Restaurants

50 Of The Best Restaurants In Wellington To Tick Off In 2024

By Catherine Reisima

New Zealand's cool capital is known for its huge food scene. We may be a teensy bit biased, but we reckon Te Whanganui-a-Tara Wellington has some of the best restaurants in the country.  

Whether you’re after cheap eats or something a little fancier, Urban List has you covered with 50 of the best restaurants in Wellington. N.B: These are in no particular order, other than alphabetical.

At a Glance

1154

132 Cuba Street, Te Aro, Wellington

Settle in at the communal dining table and enjoy fast and fresh house-made pasta and organic wine at 1154, that won’t break your budget.

Insider Intel

  • Do go to their weekly mac and cheese nights 
  • Walk-ins only, so factor in a potential wait time (but it’ll be worth it)
  • Gluten-free and vegan pasta available but both dietaries together can’t be catered to

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Apache

122 Wakefield Street, Te Aro, Wellington

A beautiful melange of Northern Vietnamese food and French cuisine—think fresh, herby salads combined with decadent French flavours. The Bang Bang Chicken Salad at Apache is a stand-out.

Insider Intel

  • Right next to Michael Fowler Centre so it’s perfect for a pre-concert dinner 
  • Don’t skip the popcorn chicken
  • Great for gluten-free

Read More

A Taste of Home

128 Vivian Street, Te Aro, Wellington

If you’re in the mood for noods, look no further than A Taste Of Home. This teensy spot which dishes up Chinese street food, made with irresistibly fresh hand-pulled noodles.

Insider Intel

  • There’s serious spice here if you want it
  • Get involved in the dan dan noodles, hot oil noodles, and spicy fried tofu
  • Finish with the fried taro and kumara balls

READ MORE

Baker Gramercy

465 Adelaide Road, Berhampore, Wellington

When you’re in the mood for world-changing bread and pastries, it’s Bakery Gramercy or nothing. The goods are handcrafted and available to order online for collection the next day or just turn up and discover what they’ve got in store for you (but it doesn’t hurt to cross your fingers for something along the lines of a carefully yet generously ham and gruyere-stuffed croissant). 

Insider Intel

  • Their almond-choc croissant is perfect and isn’t overly sweet
  • These pastries taste just as amazing when cold
  • Snag yourself a Sourdough Slayer while you’re there (it’s the only way to cut bread)

Read More

Boulcott Street Bistro 

99 Boulcott Street, Wellington Central, Wellington 

Set inside a historic cottage, Boulcott Street Bistro gives a nod to the fine dining scene of yesteryear with a good dash of modern flair. 

Insider Intel

  • Great for mid-week business lunches 
  • Gothic architecture vibes
  • Tonnes of gluten-free options

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The Botanist 

219 Onepu Road, Lyall Bay, Wellington

For when you’ve got a veggie or vegan friend you want to impress. The Botanist cafe and restaurant provides plenty of delectable choices for your plant-lovin’ pals and carnivores alike.

Insider Intel

  • Loads of gluten-free options but not suitable for coeliac as their seitan and bread are made in-house
  • Don’t skip the tiramisu pancakes 
  • Dogs welcome

Read more

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Burger Liquor 

129 Willis Street, Te Aro, Wellington

The classic combo of booze and burgers is hard to beat, and this place excels in both. Try a Smokey with a side of Punjabi Poutine at Burger Liquor, guaranteed to make your taste buds sizzle.

Insider Intel

  • Burgers that are actually easy to eat 
  • Sunday Rum Club is all about new rum cocktails and a ‘break even rum bottle’ sold off-menu at cost price 
  • Swap your bun for a bowl if that’s your vibe

READ MORE

Chaat Street

171 Willis Street, Te Aro, Wellington

Bhel Puri from Chaat Street.Image credit: Chaat Street / Instagram

With nary a curry in sight, Chaat Street serves up Indian street food that packs a punch. Make sure you order the outstanding Aloo Tikki Chaat, a skillet potato with crunchy lentils and a flavour-filled sauce and the delectable Bhel Puri pictured above.

Insider Intel

  • New Deli-style Indian street food
  • Lighter than the typical Indian fare you’ll find in these parts which tends to be Punjabi 
  • Now serving brunch

Read More

Charley Noble 

Ground Huddart Parker Building, 1 Post Office Square, Wellington

Specialising in wood-fired delights and with a menu to please all palates, Charley Noble is always chocka. When you eat here you’ll understand why.

Insider Intel

  • Dine kitchen-side to learn a thing or two about epic cooking
  • Separate gluten-free menu 
  • Hatted by Cuisine Magazine

Read More

Cicio Cacio 

167 Riddiford Street, Newtown, Wellington 

The cutest and cosiest restaurant you ever did see. At Cicio Cacio tuck into homely, Italian fare, just like mamma used to make. 

Insider Intel

  • The fireplace (and oodles of carbs) makes this spot a winner in winter 
  • In a nutshell: good people, honest food, and true wines
  • Formerly—many, many years ago—the building housed an eatery called Manon 

READ MORE

Concord  

81 Victoria Street, Te Aro, Wellington

Cosy up at Concord and take your tastebuds on a transatlantic voyage. French classics like Steak Frites and Crème Brûlée rub shoulders with American faves like a good ole-fashioned Cheeseburger Royale, served in an elegant setting.

Insider Intel

  • Perfect for when you’re feeling baller and have a hankering for steak and chips
  • Not the best for dietaries 
  • Hatted by Cuisine Magazine

READ MORE

Damascus

4/100 Tory Street, Wellington

Celebrating his family’s recipes, Syrian-born Hasan Alwarhani brings the flavours of his homeland to Wellington at Damascus. Expect fresh, homey food that is perfect for sharing with loved ones.

Insider Intel

  • Come here when you’ve time to spare so you can savour every bite
  • Do partake in the cardamom tea
  • Cute date night

Read More

Dragonfly 

70 Courtenay Place, Te Aro, Wellington

Draped in dark curtains and with a moody vibe, Dragonfly is the perfect spot for a romantic rendezvous. Cosy up with modern Asian cuisine and decadent cocktails in the lantern-lit courtyard.

Insider Intel

  • Leftover ingredients like pineapple skins and lemon peels are turned into syrups, sorbets, and cocktail garnishes to minimise waste
  • Cocktail glassware has been swapped out for enamel tumblers for the same reason 
  • Pre-order the banquet for large groups

Read More

Dragons 

25 Tory Street, Te Aro, Wellington

If you’re a yum cha enthusiast—and who isn’t—then Dragons has got to be on your hit list. 

Insider Intel

  • Great for groups
  • Separate menus for gluten-free and vegetarian 
  • Tends to be pretty busy most days

Read More

Egmont St Eatery 

11 Egmont Street, Te Aro, Wellington

Hidden down a grungy laneway, Egmont St Eatery has undergone the ultimate makeover from car park to stylish restaurant, serving seasonally inspired dishes for brunch, lunch and dinner. 

Insider Intel

  • Great brunch spot
  • Their cornbread is the stuff of dreams
  • Does dietaries well 

Read More

El Matador 

196 Cuba Street, Te Aro, Wellington 

A delicious looking steak on the grill at El Matador, one of the best restaurants in Wellington.Image credit: El Matador / Instagram

For food full of Argentinian flair, sink your teeth into a meat feast at El Matador down Cuba Street.

Insider Intel

  • Great for carnivores and gym bros who can never get enough protein 
  • Don’t leave without trying the roasted bone marrow with bacon marmalade
  • Great for gluten-free and nut-free diners

Read More

Graze Wine Bar  

95 Upland Road, Kelburn, Wellington

A brand new neighbourhood Graze Wine Bar that combines cosy seating with thoughtful and honest food.  

Insider Intel

  • Enjoying a glass of vino with a ‘snack attack’ is a must
  • Massively committed to sustainability and are actively low waste while buying local and second hand 
  • Their fish, paua, and crayfish are caught by local fisherman

Read More

Havana 

32a/34 Wigan Street, Te Aro, Wellington

Step inside the colourful cottages at Havana and be whisked away on a wild adventure of global flavours, exotic cocktails, and world-beats—all that’s missing are the Cuban cigars.

Insider Intel

  • Keep an eye on their socials for live music  
  • Happy to adapt the menu for dietaries
  • Sharing plates go down a treat

Read More

Highwater 

54 Cuba Street, Te Aro, Wellington

Fruit Toast whipped spiced ricotta, apple, rose poached rhubarb, strawberries, honeyImage credit: Highwater / Instagram

With exposed brick walls, Highwater has a frenetic open kitchen and an expansive bar, this modern eatery is a slice of the Big Apple. Nearly everything that arrives on your plate is made in-house, so you know it’s good.

Insider Intel

  • Head-turning oysters 
  • Another great pre-concert dining spot 
  • Great for dietaries

Read More

Hillside Kitchen 

241 Tinakori Road, Thorndon, Wellington 

Proudly meat-free, Hillside’s menu has been carefully and cleverly crafted to showcase the humble veg. Even the most ardent carnivores might be tempted to switch sides.

Insider Intel

  • Head here for earth-friendly, plant-based degustation done right 
  • Meals never fail to intrigue and they do some really fun non-alcoholic drink matches like kefir 
  • Menu is ever-changing according to the seasons, what’s in their garden, and what their chef has managed to forage

Read More

Jano 

270 Willis Street, Te Aro, Wellington

Nestled in a cute yellow villa, Jano is an unassuming gem. Settle in for a tasting menu full of utterly gorgeous food that’s screaming to go on the ‘Gram – if that’s what you’re into.

Insider Intel

  • A cult favourite for a reason
  • Great for a celebratory night out
  • It’s giving jovial pops of colour and top tier taste explosions

Read More

Kisa 

195 Cuba Street, Te Aro, Wellington

An impeccable new hotspot on Cuba Street, Kisa slings Turkish and Middle-eastern-inspired eats from the legends behind Mr Go's and Ombra.

Insider Intel

  • Life-changing brussel sprouts
  • Cocktails on point
  • Great for crowds

Read More

Koji 

12 Majoribanks Street, Mount Victoria, Wellington

A love child of Asian cuisine and NZ ingredients, Koji's new addition to Majoribanks St has a creative, from scratch approach to big flavours. Treat yourself to the nine-course chef’s menu, your taste buds will thank you.

Insider Intel

  • Utter 'Just Feed Me' and see what happens
  • Separate plant-based menu
  • Don’t skip the venison pie tee

Read More

Liberty

227 Cuba Street, Te Aro, Wellington

A perfectly prepared Octopus dish from Liberty, one of the best restaurants in Wellington.Image credit: Liberty / Instagram

From the talented team behind iconic fine-dining restaurant Logan Brown. While the approach is slightly more casual than its older sibling, Liberty’s food is just as impressive. Enjoy a culinary adventure, with sharing style plates that offer a taste of “here and there”.

Insider Intel

  • A grazer's heaven 
  • Staff are super helpful with suggestions if you're feeling indecisive
  • Keep an eye on their socials for themed dinners

Read More

Little Grump

142 Featherston Street, Wellington 

This pastry and sandwich shop knows how to deliver the goods. At Little Grump everything is baked onsite every day. The cabinet features an ever-changing treasure trove of treats in addition to their popular staples: almond croissants, cinnamon morning buns, ham and egg pies, and red pesto twists. 

Insider Intel

  • You’ll want the salmon sandwich on the daily
  • From the folks who brought us Goods Wellington
  • Their toasties make a great winter warmer 

Read More

Little Penang 

179 Victoria Street, Te Aro, Wellington

For a cheap and cheerful weekday lunch or dinner, you can’t go past Little Penang and their belly-warming Malaysian food. 

Insider Intel

  • The real deal—approved by punters with Malaysian heritage
  • Great for a quick lunch
  • Eat well for less

Read More

Logan Brown 

192 Cuba Street, Te Aro, Wellington 

Synonymous with fine dining in Wellington, Logan Brown is still a top spot if you’re in the mood for a fancy pants dinner. Make sure the famous paua ravioli lands on your plate. 

Insider Intel

  • Venison done right
  • Great for a celebratory night out 
  • Don’t skip the paua ravioli

Read More

Loretta 

181 Cuba Street, Te Aro, Wellington 

Catering to your brekkie, brunch, lunch and dinner needs, Loretta is a good time any time of day. The menu has a little something for everyone, from pies to pizza, schnitzel to salads.

Insider Intel

  • Stellar weekend brunch spot
  • Perfect for dates  
  • Menu changes seasonally

Read More

Lucky 

105 Courtenay Place, Te Aro, Wellington

Gravy being poured onto a burger at Lucky, one of Wellington's best restaurants.Image credit: Lucky | Instagram @tact.creative

Not strictly a restaurant, but the burgers at Lucky are so darn good it would be a crime not to mention it. While the fried chicken rules the roost, wait until you try the halloumi burger, aptly named the ‘Happy’.

Insider Intel

  • For when you’re in need of a late-night feed 
  • Refuel between dancefloors
  • Golden, fried goodness

Read More

Moy Hall 

1 Martins Road, Martinborough

For when you’ve been to Poppies a bunch of times and are keen to branch out and try another one of Martinborough’s vineyard restaurants. At Moy Hall, feast on sharing plates while you soak up the winery vibes.

Insider Intel

  • Pair a wine flight with cheese or dessert in the courtyard
  • Bring a hat, you know what they say about Wellington (and adjacent) on a good day
  • Open seven days over the summer months

Read More

Mr Go’s 

3 Eva Street, Te Aro, Wellington 

Mr Go's is the place to go when you’ve got a hungry crowd and you just can’t decide what to eat. Order a bunch of pan-Asian dishes and watch it disappear in a flash. 

Insider Intel

  • Daily bao, drink, and snack specials 
  • Caters to coeliacs
  • Comprehensive dietary menu available

Read More

Noble Rot 

6 Swan Lane, Te Aro, Wellington 

Cheese, charcuterie and over 500 wines to try at Noble Rot–need we say more?

Insider Intel

  • Great for dates 
  • Don’t skip the ‘Coravin Experience’ wine journey
  • So much more than a wine bar

Read More

Oikos  

382 Broadway, Miramar, Wellington

Oikos Fancy Greek food in the suburbs will make you want to smash your plate – but probably best not to. 

Insider Intel

  • A little out of the way but worth the trek 
  • Good for dietaries although not suitable for coeliac
  • Set yourself up with the sharing menu

Read More

Old Quarter  

39 Dixon Street, Te Aro, Wellington

Caramelised pork belly? Paired with fragrant herb salad and crackling dumplings.Image credit: Old Quarter Website / Website

Vietnamese classics like Beef Pho and Bun Cha Hanoi get a fun, modern twist at Old Quarter, which also knocks out a killer cocktail list full of exotic flavours. It’s a trip for your tastebuds. 

Insider Intel

  • Get involved in the epic lunch specials
  • Bangin’ daily happy hour from 5 ‘til 6.30pm
  • Good for dietaries

Read More

Olive 

170-172 Cuba Street, Te Aro, Wellington

Tuck yourself away in the leafy courtyard and savour innovative, contemporary fare at Olive, a Cuba Street fave. Swing by on a Tuesday and nab three courses for $55. An absolute steal. 

Insider Intel

  • A classic
  • Cosy interiors and a cute outdoor area out the back 
  • Great for dates

Read More

Ortega Fish Shack  

16 Majoribanks Street, Mount Victoria, Wellington

Ortega Fish Shack is hands down the best seafood joint in Wellington, and some of the best service too. This is fine dining without the stiffness.

Insider Intel

  • Locally sourced seafood
  • Top tier service
  • Accept no other

Read More

Panhead at Brewtown  

1 Tory Street, Te Aro, Wellington

Round up the meat fiends in your life for a mouthwatering feast at Panhead at Brewtown. Think pork belly burnt ends, brisket burgers, and platters of meat cooked low and slow. Wash it all down with fresh beersies, naturally.

Insider Intel

  • With sixteen taps these guys aren’t messing around
  • Their pulled jackfruit fries are a great vege option
  • They’re self-acclaimed “beer bogans”, and that’s the exact description of the people we want pouring our pints

Read More

Pizza Pomodoro 

Unit 24, ground floor/13 Leeds Street, Te Aro, Wellington

Put down that subpar delivery menu and make a beeline for Pizza Pomodoro, this take-out joint which cooks legit Neapolitan-style pizza. Grab a seat at Goldings Bar and have your pizza delivered direct to your seat.

Insider Intel

  • Head here for delightfully woodfired, thin pizza bases 
  • Vegan and gluten-free pizza available 
  • Two words: pistachio tiramisu

Read More

Poppies  

91 Puruatanga Road, Martinborough

If you haven’t tried one of Poppie’s famous platters, have you even lived? The wine is outstanding too, so be sure you order a bottle or several over lunch at this spot a little over an hour outside of Wellington.

Insider Intel

  • Book into the winery apartment for a couple of nights and live your vineyard fantasy
  • Happily caters to gluten-free, vegetarian, and vegan dietaries
  • Join the Poppies Wine Club for invites to lush events 

Read More

Pour And Twist

13 Garrett Street, Te Aro, Wellington

Manual brew coffee exists but only at Pour and Twist. Seriously, no one else in Aotearoa does it. Take your pick of fancy coffees from around the world or opt for a more slow-release caffeine hit with a hand-whisked ceremonial grade matcha. In the absence of the periodic hum of an espresso machine, it’s all about slow, meditative moments here. 

Insider Intel

  • Ask the crew for recommendations, they really know their stuff
  • Find this spot tucked away in an alley off Cuba Streeet
  • If you spy something on their ‘Gram but can’t find it on the menu, chat to the team, they’ll more than likely be happy to whip it up for you anyway, secret menu-style

Read More

The Puffin

60 Ghuznee Street, Te Aro, Wellington

Stop by Puffin wine bar and stay a while, lingering over a glass of organic, minimal intervention wines, or beer and cocktails alongside small plates of really great kai. Booking’s aren’t available so saunter on down when it takes your fancy and see if the universe delivers. 

Insider Intel

  • It might take you a hot minute to find this spot but it’s worth the hunt 
  • Great for cute dates in a speakeasy-style atmosphere
  • Right next to The Intrepid hotel 

Read More

The Ram (On Cuba Street)

103 Cuba Street, Te Aro, Wellington

The Ram on Cuba Street's Manuka smoked Stracciatella, asparagus, honeycomb, chilli oil, basil, lemon zest and charred Wellington Sourdough. Definitely one of the best restaurants in Wellington.Image credit: The Ram | Instagram

If tiramisu by the scoop and negroni on tap sounds like your jam (it does), make a beeline for The Ram, Cuba Street's newly opened restaurant by the Fred's Sandwiches crew. 

Insider Intel

  • Top-tier happy hour with $5, $5, and $6 small plates, beers, and cocktails 
  • Two words: tiramisu drawer
  • Swing by on Sunday for a roast

Read More

Rams 

171 Cuba Street, Te Aro, Wellington

We’ll be the first to admit this place looks a bit average from the outside, but once you’ve tried the world-famous in Wellington chilli oil dumplings and legendary potato tower, you’ll have Rams on regular rotation.

Insider Intel

  • Really good, cheap Chinese food 
  • Don’t be fooled by the lack of vibes 
  • Best with a large group so you can eat ‘em all

Read More

Rita  

89 Aro Street, Aro Valley, Wellington

This cute-as-a-button restaurant in a quaint cottage serves a three-course set menu which changes as often as Wellington’s weather. Rita also claims one of Welly’s best loos too (trust us).

Insider Intel

  • You’ll feel like you’re at home… if your designated chef was as skilled as Rita’s. 
  • Personalise your setty with extra plates
  • Expect a lively atmosphere

Read More

Rosella

18 Majoribanks Street, Mount Victoria, Wellington

New wine bar and restaurant in Wellington, Rosella.Image credit: Rosella | Supplied

Hot new neighbourhood restaurant and wine bar Rosella comes direct from the team at Koji, this time with an emphasis on big, bold flavours from the Med, Middle East and North Africa. Expect on-point service in a relaxed atmosphere.

Insider Intel

  • Don’t miss their potato pancakes
  • If you’re feeling indecisive, opt for their ‘snack me’
  • Great vegetarian options

Read More

Salty Pidgin 

5 Todman Street, Brooklyn, Wellington

In trendy Brooklyn, this pub-come-restaurant is the kind of spot you want to be your local. Top-notch grub, fresh bevvies, and a welcoming vibe make Salty Pidgin a home away from home. 

Insider Intel
  • Great for drinks and top-tier bar snacks 
  • Don’t leave without sinking your teeth into their pide 
  • Complete your evening with dessert or a cheeseboard

Read More

Scopa  

141 Cuba Street, Te Aro, Wellington 

At its heart, Scopa is a pizzeria, but you’d be a fool to skip over the other menu goodies, like the fried chicken or “Sexy Fries”. Just make sure you save room for the house tiramisu and/or the authentic Italian hot chocolate. 

Insider Intel

  • Perfect for a late night date 
  • The chilli oil’s a scorcher, in the best way
  • The pizza’s aren’t massive but that only ensures you have enough room to indulge in their hot chocolate

Read More

Tatsushi

19 Edward Street, Te Aro, Wellington

One of the best places for sushi in Wellington, Tatsushi which is named after owner and chef, Tatsushi Mikuni, specialises in recreating Japanese dishes exactly how they’d be if you ordered them in Japan. Quality is at the heart of everything that comes out of the kitchen—their soup stock is made with real bonito flakes and kelp, their tofu is made from scratch, and their sashimi is made from fish caught that day. 

Insider Intel

  • Did someone say late night sushi? This spot’s open ‘til 10pm most nights. 
  • Don’t leave without trying their homemade tofu
  • No takeaways

Read More

Topor 

3 Beach Road, Plimmerton, Porirua 

Fondly referred to as “That Polish place”, Topor is a friendly, neighbourhood eatery in Plimmerton that serves up wholesome Polish cuisine. Wash it down with plenty of vodka. Na zdrowie!

Insider Intel

  • Wine match who? It’s all about in-house vodka matches here
  • Their Polish picnic’s a great shout for lunch for two
  • Does dietaries well

Read More

Union Square   

Martinborough Hotel, Martinborough

Union Square is a fine establishment for a chill Sunday arvo bevvy or a slap-up brekkie when you’re nursing a hangover after a few too many of Martinborough’s famous vinos.

Insider Intel

  • Great for celebrations
  • Swipe left on their beef roast every Sunday from 12pm
  • Does dietaries well

Read More

Looking for more to do in Welly? Check out:

Main image credit: Liberty Restaurant | Facebook

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