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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

Beervana Friday Afternoon 06

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, drink delicious brews at pastel-coloured Cuba Street brewery Hey Day, lounge on a lush green lawn with a bev in hand at Rogue & Vagabond, or perch on a balcony overlooking the Cuba precinct at Fortune Favours.

For the ultimate craft beer experience, time your visit with Beervana - an epic beer festival showcasing more than 200 craft beers from around New Zealand and the world.

2. Visa Wellington On a Plate

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Wellington’s epic annual food festival, Visa Wellington On A plate, is set to be a month-long culinary takeover of the entire  region in 2019.

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

Fix Fogg

Take a stroll down Hannah's Laneway and sample the local flavours of Wellington and pickup some gifts along the way. Located right in the heart of the city, you'll find everything from salted caramel cookies to bean-to-bar chocolate, craft beer, freshly roasted coffee, traditional Italian pizza and a tiny little peanut butter heaven.

Get to know the residents: Leeds St BakeryWellington Chocolate Factory, LashingsPizza PomodoroFix & Fogg, Fortune Favours, Hanging Ditch and Golding’s Free Dive.

4. Toast Martinborough

Martinborough 114 credit JeffMcEwan

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 a collection of boutique vineyards ­– accessible both on foot and via free shuttle buses – the event offers festival-goers a unique opportunity to taste wines from current and past vintages, with delicious cuisine and performances to match. Cheers to that! Tickets for this year's event go on sale in September/October.

5. Zest Food Tour

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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Perched right beside a bountiful harbour, it’s no surprise that a number of Wellington's restaurants specialise in fresh local seafood. Tuck into kiwi-style barbequed fish, whitebait and more at Chocolate Fish Café, make it a special occasion at the award-winning Ortega Fish Shack, take the whole family along to the deliciously fun The Crab Shack, and for a touch of class book yourself into fine-dining establishment, Whitebait.

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. For quirky décor, seaside views and the best brunch in Lower Hutt, head to Seashore Cabaret, or its little sister café Miss Fortune's just up the road in Seaview.

Try Instagram-worthy dishes at Comes and Goes, fresh and zesty Mexican at Mexico, and get a taste of Italy and some award-winning pizza at La Bella Italia. If you're in the market for a special occasion experience, dine at the inventive and delicious Oli and Mi.

Cheese fans should not leave the area without heading to Zany Zeus in Moera for a halloumi sandwich or giant scoop of the delicious homemade ice cream.