New and notable places in Wellington

Three cocktails sit in line on a wooden bar. Bottles of alcohol sit on shelves on the wall behind.
The front exterior of Coucou café, Island Bay.

The Runholder

89 Martins Road, Martinborough, Wairarapa

Home to Te Kairanga, Martinborough Vineyard and Lighthouse Gin, The Runholder provides a one-stop shop for great Martinborough fare. The three brands offer a quality hospitality experience with three unique dining areas. Outside, a sun-soaked terrace overlooks Martinborough’s rolling hills and vineyards.

Find out more
Three cocktails sit in line on a wooden bar. Bottles of alcohol sit on shelves on the wall behind.


8 Chews Lane, Wellington

An intimate bar that dispenses quality cocktail and wine advice, and a curated menu.

When you walk through the doors at Elixir, the predominant colour is green. There are plush velvet couches in forest green, and the walls are a warm chartreuse. Elixir is Wellington’s premiere bitters and Chartreuse bar, so it makes sense to theme the décor to the liqueur.

Found down Chews Lane off Willis Street, Elixir provides a cosy oasis among the busy office and apartment blocks. It also boasts the only full kitchen attached to a cocktail bar. The menu is short, but action-packed with striking flavours. Te Matuku oysters with elderflower foam, and duck parfait are two standouts.

Find out more


89 Ghuznee Street, Te Aro, Wellington

With red floors, neon signs, wood-panelled walls and a jukebox on free play, Humdinger is anything but subtle. It’s your friendly neighbourhood dive bar that might just become your new local. 

With a range of tap beers, cocktails, and a few wines, Humdinger aims to make the whole experience inviting and fun. The beverage menu has 12 house cocktails that play on the classics with a twist. The jukebox in the corner encourages you to pick your favourite song to go with your drink and pizza. If you're hungry, deep-dish pizzas that riff off familiar favourites and tasty bar snacks are on offer. (And yes, takeaway is available.) 

From the owners of Puffin and Goldings, Humdinger means ‘remarkably excellent’, and it’s also quite fun to say. A very fitting name for a fun and excellent bar.


Willis Lane

1 Willis Street, Wellington Central, Wellington

Beneath the road on Willis Street lies a subterranean wonderland. Willis Lane sits underground on the corner of Lambton Quay and Willis Street. Head down to discover a fantastic selection of bars and eateries, alongside interactive entertainment.

With a sleek, sophisticated interior filled with tunnels and vaulted brick archways, Willis Lane has a touch of New York subway chic. It’s designed to be both convenient and a destination in its own right. With minigolf, 10-pin bowling, and arcade games it hums with life throughout the day and night. Licensed bars, restaurants, and quality fast food options complement the entertainment. Visit for coffee, lunch with workmates, evening drink, or games night.

Find out more

The Ram

103 Cuba Street, Te Aro, Wellington

The Ram is a bar that’s happy to mould itself to whatever your evening requires — be it negronis on tap, or a midnight chicken parmigiana (or eggplant, if you’re that way inclined).

With a focus on simple done really, really well, The Ram is an equally good spot for an evening drink as it is for a casual meal. The menu offers easy snacks like fries (arguably some of the best in town), fresh oysters, or lush burrata that’s perfect for sharing. Mains are refined takes on pub classics.

Find out more

Mr Go’s

3 Eva Street, Te Aro, Wellington

Mr Go’s is gone! Gone down the road a couple of blocks to Eva Street. The perennially popular pan-Asian restaurant outgrew its Taranaki Street digs. It has set up shop on the ground floor of the new Cobblers Hotel in the quaint Hannah’s Laneway. It now boasts a 140-seat restaurant with an enlarged bar and an all-weather dining courtyard for those famous Wellington good days.

There’s even more chance to sample its fantastic menu. There’s a focus on Taiwanese and Chinese food with nods to Korea, India, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Japan.

Find out more

Mean Doses

66 Tory Street, Te Aro, Wellington

Started by Wellington couple Kerry and Dean, Mean Doses is a local craft brewery. What began in a basement is now a fully-fledged bar and taproom on Tory Street.

A lineup of taps pours Mean Doses’ classic brews, alongside some exclusive house beers. A small selection of wine, gin, and single-malt whisky will tempt non-beer drinkers. Cool and casual, the space is upstairs from Mabel’s restaurant, which provides the bar snacks. A mix of classics and intriguing Burmese dishes are great nibbles. You’ll need to stay fuelled, as there are games galore. Challenge your friends to pinball, pool, shuffleboard, or classic arcade games.

Mean Doses
The front exterior of Coucou café, Island Bay.


145A The Parade, Island Bay, Wellington

Coucou (pronounced ‘ku ku’) is French for ‘hi’. Next time you’re in Island Bay say ‘coucou’ to the baristas at Coucou. The Island Bay café focuses on providing a fresh ambience and delicious cabinet food. Staying true to the French influence it serves fresh and flaky croissants and quiches. There are also pies, sandwiches, and sausage rolls for those looking for something hearty. The owners of Coucou also run Sixes and Sevens Deli in the city so there is a sweet array of their famous doughnuts too.

Skunkworks Coffee supplies the beans, and you’ll find a light, bright espresso blend on offer. There’s also a rotation of delicious juicy single origins on filter. The Ethiopian Guji is recommended by staff.

Coucou — Instagram