants specialise in seafood. For some kiwi-style barbequed seafood, enjoy whitebait or crayfish fritters from the Chocolate Fish Café(opens in new window) while lounging on a beanbag overlooking Wellington Harbour. In the central city, try the award-winning Ortega Fish Shack(opens in new window), deliciously fun The Crab Shack(opens in new window) and popular seafood spot Whitebait(opens in new window).
With over 20 craft beer bars and breweries, Wellington is celebrated as the craft beer capital of New Zealand. Try such innovative flavours as a beer brewed with volcanic rocks at Garage Project or for the ultimate craft beer experience, time your visit in with Beervana, showcasing over 200 craft beers from around New Zealand and the world.
There’s no better way to get to know a city’s culinary scene than by meeting the passionate people behind it. A Zest Food Tour(opens in new window) allows you to do just that. Named as one of the world’s Top 10 Walking Tours for Globetrotting Foodies in Lonely Planet 2013, a Zest Wellington tour will introduce you to fresh tastes, local products and personalities in New Zealand's cafe and culinary capital. As you wander through the compact city, sample gourmet products including coffee, chocolate, gelato, cheeses and other specialities, as you learn about their origins from their makers.
To sample local flavours and pick up some gifts for those left back home, take a stroll down Hannah’s Laneway. Right in the heart of the city, this laneway is salted caramel, chocolate, craft beer, coffee, handcrafted soda, pizza and peanut butter heaven. Thanks to residents Leeds St Bakery, Wellington Chocolate Factory, Fix & Fogg(opens in new window), Shepherd and Golding’s Free Dive(opens in new window), it is without question the tastiest laneway in New Zealand, and quite possibly the world.
On Friday night and the weekends, Wellingtonians flock to the food markets(opens in new window) for street food and supplies for the week ahead. For a slice of Asia in downtown Wellington, check out the bustling Wellington Night Market on funky Cuba Street every Friday and Saturday night. On Saturday, stop by the Wellington Underground Market, a vibrant indoor market showcasing emerging designers, makers, bakers and crafters; and for the very freshest produce and local artisanal food, make sure you visit Harbourside Market on the waterfront by Te Papa(opens in new window) on Sundays.
Dubbed one of the top eight international coffee destinations by CNN, Wellington can firmly lay claim to the title of coffee capital of New Zealand. Get your bearings with a Zest Food Tour(opens in new window) which takes you to the roastery of coffee empire, Mojo, or dive straight into the world of espressos and siphon brews at Lamason, The Flight Coffee Hangar(opens in new window) or Leeds Street Bakery.
Time your trip with one of the region’s excellent food and wine festivals. Held over the last two weeks in August every year, Visa Wellington On a Plate(opens in new window) is the ultimate culinary festival, and New Zealand’s largest. Or savour some of the region’s finest wine, cuisine and music at Toast Martinborough(opens in new window) in the picturesque surroundings of wine region, Wairarapa.