Escape winter at these cosy bars

There's nothing like finding the perfect cosy bar for a drink on a wild, winter's night or a chilly winter's afternoon


109 Manners Street, Te Aro, Wellington

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What's cosier than a crumpet with butter? A cocktail bar called Crumpet that serves crumpets with butter (and cocktails, of course) Snuggled inside the historic Opera House on Manners Street, Crumpet is perfectly located for a pre- or post-show drink and a great spot for people watching.

With a somewhat eccentric décor of mis-matched furniture and table-cloth covered tables with candles, Crumpet will absolutely charm you. Consult with Crumpet's staff to find a cocktail based on your preferred flavour profile, your mood or the weather, or take a flick through their rolodex of cocktails to find something that tickles your fancy.

Crumpet cocktails lineup

Noble Rot

6 Swan Lane, Te Aro, Wellington

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Noble Rot is an award-winning wine bar, founded by a group of local sommeliers and restaurateurs and nestled between two of the country’s great wine regions of Marlborough and Martinborough.

Tucked away down Swan Lane, Noble Rot has a lovely, intimate atmosphere and is the kind of place where one glass of wine can easily turn into two and then into dinner. Speaking of dinner, the award-winning menu is innovative with the kind of ease and simplicity that comes only with great skill. Noble Rot are also known for their attentive and very knowledgeable service.

Noble Rot interior
CGR Merchant Co bartenders mixing drinks

C.G.R. Merchant & Co

44 Courtenay Place, Te Aro, Wellington

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Climb the flight of stairs from Courtenay Place to C.G.R. Merchant & Co and you’ll immediately be transported to an exotic world.

There’s a scent of spice in the air, lush green vines grow wildly up the walls and fans spin languidly above. C.G.R. (coffee, gin and rum), brought to you by Jonny McKenzie of the award-winning Hawthorn Lounge, specialises in making intriguing infused gins and rum using a variety of herbs and spices – their salted caramel rum is legendary. Order from the menu or let the bartenders create a custom-made cocktail, just for you.


60 Ghuznee Street, Te Aro, Wellington

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Low-fi meets luxury at this hideaway bar on the ground floor of a boutique hotel on Ghuznee Street. The interior glows with emerald green velvet, brass fittings and chandeliers in contrast to the exposed concrete walls.

Puffin focuses on organic and minimal intervention wines, alongside a thoughtful menu of charcuterie and cheese, oysters and small plates. They also do a mean classic cocktail and there's beer on tap.

The Puffin bar
Le Samouari customers
Le Samourai plate
Le Samourai exterior wine bar

Le Samourai

45 Tory Street, Te Aro, Wellington

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Le Samourai opens early for coffee, croissants and croque monsieur. As the day continues, Le Samourai comes into its own as a wine and cheese bar.

Serving mostly French and European wine, Le Samourai also pours some specially-chosen New Zealand wines.. To pair with your drink, Le Samourai have an assortment of cheese and charcuterie, plus some French-themed cabinet food. Le Samourai is small and cosy with a few tables and a long window seat looking out onto Tory Street that’s perfect for people watching.

Hawthorn Lounge

82 Tory Street, Te Aro, Wellington

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With a 1920s speakeasy or gentlemen's lounge vibe, Hawthorn Lounge is a hidden gem you need to seek out.

Head through the unmarked doorway, go up the stairs and you'll find a swanky spot where the bartenders really know their cocktails. Sit at the bar as their nattily-attired staff entertain you with a potted history lesson on your favourite cocktail or nab a leather couch by the open fire and relax as your own bespoke drink is concocted and brought over to you.

hawthorn lounge barman making drink
Hawthorn Lounge cocktail
Hawthorne Lounge bartenders bar
Night Flower snakeoil bottle glass
Night Flower bar man painting
Night Flower bartender pouring drinks chandelier

Night Flower

1/55 Ghuznee Street, Te Aro, Wellington

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Go for old-fashioned cocktails in a speakeasy style bar above Cuba Street.

Night Flower takes old-fashioned cocktails and reworks them with a botanical flair: possets, syllabubs, Rumfustians, fizzes, fixes and flips: if you don’t know what we’re talking about, you will soon. Tell the Night Flower team what flavours you’re into and they'll make you a cocktail to match (or challenge) your taste.

Night Flower make their own tonic water, a subtly perfumed and delicately flavoured concoction that elevates their G&Ts to whole new levels of deliciousness. With a large deck overlooking the heart of Cuba Street, Night Flower is the perfect spot for a drink while you watch the bohemian happenings, below.

night flower bar

Golding's Free Dive

14 Leeds Street, Te Aro, Wellington

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Wellington’s own version of a dive bar, Golding's has a homey feel, with exposed brick walls and quirky touches everywhere – the bar is decorated largely from recycled materials, with plastic buckets for lampshades and awnings made from old skis.

Golding's Free Dive is a free house, meaning they can put anything they like on tap with no obligations to big breweries, which means the lineup is always fresh and interesting.

Patrons can also order pizza from nearby Pizza Pomodoro and have it delivered to their table while they drink. The small, semi-enclosed deck out the back looks out onto Hannahs Laneway and is a sheltered spot for a drink as you watch the world walk by.

Goldings in Hannahs Laneway interior Credit PIVOT Photography
Goldings in Hannahs Laneway Credit PIVOT Photography
Goldings in Hannahs Laneway credit pivot photography 2

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