Earlier this year me and some friends had a week escape in Wellington as one of my friends parents own an apartment in the heart of the city. Free accommodation is always a good push to buying a plane ticket somewhere and the fact that it is situated right off Cuba Street, surrounded by amazing cafes, bars and restaurants helps too.
It felt so ~~lush~~ as we stayed in a Brooklyn style apartment and were spoilt with amazing views, food and incredibly friendly people. If you’re familiar with Australia, Wellington reminded me of Newtown in Sydney or the city Melbourne in Victoria.We ate out every single day and the trip ended up being a foodies absolute dream. Here are my top picks for places to eat and drink, some we even went to more than once!
Fancy Dinner and Drinks
Chow – An Asian fusion restaurant
45 Tory St, Te Aro
There was a combination of vegans, vegetarians and meat eaters on this trip so it was always great finding a place that would cater to all of us with no problems. We went on a Wednesday where they had a 2 for 1 cocktail deal! The waiter was super helpful when it came to recommending dishes and we didn’t have to wait long at all before our food came out. It gets extremely busy though so try and make a booking or go in early and put your name down on the waiting list! We had an absolutely fab evening trying a bunch of their different cocktails and stuffing ourselves silly 😀
Cheap and Easy
Aunty Mena’s – Vegetarian Cafe
167 Cuba St
A tiny little Asian Fusion cafe, Aunty Mena’s is a must do for any vegan or vegetarian but I promise you, even a meat eater will enjoy it. Although it says vegetarian pretty much all of the dishes are vegan and absolutely delicious! Don’t go here expecting fancy decor and fancy meal presentation though, this place is unpretentious and all about a cheap and hearty meal. When I asked people I knew who lived in Wellington for recommendations this was one place they all raved about that was taking the vegan community in Wellington by storm and it didn’t disappoint!!
The Library – Bar next to Chow
Level 1/53 Courtenay Place, Te Aro
It was absolutely buzzing when we went and it was a Wednesday night! So it’s safe to say it would be very busy on a Friday or Saturday. They again had the 2-for-1 cocktail deal which was perfect, especially when they taste so delicious and have a wide range to choose from.
The decor is so much fun, with walls with books you can pick out and read, booths to sit in and a bath in one of the rooms. We opted for a booth, with warm, soft lighting and great background music playing.
Fidel’s – Cafe
234 Cuba St
We ended up going here twice as its the perfect place to go when you have a big group to be seated (there was six of us). The first time we went was on the weekend so we had to wait a little while before we were seated but they were quick to serve us once we were inside. There are a bunch of Vegetarian items which is awesome but not as many Vegan options so I ended up getting the same thing both times. On both of our visits there was a constant stream of people showing how popular the place is, which is a good sign! The atmosphere is amazing with all of its decor and the serving sizes are nice and big which is always a win!!
Rooftop Drinks and Food
Basque – Tapas Bar
8 Courtenay Place, Te Aro
So many people recommended us this place and it did not disappoint! Even though we were there in winter the vibes on the roof top were amazing with twinkling lights and amazing views, I can’t even begin to imagine how incredible this place would be in sumer
They offer a wide selection of sangrías and if you’re a massive sangria fan like me, this is a dream come true. The service was super friendly and the food was SUPER delish!
Midnight Espresso – Cafe that is open late
178 Cuba St, Te Aro
Midnight Espresso has a strong alternative vibe and if you’re a fan of people watching ike I am, this is a great spot to do so as there is a lot of colourful characters that come and go. It was busy the two times we went, with a line of people waiting eagerly to make their orders. Sometimes this is a deterrent when I go out to eat but when you know how good the food is you’re willing to wait.
I highly recommend any of the vegan baked goods in the cabinet and the milkshakes! So delicious, decadent and devilish!! They cater to a wide range of dietary requirements and have absolutely AMAZING vegan food, almost everything on the menu can be made vegan or vego. This place really embodies what Wellington is all about – the arts, the hippy vibe, and the coffee culture. The best part is that it is open from 7am – 3am, a great place to grab your midnight feed!
Tommy Millions – Takeaway Pizza
105 Courtenay Place
It might not look like much from the outside but if you’re after delicious New York style pizza, this is the place to go. My friends and I were guilty of going here at least three times in the week we were there… Oops. The slices are huge, with a yummy wood fired crust, delicious toppings and flavoursome dough. They can make vegan pizza on request but be careful, because they will make you a whole pizza, which is a delicious problem to have.
Wellington, you were amazing, thanks for having us!! Don’t worry New Zealand, I’ll see the rest of you soon x