Wellington / Food & Drink

Delicious food to suit all tastes? Done!

With over 300 restaurants, cafes and bars, Wellington has a lively food scene offering a huge variety of eating and drinking choices.

At the heart of New Zealand cuisine are the freshest ingredients and clean flavours, and great accompanying wines.  You can get classic kiwi lamb and beef, but the seafood is particularly good - fish, greenshell mussels, scallops, crayfish, salmon, and Bluff oysters (in season).

There is a restaurant strip running from Courtenay Place along Dixon Street and up Cuba Street, with some great places on side streets such as Blair and Allen Streets.  There are top class places you may want to celebrate your gold medals, but Wellington is also packed with good inexpensive places - featuring Malaysian and other Asian cuisines in particular - where you can get a main course for just NZ$12 or less.

Being a coastal city and also the seat of government, Wellington has attracted a wide range of immigrant communities, and this is reflected in its food. There are good Italian and French restaurants, Malaysian, Thai, Indian, Nepalese, Cambodian, and Korean.  Of course there are still a host offering contemporary New Zealand cuisine.

If you want an insider's view, food tours are available to take you to gourmet food shops, cafes and coffee roasters.

There are Sunday markets on Willis Street and on the waterfront close to Te Papa, where you can buy fruit and vegetables fresh from the grower.  The waterfront market also offers a range of foods from small producers - items like venison salami - which you can usually taste before you buy.

For a great selection of gourmet treats, head to Moore Wilson Fresh on Tory Street.  It is a firm favourite with locals.  The squeezed orange juice is incredibly fresh and delicious.

A sampling of our favourites:
? Most authentic French baguette: Le Moulin, Willis Street
? Best delicatessen: Moore Wilsons, Tory Street
? Best curly fries: Sweet Mother's Kitchen, Courtenay Place
? Best sunny day treat: Catch the harbour ferry to Days Bay, lunch at Chocolate Dayz Café

And for the thirst...

Wellington sits between two great New Zealand wine regions.  The Wairarapa valley (known for its pinot noir in particular) is just an hour north, and Marlborough (known for its sauvignon blanc) is just across Cook Strait, at the top of the South Island.  While New Zealand wines are well represented in most restaurant wine lists, a few specialist wine bars offer an extraordinary selection, and tasting options (we're planning exclusive Outgames winetastings).

The city also has its spirits - the global premium brand vodka 42 Below was first created in Wellington in the garage of its founder.  As well as the original version there are New Zealand flavours of vodka to taste, include manuka honey, feijoa, and kiwifruit.  S&M's Cocktail Lounge & Bar on Cuba Street is a great place to taste the range.

We know you'll enjoy what's on offer!

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