Hutt Valley's hottest eateries
Home to some of Wellington's most popular weekend brunch spots, the Hutt Valley is a great place to head for a bite to eat
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.
149 Randwick Road, Moera, Lower Hutt
Zany Zeus makes boutique organic dairy products that are good enough for the king of the gods.
The family-run company are the maker of Scarlett Johannson’s favourite chocolate cake and some of Wellington’s best ice cream and soft serve, which is only available from their Moera store. But don't take our word for it – their Ghana chocolate ice cream won the supreme award at the 2019 New Zealand Ice Cream Awards. Founder Michael Matsis is known to take 18 months to perfect a flavour before releasing it in the shop, taking the age old mantra "good things take time" to heart.
Their freshly-made halloumi sandwiches are worth a mention too. Just fresh bread, organic ‘squeaky’ cheese and a squeeze of lemon – simple but delicious.
105 Hutt Park Road, Gracefield, Lower Hutt
A little jewel in the rough that serves up seriously great counter food and locally-roasted Good Fortune Coffee.
The little sister café to the popular Seashore Cabaret on the Petone Foreshore, Miss Fortune’s has a playful retro fit-out. The café has indoor seating, plus a sunny courtyard out back. Now back to that seriously great counter food - expect delicious freshly baked cakes, pies and doughnuts and bowls of tasty seasonal salads to have in or takeaway.
Sweet Vanilla Kitchen
49 Pretoria St, Lower Hutt
Tucked away in a historic brick building in the far reaches of Lower Hutt’s Pretoria Street, this cute café was named Best Suburban Café in NZ in 2017 and 2018.
It’s easy to see why: home-made chocolate caramel brownie, raw jelly tip slice and strawberry cream cheesecake will blow the cobwebs off your taste buds. But if sweet treats don’t push your culinary buttons, then they also offer all-day brunches, including vegan pancakes and energy bowls. Come hungry and wear elasticated trousers.
The Dowse, 45 Laings Road, Lower Hutt
Located at The Dowse Art Museum in Lower Hutt, Bellbird Eatery has a modern, upmarket feel with an emphasis on fresh, seasonal fare sourced locally in the Hutt Valley.
The tap beer is brewed locally, the coffee is roasted locally and bread is baked locally, too. The menu features an eclectic mix of old school favourites along with some new dishes with a twist. Open during the day for breakfast and lunch and for dinner on Friday night.
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.
The Butcher and Brewer
175 Jackson Street, Petone, Lower Hutt
Fantastic staff, good beer, and great food – six words that tell you all you need to know about this corner gastropub.
Kiwis of a certain age might remember this spot as The Empire, which served thirsty punters for over 100 years. But a few years ago, Paul Rowan turned it into this light, bright bar/eatery which brews its own beer. There’s an impressive range of whisky and when you get hungry, the menu includes everything from Bento Boxes to slow-smoked pork belly.
136 Jackson Street, Petone, Wellington
You can't miss Mexico's distinctive red neon sign outside on Jackson Street. Inside, the Dia de Muertos decor is spot-on: vibrant murals, painted skulls, religious iconography and matadors, Frida Kahlo portraits, and an excess of knick-knacks.
Like the other restaurants in the Mexico whānau, Mexico Petone's menu is a version of Mexican street food told through a seasonal menu. Their dishes take flavour inspiration from around the globe, carefully woven into a Mexican-esque tapestry with maize, salsa, and various herbs and spices.
It’s a fun, friendly, and family-friendly place to go for a casual bite to eat and it’s great for larger groups, too.
Your new local at Twenty Eight
28 Cornwall Street, Hutt Central, Lower Hutt
Celebrating local suppliers and producers is the newest café on the block where you’ll feel right at home.
Twenty Eight café, on the ground floor of the Professionals building in Lower Hutt, is a modern space with a minimalistic interior. The food is anything but.
You'll see that their menu is dotted with local producers from across New Zealand such as eggs from Wairarapa, coconut yoghurt from Raglan and more. Visit Monday to Friday from 7:30am - 3:30pm.
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