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A local's guide to Cuba Street with Blue Virtue

Local Wellington drag and burlesque performer, Blue Virtue shares his favourite things to do on Cuba Street.

Seafood laksa at Satay Kingdom

Everyone’s got their favourite Cuba Street Malaysian eatery and mine is Satay Kingdom. I love the seafood laksa at Satay Kingdom for its deliciousness, simplicity and value for money. I always order my laksa with rice as it absorbs all the flavour and I’m not very coordinated, so noodles aren’t a good thing.

It’s a tradition on Sunday, after our two-hour rehearsal that a bunch of us - drag performers, burlesquers, some of my Haus of Sin crew – go to Satay Kingdom to eat, talk and re-energise. We’re always starving after rehearsing hard and can just devour food; my record is two laksas in a row and a whole lot of won tons.

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Finding a new outfit  

Cuba Street is the home of vintage shopping in Wellington and the place I love to come for outfit inspo. Ziggurat’s vintage section has little gems from across the decades – it’s often inspires me to mix pieces from different eras and trends, plus my good friend Frankie works there, so it’s always good to see her and have a yarn. I’ve recently started making my own drag outfits and Made on Marion (originally on Marion Street and now on Cuba) is the an excellent place to go for supplies.  

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The Saturday Night Market on Cuba Street

Wellington Night Markets

My family is from the Phillipines and traditional Filipino food is really hard to find here in Wellington, except at the Night Markets. The markets have an amazing buzz to them – there’s often musicians playing, kids running around, there are coloured lights, hustle and bustle.

Afterwards I might pop into Pegasus Books, which is also in Left Bank, where there are often performances on Friday nights called Fiction Room. A musician, a poet or writer performs in the fiction section at Pegasus Books and everyone crowds in. It isn’t advertised – you just have to be in the know – but everyone’s welcome. Then I get a chimney cake afterwards for the walk home – yum.

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Blue Virtue and friends performing drag at Ivy Bar

Drag and burlesque shows at Ivy Bar

Ivy Bar is an amazing queer and artistic safe space with regular weekly events ranging from comedy, drag, burlesque – in an inclusive environment where everyone is welcome. It’s a place that gives opportunities for aspiring performers of any identifying gender, culture, race and background a chance to experiment and polish their artwork. Ivy’s staff are friendly and attentive and very good at making sure you are genuinely looked after and safe. It’s a place where there is always an opportunity to meet and make new long-lasting friends.


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Scopa's insanely decadent hot chocolate

Hot chocolate at Scopa

You might have picked up that I have a bit of a sweet tooth and Scopa’s hot chocolate is exactly my kind of thing. It’s insanely decadent – basically just melted chocolate and cream. It’s just the thing to treat myself post-rehearsal or on a winter’s afternoon.  

Chicken and waffles at Fidel’s

Another Sunday tradition after performing at Ivy on Saturday night is Fidel’s fried chicken and waffles with maple syrup. I roll out of bed, put my sunglasses on and get myself to Fidel’s – either on my own or with a friend – and treat myself. Fidel’s is like the epitome of Cuba Street – the vibe is laidback and chill, the staff are awesome and the food is generous and so, so good.