For a city that packs around half a million people into a beautiful harbourside location that is renowned for its easy-to-walk-around size, there is no wonder Wellington bars find themselves in every nook, cranny, alleyway and attic available.

Far from feeling like you are on an overcrowded pub crawl, discovering bars in Wellington is more like an inner city treasure hunt where the prizes are top rate cocktails, wines and beers (most likely locally brewed too). From waterfront bars with picturesque views of the harbour, to hidden rooftop gems in the heart of Cuba Street, to the bustling Courtenay Place scene that comes alive with party-goers on the weekend, bars in the capital provide a range of environments that any late night enthusiast can appreciate.

It pays to do your research before you head off, as some Wellington bars pride themselves on their hard-to-find nature, but that just makes settling in with a drink there even more exciting. Got a date to impress? Find your nearest cocktail bar and let the atmosphere and gracious bartenders do half the seducing.

Heading out with mates who like a beer? The sheer number of local Wellington breweries, filleries, tasting and tap rooms should mean you have no trouble finding something to suit your taste, and what is better than drinking Wellington beer in the very city that is home to the people who made it? Consider yourself a wine connoisseur? Then you’ll be pleased to hear Wellington has its very own urban winery and every self-respecting bar in the area will also be serving up a fine selection of local and international drops. 


Never a shortage of things going on, the common complaint here is simply ‘there’s too much to do, too little time’. Keep an eye out for music gigs, slam poetry nights, comedy and quiz nights - all hosted within the Wellington bar scene. 


Loud or hushed, dancing or sitting, bars in Wellington cater to all the different facets of big city life, and so whether you are out for a good time, a long time or a bit of both, start your night (and maybe end it too) at some of the capital’s friendly evening joints where you are likely to feel right at home from the minute you take your first sip.

Beers, Bites, and Bowling: A Guide to Upper Hutt’s Brewtown

People walking under a large 'Brewtown' stign.
Just a stone’s throw from Upper Hutt train station lies Brewtown, a 6,000 square metre entertainment and dining hub that effortlessly attracts families, parties, and thrill seekers from around Wellington and beyond.

Baylands Brewery

Interior of taproom at Baylands Brewery in Lower Hutt
Place Hutt Valley Lower Hutt
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Based in Petone, Baylands Brewery and Taproom is a relaxed, welcoming space offering up a wide range of fresh beer and tasty food.

Abandoned Taproom Petone

Graffitied walls inside a bar.
Place Hutt Valley
Bars key icon.

The upcycled furniture, the bike frame fence, and of course, the walls covered ceiling to floor in graffiti (literally, there’s writing on the ceiling).

Noble Rot

A seating area inside Noble Rot wine bar in Wellington.
Place Wellington
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Boasting an almost 1,000-strong wine list, it’s no surprise that Noble Rot is widely considered Wellington's premier wine bar.

Willis Lane

Three delicious looking hot dogs on a table.
Place Wellington
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Wellington’s city streets are constantly humming with life and energy, but for a playful excursion that breaks the norm, you’ll want to head underground.

CGR Merchant & Co

A female bartender making a pink cocktail behind the bar at CGR Merchants.
Place Wellington
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Look for an unassuming red door in the heart of Courtenay Place in Wellington and you’ll be whisked away to one of the city’s best cocktail lounges.

Margot

The window seat inside Margot Wellington.
Place Wellington Editor's Pick
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Tucked away in the heart of Newtown in Wellington is the little restaurant, Margot.

Graze Wine Bar

The small seating area inside the brightly lit Graze Wine Bar in Wellington.
Place Wellington
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Wellington’s central city eateries are revered across the country, and for good reason.

Monkfish

Strongwater fridge filled with chilled drinks at Monkfish.
Place Wellington
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A cosy refillery and off-licence that’s strictly about good vibes, Monkfish is your Vivian Street stop for your beer, wine, and spirits needs.

Chasing the sun: Where to Dine Al Fresco in Wellington

People dining outside a bar that has a yellow painted exterior.
Found a good day in Wellington? Make the most of it by heading to one of these eateries for a spot of al fresco dining.

Next Door

Exterior of Next Door, Wellington.
Place Wellington
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Positioned right next to neighbourhood favourite Margot, Next Door makes up one...

Puffin

Shelves of wine with a takeaway sign.
Place Wellington Editor's Pick
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Welcome to Puffin, a “wine bar with a focus on organic and minimal intervention wines”.

Ascot

Woman holding hotdog.
Place Wellington
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Hotdogs and wine might seem like an unlikely combination, but at The Ascot, no one’s going to judge you holding a glass of wine in one hand and a saucy dog in the other.

Heyday

Outdoor courtyard at Heyday, Wellington.
Place Wellington
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A fun and easy going brewery and bar, with plenty of games (including table tennis!) to keep you entertained.

Charley Noble

Chef at work in the kitchen at Charley Noble, Wellington.
Place Wellington
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A favourite spot for nearby business people, don't be surprised to see Charley Noble buzzing with guests even early in the week right through from breakfast till dinnertime.

Parrotdog Bar

The outside of Parrotdog Bar.
Place Wellington Editor's Pick
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A brilliant retro-fit bar that welcomes tradies, business folk, families, children and even dogs.

The People Behind the Places: Meet the Food & Drink Heroes of Kāpiti Coast

A woman holding dutch pancakes in front of a white caravan.
While Kāpiti Coast might be more commonly associated with a holiday destination where the classic fish n’ chips on the beach scenario is a fit-for-purpose culinary experience, scratch the surface, and you’ll find the region brimming with food and drink locations that will have you toss away the thought of eating off paper.

Moon 1

Record player.
Place Wellington
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True to name, things gets pretty cosmic inside Moon 1.

Meow

The outside the bar.
Place Wellington
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Live music, slam poetry readings, stand-up comedy and a thumping happy hour make Meow a versatile venue.

The Library

A booth beneath a shelves of books at The Library bar Wellington.
Place Wellington
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Hidden behind an unassuming ground floor entrance, The Library is another well-known establishment that overlooks the go-go crowd of Courtenay Place.

Hanging Ditch

People sitting in the bar.
Place Wellington
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Hanging Ditch, for those who are yet to visit, is Leeds’ Street best little slice of stealth.

Little Beer Quarter

Yellow exterior of Little Beer Quarter.
Place Wellington
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With 12 craft beers on tap and over 100 bottles of beer from New Zealand and around the globe this inner-city pub truly is a gem.

Rogue & Vagabond

People in the bar.
Place Wellington
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A great spot for meeting friends, socialising or just watching the Wellington crowd do their thing.

Havana Bar

Cocktails being made.
Place Wellington
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Part restaurant, part bar, Havana is an absolute essential in every sense of those two words.

91 Aro

A man pouring beer.
Place Wellington
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Welcome to hop-head heaven.

A Night Time Wine Crawl through Wellington City

A hand holding a glass of rose next to a plate of food.
With some of the country’s finest wine bars conveniently at hand, Wellington is a great place in which to embark on a wine crawl.

Crumpet

A man working behind the bar.
Place Wellington Editor's Pick
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Crumpet on Manners Street is a quaint café / bar and quite possibly Wellington’s best kept secret.

Hawthorn Lounge

Green lamps on bar counter.
Place Wellington
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The service at Hawthorn Lounge is impeccable, in the sense that they're attentive without being overbearing. It's novel enough to make you realise that most places have forgotten the hospitable out of hospitality.