Dine out at Wellington's award-winning eateries
We're not called the culinary capital for nothing - Wellington is home to some of New Zealand's top restaurants, bars and cafés
Boulcott Street Bistro
99 Boulcott Street, Te Aro, Wellington
Generally regarded as one of Wellington’s finest restaurants, Boulcott Street Bistro is led by acclaimed and award-winning chef Rex Morgan.
Opened in 1991 in historic Plimmer House, a charming inner-city Victorian cottage, the restaurant is warm and inviting. The Bistro has a long-established reputation for serving timelessly classic bistro dishes using the freshest seasonal produce and contemporary flavours.
Described on the menu as a ‘BSB Classic’ the aged fillet of beef with Béarnaise sauce, red wine jus and hand-cut, double-cooked fries is a dish that has been consistently popular since the restaurant first opened.
Field & Green
262 Wakefield Street, Te Aro, Wellington
Award-winning Field & Green is a personable eatery where chef Laura Greenfield puts great care and thought into her food.
Specialising in European soul food – think classy comfort food with dishes like smoked fish kedgeree, fish finger sandwiches but reworked with fresh, local and seasonal ingredients. There’s a menu of house-churned ice cream with 17 flavours ranging from homely vanilla to the more adventurous saffron and cardamom.
The service at Field & Green is always warm and welcoming, and the restaurant space is classic and simple with lovely personal touches – the mid-century bone and silver cutlery is a family heirloom.
10 Kent Terrace, Mount Victoria, Wellington
Based on a classical Italian style, Capitol's food is fresh, pure and uncluttered.
Ranked in Cuisine's top 100 New Zealand restaurants for 2019, Capitol's bistro-style menu is strongly seasonal and is carefully designed to take full advantage of local produce. Led by chef and owner Tom Hutchinson, Capitol pride themselves on using ethical produce and the best New Zealand seafood.
The restaurant has an intimate feel and the service is warm and professional. Grab a seat by the windows and watch the world go by as you sip your expertly-made martini and decide what to order next.
1 Post Office Square, Wellington
Showcasing wood-fired cooking, local ingredients, organic wine and craft beer, Charley Noble is the perfect place to experience Wellington on a plate.
Their Zesti wood-fired chargrill and rotisserie is the first of its kind in New Zealand from which the delicious smoky flavour details meats and vegetables throughout their menu.
Also a haven for lovers of seafood, Charley Noble features freshly shucked oysters, fire-grilled line-caught market fish and a wine to match every dish. Charley Noble has won awards for both their food and drinks menus.
28 Grey Street, Te Aro, Wellington
It begins the moment you walk through the doors and into the lobby of DoubleTree by Hilton into a beautifully restored historic building that has all the glamour and style of the 1920s.
Head up the staircase or take the extremely dapper lift to Spring Kitchen – a restaurant designed for comfortable enjoyment of the kitchen’s excellent food.
For dinner, you’ll be enjoying Spring Kitchen’s Asian-inspired flavours combined with modern European cuisine to create new flavours and experiences, like their signature dish of Angus tenderloin beef with smoked eggplant, curried potato and masala jus.
Memorial Square, Martinborough
Set in the quaintly idyllic wine-making village of Martinborough beside the grassy, oak-tree lined town square and inside the historic old hotel on the corner, is Union Square is a bistro-style restaurant by Michelin star-winning chef Adam Newell.
Surrounded by farmers and makers of incredible produce and products, including award-winning olive oil and cheese, the restaurant doesn’t have to go far for many of the top-quality ingredients used in the kitchen.
Rated in Cuisine’s top 100 New Zealand restaurants in 2018 and 2019, this restaurant is as popular with out-of-towners as it is with the locals.
107 Victoria Street, Te Aro, Wellington
Specialising in nose-to-tail and fin-to-fin eating, WBC is a popular restaurant that tries to use every part of the best-quality New Zealand meat, seafood and fresh produce they cook with.
Brightly coloured patches of chalk paint on the walls are updated with seasonal special dishes, new wine arrivals and the line-up of fresh oysters and clams, served on the shell.
The menu has a distinct Asian influence and is made up of small and large plates that are best shared by the table – the chilled Goan raw fish curry served with poppadom is a highlight.
Located in the former factory space of the Wellington Boot Company, the elegant restaurant space is dominated by large windows looking out over Wellington’s boutique retail district. WBC is a lovely spot for a long lunch or dinner with friends.
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. 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.
Chameleon - InterContinental Wellington
2 Grey Street, Wellington
Award-winning Chameleon Restaurant is the perfect place to experience a seasonal snapshot of the best local produce treated in the very best way.
Led by acclaimed chef de cuisine Paul Limacher, Chameleon is known for innovation and crafting dishes with global inspiration with a uniquely New Zealand flavour.
If you’re one of those people who likes to taste everything, Chameleon is for you - the dishes served are designed to be between entrée and main size, to enable guests to enjoy multiples tastes. Located at the five-star hotel InterContinental Wellington, the modern window-lined restaurant is light-filled and the perfect place to enjoy a memorable meal as you watch Wellington go by outside.
90 Cable Street, Te Aro, Wellington
Experience exquisite French-influenced cuisine in a glamorous setting at coolest little capital’s most creative and art-focused hotels, QT Wellington.
Led by executive chef Jiwon Do, Hippopotamus carries on its award-winning approach to fine dining. By day, Hippopotamus offer an opulent and delicious high tea service that’s the perfect treat or way to mark a special occasion.
By night, their beautifully presented dinner menu has a mix of comfort food and fine-dining dishes with wine or cocktails – made by the expert mixologists from the adjoining cocktail bar – to match. With its flamboyant elegance and stunning views over Wellington Harbour, Hippopotamus makes for an always memorable experience.
5 Todman Street, Brooklyn, Wellington
An award-winning modern neighbourhood bistro, Salty Pidgin is warm and welcoming with an open fire that is lit on cooler days. Salty Pidgin’s menu is driven by quality and makes the most of local produce, meat and seafood.
Open for brunch and dinner at the weekends and dinner during the week, their Turkish pide (flatbread with toppings) is a popular choice and their crispy cauliflower with harissa mayo will change your opinion of brassicas for good.
There’s an excellent wine list (co-owner JP is a sommelier) and a changing line-up of local and international craft beer on tap. Right across the road from the popular Penthouse Cinema, Salty Pidgin is the perfect spot to head for a bite to eat after a film.
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