Where to shop on Cuba Street
The best-known strip in Wellington, Cuba Street brings a slice of bohemia to the capital. Home to eclectic fashion, vintage finds and independent boutiques
Slow Boat Records
183 Cuba Street, Te Aro, Wellington
The kind of record store you thought only existed in movies from the 1980s and 90s, Slow Boat Records on Cuba Street is a must-visit for anyone who is into music. The store is always playing some interesting music and it’s not uncommon for customers to walk up to the counter to say, ‘I’d like to buy the album you’re playing’ and from time-to-time there are live performances in-store. The staff are passionate about music and all have their own specialist genres and are happy for customers to browse the new and used CDs, vinyl, DVDs, posters and t-shirts to their hearts’ content.
Cuba Mall, 204 Left Bank, Te Aro, Wellington
The home of unexpected one-off finds – from rare and unusual books, to poetry slam nights and gigs, to spotting local literary heroes. Pegasus Books is a small, independent bookseller who stock quality books, ranging from antiquarian to near new, at good prices. Their well-read staff have a wide knowledge of books and the literary world and will be more than happy to help you find something that’s just your cup of tea. More than just a store, Pegasus Books regularly hold events and gigs, including Friday night Fiction Room, where musicians, writers and poets perform in the fiction section to a packed-out room. Pegasus Books are also a venue for Wellington’s annual literary festival, Verb Wellington.
Hunters & Collectors
134 Cuba Street, Te Aro, Wellington
Hunters and Collectors is an expertly-curated trove of eclectic clothing, curios and accessories from vintage to modern, skate, street and punk. Originally opened in 1984 by Christina O and Mike Zero, the shop was the first to combine high-end designer items with art deco antique pieces, curiosities, leatherwear, Doc Martens, and vintage clothing. Christina O still oversees the Cuba Street store, which is a go-to for anyone looking for hard-to-find, coveted designer items and anything rare and exotic.
You'll spot Hunters and Collectors from its wild window display, which often ties into what's going on in the city, and set aside some solid time for browsing.
118 Cuba Mall, Te Aro, Wellington
Iko Iko is a treasure trove of trinkets, from pretty things for your home, to interesting books on design, Iko Iko is full of the things you may not need, but just must have. Their window displays change regularly and are a riot of colour and fun – themes which continue in-store. There’s a great range of gift cards, perfect for marking the traditional through to the non-traditional occasions. It’s the kind of place that people of all ages will be into and it’s a great place for a browse.
Corner Cuba & Dixon Streets, Te Aro, Wellington
Area 51 is Wellington’s original premium contemporary street wear store for men and women. Established in 2000, the well laid-out store has a super friendly and low-key relaxed vibe and has become a Cuba Street destination for the well-dressed. With a carefully curated selection of local and emerging to leading and influential brands there’ll be something in-store that is exactly your sort of style – from Adidas to Huffer, Vans to Rains and more.
Rough Peel Music
173 Cuba Street, Te Aro, Wellington
Rough Peel Music is one of those stores you could spend hours browsing to discover new and old music or rediscover old favourites. The store has a great selection of new and used vinyl, CDs, DVDs and even some cassette tapes (for those who remember them). The Cuba Street store has a chilled out, ‘come as you are’ vibe that makes it a place you’ll want to stay and browse. The friendly staff are passionate, knowledgeable and super keen to talk music.
Madame Fancy Pants
225 Cuba Street, Te Aro, Wellington
A boutique specialising in all things wonderful, Madame Fancy Pants has been a Wellington favourite since it opened in 2007. Owned and run by the charismatic Claire Terry, who also designs jewellery under the Madame Fancy Pants brand which is made nearby. At MFP you’ll find beautiful clothing, jewellery, stationery, accessories, baby goods and whole bunch of other types of wonderful from a range of brands and makers from around New Zealand and the world.