Top food experiences in Wellington

Wellington is a city brimming with colourful eateries, vibrant markets and tasty laneways.

World-renowned for excellent coffee and award-winning restaurants, this is one city that has it all. Here is your guide to the best foodie things to do in Wellington. 

Wellington on a Plate event

Eat and drink your way around the Wellington region for four weeks during the Visa Wellington on a Plate(opens in new window) (also known as W.O.A.P) event each August. You'll be served some wild and wacky (and equally delicious) burger creations, quirky cocktail creations, degustation dinners, wines and melt in your mouth chocolates and more. Get hands on and attend a cooking class or try locally produced craft beers at Beervana(opens in new window)

Cafe and coffee culture

Throughout the day locals queue for some of the best cheese scones in Wellington at central city café Pravda(opens in new window). Proudly perched between a surf beach and Wellington Airport, Spruce Goose in Lyall Bay(opens in new window) serves up excellent brunch and coffee, try their mushrooms and whipped feta on toast. Bohemian styled Fidel's Cafe on Cuba Street(opens in new window) dishes up great food (including their signature hash browns), check out their coffee kiosk / street-side shack for coffee on the go. 

Award-winning Wellington restaurants

Rita(opens in new window) may be small, but she is mighty. Located in a small workers’ cottage, the restaurant seats just 28 people and offers barely enough space for a hint of a wine rack. As you might imagine, everything from the wine list to the décor has been carefully chosen. This discipline is also reflected in the set menu, which is designed daily, based on the season and mood of the chef, and is always spectacular, simple, and elegant. To visit Ortega Fish Shack(opens in new window) is to witness something of a sleight of hand. Hanging proudly on the wall, next to a fake Gauguin, is a tall tale about the restaurant’s origins. Glance down the menu and it will resemble most other menus being served up in fish shacks around the world. But don’t be fooled, this is fine dining in disguise. A typical dish might be described simply as ‘snapper, peas, potato, bacon broth, and pickled onion’, but it will taste nothing short of sublime. Good enough for the Prime Minister of New Zealand, Bellamy's by Logan Brown(opens in new window) is a restaurant located inside the Beehive. Serving perfectly presented fine dining meals.

Wellington waterfront dining

Chocolate Fish Cafe(opens in new window) take the freshest local fish, scallops and pāua and make them into delicious, no frills sandwiches and fritters. The café has ocean views, a playground for kids and great coffee. Just around the corner on the waterfront of Oriental Parade, retro inspired Beach Babylon(opens in new window) serve food and cocktails from sunrise to sunset. Dogs are welcome and even have their own 'K9 Menu'! After a morning surfing in Lyall Bay, enjoy brunch on the roof top at Maranui Cafe(opens in new window), watch the ferries as they journey to the South Island and relax in the sun.

Harbourside Farmers Market

Every Sunday, growers from Manawatu and surrounds bring their fresh fruit and vegetables to sell at the Harbourside Market in Wellington. There is a great selection of seasonal produce, you can buy in bulk or just enough for a meal. Food trucks line up along the water front selling everything from homemade Indian chai to Chinese pancakes and you can buy freshly caught fish straight from the boat. 

Food and wine in the Wairarapa

Road-trip from Wellington, over the Remutaka Hills to the Wairarapa region. The main town of Martinborough is a foodies heaven, with top-notch winery restaurants. Just 25 minutes away is the beautiful town of Greytown which is home to Schoc Chocolates(opens in new window) - try their interesting 'chocolate personality test'. Featherston is known for C'est Cheese Shop(opens in new window), with their huge selection of locally made cheeses, relishes and their café with excellent cheese toasted sandwiches. 

Vegetarian and vegan eateries

Searching for vegan pizza? Nolita(opens in new window) is New Zealand's first plant based pizzeria and they handmake all of their sourdough bases, cheeses and pasta - find them on Cuba Street. Vegan café, Sweet Release(opens in new window) whip up shakes, burgers, Mac n Cheese and bagels on Manners Street in the city centre. Vegetarian and vegan platters, burgers and desserts are popular at The Botanist(opens in new window), a laid back, family friendly restaurant on the south coast of Wellington.

Hannahs Laneway

Right in the heart of the city, New Zealand's tastiest laneway Hannah's Laneway is a gourmet heaven with the laid back atmosphere that Wellington is known for. Enjoy a casual lunch at Leeds St Bakery(opens in new window) or Pizza Pomodoro(opens in new window), followed by chocolate tasting at Wellington Chocolate Factory(opens in new window)

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