Whether you are planning on going out for drinks, taking that someone special out to a spectacular dinner or planning on grabbing something cheap and cheerful for dinner, we’ve got you covered with our best night time eats in Wellington.
Part of the newly rebranded QT Museum Hotel, the Hippopotamus restaurant offers a luxurious French inspired fine dining experience. It’s the perfect place in Wellington to celebrate a birthday, anniversary or any other special occasion. The setting is best described as luxe. Overlooking the Wellington waterfront, it is riddled with beautiful vintage chairs and a vast proportion of their staff are from France. The Hippopotamus has a variety of different menus including a set degustation menu, which can be paired with wine matches for a truly special dining experience. If you are planning to go for the degustation dinner, don’t forget to book in advance as this is a popular dinner option. Hippo also have a High Tea on offer. Ranging from $39 for the treats with tea, to $59 which includes a glass of Louis Roederer champagne. The High Tea is the perfect place to go with your girlfriends for a sweet selection of French treats.
Located on Willis St, Burger Liquor is Wellington’s first burger bar. Serving delicious burgers as well as a huge selection of liquors, Burger Liquor has you covered. From classic cheeseburgers to pulled pork, jalapeños and avocado, you can find almost any burger to satisfy your craving. For those with dietary requirements, Burger Liquor has lettuce buns on offer and they are also able to make buns that are gluten and dairy free on request. On Sunday’s they host the Burger Liquor “Rum Club” where selected rums are on special for $5. It’s a great excuse to gather a few mates around, drink some rum and chow down on some burgers.
Although still relatively new to Cuba Street, Loretta has quickly made a name for herself. Loretta is Wellington establishment Floridita’s younger, more modern sister. With its minimalist combination of exposed concrete and light native wood, there is something extremely warm and comforting about Loretta. The focus of the restaurant is on locally grown, seasonal produce. There isn’t much that they can’t do well. Brunch, lunch, drinks and dinner are all covered here. Their menu offers a great selection of woodfired pizza, pies, salads and meats, meaning there is something for everyone. Their dinner menu is particularly made for sharing tapas style, with their ‘bits + pieces’, ‘bites’ and ‘first’ sections of their menu all designed for sharing.
This is no ordinary food truck; The Greek Food Truck is a Wellington must do. French fries covered in parmesan, souvlakis bursting with mixed meats, tzatziki and hot chips make this place a mouth-watering alternative to the usual food truck fare. Crowd favourites are the souvlaki, cocooned in the softest, fluffiest pita bread and the fries covered in parmesan cheese. They also sell the ever favourite Greek dessert, the baklava. Floating around the city at different locations each night, check out their website for where they will be based. Greek food lovers should check out their latest venture as well, Oikos restaurant in Miramar (get the sesame crusted feta cheese drizzled in honey, it is to die for.)
Rogue and Vagabond is a funky craft beer spot in the CBD that serves up hundreds of beers and even better tacos. Every Tuesday from 5pm onwards, Rogue and Vagabond offers $2 Tacos that are out of this world. Pork, beef brisket, chicken and mince fillings are on offer, with either a soft or hard shell. Enjoy them outside in Glover Park on a bean bag in the warmer months or snuggled up inside when it’s colder.
Mr Go’s has only been around for a year but they have already made their mark on Wellington. It’s easy to see how they took out first prize for the 2017 Wellington on a Plate burger competition with their ‘Kiwi China, China Kiwi’ burger containing braised beef cheek and pickled kiwifruit. Mr Go’s is self-proclaimed ‘Modern Asian Hawker Food’, plating up bao buns, dumplings, chicken wings and a revolving menu of soft serve. Every week Mr Go’s have a “bao of the week” where one of their regular baos is on special for $6. Alongside their food menu, there is also an extensive drinks list, from crowd favourites like Garage Project ‘Hāpi Daze’ and ParrotDog ‘Pandemonium’ beers, all the way to some Asian inspired cocktails like the ‘Pink Holler’.
When Egmont Street Eatery opened in 2015, it completely revived tired Egmont Street. Located in what used to be an old car park, the restaurant has claimed this space as its own with a multi-level, modern eatery. The bar area of the restaurant is at street level, making it a great spot for people watching. The restaurant area is a few steps below street level, which makes visitors feel like they are dining in somewhat of a secret hideaway. The food reflects the seasons, and an emphasis is placed on sharing plates for their dinner service. You can combine items from their dinner menu to create your own customised sharing feast. Breakfast and lunch are more casual with classics like eggs and French toast on offer.
Craft beer is an integral part of Wellington’s culture. Golding’s takes inspiration from American dive bars, by paying homage to the neighbourhood bars of the US. Located in one of Wellington’s favourite lanes, Leeds Street, it’s colourful and full of funky lights, yet dark and mysterious at the same time. The exposed brick and street art inspired interior makes Golding’s a perfect fit in with the quirkiness of Leeds Street. They are independent from the big beer companies, allowing them to stock their favourite brews from around New Zealand as well as selections from the best microbreweries from the U.S. In addition to their awesome selection of beer, Golding’s work alongside another hero of Leeds’ street, Pizza Pomodoro, making it easy for punters to grab a beer and order a pizza from Pomodoro to enjoy at Golding’s.
Formerly Phoenician Cuisine, Five and Dime is the brainchild of the guys behind Five Boroughs in Mount Victoria. Five and Dime offers a quirky seasonal menu with interesting produce used to create unique dishes not often found in Wellington. Though the menu is always changing, dishes of interest in the past have included baklava with rosewater candy floss and buttermilk fried duck. Five and Dime is reminiscent of a small hole in the wall eatery one might find on the streets of New York, which is where the owners got the inspiration for their eateries. Make sure to call and book before heading to this spot, as it has limited seating and is rather popular.
Cicio Cacio is increasingly becoming one of the most talked about restaurants in Wellington and it’s easy to see why. Located in a rather hidden away location down a side street of Newtown, Cicio Cacio is well worth the search. The restaurant itself is very welcoming and homely with two levels and a warm ambiance. The ever-changing menu is completely written in Italian requiring the waitress to explain every item to you in detail. The staff are very knowledgeable about both the food and the wine offerings, it is a great idea to trust their recommendations and order a selection of items to share.