Wellington's best cafés
Wellington is the café capital of New Zealand with an array of places to go for excellent, local coffee and freshly-made cabinet food
27 College Street, Te Aro, Wellington
Visit the café and coffee roastery that was a pioneer of Wellington’s now celebrated and world-famous café and coffee culture.
With its pared back industrial look, L’affare is one of those cafés that appeals to everyone. Their all-day menu features all-time classic café favourites like creamy mushrooms on organic sourdough toast and their cabinet is always stocked with delicious sweet treats and savoury snacks. And the coffee, of course, is always fresh, expertly-made and delicious. Go and see why the L’affare remains a firm local favourite.
37 Jessie Street, Te Aro & 4 Glamis Avenue, Strathmore, Wellington
A long-time hidden gem in Strathmore, Mystic Kitchen has expanded into the CBD with two locations – a café on Jessie Street and a coffee kiosk on Left Bank.
Their original location in Strathmore is a café and deli, where you can buy prepared meals to take away or stay and enjoy food and coffee from the cabinet. At all locations, you can get a taste of their fantastic coffee, which is locally roasted by Coffee Supreme and some of their famous baking – their rhubarb and caramel scones are particularly sought after. With friendly service that’s full of character and good cheer, Mystic Kitchen is a Wellington favourite.
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.
178 Cuba Street, Te Aro, Wellington
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.
Queen Sally's Diamond Deli
200 Queens Drive, Lyall Bay, Wellington
A retro-themed deli and café by the sea at Lyall Bay.
The smaller sibling of Maranui Café (just a minute’s walk away by the beach), Queen Sally’s has the same approach to delicious, wholesome food with a cabinet full of delicious, seasonal salads, fresh pies and sandwiches and beautifully-presented baking, plus an array of deli delights made in-house and a selection of local artisan products.
There are a few tables inside, as well as some outdoor tables if you want to eat or have a coffee there, otherwise get your order ‘to go’ and head down to the beach. The service is warm, friendly and fun and it’s a popular place with locals.
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