WellingtonEat & Drink
The exterior of Maranui Café, inside the Lyall Bay surf lifesaving club. The building is white with red accents and cars are parked outside.

Maranui Café

  • Location

    Level 1, 7A Lyall Parade, Lyall Bay, Wellington

  • Website

    Maranui Café

On the top floor of Lyall Bay’s Maranui Surf Life Saving Club, Maranui Café is a quintessential Wellington experience. The red and white building is a beacon on the beach, having stood in the spot since 1911. While the café isn’t quite as old (it opened in 2003), it has established itself as a firm local favourite and a “must-do” for visitors to the city.

With sweeping views across the popular surf beach below, a roomy deck outside, and funky retro decor indoors, there’s no such thing as a bad seat at Maranui. Head in on a weekend and you might have to wait for one of your own. But as the steady line of hungry customers down the stairs will assure you, it’s worth the wait.

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Like the colourful furniture and old-school art, Maranui’s menu is fittingly retro. Owners Bronwyn Kelly and Katie Richardson serve up healthy, wholesome, and hearty food. Tasty salads, melt-in-the-mouth baking, and some of the best fries in town. The milkshakes are famous in Wellington and almost a meal in themselves. Served in the shaker, they’re super thick and super delicious.

They’ve got brunch and lunch classics and plenty of dietary-friendly options. Scrambled tofu is one of their signature dishes. If you’re looking to fuel a big day on the beach or cruising around the city, the Big Bay Breakfast is likely to tick the box.

“Coolest spot in town’’, says a sign above one table. After a meal or a coffee here, you’ll be nodding in agreement.

The interior of the iconic Maranui Cafe in Lyall Bay, Wellington. The bay, overcast sky and flying gulls are seen through the three-pane bay window. There are four tables with two patrons sitting at each.