It’s often said that Wellington has more restaurants and bars per capita than New York. One way or another, this city is full of gastronomic delights. Whether you’re after a quick pick me up at one of the many awesome cafes or a no-holds barred night out on the town, there’s a place to suit you in the heart of the capital.
You can’t go past Logan Brown on Cuba St for a classy evening out. It’s a Fodor’s Choice restaurant – “The menu exhibits New Zealand’s produce and exemplary wines, and service is swift and unpretentious” – and has previously been a supreme winner at Cuisine magazine’s annual awards. Oenophiles, you’ll be spoiled for choice with more than 200 local and international wines on the list. There’s also a Friday lunch club for true foodies, and a high tea menu.
Dinner and Drinks
Matterhorn on Cuba St consistently wins awards and it’s not hard to see why. This restaurant/bar serves up cocktails and tapas seven days a week, making the most of the region’s produce and boasting an enormous range of spirits and wines.
Seafood is one of the highlights of the Kiwi food scene and Ortega Fish Shack on Majoribanks Street, with its relaxed ambience and atmosphere in spades, is one of the best places to sample it. Fish, prawns, oysters (and whitebait, when it’s in season) – take your pick, and there are also vegetarian and non-fishy meat options.
Cool and Casual
Sweet Mother’s Kitchen on Courtenay Place is a local go-to. The homestyle menu has hints of Mexican and New Orleans influences and it’s a cosy place to hang out. When you visit, make sure you order the curly fries – and be sure to try a peanut butter milkshake.
Laundry on Cuba St serves up food and drink from a rustic former laundromat as well as a caravan in the funky courtyard out back. The menu is casual, featuring tacos, toasties and burgers.
Malthouse on Courtenay Place has been around for more than 20 years and was the first bar in New Zealand to serve Heineken (considered, well, exotic at the time). They pride themselves on having a ‘beer for everyone’ with a couple dozen on tap and more than 100 bottled varieties. Plus check out the Craft Beer Capital Trail for a self-guided tour of Wellington’s craft bars.
Featured image by Jessica Spengler