7 restaurants to try in Wellington

I got to spend a delightful couple of “summer” days in Wellington, New Zealand. I say “summer” because we didn’t really get the “summer” feels while we were there. The coldest day was 13′ C with winds for which this girl who loves the winter, was under prepared. I had one rain jacket and one sweatshirt and made the most of it!

Wellington

What did distract me from all the cold winds was the amazing coffee, beautiful wine, and some amazing food. Fresh ingredients really do make such a difference – you can taste it. Also, the city has this most amazing vibe – it’s a little hard to describe. You have to be there.

Wellington And the street art…oh the street art!

Upon receiving some awesome support from my kiwi friend, I chose to live very close to Cuba Street (Airbnb ftw!). It was the best ever decision. Wellington is a super walk-able city and you want to walk – you might miss some of the street art if you are in a bus or car. Also, with the weather usually always being cool and nice, walking is king!

Here’s a little round up of a few of the places I tried while in Wellington that I would recommend if you are ever in this fabulous city.

The Flying Burritos Brothers – 182 Cuba St, Wellington

We were tired and jet lagged and saw that this place was just down the street from us so we ran in. And thank goodness we did. The food was amazing, the service was great. Also, I was with a Mexican friend when we ran in here starving. He was equally impressed with this place.

Flying Burrito Bros - Wellington

Flying Burrito Bros - Wellington Fresh guacamole and pepitas – spicy toasted pumpkin seeds

Flying Burrito Bros - Wellington The ceviche pacifico. Fresh coconut, lime chilli marinated fish. Such fresh flavors! 

Flying Burrito Bros - WellingtonThe carne fajitas. How beautiful does that look? 

Flying Burrito Bros - Wellington Taco de Pollo. Chicken breast dusted in guajillo chilli, pan seared w onions, coriander, chipolte pibil sauce, topped w poblano pesto. Flavor galore! 

I also asked for an order of churros to go and they were worth the extra wait and calories.

Fidel’s Cafe – 234 Cuba St, Wellington

A great breakfast/ brunch spot however, they all have an all-day menu with taco and burger options and a pizza menu as well. They place is old and rustic. The outside seating area was the winning choice simply because it was so busy inside.

Fidels wellington

Fidels Wellington

Fidels wellington These flat whites, I tell ya! 

Fidels - wellington

Fidels wellington The vegetarian option: Pan-fried halloumi cheese served on toasted sourdough with house made chilli jam, rocket and avocado. Delicious! 

Fidels WellingtonThe meat option – Fidel’s Feast. And a feast it was! 

Aunty Mena’s Vegetarian Restaurant – 167 Cuba St, Wellington

When looking for vegetarian options in Wellington for “Meatless Monday” and coming across this one, locals refereed to this place as an “institution” and a must-try. And so I did try it and I could tell what the fuss was all about. They had so many options – a vegetarian’s dream-come-true kinda place! It does get busy however, and from the looks of it, there might have been one person doing most of the cooking so dinner might be at a relaxed pace!

Aunty Mena's - Wellington

Aunty Mena's - WellingtonVegetable Pan-Fried Dumplings. 

Aunty Menas WellingtonBuddha’s meal. A vegetable and cashew stir-fry. 

Aunty Menas - Wellington Sichuan Chilli Soup. The broth was a good level of spicy and included a personal fav – bamboo shoots! 

Aunty Mena's - WellingtonWho I decided was Aunty Mena. 

Aunty Mena's - Wellington This bowl of vegetarian laksa was filled with tofu, kai-Fu, veggie balls and mixed vegetables. So.much.flavor. 

Olive – 170/172 Cuba St, Wellington

When you walk through the restaurant to make it to the outdoor seating area, you will witness actual magic. From a very clean, airy and classy decor style choice for the inside, the outside is rustic, green and quite wonderland-ish. This was another breakfast stop and the food was fresh and delicious.

Olive - Wellington

Olive - Wellington

Olive - Wellington

Olive - Wellington

Olives - wellingtonOh flat whites! How I miss you! 

Olive - Wellington Avocado and feta on toast with a lemon salsa and a side of poached egg and bacon. 

Olive - WellingtonEggplant chips with poached egg and prosciutto. Quick note about this place, the idea when we read “chip” was that it would be thinly sliced chips, maybe baked, like you get in a bag. Once the plate arrived, we remembered we were in New Zealand where chips = fries and fries = chips. The mistake wasn’t terrible though, these were yummy. 

Olive - Wellington

Olive - Wellington

Olive - Wellington

Havana – 32a-34 Wigan St, Te Aro Wellington

Havana Bar is located in two Historic Te Aro workingmen’s cottages. The cottage on the left is the restaurant (where we sat) and the one on the right is a bar. Put this place on your “must go” list if you are in this city. The little of the food I tried was incredible.

Havana - WellingtonThe cottages date back to the late 19th century and look amazing against the very modern city backdrop. 

Havana - WellingtonYes – that red door down the very narrow alleyway is the way to enter. 

Havana - Wellington Lies. The food is something worth putting down in the books. 

Havana - WellingtonRoasted Thyme Mushrooms finished with 20yr Sherry Vinegar.

Havana - WellingtonSmokey Pimento & Saffron Paella with Mussels, Cockles, Prawns, Chorizo and Octopus

Havana - Wellington Sautéed Prawns in Kashmiri Chilli and Garlic

Havana - Wellington Roast Pork Belly with a Smokey Sweet Corn and Coriander Salsa, Sweet Corn Mousse and Crackling. I have put it on my list to learn how to make some of that Sweet Corn Mousse. 

Havana - Wellington No, really. Put this place on your list. 

Floradita’s –  161 Cuba St, Wellington

I was told that this placed hasn’t changed in forever. And I am pleased that it hasn’t. Also – while all the coffee was amazing, if someone twisted my arm and I had to pick a favorite – Floradita’s coffee might just win!

Floradita's - Wellington

Floradita's - Wellington The hollandaise was ah-mazing! 

Floradita's - Wellington

Floradita's - Wellington

Ortega Fish Shack –  16 Majoribanks St, Wellington

This place has been ranked as #1 out of 605 restaurants in Wellington and so I had to give it try. Holy-delicious-and-inventive-food-Batman! Another must go! Also – you have to have reservations to get a table here. We had the table for an hour and a half and actually had to sit at the bar for dessert!

Ortega - Wellington

Ortega - Wellington While they call it a “fish shack” there is nothing shack-like about this place. 

Ortega - Wellington Kaikoura Scampi ceviche, avocado, Vietnamese mint, shiso, lemongrass, scampi oil

Ortega - Wellington Pan-fried Prawn tails, garlic butter sauce, lemon, Italian parsley & tagliatelle. Use the bread for the remainder of the sauce on the plate. 

Ortega - Wellington John Dory, Arroz negro, smoked mussels, cockles, chorizo, almonds, scampi mayo

Ortega - Wellington

Ortega - Wellington Chocolate Mousse, espresso mascarpone, dark Ghana ganache & chocolate crumb

There you have it. Seven must-try-food-stops in Wellington!

I haven’t said “oh! I could so live here” about a lot of cities – but this is one I really could.

Wellington

Have you been to this fabulous city? Where did you love best?

Author: Namrata

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