Go where the locals go: Prefab
When you visit a city for the first time, there's that special feeling you get when you discover a locals' favourite spot. Prefab is one of those places.
14 Jessie Street
On any weekday (the café is closed Saturdays and Sundays) you'll find a microcosm of Wellington, a mixture of locals and visitors, parents with their toddlers, hipsters with their dogs and freelancers with their laptops.
Everyone is at Prefab for the great food and coffee, the electric hum of the dining area and the pleasure of being looked after by Bridget, Jeff and the Prefab team.
Bridget Dunn and her partner Jeff Kennedy are passionate Wellingtonians and hospitality stalwarts, who are in the hospitality business for the love of it. Way before Prefab, they set up and ran Wellington coffee empire Caffe L'affare, which they later sold. You'll now find them both just down the road at Prefab, firing up the coffee machine at dawn and closing down the café in the late afternoon.
Despite the functional industrial fit out, the sunny 180-seater eatery has warmth. It's always buzzing with parents and their toddlers, business meet-ups and catch-ups with friends. There's the smell of coffee roasting, bread baking and Bridget and her team will always be there to welcome you and help you find a seat.
Open for breakfast and lunch, Prefab specialises in unpretentious food, done well. The menu features timeless favourites like pizza, burgers and their legendary potato gratin, all made using fresh, local and high-quality ingredients. Prefab has an in-house bakery which makes all of the bread, cakes and pastries, and twice a day, their delicious organic Acme baguettes are delivered by bike down the road to food store Moore Wilson's, where they are snaffled up quickly.
As well as running their busy eatery, Bridget and Jeff have an in-house line of Acme & Co products which reflect their approach of always using the best of everything – and if the best doesn't yet exist, to create it yourself. The restaurant uses Acme olive oil from their own Wairarapa grove, Acme pickles (used in their Reuben sandwiches) and the Prefab cups you'll drink your Acme espresso or bottomless filter coffee from are Acme (and now used by cafés around the world). These stylishly packaged Acme products are for sale, so you too can replicate the Prefab experience at home. Trust us, you're going to want to.
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