Wellington Food Guide
There are many reasons to visit Wellington: for the art, the museums and to see where New Zealand’s parliamentary decisions are made. But the main reason to visit should definitely be for the food! Not only is Wellington the administrative capital, but it’s the capital of cuisine thanks to its huge variety of eateries, artisans and annual food-related events. Discover the best foodie experiences, hotels with amazing restaurants, and, of course, the best eateries in this complete foodie guide to Wellington!
Foodie Activities in Wellington
Being a foodie in Wellington doesn’t just mean eating at restaurants – although, that’s pretty good too, which we’ll get to in the section below. It means getting hands-on experiences, touring the local artisanal factories, tasting the specialities of the region and more. Here are just some of our top foodie activity recommendations.
A great way to get orientated with the foodie scene of Wellington is with Zest Food Tours. Their Capital Tastes Walking Tour is a half-day tour taking you to visit a number of local artisans, including a coffee roaster, a gelateria, peanut butter-maker and a chocolatier. The tour gives you exclusive access to factory doors that you would otherwise not get, as well as advice from your expert guide for making restaurant plans.
Ever wondered how they make chocolate? Well, wonder no more, because the Wellington Chocolate Factory is running tours! Learn how freshly-roasted cacao beans are transformed into sweet treats, which, of course, includes a tasting at the end of the tour. Public tours run on Saturdays at 11am and private tours are also available to book.
By the time foodie travellers reach Wellington, they probably know about the crazy craft brewery scene in New Zealand. Wellington is certainly an awesome place to get stuck into it with brew bars and breweries found all over the city and surrounding region. Fork Brewing has an in-house brewery right in the city centre on Bond Street, while Garage Project on Aro Street is a popular brew bar to taste beers from the brewery located on the same street. Head on your own brewery mission by locating all of the 14 Breweries & Craft Beer Bars in Wellington. Alternatively, craft beer tours are available with Zozo Travel and Tranzit Tours.
As much as Wellington likes its beer, it also has a thing for wine. Explore the nearby wine-making region of the Wairarapa, specialising in Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Syrah and more. There are plenty of day tours to the wine region departing from Wellington, such as the scenic train journey and winery-hopping excursion with Tranzit Tours and the half-day small-group winery tour with Zozo Travel. Learn more about the wineries in 10 Exquisite Vineyards & Wineries in Martinborough.
Best Restaurants in Wellington
Wellington has so many culinary experiences that we thought we’d make things a bit more “easier to swallow” with these restaurant recommendations.
New Zealand-style Food
Although Wellington is a city of international cuisine, we know that most foodies want to try something more “local”. Being an island, seafood is a staple of the New Zealand diet where it’s never too difficult to try super fresh seafood. Try the iconic Kiwi fish & chips at the Wellington Seamarket on Cuba Street, The Mt. Vic Chippery on Majoribanks Street and Huckle & Co. in Seatoun. For fine dining seafood, try Ortega Fish Shack, Logan Brown, Shed 5 or Whitebait.
For Maori cuisine, head to Karaka Cafe on the waterfront, which serves hangi-style food with a modern twist. Hiakai on Wallace Street has a more fine dining approach for a unique Maori dining experience.
Finally, pick up some classic New Zealand savoury pies from the likes of Caffee L’affare, Clareville Bakery and Midnight Espresso.
Fine Dining in Wellington
We might have mentioned a few fine dining experiences in Wellington already, but there’s much more to discover for the foodie seeking luxury. One of the most renowned fine dining eateries in town is Logan Brown, which is set in a historic banking chamber on the iconic Cuba Street. The restaurant has an ever-changing menu but sticks to the same philosophy of using sustainable and local produce. Additionally, check out Jano Bistro on Willis Street. Set in a historic two-storey cottage, provides a homely ambience to go along with the set menus of Kiwi cuisine with a French twist. See more luxury restaurant recommendations in our 10 Best Fine Dining Restaurants in Wellington.
Cheap Eats in Wellington
Those seeking the “street eats” experience, Wellington has plenty of options. Plus, these restaurants certainly won’t hurt your budget. Pick up a mouthwatering waffle for under NZ$10 from the Little Waffle Shop on Courtenay Place. Delve into The Capital Market on Willis Street for international food vendors in a food court layout. Fidel’s Cafe on Cuba Street is super popular on a lunchtime for its hearty NZ$10 lunch box. See more recommendations in Cheap Eats in Wellington.
Alternative Things to Do in Wellington
Ok, so being a foodie doesn’t mean your whole visit to Wellington has to involve food! Try out some of these non-food-related activities to complement your Wellington visit.
More Things to Do in Wellington
- Learn everything there is to know about New Zealand at the Te Papa Museum
- See native New Zealand wildlife at Zealandia
- Do a Lord of the Rings tour
- Explore the Wellington Botanic Garden
- Hike to the top of Mt Victoria
- Do a self-guided walking tour of the city centre following our One Day in Wellington: City Walking Tour Itinerary
And there’s so much more! Check out 20 Incredible Things to Do in Wellington for more inspiration.