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The best way to get to know a country is through its food, and New Zealand is no exception. Here's a few classic Kiwi food experiences you can sink your teeth into while you're in Wellington.
Thanks to Wellington's location around a stunning harbour, fresh seafood is always on hand. If you like your seafood a little bit fancy, then the award-winning Whitebait and classic Shed 5 are must tries, with the added bonus of gorgeous waterfront views. Also worth a visit is the beloved Logan Brown, for their famous paua ravioli.
For something a bit more casual, the charming Ortega Fish Shack can't be beaten while Chocolate Fish Cafe in Shelly Bay is a neat spot on a sunny day. Try their whitebait fritter sandwiches. Giddy Up! is the place to be if you're after a taste of New Zealand's unique greenshell mussels served in a variety of delicious ways. And you'll definitely want to try some of our mighty fine fish n chips while you're here too!
Fancy a bit of kai? That's the Māori word for food.
Book in for a truly unique and unforgettable experience at Hiakai, the restaurant of chef Monique Fiso who has received international acclaim for her Māori kai with a fine dining approach.
Karaka Café on Wellington's waterfront has a menu in te reo Māori (with English translations!) and they offer a modern twist on hāngi - a traditional Māori feast, cooked in an underground pit.
There's much debate surrounding the origins of the pavlova. Regardless of what side of the fence (or ditch) you sit on, it's a classic dessert that any visitor to New Zealand should try. For a modern twist on the humble pav, Floriditas do an excellent brown sugar pavlova with tamarillo, pistachio & cream. Mmmm.
Floriditas are also known for their mouth-watering array of baking, including cheese scones. Pravda closely rivals them in the cheese scone stakes.
Take a trip back to yesteryear with a visit to vintage tearoom Martha’s Pantry. This retro-cool cafe offer classic New Zealand cakes and baked goods. The classic Devonshire Tea is a must-try.
A hearty roast on a Sunday is a bit of a Kiwi tradition, and there's really no better way to finish off your weekend. Hang out in the leafy garden at Southern Cross while enjoying a roast with all the trimmings, plus a free chocolate brownie. Win! Grab your crew and settle in for a roast and some brews by the fire at The Bresolin. Keep an eye out for their monthly Beast Feast complete with spit roast pig!
Breakfast, lunch or a late-night snack; the classic Kiwi pie is a good choice at any time of day. For the carnivores, Caffe L'affare's beef and mozzarella pie is reputedly the best pie in town, or if you're in Wairarapa, be sure to visit Clareville Bakery to try their award-winning lamb cutlet and kumara pie. Delicious. If you're more vege-inclined, Midnight Espresso on Cuba St has a neat range of vege-ful pie delights.
New Zealand is known for making top notch wine, and it just so happens that Wellington sits next to one of the country's premier wine-growing regions.
Take the train to Wairarapa for a daytrip and discover the wine village of Martinborough, home to more than 20 vineyards, many within walking or cycling distance of the quaint village square. Hire bikes from Green Jersey Cycles and pedal between the vineyards, stopping for tastings of plummy pinot noir along the way. Poppies Martinborough, Ata Rangi and Palliser Estate are worth a visit.