Go for a cafe crawl in the Cuba precinct
From the quirky to classic, these cafes all have one thing in common: the coffee is always exceptional
170-172 Cuba Street, Te Aro, Wellington
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.
181 Cuba Street, Te Aro, Wellington
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 and 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 day 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.
161 Cuba Street, Te Aro, Wellington
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 eggy – 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 (you’ll notice nearby tables doing the same thing) and if by some miracle you have room, order a brown sugar meringue piled with brown sugar and fresh fruit.
178 Cuba Street, Te Aro, Wellington
The original cafe 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 cafe 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 cafe wall and liquid refreshments in the form of freshly squeezed juices and high-octane Havana espresso.
Lamason Brew Bar
Lombard Lane, Te Aro, Wellington
Tucked away down Lombard Lane, Lamason Brew Bar serves up siphon-brewed coffee and top-shelf espresso to satisfy all caffeine cravings.
Lamason was one of the first brew bars in Wellington to serve up siphon-brewed style coffee and the team continues to stay up-to-date with coffee-world trends and brewing techniques.
38 Dixon Street, Te Aro, Wellington
Dive into this breezy minimalist coffee joint on the corner of Te Aro Park. Owned by well-known Wellington barista Tait Burge, this is the place to get an expertly brewed cup of coffee and unpretentious, friendly service.
Swimsuit uses organic fair trade beans from local roastery Peoples Coffee, organic milk from local producer Zany Zeus and plus there’s a range of alternative milks. There's a light offering of food available including the popular house-made scones and simple counter food like sandwiches. The light and airy minimalist interior makes the perfect spot for people watching or take a seat at one of the outdoor tables.
35 Ghuznee Street, Te Aro, Wellington
Milk Crate is a favourite with Wellington locals - on any given day you'll find a mixture of Wellington artists, cool kids, corporates, and everyone in between.
The café has a small but perfectly formed menu of simple, fresh and delicious salads, sandwiches, soup and delicious sweet baked treats - the matcha oreos (chocolate cookies sandwiched with green matcha icing) are a must-try. There's always a good range of gluten-free and vegan options available in the mix.
There's espresso and filter coffee from local Rich Coffee Roasters, cold-pressed juice from local Earnest and smoothies made to order. You'll want to make like a local and return here again.
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