WellingtonEat & Drink
The interior of Graze Wine Bar with bar staff behind the bar.

Graze Wine Bar

Cosy and quaint, Graze is a village wine bar nestled in the hills of Kelburn. What was once a neighbourhood butcher shop is now a meat-free restaurant, serving small plates in an intimate and welcoming space. Perch up at the bar or in a window-side seat to enjoy a meal filled with love for both food and the planet.

Kelburn’s slower pace and peaceful atmosphere is a fitting environment for Graze. Often filled with locals on their way home, the 22-seater bar meets relaxed restaurant is the perfect mix of casual and quirky. Its laid-back attitude makes it easy to pop in for a quick drink and snack, but the interesting menu means many end up staying for a full meal.

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Owned by husband and wife Max Gordy and Stina Persen, the duo have poured their hearts and souls into every aspect of the restaurant.

With the aim of becoming zero-waste, Graze has a concise and considered pescatarian menu. The menu, written on a blackboard for both flexibility and to avoid printing paper menus, changes regularly. It depends on the day’s catch, seasonal availability, or even the weather. Kelburn’s lush, green surroundings mean there’s plenty of opportunity for foraging ingredients.

Using only sustainably caught fish and seafood means the dishes are fresh and bursting with flavour. Locally-grown vegetables are used in new and unusual ways. In-house pickles and preserves are the perfect accompaniment (and double as a colourful shelf decoration).

As the name suggests, Graze has a highly curated wine list. A range of New Zealand wines are available by the glass, showcasing many of the country’s smaller and lesser-known vineyards. Most of the varietals on offer are organic or biodynamic.

Max and Stina’s focus on sustainability and low waste extends to the restaurant’s fit-out. Food is served on quirky mismatched plates sourced from local op-shops. Diners sit at tables made from recycled floorboards and on seat covers made of old jeans, hand-sewn by Stina. Above are colourful light shades rescued from the Tip Shop. A retro sign of a smiling cartoon butcher on the wall welcomes you as you enter, and nods to the space’s former life.

2 customers enjoy their meals and talk over food at Graze Wine Bar.