Eat your way along Cuba Street

From quirky to classic, here are some of the best cafés, bars, and restaurants on Wellington's most colourful street

Olive

170-172 Cuba Street, Te Aro, Wellington

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Olive is a long-standing Cuba Street institution serving seasonal French and Italian-inspired menus in a rustic-chic space. Olive’s curiously lush tropical courtyard featuring, you guessed it, an olive tree is one of Wellington’s best-kept secrets.

The garden courtyard is the perfect spot to while away an afternoon, sipping on a chilled rosé and nibbling on some warmed olives. The indoor dining room has a French industrial rustic vibe and is the perfect spot for a weekend brunch or an intimate dinner. Head Chef Jamie Morgan regularly changes the menu to include fresh, in-season, local produce.

olive.co.nz

Floriditas

161 Cuba Street, Te Aro, Wellington

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If you’re a fan of eggs for breakfast, then you’re going to love Floriditas.

Their brunch menu has an entire section dedicated to all things egg – boiled, scrambled, fried or poached. With salmon, spinach, ham or broccoli on sourdough, brioche, potato hash or salad.

If eggs aren’t your thing, there’s plenty of other delicious possibilities including Floriditas’ legendary fish pie. Whatever you order, add a bowl of fries with aioli for the table to share, and if by some miracle you have room, order a brown sugar meringue piled with brown sugar and fresh fruit.

floriditas.co.nz

Loretta

181 Cuba Street, Te Aro, Wellington

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Scandinavian-style design with a Californian-style menu on Wellington’s Cuba Street. Loretta is a smart but casual eatery serving up wholesome and delicious food in an award-winning, architecturally designed 120-seater restaurant.

Perfect at any time of the day or evening, Loretta has menus for breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner. The food, served on ceramics by local potter Paul Melser, reflects the natural earthy style of the restaurant’s interior.

Start your day with coffee and house-made crumpets and end it with free-range organic wood-fired chicken and fresh, seasonal salads. An extensive wine menu is available by the glass, or at the other end of the spectrum, there’s fresh lemon verbena tea and kombucha.

loretta.net.nz

Take a little Liberty

227 Cuba Street, Te Aro, Wellington

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Step into clean and sleek interiors, with large street front windows to watch the world go by, and you're at Liberty – the latest venture from Steve Logan and Shaun Clouston of Wellington fine-dining institution Logan Brown.

This new restaurant on Cuba Street is perfect for when you’re feeling a little fancy. The menu features a range of different dishes, depending on your party size (and hunger levels). Made to be shared, the food is intriguing and comes from all over. You’ll be hard pressed to nail down a category of cuisine, apart from very, very good. Feel like Korean fried chicken, or a Te Matuku oyster? Liberty has it all, and a range of tasty cocktails, too. It’s a taste of here and there, and it’s just up the road.

libertyrestaurant.co.nz

Midnight Espresso

178 Cuba Street, Te Aro, Wellington

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The original café for midnight feasts on Cuba Street, Midnight Espresso is one of the last places still open on Cuba Street to score a late-night coffee and bite to eat. Their iconic café counter is generously piled high with vegetarian (and often vegan and gluten-free) frittatas, pies, sandwiches, cakes and slices, all decorated in an eclectic and flamboyant way with fruit and flowers. There's also a vast short-order menu written large on the café wall and liquid refreshments in the form of freshly squeezed juices and high-octane Havana espresso.

facebook.com/midnightespressowlg

Scopa

141 Cuba Street, Te Aro, Wellington

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Owned and run by a pair of brothers, Scopa has familiarity and charm down. A traditional Italian kitchen in the heart of Cuba Street, Scopa is Wellington's local joint for pizzas and old school Italian eats. The house speciality is pizza, made fresh in their wood-fired ovens and their hot chocolate is famous around town – so thick that you can eat it with a spoon. Scopa has a charming, laidback atmosphere that works for dates, but also for large groups and families. 

scopa.co.nz

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