Where to drink outside in Wellington this summer
You really, truly can't beat Wellington on a good day when you're enjoying a refreshing cool drink in one of the city's many hidden courtyard gardens, rooftop bars or sunny balconies
166 Willis Street, Te Aro, Wellington
What better way to spend a sunny day than high above the city at The Arborist’s rooftop garden bar. The Arborist is decked out in recycled pallet furniture for the ultimate backyard vibe. Try out a range of beers, wines and boutique sodas, or go for one of The Arborist’s specialty frozen cocktails. The rooftop has a limited capacity, but if it’s full up top, grab a drink in the downstairs bar and the friendly staff will let you know when there’s a space on the roof.
7 Leeds Street, Te Aro, Wellington
Set in an old industrial building that was once used for restoring furniture, Fortune Favours is one of the growing number of brewbars in the central city.
Some of the building’s original features have been retained and new steampunk features added, along with a sunny outdoor deck with great views of some of Wellington’s famous street art.
Fortune Favours specialises in charcuterie and cheese platters to partner with their large line-up of beers on tap. If you do develop a taste for Fortune Favours flavours while you’re here, you can get in one last beer at their Wellington Airport bar.
2 Taranaki Street, Te Aro, Wellington
Experience Māori-inspired cuisine in a stunning location beside the Whairepo Lagoon on Wellington’s waterfront. Located in Te Raukura, Te Wharewaka o Pōneke, Karaka Café is an architecturally award-winning modern venue with indoor and outdoor dining spaces.
Their signature dish is a café version of a traditional hāngī meal, including rewena (Māori potato bread) or legendary fry bread. The terraced grass by the lagoon is a popular spot for a drink on a sunny afternoon or evening - get there early and claim yourself a bean bag and park up until the sun sets.
St Johns Bar & Eatery
5 Cable Street, Te Aro, Wellington
Situated in the historic former Wellington Free Ambulance building, this popular waterfront bar and restaurant is the place to be on a sunny day. St Johns sheltered outdoor area has grassy lawn where you can pull up a bean bag or a deck chair and enjoy an alfresco drink and snack. Inside, the beautiful Art Deco-style building has been elegantly refurbished with period light fittings, plush velvet booths and potted palms. Soak up the lush atmosphere in the bar before heading next door to dine at the eatery.
Heyday Beer Co
264a Cuba Street, Te Aro, Wellington
Perched at the top of Cuba Street in a garage-turned-brew-bar, HeyDay Beer Co adds a touch of whimsy to the local craft beer scene.
Decked out with mint green interiors and flourishes of pink (plus flamingos), you'll find in-house beers on tap and plenty of outdoor seating for the perfect summer tipple. They're also sharing space with Southward Mountain Gin if you're that way inclined.
170-172 Cuba Street, Te Aro, Wellington
Olive is a long-standing Cuba Street institution serving seasonal French and Italian-inspired menus in a rustic-chic space. Olive’s curiously lush tropical courtyard featuring, you guessed it, an olive tree, is one of Wellington’s best-kept secrets.
The garden courtyard is the perfect spot to while away an afternoon, sipping on a chilled rosé and nibbling on some warmed olives. The indoor dining room has a French industrial rustic vibe and is the perfect spot for a weekend brunch or an intimate dinner. Head Chef Jamie Morgan regularly changes the menu to include fresh, in-season, local produce.
2/55 Ghuznee Street, Te Aro, Wellington
Only in Wellington: a rooftop bar specialising in wine and hotdogs (as well as vegetarian 'notdogs').
Nestled in a cosy art deco space behind an Edwardian parapet, Ascot is a quirky bar that serves an ever-changing lineup of organic and biodynamic wines from New Zealand and overseas.
Ascot has a sunny outside deck which is a lovely place to be on a sunny afternoon or summer’s evening. Not to mention you can people watch everyone walking down Cuba St.
219 Onepu Road, Lyall Bay, Wellington
With a plant-based menu and a lush herbaceous-themed fitout, The Botanist at Lyall Bay is the perfect spot for a seaside bite to eat.
The organic, vegetarian and vegan menu will satisfy herbivores and omnivores alike and achieves what some would deem impossible: taking meat-heavy classics, like a steak, burger, or fish and chips meal, and making a vegetarian or vegan version which is so immensely satisfying that you won’t miss the original. The Botanist’s sunny and sheltered outdoor garden is a popular spot for brunch or a drink in the sunshine.