Our Favourite Wellington Restaurants

Wellington restaurants have it all. Our favourites are generally comfortable, somewhat casual, and always serving great food. The city offers traditional, international, and eclectic options. Wellington may be a city known for its coffee but take a look at some of the food we tried at several Wellington restaurants and see if you agree it is also a city for eating.

Our recent trip to New Zealand’s capital city allowed enough time to visit a few old favourites, and discover a few new Wellington restaurants too.

Viva Mexico

I have been talking about this Mexican taco shop since we discovered it over a year ago. I had eaten here on a mummy/daughter trip with each of my girls. Finally, hubby got to discover what we have been raving about all this time. Authentic flavours, huge plates of food, and an friendly atmosphere, no wonder Viva Mexico is my favourite of the Wellington restaurants. It’s located down an alley off Cuba Street. I apologise to the people of Wellington if I am sharing a local’s secret with the world.

Enchiladas with mole sauce at Viva Mexico my favorite of the Wellington restaurants in New Zealand

Enchiladas with mole sauce. Yummy! This is my favourite dish from Viva Mexico.

Viva Mexico in Wellington New Zealand

Inside Viva Mexico, my favourite of the Wellington restaurants, and my first eatery stop on every visit.

Karaka Cafe

An iconic waterfront location, huge bean bags, and table seating both indoors and out make Karaka Cafe a great place to relax. It features New Zealand flavours surrounded by traditional Maori decor.

Salad at Karaka cafe in Wellington New Zealand

OMG – this is quite the salad. Everything at Karaka Cafe is delicious. We tend to order from the display cabinet rather than the menu.

Egmont Street Eatery

Another alleyway eatery, this restaurant is located in a former carpark – although you would never know it when you were there. Modern and delicious, the portions are made for sharing, and we just kept on ordering. It wasn’t all salads, we had a bit of everything.

Salad at Egmont Street Eatery in Wellington New Zealand

Egmont Street Eatery is a new spot for us, which quickly made it to our favourite Wellington restaurants list.

Strawberry Fare

Clearly the biggest and best desserts I have ever seen or tasted are at Strawberry Fare. Even though I don’t eat sugar any longer, I had to bring hubby. We went at meal time, and my family ordered the mini sliders to share, and a dessert each – and we still had to take some home. I had a healthier choice, living vicariously through the yummy sounds emanating from our table. Here are photos from our last visit to Strawberry Fare.

One of the many huge desserts at Strawberry Fare in Wellington New Zealand

One of the many huge desserts at Strawberry Fare.

Mini sliders at Strawberry Fare in Wellington New Zealand

Even the mini sliders are huge at Strawberry Fare – one of the Wellington restaurants that you will never leave hungry!

Picnic Cafe in the Botanic Gardens

We were not planning on eating here, but then I saw this salmon salad served to someone else. I was hooked.

Botanic Garden Cafe in Wellington New Zealand

Can you believe I got a salad this great at the Botanic Garden Cafe? Everything that came out of the kitchen looked this good, and the sunlight, big shade umbrellas, and nearby rose garden made this a fabulous meal. (Officially it is called Picnic Cafe.)

Kaffee Eis

What could be better than a place specialising in boutique coffee and gourmet gelato? We sat at the counter. Hubby had the best of all worlds – an affogato (coffee and gelato in one cup).

Kaffee Eis in Wellington New Zealand

Ask my teens and Kaffee Eis will always be on their list. Best ice cream in Wellington – and they make a great cup of coffee so I could stick to my food plan.

Thistle Inn

Thistle Inn in Wellington New Zealand

The Thistle Inn is New Zealand’s oldest surviving tavern and restaurant operating from its original site, holding the country’s second oldest liquor license.

Coffee Houses

It is a city known for coffee, and to date, we have not had a bad cup anywhere. Our favourite coffee spots are:

  • Plum Cafe – located in the pedestrian only portion of Cuba Street, I prefer their outdoor seating.
  • Mojo – while the coolest Mojo is probably the one located in the old St. James Theatre, we also enjoy sitting outside at the one across from Shed 13 on Customhouse Quay.
  • Photo Espresso – delicious coffee and an enclosed counter filled with old cameras. Although, we were a bit surprised to see the camera model I recently passed down to Sarah in the case.
  • Arabica – friendly staff and a great cup of coffee. Popular with locals, so you know it’s great.

Did we visit your favourite Wellington restaurants?

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A list of favourite Wellington Restaurants in New Zealand

This post also linked at:
Screen Shot 2015-10-13 at 8.30.17 pmThe Weekly Postcard at Travel Notes and Beyond, Weekend Wanderlust at Justin plus Lauren, Photo Friday at Pierced Wanderings Sunday’s in My City at the Unknown Mami, and Travel Photo Mondays at Travel Photo Discoveries.

100 Strangers Project Completed in Wellington NZ
Sarah's Sunday Snapshots #40 - New Zealand photos


  1. says

    Pineapple on a hamburger? Americans would call it heresy but I can kind of see it. Should I find myself in your part of the world I would certainly seek these places out.

  2. says

    Yum Yum Yum!! I hope I get to Wellington to try some of this delicious food soon! I am coming to Queenstown in May but I don’t think time will allow a trip to Wellington. 🙂

  3. says

    OMG that food looks amazing – piece of arts…. Salmon is my favorite, and yes please – love how they made it there… And with that dessert….. Hold a chair for me please- on my way:-) 🙂

  4. says

    Hi Rhonda – gosh they all look delicious and I’d love to try them all … wonderful photos too … the Mexican, the Botanical Garden and the Karaka Bar .. all especially good … cheers Hilary

  5. says

    Your food pics are wonderful! I love Mexican food, but every plate your photographed looks fabulous! And I love the Thistle Inn, too. Those old-fashioned wood interiors always make me feel I’m dining in a comfortable and homey place. 🙂

  6. says

    These dishes certainly look so delicious that they make your mouth water. No wander it’s your favorite restaurant. You take so great food picture that the restaurant should definitely hire you for advertising.

  7. says

    Perhaps I should have come by after breakfast tomorrow morning, Rhonda. It is half past midnight and your post made me hungry 🙁 Just coming over from Sarah’s post and between the two of you….my heart is full. (my tummy isn’t!)

    Hugs! Love the photos. First thing I’d do in Wellington is visit those coffee places! ♥

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