Packed with an array of restaurants, from fine dining restaurants to spots featuring delicious authentic Mexican food, the capital of New Zealand is a must-see for any self-proclaimed foodie. The Wellington, NZ restaurants are crafted in a food-loving culture, which may account for the city offering more per capita restaurants, bars, and cafes than the famous NYC.
The restaurants in Wellington, New Zealand, are more than eateries. They’re the culmination of the area’s indigenous culture, available resources, and creativity in the kitchen, which has led to award-winning restaurant options throughout the city.
Below, you’ll find a list of the ten best restaurants in the culinary capital of New Zealand. We’ve visited some of these restaurants, while others are yet to be visited.
This cozy restaurant is open for lunch and dinner, offering creative meals inspired by France and traditional Vietnamese dishes. Each dish incorporates the five flavors of Vietnamese cooking: spicy, sour, bitter, salty, and sweet, to create a mouthwatering, unique dish. The meals here are designed to be eaten family-style, regardless of their size. It’s meant to recreate the atmosphere and vibe of street food in Hanoi, which is shared.
Boulcott Street Bistro
This fine-dining restaurant is one of the most famous options and some of the best food in Wellington. Boulcott Street Bistro has been serving customers delicious modern cuisine since 1991. The restaurant lies in a Victorian cottage, which helps provide a more elegant yet intimate atmosphere for diners. It’s run by Chef Rex Morgan, an award-winning chef and TV host. Boulcott Street Bistro prides itself on using only the freshest ingredients to craft dishes like pan-roasted duck breast and aged fillet of beef.
Boulcott St, Wellington, NZ
Ortega Fish Shack
Ortega Fish Shack is a Wellington Restaurant known for having the best seafood offerings in the city. One step inside this eatery, and you’ll find a warm, welcoming environment and inventive seafood and steak dishes. Ortega Fish Shack has a rotating menu determined based on the available seasonal ingredients, so expect a new experience each visit. They’re only open for dinner Tuesday through Saturday, so it’s best to plan on this restaurant when you want to enjoy a nicer, sit-down option.
Majoribanks St, Wellington, NZ
Graze Wine Bar
Look no further if you’re in the mood for a fun, funky wine bar with eco-conscious options! Graze Wine Bar offers fine wines from New Zealand vintners in a cozy atmosphere (there are only 25 seats available!). While at this wine bar, you can sit at the bar to enjoy watching the chefs in action or relax at one of the tables with a glass of wine. The menu constantly changes based on the available natural resources, though you can expect to see items like butterfish spring crudo and fresh focaccia bread.
95 Upland Rd Wellington, NZ
Pizza Pomodoro (Hannah’s Laneway)
Ask any local, and they’ll tell you most great foodie finds are tucked away in Hannah’s Laneway. Many of the best Wellington restaurants and cafes are located in this area, including Pizza Pomodoro. This family-run pizzeria serves wood-fired oven pizza crafted by Massimo Tolve, a chef from Naples. Each pizza is crafted with fresh ingredients and handmade dough. This restaurant specializes in Italian-style pizza, with a few innovative options on the best food in Wellington menu.
Leeds St, Wellington, NZ
Havana Bar is exciting, from the two colorful houses in which the restaurant and bar live to the Cuban-inspired decor. This is one of the top Wellington restaurants for delicious food and tasty cocktails. You’ll find an array of tapas and seasonal dishes on the menu that pair well with the available libations. Havana hosts local and international music artists a few times a week, so you can dance the night away after enjoying internationally-inspired dishes.
Wigan Street, Wellington, NZ
Kisa is one of the newer restaurants that is a must when you visit Wellington. You’ll find it on Wellington’s Cuba Street, known as the city’s cultural center. Kisa serves delightful Middle Eastern-inspired cuisine in a cozy cafe-like atmosphere. This restaurant is a great option for date night or girls’ night out, as it features elegantly plated dishes. You’ll also find the staff is friendly, helpful, and welcoming here at one of the best places to eat in Wellington.
Field & Green
Don’t let the cozy, minimalistic interior stop you from trying the mouthwatering food at Field & Green. This award-winning neighbourhood restaurant serves a unique style of cuisine – European soul food. Each dish is inspired by France, Italy, and Britain cuisine with a creative twist. You’ll find tasty options like smoked fish kedgeree and gruyere souffle on the menu. Make sure you try the ice cream here; its house churned and includes 17 flavors, such as cardamom and vanilla.
This unique restaurant lies in the QT Wellington Hotel, offering a flamboyant, bright, and fun atmosphere inspired by a Parisian grandma “who knows how to drink.” It’s a must-visit in Wellington, if not only to see the brightly colored decor. This restaurant serves exciting cocktails and mocktails you’ll want to try during a visit. You can also order a two, three, or six-course meal while at Hippopotamus. If you want the full experience, try the tableside theatre option. This restaurant is pricier, so only add it to your itinerary if your budget allows it, but it is one of the best places to eat in Wellington.
Koji is a fun dining spot that combines local Wellington ingredients with Asian-inspired cuisine. Every dish is an innovative offering with complex flavors that will leave you wanting more. This Wellington, NZ restaurant is known for its big flavors, which you can experience by selecting your own menu items or allowing the chef to pick nine for you. Plant-based options are also here for those who don’t eat meat or dairy.