Eat and Drink Like a Local in Wellington

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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.

Fine Dining

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.

Eat and Drink Like a Local in Wellington: Logan Brown, Wellington. Photo by Kim Laurenson
Logan Brown. Photo by Kim Laurenson

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.

Eat and Drink Like a Local in Wellington: Matterhorn. Photo by Yann
Matterhorn. Photo by Yann

Seafood

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.

Eat and Drink Like a Local in Wellington: Ortega Fish Shack. Photo by Peter Burge
Ortega Fish Shack. Photo by Peter Burge

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.

Eat and Drink Like a Local in Wellington: Sweet mother's kitchen. Photo by Yann
Sweet mother’s kitchen. Photo by Yann

Street Eats

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.

Eat and Drink Like a Local in Wellington: Laundry on Cuba. Photo by Laundry on Cuba
Laundry on Cuba. Photo by Laundry on Cuba

Craft Beer

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.

Eat and Drink Like a Local in Wellington: Malthouse. Photo by Br3nda
Malthouse. Photo by Br3nda

Featured image by Jessica Spengler

Eat and Drink Like a Local in Wellington was last modified: November 17th, 2015 by Esther Goh
Author: Esther Goh (56 posts)

Writer and digital specialist hooked on travel and food. Calls Auckland home but desperately misses Mexican and Italian cuisine. Esther blogs at NZ Muse.