Eat & Drink
A pastry chef in a white coat and grey apron looks down while making cheese scones at Pravda Café & Grill. There are two racks of scones cooling on racks on the counter.

Best of the bunch? Wellington cheese scones as picked by locals

Finding your favourite cheese scone couldn’t be easier with this locally curated list. With so many on offer in one region, Wellingtonians were asked to nominate and then vote for their favourite spots to pick one up. This is the local’s guide to Wellington’s cheese scones: by locals, for everyone.

Pravda Café & Grill on Customhouse Quay is a long-time local favourite. Pravda means ‘truth’ in Russian. Well, the truth is, Pravda does a great cheese scone. With high-vaulted ceilings, crystal chandeliers, and expanses of marble and dark wood, it’s a classy spot for a humble scone. One local, Hinano, said “the cheese ratio, size, and structural integrity” make Pravda’s scones their favourite. You can’t argue with engineering in the windy city. 

Two cooling racks of freshly baked cheese scones on the counter at Café & Grill, a restaurant in Wellington Central.

The bakers at Pravda bake dozens of scones every morning.

Paraparaumu Beach harbours a cheese masterpiece at Seriously Pickled. The café is one block back from the beach and pounding surf on Seaview Road. The chefs are very proud of the local food heroes on Kāpiti Coast and endeavour to stock and use local products wherever possible. It clearly works for the cheese scones. Shiree reckons they are “fresh, crunchy on the outside, soft on the inside, and come with a cayenne pepper twist”. 

The cheese scones at Aunt Gingers are religiously eaten by many Carterton residents. The holy trinity of crispiness, cheesiness, and fluffiness has earned many fans. The hint of jalapeños is a signature, and crowd favourite. Fan and passionate scone-lover, Jane, says, “Jalapeño and cheddar — it’s the bomb diggity.” No further words needed. 

The bakers at Floriditas on Cuba Street do things a little differently. They add rocket into the batter along with three — yes, three — different cheeses. This recipe has earned high praise from Amy, who claims it converted them from being a non-believer. “I’d had them at various times from a lot of places but never rated them. The Floriditas cheese scone was a game-changer for me. They are perfect!” 

A cheese scone and a tiny jar of butter or a small plate with a blue rimmed plate with a pink floral pattern on a dark wood table at Floriditas, a restaurant on Cuba Street in Te Aro, Wellington.

A cheese scone from Floriditas on Cuba Street.

Ubiquitous around the central city, Mojo has a baker supplying cheese scones to all its cafés. They’re clearly doing it right, and they have won legions of fans. Sally Jane was moved to rhyme with this glowing endorsement, “The chilli and feta cheese scone is small, but mighty, and a little bit bitey.”

Common Ground Café in Johnsonville is the perfect place to settle down for a light fluffy treat after vigorous exercise. The cafés’ doors open opposite the busy Keith Spry Pool. Many locals mentioned the fluffiness and cheese content, but Janine captured it simply. “A decent-sized scone with lashings of cheese.”

If you’re heading to the Wellington Botanic Garden (and even if you’re not), stop by Picnic Café. Set the picturesque Lady Norwood Rose Gardens, the cheese scones come with beautiful scenery. Local fan Gwynneth says Picnic’s scones are almost faultless. “The balance between soft middle and crunchy exterior is always perfect.” 

Pickle & Pie might be a homage to New York delis, but its cheese scones are all Wellington. The Lombard Street café lives up to its name with its cheese scone presentation. “It comes with pickles…” said Rinaha, “…and a great flavour too!” That flavour comes from buttermilk, cheese and chilli for an extra kick.

A cheese scone and a couple of pickle slices on a small white plate with three seasoning shakers and a vase with yellow flowers on a table at Pickle & Pie.

Pickle & Pie’s scones come with, you guessed it, pickles.

Swimsuit has three cafés in Wellington — one in Miramar and the other two in the central city. While all the scones are great, it’s the little things that make a difference to one local. According to Greta, “The touch of sea salt on the wedge of melting butter is one of the best things you’ve ever tried.”

The cheese scones at El Porteño are world-famous in Tawa. Patricia thinks, “They are large, cheesy, crunchy and moist. Beautiful toasted with lashings of butter!” The owners claimed to have sold 30,000 in three years, so there’s clearly a passionate local following. 

Of course, these aren’t the only cheese scones to be found around the region. More than 1,500 locals voted for their favourites, nominating more than 180 scones. With that kind of ratio, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a bad cheese scone in the city. This is not a definitive list, this is just a tribute.

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