Wellington has a huge number of snack bars, cafés, coffee shops, restaurants and food courts per head, and the best thing is that most of it is all within the city center. You can get everything from traditional Maori fare and the best New Zealand venison and lamb, to top quality seafood and a variety of ethnic cuisines.
Even though it is the capital, prices for eating out in Wellington are cheap. The best places to find the greatest spread of restaurants (regards budget) is along the traffic-free Cuba Street and neighboring Courtenay Place. You can also dine by the ocean or go for the views at Mount Victoria.
Restaurant Row is located in the busy Courtenay Place district and offers some of the best dining in the city. Most budgets are catered for and tastes come from all over the world, including New Zealand, Asia, France, Italy and more. Courtenay Place is between downtown and Oriental Bay and is also a popular nightlife area.
Cuba Street is just up the road from Courtenay Place and is also very lively and loaded with eateries. There are a huge number of ethnic restaurants here, including Mongolian, and you can snack here for peanuts all day along this pedestrianized street.
The Waterfront in Wellington is perhaps the hippest place to dine. You will find some of the best seafood in the city here and the ocean lapping at the shore makes it all the more appealing. Eateries go from trendy cafés during the day to converted warehouses packed on weekends with young partygoers to swanky, full service seafood restaurants.
Centered on Lambton Quay and Willis Street, the Central Business District is good for snacking during the day and dining in the evening and is also okay for nightlife. If you fancy going upscale, there are plenty of top-end places here along with a decent amount of classy coffee shops and wine bars.