Wellington spots with outdoor dining
Pull up a seat, soak in the sun and have a snack. Here's where to head in Wellington when you want your meal al fresco.
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.
66 Oriental Bay, Oriental Bay, Wellington
Start the day right. Ohtel Pantry's brunch menu is a delicious selection of classic dishes with a mid century twist, featuring ingredients sourced from local suppliers.
Or bask in the afternoon sun on Oriental Parade with a glass or two of locally sourced wine or craft beer. Located on the fringe of the entertainment precinct of Courtenay Place, Ohtel Pantry is the perfect spot for an after-work drink and light dinner or pre-theatre snack.
Pickle & Pie
2 Lombard Street, Te Aro, Wellington
Pickle & Pie is a Wellington take on a NYC delicatessen on Lombard Laneway. It has a light, bright and airy café with a sunny outdoor dining area adjacent to the laneway green space.
Serving classic pastrami-on-rye sandwiches, salads and of course, pies (with pickle on the side), Pickle & Pie are open for breakfast, lunch and supper. If you’re not looking to dine-in, they also offer deli ‘take-home dinner’ options. Pickle & Pie is the perfect spot for a glass of wine or Garage Project beer with a bowl of their pastrami and gravy-loaded fries.
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.
Dockside Restaurant & Bar
3 Queens Wharf, Wellington
A maritime-themed restaurant housed in a historic waterfront shed, Dockside has one of the largest outdoor dining areas over water in the Southern Hemisphere.
On a sunny day, there’s nowhere better for a meal or a drink and on cooler ones, the deck can be covered with a large retractable roof, which gives the feeling of alfresco dining but with a bit of shelter from the elements.
The menu is largely seafood-based with an emphasis on fresh produce; the seafood is sourced daily from local markets. The drinks list features some wine from Martinborough, Wellington’s neighbouring wine region, plus some local craft beer.
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.
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.
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.
The Crab Shack
5 Queens Wharf, Wellington
The Crab Shack is a casual and fun restaurant on Queens Wharf providing frivolity and fresh food from the sea.
A coastal Cape Cod themed casual dining and drinking experience, The Crab Shack specialises in seafood by the scoop; Marlborough Green Lip Mussels, Cloudy Bay clams and Kiwi favourite Tuatua with your choice of lip-smacking sauce.
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