Go for cocktails on Courtenay Place
The home of cocktails in Wellington, Courtenay Place has all manner of bars serving all manner of cocktails. Shaken or stirred, classic or customised - you'll find just what you fancy drinking in Wellington's entertainment precinct
C.G.R. Merchant & Co
44 Courtenay Place, Te Aro, Wellington
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.
31 Courtenay Place, Te Aro, Wellington
Step off Courtenay Place and enter a world of island time. With a lush and tropical vibe, Lulu takes its inspiration from the islands of the Pacific.
The oceanic-inspired menu features delights such as Fijian snapper kokoda, banana leaf-wrapped fish with coconut and lime and taro chips with palusami (Samoan coconut creamed spinach) dip. When it comes to the drinks menu, think poolside at an island resort with pina coladas, tropical punch and drinks served in tiki mugs.
With a covered courtyard bar, Lulu is the perfect all-weather spot and a fun place to celebrate until late in the evening.
The Black Sparrow
10 Majoribanks Street, Mount Victoria, Wellington
This 1930s themed Lounge and Drinkery is a step back in time to old world glamour with a vibe inspired by 1930s literary salons.
Located in the former orchestra pit of the Embassy Theatre, The Black Sparrow’s décor reflects the original style of the theatre with art deco furnishings, tiled floors and a marble staircase. Try one of their innovative cocktails named after classic movies and novels or tuck into tapas-style dishes. A perfect spot before or after a movie, or a destination in its own right.
82 Tory Street, Te Aro, Wellington
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.
70 Courtenay Place, Te Aro, Wellington
Dragonfly is a contemporary Asian restaurant, bar and courtyard with rustic Asian influences. The menu is inspired by the owners’ favourite eating experiences throughout Asia and features classic dishes with a contemporary twist that are designed to be shared.
The red duck curry is a must-try, and definitely order some dumplings. There’s an excellent wine list with aromatic New Zealand wines that pair beautifully with the food, but make sure you take a look at Dragonfly’s cocktail menu in which Asian herbs and ingredients like lemongrass, lychee, coriander and ginger are incorporated into classic cocktails. Book a table in the chic and relaxed dining space indoors or if you’re feeling social, dine outside in their lively and beautifully lit-up courtyard – or pop in for a drink.
22 Courtenay Place, Te Aro, Wellington
Oozing old-school elegance, Hummingbird occupies a prominent corner on Courtenay Place with wraparound windows enclosing a cosy inside that's perfect for taking in the view of what's going on outside on the street.
The multi-award-winning Hummingbird has been a landmark on Courtenay Place since 2000 and has earned a reputation for delicious, unpretentious food and world-class cocktails. Their food menu is made up of tapas-style small plates using fresh, seasonal and local produce - enjoy a snack with a cocktail or order more plates to make it a meal.