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8 delicious foodie experiences in New Zealand's culinary capital

Here in Wellington we’ve got an endless appetite for cafés, bars, restaurants and all things food. If you like to eat and drink as much as we do, then we suggest you fill your plate with these culinary delights.

1. Explore the wonderful world of craft beer

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With over 20 craft beer bars and breweries, Wellington is celebrated as the craft beer capital of New Zealand. Try a beer brewed with volcanic rocks at Garage Project and keep an eye out for Wild and Woolly’s Llavender Blonde featuring Wellington-grown lavender.

For the ultimate craft beer experience, time your visit in with Beervana, showcasing over 200 craft beers from around New Zealand and the world.

2. Visa Wellington On a Plate

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Over two weeks in August Wellington is transformed into foodie heaven, as it hosts New Zealand’s largest and most creative culinary festival – Visa Wellington On a Plate.

This celebration of all things food and drink involves more than 100 restaurants and serves up a feast of dining events, burger battles, pop-up eateries, cocktail contests and of course, innovative and delicious cuisine from Wellington’s top restaurants and cafes.

3. Taste your way down Hannah's Laneway

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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 BakeryWellington Chocolate FactorySix Barrel SodaPizza PomodoroFix & Fogg and Golding’s Free Dive, it is without question the tastiest laneway in New Zealand, and quite possibly the world.

4. Toast Martinborough

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Just over an hour’s drive or train ride from Wellington, you’ll find the wine-growing region of Wairarapa. Home to over 20 wineries, Martinborough wine village hosts the annual Toast Martinborough festival in November.

Set in and around nine boutique vineyards ­– accessible both on foot and in free shuttle buses that travel the route – the event offers festival-goers a unique opportunity to taste wines from both current and past vintages, with delicious cuisine and performances to match. Cheers to that! Tickets for this year's event on Sunday 15 November are due to go on sale in September/October.

5. Zest Food Tour

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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 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 specialties, as you learn about their origins from their makers.

6. Fresh New Zealand Seafood

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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 while lounging on a beanbag overlooking Wellington Harbour.

In the central city, try the award-winning Ortega Fish Shack, deliciously fun The Crab Shack and newly opened Whitebait (insider tip: the snapper and clam ceviche is a must-try!).

7. Wellington's markets

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On Friday night and the weekends, Wellingtonians flock to the food markets 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 Marketa vibrant indoor market showcasing emerging designers, makers, bakers and crafters; and for the very freshest produce and local artisanal food, make sure you visit the neighbouring City Market and Harbourside Market on the waterfront by Te Papa on Sundays. 

8. A piece of Petone

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Just a short drive away from the central city, Petone is a great spot for foodies to explore a little further afield. Get a taste of Italy at local favourite La Bella Italia, book in for high tea at Sweet Pea, and dine at the inventive and delicious Taylors on Jackson.

Cheese fans should not leave the area without heading to Zany Zeus in Moera for a halloumi sandwich, while those seeking a casual dinner on the beach should swing by Chomp N Chips for some mighty fine fish and chips. 

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