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.
18 Marjoribanks Street, Mount Victoria
Phone: +64 4 385 7577
One of the top eateries in town, The Ambeli in Mount Victoria has fantastic and intimate gourmet eating for those with sensitive palates and deep pockets. The crispy duck comes highly recommended, as do the desserts, while the views are outstanding.
270 Willis Street, downtown Wellington
Phone: +64 4 801 6263
Although nothing special on the outside, Citron is beautifully turned out on the inside, with stunning décor and lighting. It is quite luxurious, yet intimate at the same time, and the food is exquisite. The New Zealand venison and Maori potato ravioli are top-draw, although prices are high and it is often booked out weeks in advance.
Martin Bosley's Yacht Club Restaurant
Royal Port Nicholson Yacht Club, 103 Oriental Parade, Mount Victoria
Phone: +64 4 385 6963
Martin Bosley's Yacht Club Restaurant is on the water and is known for its exclusivity. It has recently opened its doors to the public and has incredible seafood. The oyster broth is especially good and the views from its waterside locale are unbeatable.
Kai in the City
21 Marjoribanks Street, Mount Victoria
Phone: +64 4 801 5006
Those after a taste of traditional Maori food should take a look at Kai in the City in Mount Victoria. It is quite authentic and entertaining and they do a wonderful seafood platter. Kai is closed on a Sunday.
Find more information about Wellington and hotels in the area:
Wellington hotels | New Zealand hotels
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