Wellington is home to some of the best restaurants in New Zealand, with an abundance of fresh produce, creative chefs and vibrant dining culture.
There are a lot of choices when it comes to eating out in Wellington, but the city’s restaurants offer something for everyone.
Whether you’re looking for a quick coffee or an elegant meal, there’s something on offer for every occasion.
If you’re after somewhere to relax over a glass of wine or two with friends, our list of diverse bars and cafes will have something for everyone.
For those who prefer their food to be cooked from scratch rather than served up from a can or packet, there are plenty of places where you can enjoy delicious meals made from locally sourced ingredients.
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Wellington’s restaurants are known for being particularly good at vegetarian and vegan options – if this is your thing then you’ll be spoilt for choice!
The 10 Best Restaurants in Wellington
If you’re looking for a special night out with friends or even a romantic meal for two, there’s something here for everyone.
New Zealand has been voted as one of the top ten food destinations in the world by Lonely Planet, so it’s no surprise that Wellington has some incredible restaurants.
Here are the ten best restaurants in Wellington:
1. Logan Brown
Logan Brown is one of my favourite restaurants in Wellington because they serve up some of the most delicious meat in town.
You can’t go wrong with anything on their menu – everything is cooked to perfection!
Their wine list is also great if you’re looking for something light but flavourful.
They have lots of options by the glass (rather than buying bottles) which makes it easier when you’re dining with friends who aren’t drinking alcohol!
The menu is seasonal and changes regularly. There will always be a few favourites on offer, but you can also expect to find new dishes that have been created by their talented chef.
The food is always fresh, delicious and beautifully presented. They also have an extensive wine list so there’s something for everyone!
Logan Brown is located in the heart of Wellington city centre on Cuba Street, so it’s easy to get to no matter where you’re staying.
It’s open for breakfast, lunch and dinner every day except Mondays.
Whitebait is one of the best restaurants in Wellington and is located in Clyde Quay Wharf Herd Stree. It is a small place with great food.
The food at Whitebait is mainly traditional New Zealand cuisine.
They have an extensive wine list, including many local wines, along with an excellent selection of beers and spirits.
The restaurant has a very relaxed atmosphere, making it great for a quiet night out.
The menu at Whitebait changes regularly, but some dishes remain favourites with diners year after year.
Their desserts are also highly recommended – they have a range of homemade ice creams that change daily depending on what is available from local producers.
Shepherd is one of the best restaurants in Wellington. It has been awarded two hats by Cuisine magazine for several years.
Shepherd is located in the heart of Wellington city on 1/5 Eva Street, Te Aro, just off Courtenay Place and across from the Embassy Theatre.
It has a relaxed atmosphere and an excellent menu. Shepherd serves food that is cooked with passion and presented beautifully. The restaurant has a great wine list and excellent service.
Shepherd has a very good wine list: it’s small but interesting, with a good selection of New Zealand wines.
The food at Shepherd is also very good: they use local ingredients, so you can try some very special dishes.
The menu changes regularly with a strong focus on seasonal produce and flavour combinations that are always inventive yet approachable and comforting at the same time.
4. Ortega Fish Shack & Bar
Ortega Fish Shack & Bar is one of the best restaurants in Wellington.
The restaurant is located in the heart of the city, only a few minutes away from the Te Papa Museum and the Museum of New Zealand.
Ortega Fish Shack & Bar offers an excellent selection of seafood dishes prepared by experienced chefs with fresh ingredients.
The menu includes a variety of appetizers, seafood dishes and desserts that will delight even the most demanding guests.
The restaurant offers a wide selection of wines from around the world at reasonable prices.
Ortega Fish Shack & Bar also has a bar where you can enjoy a glass or two with your meal.
If you are visiting Wellington and want to try some delicious seafood dishes, then Ortega Fish Shack & Bar is worth visiting!
5. Boulcott Street Bistro
Boulcott Street Bistro is one of the best restaurants in Wellington. The food is amazing and the service is fantastic.
The decor is simple but elegant. It’s a great place to go for lunch or dinner, or even just for drinks with friends.
The restaurant has a French feel to it, but the menu has dishes from all over Europe including Italy and Spain.
They also have a great selection of wines by the glass and bottle.
They have an extensive menu with something for everyone. If you’re not sure what you want, they’ll be happy to help you choose something that suits your tastes and budget.
The prices at Boulcott Street Bistro are reasonable considering how good their food is.
Their lunch specials start at $18 which is a good deal for such high-quality food.
Dinner prices start at around $30 which is also reasonable for what you get (I usually spend about $40).
6. Hippopotamus Restaurant & Cocktail Bar
Hippopotamus Restaurant & Cocktail Bar is one of the best restaurants in Wellington.
Hippopotamus Restaurant & Cocktail Bar is located on Cable Street, a vibrant part of Wellington that is known for its nightlife and culture.
The restaurant itself has an impressive history dating back to 1948 when it was located on Willis Street (now known as Courtenay Place).
It remained there until 2004 when it moved to its current location on Cuba Street.
The interior is decorated with animal heads and antiques from Africa as well as large paintings by local artists on display throughout the space.
The colour scheme throughout is dark with splashes of bright colours such as yellow and orange which gives the venue a warm feeling when you walk into it.
7. Jano Bistro
Jano Bistro is one of the best restaurants in Wellington, it’s not just because they serve delicious food, but also because they have a great atmosphere with friendly staff and a nice view over the city.
If you’re looking for a place to have dinner or even just a drink, Jano Bistro is worth checking out!
Jano Bistro is located on Willis Street, at number 11. It’s one street away from Cuba Street (the main street in Wellington) and not far from Te Papa (the national museum).
There are many other restaurants nearby too so if you want to eat at another place afterward, it won’t be hard to find something else nearby!
The restaurant has two floors; the first floor has an open kitchen and bar where you can order drinks or food, while the second floor has tables for eating.
The bar area looks very modern and stylish with lots of marble and mirrors on the walls.
The tables upstairs are more traditional with white tablecloths and candles on each table.
8. Shed 5 Bar & Restaurant
This is a great place to stop for lunch or dinner and enjoy the fantastic views across the harbour.
The restaurant is open from 11 am until late daily, so you can make it your destination while you are out on the water or as part of a night out in town.
The menu at Shed 5 Bar & Restaurant has a range of dishes to suit everyone’s taste buds.
They have everything from delicious seafood dishes and mains to tasty burgers and salads.
There are also classic pub favourites like fish and chips, pizza and steak sandwiches available on their menu too.
If you’re looking for somewhere to eat with friends or family while you’re visiting Wellington then Shed 5 Bar & Restaurant should definitely be top of your list!
9. Chameleon Restaurant
Chameleon Restaurant is one of the best restaurants in Wellington. It’s a great place to take a date or go with friends.
The food is excellent, but the service is even better! The servers are friendly and helpful, and they always make sure that we’re having a good time.
We’ve been going there for years now, and we never get tired of it. If you’re looking for someplace new to try out, this is definitely the place!
Chameleon Restaurant has been serving up delicious food since it first opened its doors on Wellington’s main street.
This family-owned business has been serving up authentic Vietnamese cuisine ever since, making it one of the most popular restaurants in town!
10. Noble Rot Wine Bar
Located on the edge of Te Aro, it’s a stylish and relaxing place to enjoy a meal.
The menu at Noble Rot is focused on small plates and sharing dishes, so you can try lots of different things.
The food is always delicious, and the wine list is extensive with over 50 wines by the glass on offer.
Noble Rot has an excellent reputation for its wine list.
It’s hard to pick a favourite from such an extensive selection, but if you’re after something fruity and delicious try a glass of the Vigneto Primavera 2013 Chardonnay from Italy or a glass of Chateau de la Foncière Rose 2014 Cotes de Provence Rosé from France.
If you want something more substantial then try one of the larger dishes like grilled octopus served with chickpeas and preserved lemon, or roasted duck breast served with lentils and cauliflower puree topped with crispy breadcrumbs.