Best places to brunch by the beach
Sea breeze, fresh coffee and scrambled eggs - these seaside cafés offer stunning sea views and delicious brunch menus. Equally good on a blue sky day as a stormy one
30 Cochrane Street, Lyall Bay, Wellington
Spruce Goose began life as an airport terminal building and for more than 50 years was the home of the Wellington Aero Club.
Now a popular seaside café, bar and restaurant with sweeping views of Lyall Bay and Wellington Airport – people of all ages are entranced by watching the surfers, waves and planes coming and going.
After a walk or swim at Lyall Bay, this laidback and colourful eatery is the perfect place to head with the whole family for a meal or a snack.
497 Karaka Bay Road, Karaka Bays, Wellington
Scorch-O-Rama is a prime example of a spot where you’ll sit back and say to yourself, ‘you really can’t beat Wellington on a good day’. It’s a bright and bustling café on the shoreline of Scorching Bay, a popular sandy beach on the Miramar Peninsula.
Scorch-O-Rama has a fantastic brunch and kids’ menu, and their coffee is from classic Wellington roastery, Havana. Sit inside the café or opt to be seated across the road from the café with the sea lapping the shore beside you. There's a specially placed pedestrian crossing to keep the staff safe as they deliver your coffee across the road. A true ‘only in Wellington’ experience.
160 The Esplanade, Petone, Lower Hutt
In a prime spot on Petone Esplanade with views across Wellington Harbour, Seashore Cabaret is a fun eatery housed in a historic rowing club.
The café’s name is a nod to the site’s previous use as a dance hall and the new fitout combines retired merry-go-round horses, carnival kitsch, pinball machines, and colourful custom-made furniture to create a one-of-a-kind dining experience. The menu gives a new twist on the café classics with plenty of vegetarian and vegan-friendly dishes. The coffee is their house brand Good Fortune, roasted in-house. There’s plenty of dining space indoors, plus some tables on the deck overlooking the water for sunny brunching.
Coene's Bar & Eatery
103 Oriental Parade, Oriental Bay, Wellington
Coene's Bar & Eatery has one of the best views in Wellington.
On sunny days sit out on their deck overlooking the water or sit inside and take in the spectacular views.
Their all-day menu covers brunch, lunch, snacks and dinner. Try their mussels and clams or seafood chowder to enjoy a taste of the sea while you gaze out at the ocean. Coene’s is a popular spot for brunch or pop by for a drink and a snack on a sunny afternoon.
Chocolate Fish Café
100 Shelly Bay Road, Maupuia, Wellington
Chocolate Fish Cafe at Shelly Bay is the go-to for enjoying a classic Kiwi seafood barbecue in the sun. Their specialty is seafood sandwiches featuring pāua abalone Māori | Noun and mussel fritters straight off the barbecue - simple, classic and absolutely delicious. If seafood isn't your thing, there's lots of other options on the menu, including a great selection for kids. Grab a spot on a beanbag on the grass or nab a picnic table and soak up the beautiful views across the harbour, as the kids run around on the grassy lawn. It's a slice of heaven.
1/10 Waterloo Quay, Pipitea, Wellington
On the waterfront near Lambton Quay, Flamingo Joe’s serves up brunch and stunning panoramic views across the harbour.
While not technically on the beach, the sea views will put you in a nautical frame of mind. Flamingo Joe’s fit-out is bright and fun and their modern brunch menu features all of your favourites from smashed avocado to scrambled eggs and smoothie bowls. There’s a custom cocktail list too if you fancy making your brunch a little boozy.
106 Oriental Parade, Oriental Bay, Wellington
You'll definitely want to stay for a while at this Oriental Parade eatery. Lola Stays is an ideal spot to enjoy some people watching over a delicious brunch, lunch or a casual drink.
With menus for different parts of the day, Lola Stays features a contemporary mix of dishes like fish tacos, burgers and salads – and don’t forget to add an order of Sydney potatoes with sriracha mayo. The light-filled eatery has a contemporary fitout with plenty of dining inside, but on a fine day, you’ll be competing with Wellingtonians for a table in the sun.
232 Oriental Parade, Oriental Bay, Wellington
A slice of retro beach paradise by Wellington’s golden sand beach, Oriental Bay. Specialising in casual cool dining, Beach Babylon is a comfortable café and restaurant open for brunch, lunch and dinner – and cheese fondue.
The coffee is locally roasted by Peoples Coffee, with Wellington craft beer and wine on the menu. If you fancy it, there's the option to BYO bottle of wine to accompany dinner.
Salt Café & Eatery
612 Marine Drive, Days Bay, Lower Hutt
A locally-owned seaside café at Days Bay, a popular swimming beach, with beautiful views out over the harbour. Sea Salt is an all-day eatery with an extensive menu covering off breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner and snacks in between.
Catch the East by West Ferry across the harbour for brunch at Sea Salt Café & Eatery – the creamy mushrooms on sourdough topped off with a poached egg comes recommended. After your meal, take a walk along the beach.
144 Onepu Road, Lyall Bay, Wellington
You'll feel like you've found an incredible hidden gem that only the locals know about the first time you visit Elements. This all-day café serves up breakfast, lunch, brunch and little sweet treats a few blocks back from Lyall Bay.
With fresh and seasonal takes on café classics with a good range of gluten-free, vegetarian and dairy-free options, Elements also make their own fresh juices. There are a few tables outside that are perfect for a sunny day or if you're dining with your pooch. But don't miss heading inside to check out the small but perfectly formed store, which has a curated selection of homewares and accessories made by small and independent New Zealand makers.
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