New local eats
There's always something new to try in Wellington with new eateries and bars regularly opening up. Here are some of the most recent and recommended.
462 Adelaide Road, Berhampore, Wellington
Bottega is a classic neighbourhood Italian deli that’s got plenty of soul – and soul food to takeaway. Prepared family favourites like lasagne, meatballs and pizza by the slice plus freshly baked bread are available from Tuesday to Saturday (11am – 8pm), perfect for those nights when you can’t be bothered cooking but want to eat like you’ve spent the afternoon in the kitchen. The service is friendly and down-to-earth – although it’s new, Bottega already feels like it’s been there forever. Pop in to say ciao and grab a scoop of locally-made Gelissimo gelato and you’ll become a regular before you know it.
La Belle Waffle
The first day that La Belle Waffle opened on Dukes Arcade, they completely sold out of waffles - they're that good. Since then, Brussels-born owner Nick Delwaide has increased the amount of waffle batter he makes so that no one leaves without a freshly-baked authentic Belgian waffle in their hand. You can tell a real Belgian from its irregular shape, caramelised crunchy crust and shallow pockets, which La Belle Waffle lovingly fill with sweet and savoury toppings. We don't know how you're going to choose between Banana Royale with bananas, hazelnut spread and whipped cream or Croque monsieur with free-range ham, cheese and mustard, so maybe just get both.
177 Cuba Street, Te Aro, Wellington
Just down the road from Loretta, Everyday Wine is the place to head for a bottle to take along to dinner, a gift for a friend or a treat for yourself on the way home from work. Cuba Street’s first specialty wine store, Everyday Wine want to make natural and organic wines an everyday thing. Forget the idea that natural wine isn’t for you as Everyday Wines stocks natural wine across the taste spectrum from wild to refined.
6/100 Tory Street, Te Aro, Wellington
This Tory Street patisserie is the place for the freshest, crispiest hand-rolled croissants and deliciously delicate house-made French pastries and desserts with a slight Asian influence.
Try the freshly baked croissants, pain au chocolat and canelé – all created daily on-site, and literally by hand – or choose from a selection of sweet treats, including macarons, tarts, choux pastry and petit gâteau. The culmination of a life-long dream for husband and wife team, Mariah and Andrew Grace, this is the perfect little spot for a date or a catch-up with a friend over tea and cake.
99 Victoria St, Te Aro, Wellington
Noodle house turned burger joint, Chicken Karaage is the new iteration of The Ramen Shop on Victoria Street. Serving Japanese-inspired burgers and delicious fried accompaniments - the free-range fried chicken burgers are a must-try and or go for the plant-based cauliflower patty. The small and focused menu means that food comes out quickly - perfect for a quick - and delicious - bite to eat.
31a Waitoa Road, Hataitai, Wellington
With a fresh new makeover, new furniture and the addition of ‘san’ to its name, Hataitai eatery Bambuchi is entering a new phase. And that phase is Japanese. Expect delicious small plates that are perfect for sharing with Japanese favourites like gyoza, sushi and yakitori and a drinks menu that features sake along with wine and craft beer. BambuchiSan will retain its focus on catering for dietary requirements – their must-try dish of tempura avocado is coated with deliciously crispy gluten-free batter.
Zelati Dessert Café
Left Bank, Cuba Street, Wellington
Zelati made their bespoke flavours for top restaurants across Wellington for many years before opening a dessert café on Left Bank. Using only real, premium ingredients including fresh milk and cream and fresh fruit, Zelati pasteurise, age, infuse and churn each delightful batch of their gelato from scratch.
The seasonal gelato menu includes favourites like rhubarb cinnamon gelato (it tastes just like rhubarb crumble), saffron rose, malted milk plus vegan flavours like pineapple plum sorbet, Fix & Fogg peanut butter and coconut and purple kumara - a Kiwi twist based on the Philippine ‘Ube’ or purple yam.
226 Onepu Road, Lyall Bay, Wellington
A cosy new coffee shop has joined Lyall Bay's family of standard-smashing eateries. Serving homely counter food, High Noon Coffee roasted on the owners' family orchard in the far north, and real fruit ice cream, this little nook is sure to become a summer favourite.
10 Waterloo Quay, Pipitea, Wellington
Bright and modern eatery Black Doris is a waterfront cafe serving fresh and approachable food.
The sister cafe to Cuba Street stalwart Plum, it’s fair to say that the owner are brunch specialists. Their menu of ‘classics’ features crowd pleasers like eggs Benedict, buttermilk pancakes and potato hash. The coffee is locally roasted Emporio and there's a drinks menu featuring some local craft beer, too. The atmosphere is bright and modern, with lots of glass windows for taking in the view and wooden panelling to keep the space feeling warm and welcoming.
1/10 Waterloo Quay, Pipitea, Wellington
On the waterfront near Lambton Quay, Flamingo Joe’s serves up brunch and stunning panoramic views across the harbour.
While not technically on the beach, the sea views will put you in a nautical frame of mind. Flamingo Joe’s fit out is bright and fun and their modern brunch menu features all of your favourites from smashed avocado to scrambled eggs and smoothie bowls. There’s a custom cocktail list too, if you fancy making your brunch a little boozy.
35 Dixon Street, Te Aro, Wellington
El Barrio (meaning ‘the neighbourhood’) is a lively little Latino bar in the heart of Wellington’s entertainment precinct.
With menus in English, Portuguese and Spanish, El Barrio fuses South American, Latin and Kiwi culture. The menu reflects this fusion with favourite tapas like patatas bravas and polenta fries with smoked aioli, slider burgers and churros with dulce de leche for dessert. The energy is lively and vibrant with live music and a great drinks list.
36 Customhouse Quay, Wellington
Having just opened in September 2019 on the Wellington waterfront, this upmarket eating establishment has already been included in Cuisine's top 100 New Zealand restaurants. Each day, Atlas build a menu reflecting seasonal sensitivity and the best produce on offer. The menu details the distance many of the ingredients have travelled to your plate including native herbs (within 10km), wild shot venison (20km), winter truffles (262km) and sea urchin from Bluff (1028km). Their butter is churned in-house and you can find the chefs, pickling, smoking, curing, and fermenting throughout the seasons.
54 Cuba Street, Te Aro, Wellington
Hand-churned butter, homemade bread, and bacon and sausages lovingly produced in-house – this is just a small hint at the care and passion that goes into every forkful of food at this sustainable Cuba Street eatery where nearly every item on the menu is pickled, cured, smoked, fermented and made from scratch.
There’s a strong commitment to sustainability across their menu, their treatment of food waste and the renewable electricity that powers the restaurant. With a sleek architecturally-designed fitout, Highwater has an easy-going elegance that’s enjoyable anytime of the day.
3/126 Vivian Street, Te Aro, Wellington
In a city that loves Malaysian food, Kopitiam’s laksa is a strong contender for best laksa in the capital.
In Singapore and Malaysia, a kopitiam is the local go-to for a catch up over coffee and a bite to eat, and Kopitiam on Vivian Street is no different.
The eatery opens early to serve up a tasty Malaysian-style breakfast featuring kopi (coffee) served with a soft boiled egg and toast topped with kaya (a sweet coconut jam) and stays open for lunch.
125 Featherston Street, Wellington
Just like its namesake, this new craft beer, cocktail and tequila bar might look unsuspecting from the outside, but it's big on attitude. Featuring close to 30 types of tequila, a big selection of vege and meat-laden 'Gorilla Burgers', and plenty of neon kitsch, there's a good chance this will become your new favourite watering hole.
The Trading Post Catering & Deli
35 Waitoa Road, Hataitai, Wellington
Joining Hataitai’s delicious line-up of eateries, The Trading Post Catering & Deli Catering & Deli is created by Lindsay Phillips, the owner of nearby Bambuchi and Coolsville.
In an ex-cake decorating shop (see the pink-and-white striped awning), is a relaxed neighbourhood deli with a range of in-house baked goods, most of which are gluten-free, including the doughnuts. There’s comforting pre-prepared meals to take home, a range of charcuterie, cheeses and other artisan products. Like Coolsville, the vibe is homey and friendly.
4 Blair Street, Te Aro, Wellington
A sleek and simple café showcasing a small but perfectly curated collection of Wellington’s best counter food from favourite bakers and producers around town including vibrant salads by Queen Sally’s Diamond Deli and a seasonal toast menu starring Wellington Sourdough. After an Acme coffee and a Tomboy doughnut, take a walk through to Small Acorns for a browse around one of Wellington’s top home interior stores.
19 Blair Street, Te Aro, Wellington
For Southern Latin cuisine and a bright and cheerful space perfect for dining with friends, head to Blair Street's newest addition. You'll find punchy atypical tacos, quesadillas and meat plates that can be paired with fresh and fruity margaritas or pitchers of sangria.
60 Ghuznee Street, Te Aro, Wellington
Low-fi meets luxury at this new hideaway bar on the ground floor of a boutique hotel on Ghuznee Street. The interior glows with emerald green velvet, brass fittings and chandeliers in contrast to the exposed concrete walls. The Puffin focuses on organic and minimal intervention wines, alongside a thoughtful menu of charcuterie and cheese, oysters and small plates.