New local eats
Treat your taste buds at one of the new eateries, cafés, restaurants and bars in Wellington
Good Coffee, Evil Twins
161b Willis Street, Te Aro, Wellington
The Evil Twins, Stephanie and Natalie Chin, have outgrown their brother’s space on Vivian Street and have fled the nest by opening a coffee shop on Willis Street.
You'll still be greeted with an evil grin from the twins but this time around, you can pull up a chair and enjoy a drink without leaving. Brightening up the minimalist space is a bright red graffiti sign which is hard to miss. Natalie spent weeks designing, drawing and painting to get this incredible result.
They have more space to whip up the jar drinks they are well known for. Choose from triple shot latte, matcha love, double trouble choc, and cheeky peachy iced tea jars. Visit them from Tuesday - Saturday every week.
Neighbours become good friends: Next Door
3 Wilson Street, Newtown, Wellington
Newtown’s restaurant, Mason, has solved the age-old conundrum of where to get a drink before your booking - just head next door, of course.
An extension of the existing restaurant, the relaxed bar Next Door is connected to Mason’s dining room via a handy window. A selection of tasty, salty snacks can be passed through for customers to enjoy with their drinks. They’ve got one Parrotdog beer and four natural wines on tap, alongside an interesting list of classic cocktails.
They don't take reservations, so grab a perch at a cosy bar leaner or, if you’re lucky, one of the handful of seats outside. Catch the last of the afternoon sun, and spend an evening getting to know the Next Door neighbours.
Your new pick me up: Little Grump
142 Featherston Street, Wellington Central, Wellington
Grumps of all ages are welcome at Little Grump, a new breakfast and lunch spot on Featherston Street serving sweet and savoury pastries, quiches, pies, and (of course) coffee.
Their tasty goods come from Goods Cafe in Thorndon, and then freshly baked at Little Grump. The fresh sandwiches and toasties are even made using their own naturally leavened bread.
The sweet location, on the corner of Featherston and Johnston Streets, is super handy, and the floor to ceiling windows on two sides means it the perfect spot to people watch while you caffeinate.
Little Grump's aim is simple, "that everyone who visits leaves a little bit happier." So don't be a grump, go get your goods.
A taste of Mexico in Hannahs Laneway
Leeds Street, Te Aro, Wellington
Hannahs Laneway has a new addition that's hard to miss. An electric green truck has taken over and is adding a Mexican flavour to Wellington's tastiest little laneway.
Donnie Taco brings together a refined menu that can be enjoyed at Golding's Free Dive Bar. With three taco options ("mushie", "chooky" and "porky"), burritos, guacamole and tasty "filthy quesadilla" on offer, this little laneway is the perfect spot for a spicy treat.
While the food truck is only open Wednesday through Sunday, don't worry, you can still get your taco fix the rest of the week inside the bar through the Leeds Street Bakery window.
Small but perfectly formed, Donnie Taco should definitely be your next menu.
From NYC to Welly: Staten Eatery
169 Willis Street, Te Aro, Wellington
Get a taste of New York at Staten Eatery, a creative and casual restaurant in the city.
Located on the corner of Dixon and Willis Streets, the restaurant’s fit-out celebrates Wellington’s vibrant laneways and creative heart, with graffiti from local artist Andrew Tamati-Wright.
If you go, you better be hungry. The menu features Kiwi takes on a range of famous New York classics, like mac n cheese, waffles, bagels and burgers. Sweet tooths will be in heaven too – they have a whole menu dedicated to old-school milkshakes, and epic, build your own ice cream sundaes.
Royally delicious: The Regal Shortbread Co.
109 Discovery Drive, Whitby
You'll feel right at home at Whitby's newest bakery, The Regal Shortbread Co.
Owner and master baker Anita will make you feel like you've just wandered into your mum's kitchen, serving up her freshly baked goods and top-notch coffee in a beautiful and bright space. Try her addictive shortbread, or any of the other amazing home baking in the cabinets - croissants, pies, pastries, cakes, loaves, scones and tortes.
Anita's shop is just as good for the planet as it is for your tastebuds - all of the packaging is home compostable, and there's a cup library if you forget your keep cup.
An elegant escape: August Eatery
75 Taranaki Street , Te Aro, Wellington
August Eatery is housed next to the beautiful heritage building Wesley Methodist Church on Taranaki Street. Walk into the elegant space featuring high ceilings, warm lighting features, and a flood of natural light.
The menu is a flavoursome array of Mediterranean dishes. Think tsoureki French toast with poached pear, roasted Jerusalem artichoke, or farro salad with olives and coconut yoghurt. They also make six flavours of doughnuts in-house.
August Eatery is a shared dream for owners Lisa Lee and Tanase Antipas. Lisa grew up around her family’s successful hole-in-the-wall Japanese restaurant in Sydney, while Tanase spent years as a chef at iconic Wellington restaurants Loretta and Hummingbird. Together, they wanted to bring something different to Wellington's café scene. Open Tuesday to Sunday 7am to 3pm.
Asado @ Nikau
101 Wakefield Street, Wellington Central, Wellington
They say where there's smoke there's fire, but in this case, it also means there's mouthwatering, freshly barbequed meats and snacks. Follow your nose to Nikau on Friday and Saturday nights for Asado, their Argentinian-style open fire cooking experience.
The set menu includes BBQ bites and meats like venison empanadas and pizza style pork flank, all cooked over a Manuka wood fire. They've also got sides, desserts and a complimentary drink, dished up in their open courtyard next to the iconic City Gallery Wellington and Civic Square.
If you want to try the most epic BBQ ever this summer, make sure you pre-book on their website and arrive by 6:30 pm.
Fresh from the oven: Dough Bakery's new CBD spot
6 Lombard Street, Te Aro, Wellington
The famous Dough Bakery has set up shop in the city.
Originally from Upper Hutt, their new Lombard Lane location is grab-and-go for all things dough - think freshly baked bread, fluffy brioche and delicious sandwiches. Naturally, their doughnuts are divine and come in next-level flavours like raspberry and rhubarb, and orange and saffron. They've also got Supreme coffee and fresh juices from their next-door neighbour, Pickle & Pie.
If you're not friends with gluten, never fear as Dough Bakery has got you covered. Many of their treats are gluten-free and vegan, so nobody misses out if you're on the hunt for breakfast, lunch or a mid-afternoon pick-me-up.
Nashville chicken at Soul Shack
120 Victoria Street, Te Aro, Wellington
If you can handle the heat then test your tolerance at Soul Shack, the Nashville-style chicken shop.
Starting out on wheels, this once popular food truck has finally found a place to call home. Your fried chicken needs can be fulfilled at Soul Shack's newest home on Victoria street. Now, with a much-anticipated dine-in experience! (Available when Alert Levels are appropriate.)
Dig into your fried chicken that's been soaked in a buttermilk brine for hours before being breaded and fried. The magic to their chicken is their salt; a blend of oil and secret spices. Pick a heat level from 1-4 but be warned level 2 is rated kiwi hot!
213-223 Cuba Street, Te Aro, Wellington
Enter through the boutique inner-city hotel, Naumi Studio Hotel, and be transported to a glamorous dining room in South East Asia at their new restaurant, Lola Rouge.
Dripping with luxe brass detailing and pink and red velvet, this eatery is a feast for all the senses. The menu is a culinary journey around Asia, and includes a full page of plant-based dishes for everyone to enjoy. For the carnivores, there's a range of seafood and meat dishes, including softshell crab and a tandoori tasting plate. Don't forget a nightcap - their cocktail menu is not to be missed, with an impressive selection of unique mixes.
If you've got a bigger group, the private dining is an intimate and breathtaking space for a real night to remember, or make the most of the 60-seater dining room and drink in the vibrant fit-out, in keeping with the rest of the whimsical hotel.
Predicting great coffee: The House of Good Fortune
52 Fitzherbert Street, Petone, Lower Hutt
This stunning house has a new lease on life as it becomes the newest home to Good Fortune’s coffee roastery and café.
Feel at home with the smell of freshly roasted coffee and delicious food in the air at The House of Good Fortune on Fitzherbert Street in Petone. The vibrant colours and retro fit-out will be familiar to café-goers in the area as it’s owned by the same people as Seashore Cabaret and Miss Fortune.
Grab a coffee and something delicious from their cabinet or walk away with a bag of coffee roasted in house. Open Monday-Friday 7am-3pm.
Spooky mini golf
7 Forresters Lane, Te Aro, Wellington
Witching Hour Mini-Putt and Bar is a 13-hole indoor mini-putt with a spooky haunted house theme on Forresters Lane. This is not for the faint-hearted. Those afraid of spiders, skeletons, witches and clowns are warned that if you’re too scared, there’s no refund.
When the sun goes down the course truly awakens, and this is where all children must go home so the adults can play. Those who know this space will recognise it as ex Boogie Wonderland and Alice. So in living memory grab a drink from the bar and enjoy a round. To keep you hydrated (or at ease) canned drinks are available from local breweries Garage Project and ParrotDog.
Historic homestead to family-friendly eatery: Gear Eatery & Bar
1 Okowai Road, Aotea, Porirua
Step back in time with a seat at the newest eatery with breath-taking views of the sparkling Te Awarua-o-Porirua Harbour. The iconic Gear Homestead (1882) is opening its doors with a transformed 1950s themed eatery and bar from the co-owner of Library Bar and Chow Michael Holling.
The décor comes to life with brightly coloured walls, taxidermy animals and serving pub meals such as fish 'n' chip or burgers. It wouldn’t be a Michael Holling establishment without a cocktail bar. Upstairs you will find a nautical-themed bar with an octopus mural, a table in a boat and an extensive range of local beer and wine offerings.
There's no stopping there. They are planning to build an ice cream parlour and Italian Pizzeria.
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