New Zealand: A foodie's guide to Wellington's epic restaurant scene

Ah Wellington.

 

 

Visiting Wellington is an all-round delight, and in case you haven't already noticed, I adore this windy city. I was lucky enough to call this quirky little corner of the world my home for nearly one year. Forgetting about Wellington's awesome setting and it's funky vibe (which is hard to do I know, but keep with me here). Do you know what else makes Wellington so immense?

 

It's food scene. 

 

Wellington has more restaurants per capita than New York City. Plus, the fierce competition ensures standards are kept exceedingly high. The electric food scene in New Zealand's capital is enough to satisfy any foodie for months on end. Whether it's cheap eats, authentic Asian cuisine or modern New Zealand you are after, you will find it all here. From delicious seafood to divine cocktail bars, the variety and sheer quality of the eateries in Wellington will astound you. Also, if you haven't already purchased an Entertainment Book, like yesterday, then you really need to do it now! The Entertainment Book provides you with vouchers for deals on the majority of restaurants in Wellington, once you've used it twice you have already made your money back plus 50% of proceeds go to charity. Whats not to love?

 

So with all these amazing places to eat and with great deals available. Where do you even start?

 

Fear not.

 

Sit back and relax as I take you on a cyber tour through my favourite restaurants in Wellington's magnetic food scene. 

1. The Favourite

Zibbibo.

 

Zibbibo is my favourite restaurant in Wellington for two simple reasons. The food is incredible and the service impeccable. Zibbibo serves modern New Zealand food and is a restaurant at the top of it's game. One of my favourite things about this restaurant is that they do a platter for starter and for dessert, which means if you are incredibly indecisive when it comes to food you can get the platter, allowing you to try a miniature version of each thing! Genius idea! 

2. The One With The View.

The Spruce Goose.

 

Located in Lyall Bay, this place is my favourite for Sunday brunch. Facing right onto the beach, it's the perfect place to have a bite to eat, then stroll along the beach afterwards. When at The Spruce Goose it is imperative you order the ribs - they are one of the most delicious things I have ever tasted. I was actually vegetarian for a while and those ribs were a game changer. Amazing!

3. The  Seafood Place

Crab Shack.

 

Without a doubt, my favourite seafood restaurant in Wellington. If you order the crab it comes complete with your own bib, it's rather messy work but totally worth it! And don't worry, even if you don't like crab, the Crab Shack also does a mean steak. Really, there's no excuse not to go.

4. The Legendary One.

Sweet Mothers Kitchen.

 

I was told about this restaurant long before I ever moved to Wellington. I was travelling through Asia and whilst I was in Singapore I met a Kiwi who proceeded to tell me that Sweet Mother's Kitchen was probably the greatest restaurant on earth. About 1 year later I ended up in Wellington and I knew I had to give this place a go. Sweet Mothers Kitchen is a New Orleans style eatery with good, old Southern food. It's a cool place with a laid back vibe and outdoor seating which is perfect for the summer months! If you ever feel the need for some epic fried chicken or the biggest slice of pecan pie you have ever seen, then Sweet Mothers Kitchen is the perfect place for you.

5. The Cheap Eats Place

KK Malaysian.

 

This tiny little restaurant might not seem like much from the outside, but I am willing to bet it will serve the best Mee Goreng you've ever tasted (outside of Malaysia/Indonesia of course). There is usually a queue to get a table, it's a no frills kinda place. But the portions are huge, the food is delicious and most meals cost less than $13! 


6. The One For The Hangover

Fidel's Cafe.

 

Now this place is cool. With Che Guevara influences, outside seating in a colourful garden and amazing breakfast food it is the perfect place to go when in need for a hangover cure. Located on Cuba Street in the centre of the city, you won't have too far to wander to reach Fidel's. Be sure to order a coffee as it's one of the best in Wellington and you can't really go wrong with the menu, whatever you order will exceed your expectations.

7. The Asian Fusion Place

Chow.

 

Chow is where Asian meets Tapas. With small dishes designed to share and an almost impossible menu to pick between, there is something for everyone here. Plus, on a Monday Chow do 2 for 1 meals which means for every tapas dish you order, you get another one for free! It's usually very busy and you can't book, but you can put your name down and pop into the The Library cocktail bar next door while you wait. And I promise it will be worth it!

8. The One For A Special Occasion.

Matterhorn. 

 

Matterhorn was the very first restaurant I ever ate in in Wellington, and it still remains to be one of the best. This is fine dining New Zealand cuisine at it's best and offers an experience you won't forget. The restaurant is dark and moody, lit by low lanterns and has an overall intimate and sophisticated feel. It's the perfect place for a romantic evening and the food will not disappoint. 

9. The Vietnamese Place.

Restaurant 88.

 

It's no secret that I simply adore Vietnamese food, but outside of Vietnam I have never been able to find anywhere that comes even close. That was until I found Restaurant 88. Wow. This place took me straight back to Ho Chi Minh City, the food is so authentic and undeniably delicious. Whether you have tried Vietnamese food before or not, I guarantee you will love it after you visit this restaurant.

10. The One When You Want to be Outdoors.

Farmers Market - Sundays

 

Last but certainly not least, is the famous Wellington Farmer's Market. Right on the waterfront every Sunday is a mixture of stalls and food trucks selling some of New Zealand's best produce. It usually starts around 8am and goes on until early afternoon. There are cuisines from all over the world, from Brazilian to Mexican to Indian. On sunny Sunday mornings, this is the perfect spot to try lots of different dishes whilst a local busker plays music. I spent many a happy Sunday here!

What is your favourite restaurant in Wellington?