It's getting close to every foodies favourite time of the year! Yep, we're talking annual food festival Visa Wellington On a Plate where Aucklanders flock each August. This culinary festival is filled with delights and we already have our stretchy pants at the ready!
Each eatery that participates will be serving up festival exclusive offerings and some will incorporate a special burger paired with a Garage Project beer and genius concoctions served as cocktails. As well as an abundance of food, there will be 140 events for you to experience while you’re there, so get amongst it!
Here’s a rundown of what not to miss at this year's Visa Wellington On a Plate.
Visa Festival Hub
Taking things up a notch to celebrate their 10th year of this foodie festival, Visa WOAP are opening up the Visa Festival Hub which will include not one, not two, but seven unique events and the Visa Vending machine! The hub will feature a diversity of cuisine and showcases the infamous quote in Ratatouille, "anyone can cook!" From epic collaborations between top chefs from Wellington and Sydney, hot chicken coming all the way from Australia, prisoners from Rimutaka Prison preparing gourmet lunches and children aged from 10 - 14 preparing an Italian family feast. The events at the Visa Festival Hub are not to be missed, either. Live your Alice In Wonderland fantasy of attending a Mad Hatter tea party but replace the tea with a teapot cocktail or join a dance class where you jam out to '90s music and treat yourself to a burger! If you want something that requires a little less activity, receive a lesson on the predicted food we'll eat in 2025 with the incorporation of science while trying some futuristic snacks and drinks.
Where: Prefab Hall, 14 Jessie Street, Te Aro
When: Multiple dates and times, 20-26 August
For more information, click here
Southern Cross Garden Bar Restaurant
You can’t have a foodie event in Wellington and not have the Southern Cross Garden Bar Restaurant take part! They’ve been serving the locals of Te Aro for more than 100 years, cementing them as a Wellington icon. Their festival dish will be nothing short of a fine dining meal with portobello mushroom with maple-candied yams, miso glazed Brussels sprouts and parsnip. What we’re looking forward to the most is their burger on a glazed doughnut bun—talk about that sweet and savoury combo! And, let’s not forget their cocktail which has hokey pokey ice-cream and whisky! Can we get a yes, please?
Where: 36 Abel Smith St, Te Aro
When: 10–26 August, Monday – Friday, 8am – late, Weekends, 9am – late
Price: From $23
Auckland has Orleans and Wellington has Five Boroughs. Found on the famously artsy Cuba Street, this New York-style restaurant will be tickling your taste buds with a turkey leg roulade, roast vegetable cream, red currant gel and brown butter stuffing crumble (fancy–very New York). Taking their NYC-style menu to the next level, the Five Boroughs will be serving ‘The Ol’ One Two’ Hennessy-filled cocktail and a ‘Henneything is Possible’ burger that contains a Hennessy–marinated beef brisket patty, and Hennessy bacon jam (not enough Hennessy? We agree).
Where: 245 Cuba Street, Te Aro
When: 10–26 August, Monday – Friday, 12pm – Late, Sunday, 10am – late
Price: From $21
Chinese cuisine with a modern twist is what Mr Go’s is all about. This restaurant loves to celebrate local produce along with creative cocktail concoctions. For the festival dish, Mr Go’s has decided on five-foot noodle in Asian mushroom broth, with a stuffed Parkvale portobello mushroom. Their cocktail ‘After the Goldrush’ comprises of Oolong tLeaf tea-infused Smoke & Oakmus Gin, with Mum’s limoncello and tapioca bubble tea pearls (did someone say bubble tea?) They’ll also be serving up the ‘Holi Sheep’ a Chinese take on burgers, with a bao filled with Indian–style mutton, yoghurt, herb marinade and piko piko salsa. We can’t not talk about the dessert—a baked dumpling with Fix & Fogg peanut butter. Dreams really do come true.
Where: 59 Taranaki Street, Te Aro
When: 10–26 August, Monday – Sunday, 11:30am – late
Price: From $18
Our vegan foodies don’t have to miss out on Visa Wellington On a Plate as The Botanist has your plant-based backs! They’ll be serving a vegan roast with creamy mushtooms, Yorkshire pudding, gravy and chestnut purée for their festival dish. Trust us when we say that their vegan burger is the true star of the show. A beautiful veggie patty with smoked vegan cheese, slaw, avocado, apple and kiwifruit salsa verde and herb aioli in a spirulina bun.
Where: 219 Onepu Road, Lyall Bay
When: 10–26 August, Monday – Sunday, 9am – 10pm
Price: From $22
Ortega Fish Shack & Bar
One Wellington’s top restaurant, Ortega Fish Shack & Bar won’t be missing out on showcasing their fine creations. Being the magicians of seafood, it only makes sense that the festival dish will be the fish of the day. But they’ll be taking things up a notch with their cauliflower cream, butter-poached Parkvale mushrooms and Fantail Grove hazelnuts. For those who prefer red meat, there’ll be a juicy lamb rump with risotto too!
Where: 16 Majorbanks St, Mt Victoria
When: 10-26 August, Monday – Sunday, 5:30pm – late
Price: From $30
A Little Party Never Killed Nobody
Throw it back to the '20s...the age of the flapper girl and the ultimate era of getting dressed up, drinking and partying. This party will make you feel like you’re at Gatbsy’s weekly parties as you dance and drink your way through the decades with live music, costumes and live performances. Start the night off right with a martini on arrival and nibbles throughout the evening.
Where: Thistle Inn 3 Mulgrave St
When: Saturday 18 August, 7.30pm–late.
Afternoon Of Sweet Delights
If you have a sweet tooth, this is the afternoon for you! Thorndon Bakery and Mama’s Scream-Licious ice-creams are bringing you an afternoon of cupcake decorating and all-you-can-eat sundaes (you had us at all-you-can-eat). Not only do you get to eat your body weight in ice-cream, you get to receive a lesson of education on how ice-cream is made and receive a full tour of the bakery! To make things even better, you get to have a go at putting your newfound knowledge to the test and whipping up your own ice-cream.
Where: New World Thorndon, 150 Molesworth St
When: Sunday 12 & Sunday 19 August, 2pm–4pm
Price: $29 (all ages)
Around The World In 10 Courses
Nourish Airlines will take your taste buds on a world tour as they present you with a series of dishes from around the globe. We’re talking ten different cuisines in celebration of ten years of Wellington On a Plate. Sit back and enjoy the journey of different flavours and dining cultures Nourish Airlines have in store for you.
Where: Shed 5 Restaurant and Bar Shed 5, Queens Wharf
When: Wednesday 22 August, 5.30pm–late
Artisan Bread Baking Class
If you’re a bread lover, check out the bread baking class led by award-winning baker Michael Kloeg of The Clareville Bakery. This class will leave you a master bread maker so you can make your own daily bread and not have to get up bright and early before your local bakery runs out of all the good stuff! To make this event even better, you’ll even be given a glass of wine and grazing platter while you work
Where: The Clareville Bakery, 3340 SH2 Clareville.
When: Monday 13, Tuesday 14, Monday 20 & Tuesday 21 August, 6.30pm–9.45pm.
Cracking Vegan Baking
Vegans can channel their inner baker at Visa Wellington On a Plate as well with a vegan baking class. Vegan café, Sweet Release will be giving a full lesson on how to bake the best treats without using any form of animal products! You don’t get to just learn about vegan baking, you get to eat it too which is the most important thing for us!
Where: Sweet Release Cakes & Treats Shop 7, 148 Willis Street
When: Sunday 12th, Sunday 19th & Sunday 26th August, 11:30am–2:00pm
Eat Up With Al Brown
Al Brown ain’t no stranger to Aucklanders with his empire of top eateries in the city. If that name doesn’t sound familiar, he’s the guy behind Depot, Best Ugly Bagels and The Federal Deli so yeah, he’s a big deal and he’ll be throwing an event that is unmissable. The New Zealand chef will be taking over the Boulcott Street Bistro with his simple yet extremely flavourful dishes and there’ll be drinks and the man himself to keep you company throughout the afternoon. So Eat Up!
Where: Boulcott Street Bistro, 99 Boulcott Street
When: Saturday 11th August, Sunday 12th August, 12:30pm – 4pm
Cheers! Beervana allows you to sample special one-off brews from all over New Zealand and around the globe. Try colourful yet unusual beer concoctions and enjoy the truckload of food on offer to munch on with your bevvy. This event has been described as the Willy Wonka™ for beer lovers.
Where: Westpac Stadium, 105 Waterloo Quay
When: Friday 10 & Saturday 11 August, 11am–4pm & 6pm–11pm
Price: $45 GA, $75 GA ($115 all sessions)
Chai & Chaat: A South Asian Tea Party
Not much of a beer lover or alcohol in general? Don’t you worry as CoCo’s chefs have created an authentic South Asian tea party which will be a high tea experience like no other. Chaat means salty, sweet snacks and they’ll be matched with chai and other spiced teas to elevate all the flavours of the South Asian treats!
Where: CoCo at the Roxy, 5 Park Road
When: Sunday, 12th August, 2pm–4pm
What a lineup! That wasn’t even half of the stuff that’s on offer at Visa Wellington On a Plate so be sure to click here for more information.
Image Credit: Visa Wellington On a Plate