Where to eat near St James Theatre

Wide view of the interior of August Eatery in Wellington, looking towards the windows. Friends are at a table talking.
2 bartenders stand behind a bar, both pouring and mixing cocktails. A large collection of bottles sit behind them on a shelf.

But first, coffee

40 Taranaki Street, Te Aro, Wellington

Peoples Coffee is proof that simple is often best. A two minute walk from St James Theatre, the central city café offers coffee made really, really well, and a selection of sweet and savoury pastries and toast. Seasonally changing toast offerings keep the menu fresh and fun. Friendly and efficient staff, and a pared-back, casual fit-out complete the Peoples experience.

A steady stream of locals keeps the small café buzzing. It also could be the Fairtrade and organic Peoples coffee beans, served as espresso, filter, or cold brew.

Grab a cuppa to takeaway before you head back to the theatre, or get caffeinated inside by a window seat.

Peoples Coffee
Wide view of the interior of August Eatery in Wellington, looking towards the windows. Friends are at a table talking.

Brunch or lunch in style

75 Taranaki Street, Te Aro, Wellington

August is a Mediterranean-inspired café and restaurant in central Wellington. Housed in a hospitality space at the front of a heritage-listed Methodist church and dotted with pink stools outside, it’s sure to catch your eye. With a moody colour palette and an intriguing menu, it’s not your run-of-the-mill brunch spot. Owners and friends Lisa and Tanase have infused a personal touch into every aspect of the business. Dining at August is an experience that’s warm, welcoming, and polished.

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Grab lunch on the go

35 Ghuznee Street, Te Aro, Wellington

Get your coffee fix on Ghuznee Street at Lunch Money.

The café shares a home with Recycle Boutique, keeping you caffeinated while you browse for vintage treasures.

A sister of Wellington stalwarts Sixes & Sevens, Lunch Money’s cabinets are stocked with its sibling’s familiar faves. Grab a sandwich, wrap, pie or pastry for lunch, and don’t forget a sweet treat. The doughnuts are popular with locals, and have changing weekly flavours. Skunkworks Coffee, the in-house roastery, provide the coffee goods. Park up on one of the seats outside in the sun on Ghuznee Street and refuel.

Lunch Money — Instagram

Explore fine-dining, Kiwi style

1/5 Eva Street, Te Aro, Wellington

What exactly is a ‘New Zealand restaurant’? In the case of Shepherd, which wears this label with pride, it’s a mixture of the food and the spirit in which it’s served. The restaurant brings a Kiwi sense of fun and irreverence that can feel at odds with the traditional definition of fine dining.

Chef and co-owner Shepherd Elliott delights in mixing highbrow and lowbrow food culture. Ingredients are seasonal and local, with interesting flavour combinations. Every dish lets the hero shine — whether it’s wild venison, sustainable fish, or the humble carrot.

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Eat something new (and yum)

66 Tory Street, Te Aro, Wellington

Mabel’s is a Burmese restaurant that will transport you to the heart of Myanmar with every spoonful of noodles and sip of broth. Head in for a meal with friends that will warm your belly and soul. While you’re there, take in the atmosphere of a restaurant that has been generations in the making.

The menu reflects the Myanmar style of eating — tasty comfort food to enjoy and share with friends. Warming curries and noodles pair perfectly with fresh salads, and all are served with a healthy dollop of flavour.

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Bring the whole gang for dinner

3 Eva Street, Te Aro, Wellington

Specialising in pan-Asian cuisine, Mr Go’s is a popular gathering point in the central city. The 140-seat restaurant has a large bar and all-weather outside dining area so it’s a great choice for a large gathering.

Officially, Mr Go’s serves “modern pan-Asian” cuisine. The menu focuses on Taiwanese and Chinese food with nods to Korea, India, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Japan. The portions are designed to share so the more the merrier, and the more you have a good chance of trying most cuisines.

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2 bartenders stand behind a bar, both pouring and mixing cocktails. A large collection of bottles sit behind them on a shelf.

Have a late night tipple

109 Manners Street, Te Aro, Wellington

Tucked into the corner of The Opera House, Crumpet is a cute and cosy bar.

Cocktails and, you guessed it, crumpets, are the star of the show here.

Thirsty? Let the talented bar staff shake up your tastebuds with a new take on an old favourite. Or, flick through the extensive Rolodex of cocktail options to tempt your palate. Seasonal drinks are always on offer, reflecting the weather or the mood of the evening.

Crumpets are served with a selection of sweet or savoury toppings. They’re a great snack to start or finish an evening.


Debrief over pizza and a pint

14 Leeds Street, Hannahs Laneway, Te Aro, Wellington

Tucked away in Hannahs Laneway, Golding’s Free Dive is a much-loved Wellington bar.

Flanked by a bakery, a pizzeria, a chocolate factory, and an award-winning restaurant, it’s right in the thick of things. Golding’s pays tribute to the dive bar scene of North America, but with less grime and more polish.

The bar is a cacophony of twinkling lights, taxidermy, photographs, and Star Wars memorabilia jostling for attention. Serving pizzas from Pizza Pomodoro across the laneway, it’s the perfect spot for a casual drink, slice, and debrief on the evening.

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