Little defines Wellingtonians as much as our obsession with food. Hot, spicy and delicious, there’s so much to choose from.
Food is a highly personal matter - and not everywhere will be your jam. One year you may be obsessed with burgers and the next, it could be all about seafood. Some years you may be eating lobster and others going out somewhere nice means McDonald’s. Based on where you work, what your age is and how much money you have, your preferences will change over time. One thing is true however: we all need to eat.
For me, food has always been about the places I have good memories eating with family and friends. I’m not super into dining deals as I’d rather go somewhere I like and know. Often, I have visited these restaurants and cafes over years, and have personal favourites on the menu I could recite from memory. As they say, trends come and go but good classics remain!
I love eating around and about Wellington, and find myself being asked for tips over and over. So if you’ve ever wanted to know where to buy spicy asian noodles, or what is the pizza place I’ll sell my soul to, here it is! Apologies if there is some repetition here - good things tend to stick around. Disclaimer - these are MY own favourites. I don’t seek to cater to the masses so if you don’t like all my choices, you can jog on!
My All Time Classics
Monsoon Poon - I love the firecracker chicken and the great atmosphere here. Even David Beckham approves!
Little Penang - Unlicensed but always clean and balanced Malaysian. Just off Cuba Street.
Floriditas - A classic for cake, coffee or amazing seasonal brunch. Elegant European interior.
Loretta - Such a great menu that changes often with fabulous basics. I love and want to eat everything on this menu.
Tank - Tank are a chain who do great salads. The Chicken and Goji Berry Salad is my never-changing favourite. This is a frequent lunchtime pick.
Gelissimo - Really innovative and special gelato and some excellent sandwiches. Try out the hot chocolate.
Wellington Chocolate Factory - Speaking of Hot Chocolate, these guys do the best. I love their yum salted caramel variety. Their bean to bar chocolate is the stuff of legend in Wellington.
Fortune Favours - This is a great beer and wine bar with tasty platters, and a neat atmosphere. It’s the only one of the Wellington Hospitality Group bars which I truly dig, largely thanks to Shannon, its proprietor.
Pizza Pomodoro - The most authentic Italian Pizza in my opinion. Get a takeaway and a slab of Fortune Favours beer to take home!
Superfino Jervois Quay - This is my new favourite coffee haunt, situated perfectly between uptown and downtown. I like that it is quiet and always makes me feel a bit incognito.
La Cloche - I adore French cuisine so La Cloche is up there for me. I just think these guys have a great menu and very authentic offering food wise. I prefer savoury to sweet - so line me up to a Croque Monsieur…eh…monsieur.
Noble Rot - This is such a great spot if you have a bit of cash to splash. I always feel very special coming in here and again, excellent platters. What these guys don’t know about wine isn’t worth knowing.
Ortega Fish Shack - For a treat, head to the Fish Shack. Fine dining at its best, with a sea-shanty feel. It’s well worth the spend.
Capitol - A great place to go for that classic yet casual vibe with an outstanding menu. I think these guys really nail the seasonal thing and you leave feeling light, never overstuffed.
Burger Liquor - An all American feel with tangy pickle ridden burgers and soft, brioche buns.
Sweet Mother’s Kitchen - The original Tex-Mex Wellington dining spot. I love their burritos and tacos. So so good and always reliable.
Cicio Cacio - Newtown delivers the best Italian in Wellington. Your authentic trattoria experience.
LBQ - I love the amazing - you guessed it - platters here and that the beer is fabulous. A great nook to meet up with friends.
The Greek Food Truck - These guys to seriously great Gyros that is almost as good as the real deal in the motherland.
Apache - Vietnamese cuisine that is just to die for!
Nam D - Also delicious Vietnamese - this time ‘on-the-go-’ street food.
Tommy Millions Pizza - New York style pizza done to perfection.
Egmont Street Eatery - Really cute atmosphere and a handsome menu with fusion food and a great burger!
Boulcott Street Bistro - For the odd special end of year occasion, this old dame still lives up to her reputation.
Mr Go’s - This is such a great spot with truly delicious food and they can cater for most allergies and sensitivity.
Burger Fuel - I LOVE Burgerfuel so much - it was truly one of the things I craved while travelling in Europe last year.
And because 26 spots isn’t enough, here are a few extra favourites:
The awesome sushi shop O’Sushi at Moore Wilson’s, Moore Wilson’s generally (even though it is not technically an Eatery), Ekor Bookshop (the BEST vibe - coffee in an independent book shop), PreFab (reliable and love their independent foodie line and Oli bread), Husk, Golding’s and so many more!
What are your favourite eateries?