Explore the tastes of Wellington with dishes from award-winning chefs and cocktails in cool settings.
Wellington doesn’t disappoint when it comes to seafood. You’ll find waterfront restaurants serving fish sourced directly from the fishermen. Don’t miss out on the city’s hot spot for food and drinks on Cuba Street.
The tastes of Wellington range from East Asian to modern fare, local favourites and pub menus. With these suggestions you won’t leave Wellington hungry.
Top Wellington restaurants
This restaurant and cocktail bar is bound to excite your senses from both a taste and visual perspective.
The decor features original artwork and views overlooking Wellington Harbour.
The food itself is presented like a work of art, which is appropriate as Hippopotamus is set in the Museum Art Hotel.
Dishes are inspired by French gastronomy.
90 Cable Street, Wellington
Ortega Fish Shack and Bar
The inside of Ortega Fish Shack is somewhat akin to a maritime museum and features ocean-inspired decor and marine-themed artwork.
As to be expected, seafood is the speciality here and the owners claim to have one of the best beer lists in town, with a huge variety for non-beer lovers too.
The head chef combines dishes that he’s found on his culinary travels to create unique interpretations.
90 Cable Street, Wellington
Tuck in for a night of fine dining and cocktails at Logan Brown. This establishment has been serving contemporary dishes since 1996, evolving with the food scene as the years have gone by.
Its passion for the environment is shown through the dishes, which use locally sourced ingredients from nearby suppliers as well as sustainable produce.
92 Cuba Street, Te Aro, Wellington
Boulcott Street Bistro and Winebar
Boulcott Street Bistro is set in the Victorian cottage Plimmer House, built in the 1870s.
The menu is comprised of classic bistro dishes and modern fare.
Since 1991 Boulcott Street Bistro and Winebar has been pairing great wines with the innovative dishes created by head chef Rex Morgan, who is a culinary judge and award-winning chef.
99 Boulcott Street, Wellington
The owners of The Larder are local residents who have embraced the nose-to-tail eating philosophy. Their aim is to use all parts of the animal to create dishes they are passionate about.
They work closely with local suppliers and farmers to ensure the freshest of ingredients are placed on the plate and to support small businesses.
The menu changes along with the seasons as it is heavily produce-driven.
133 Darlington Road, Miramar, Wellington
The Thistle Inn
Dine here and find yourself sitting in a piece of history. The Thistle Inn is the oldest surviving tavern and restaurant that still operates on its original site.
It was also given the second liquor licence ever issued in New Zealand.
The menu features gastropub fare, but for something new try the 360-degree dining experience, combining delicious tastes with virtual dining.
3 Mulgrave Street, Pipitea, Wellington
Visit Whitebait for a mouth-watering meal of seafood paired exceptionally well with wine.
Whitebait cares deeply for the environment, working with local suppliers to deliver the freshest seasonal ingredients on your plate.
Some ingredients are foraged for by the chefs themselves, such as seaweed and mushrooms.
G04/1 Clyde Quay Wharf, Te Aro, Wellington
Dine at Ancestral for a menu full of modern gastronomy.
Dishes are heavily influenced by East Asian cuisine and packed with authentic Cantonese and Sichuan flavours.
International influences are also combined in dishes that pair well with the innovative cocktails that can be enjoyed in the garden bar.
31/33 Courtenay Place, Te Aro, Wellington
The Library is the perfect spot to start your evening or to relax for a low-key afternoon cocktail.
Drinks are displayed theatrically for you to enjoy among the thousands of classic books that stretch the length of the bar.
You’ll have a tough choice choosing from their extensive 20-page drinks menu. You should also stop by for one of its sweet treats.
53 Courtenay Place, Te Aro, Wellington
Foxglove Bar and Kitchen
Kick back in one of the oversized armchairs in the lobby bar with a drink and enjoy casual dining. Or pop over to the dining room for a more intimate setting with views of the harbour.
You’ll find a drinks menu with rare whiskeys, fine wines and cocktails that reflect New Zealand’s culture.
The menu features locally sourced ingredients and dishes that range from casual tapas to fine dining.
33 Queens Wharf, Wellington
Food tours and cooking classes
Spend the day tasting the delicious delights of Wellington on a food tour or enjoy the fine wines of the neighbouring Martinborough wine region.
Wellington food tour
Wellington wine tasting tour
Half-day Wellington food tour
Food and drink deals in Wellington
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Feature image: Foxglove Bar and Kitchen