Upon arriving in New Zealand’s fun little capital, it will not be long before you stumble across your first Wellington café, and that is because they are everywhere.

Rumoured to have more cafés, bars and restaurants per capita than New York, the café scene in Wellington punches well above its weight on the world stage.

It would be rude not to immediately partake in drinking some of the best coffee around, so once you have stepped off the ferry or plane, make your way into the CBD and get your hands around a cup of the good stuff. Hosted by fun-loving, cheerful waitstaff, cafés in Wellington are a huge part of what makes the city tick, and if you wanted colour, entertainment, quirky decor and top rate food and drinks, then you have come to the right place.

Watch the inner city come to life as commuters make their early morning dash to the local for a scone and long black, or sit in at lunch next to University students from up the hill who come to have their study breaks in the form of caffeine and carbs. A city that really likes to eat out means that the food on offer at Wellington cafés is really something else, and with a growing number of different dietary requirements, you can expect to see plenty of vegetarian, vegan, gluten and dairy-free options.

The outer suburbs may be slightly quieter in nature, but that does not mean the cafés there are lacking in quality.  In fact these tucked away eateries often have loyal followings of their own simply because they do what they do so well. From Miramar Peninsula to Island Bay, Lyall Bay and Newtown, these cafés take their job seriously and can be found bustling with visitors from early til late.;

An overarching ethos of supporting local means you will often find Wellington cafés stocking products from neighbouring businesses, and collaborations between creative food and drink makers are constantly on the cards. Look out for some of Wellington’s favourite coffee roasters; Flight Coffee, Peoples Coffee, Supreme, L’affare and Havana, and if you are not staying for long it pays to buy a big bag of beans to take home too. Experts in the subject mean they also stock some of the best gear around for grinding, preparing and pouring your own, so be sure to talk to those behind the counter for the top tips on how to brew the perfect cup at home. Whether you are settling in for a Wellington brunch, taking your in-laws out for a Wellington lunch, or simply passing time before your next meeting, the Wellington café scene welcomes everyone with their (quite literally) open door policy.

10 Trails in the Hutt Valley and Where to Treat Yourself After

People biking on a trail in native bush.
Nestled within the lush, rolling landscapes that make up the lower North Island, the Hutt Valley offers an expansive network of interesting walks appealing to both seasoned hikers and casual strollers alike. Whether you’re after a leisurely meander or a more challenging multi-hour ‘slog’, the Hutt Valley trails offer a variety of native bush landscapes and panoramic vistas, meaning there really is something for everyone. Fortunately, the adventure doesn’t have to end with the last step of the walk; the Hutt Valley also offers a yummy selection of culinary spots to reward the tired explorer. Our guide below unveils ten of the best walks in the Hutt Valley and our suggestion of the perfect places to treat yourself afterwards.

Shelly Bay Baker on Leeds Street

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Place Wellington
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When the call of carbs rings out loudly in Wellington, follow the scent of freshly baked bread down Leeds Street and through the door of Shelly Bay Baker.

Glou Glou

Wooden bar leaner with green tiles holding plates of sweet and savoury crumpets and ube and matcha lattes
Place Wellington
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Located inside Wellington’s iconic Exchange Building on Allen Street, Glou Glou is an upmarket casual cafe that is ultra sleek yet laid-back enough to warrant a daily...

Bellbird Eatery

Scrambled egg and mushrooms on toast.
Place Hutt Valley
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Museum and art gallery cafes have really upped their game in recent years, evolving from simple refreshment pit stops to become attractions in their own right.

Fig Tree Café

A large cafe space with a green painted wall.
Place Hutt Valley
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Nestled in the leafy green suburb of Heretaunga, the Fig Tree Cafe has made its home in a converted church.

Seashore Cabaret

View from inside the first floor Seashore Cabaret cafe out to their deck area where people are dining with a view across the harbour to Wellington city beyond.
Place Hutt Valley
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This café definitely takes out the title for best view of the city.

Small Batch, Ripe Coffee Roasters

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Place Hutt Valley Lower Hutt
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This small but mighty Petone-based coffee roaster has well and truly established itself as a trusty local for many Hutt goers.

Trade School Kitchen

Barista pouring milk into freshly made coffee at cafe
Place Hutt Valley Lower Hutt
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Described as the ‘living room of the Naenae community’, Trade School Kitchen is a not-for-profit community based cafe doing what it can to give back to its people.

Miss Fortune's

Coffee machine and bags of coffee on a colourful counter in Miss Fortune's cafe
Place Hutt Valley Lower Hutt
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Lower Hutt’s industrial precinct isn’t exactly where you’d think to head for a slice of quintessential Wellington hospitality, but at Miss Fortune’s, you’ll find one of the region’s most charismatic little brunch spots.

The Best Vegan-friendly Spots in Wellington

Two hands holding a vegan pastry on a plate.
Whether you’re a seasoned vegan or keen to dip your toes in this culinary world, Wellington is the place to be.

Cars Inc.

A black car in front of a large fluorescent 'Cars' sign.
Place Hutt Valley
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What started out as simply a young boy with a passion has turned into a lifelong project for car enthusiast Paul Boden, and the opening of Cars Inc.

Twenty Eight

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Place Hutt Valley Lower Hutt
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Named for their address on Cornwall Street, Twenty Eight is a modern, well lit and welcoming Lower Hutt cafe serving up interesting cabinet food, a thoughtfully crafted...

Dough Upper Hutt

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Place Hutt Valley Upper Hutt
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Come for the art, stay for the coffee and doughnuts at Dough Bakery in Upper Hutt – conveniently located in one of the town's most popular cultural haunts.

Tricky's Sandwich Co

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Place Hutt Valley Upper Hutt
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It’s hard to beat a good sandwich – and Tricky’s Sandwich Co is a family-run sandwich joint that have made it their business to be unbeatable.

Tartines French Cafe

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Place Hutt Valley Lower Hutt
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Tartines offers a small slice of French culinary delight, with handmade tarts, pastries, fresh bread and classic dishes that will have you mistaking Lower Hutt for Lyon.

Comes & Goes

Coffee brewing equipment on the counter at Comes & Goes café in Petone.
Place Hutt Valley
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Comes & Goes is a brilliant addition to the Wellington café scene, bringing an explosion of edible flowers and culinary masterpieces that Wellingtonians are welcoming with open arms.

Chasing the sun: Where to Dine Al Fresco in Wellington

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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.

House of Good Fortune

Exterior of mint-green character house in Petone Wellington
Place Hutt Valley Lower Hutt
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Petone’s myriad side streets hold plenty of delightful surprises, and if you’re lucky enough, you might just stumble upon the House of Good Fortune.

Jean's

The blue and gold outside of Jeans in Upper Hutt.
Place Hutt Valley Upper Hutt
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Upper Hutt’s Fergusson Drive may often feel like a long, monotonous road, but thanks to its little boutique shops like Jeans, you can find plenty of life and character...

Cake & Kitchen

A fake living wall inside a brightly lit cafe.
Place Hutt Valley Upper Hutt
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Cake & Kitchen is a cafe in Upper Hutt, bringing people together over delicious food and coffee.

Montfoort

A Dutch Pancakes caravan.
Place Kāpiti Coast
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Montfoort has a simple yet exciting mission: to showcase the very best of sweet Dutch street food.

The Lockup

The outdoor seating are at the Lock Up in Kapiti.
Place Kāpiti Coast
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Situated a stone's throw away from the beach at Paraparaumu, The Lockup is the ultimate ocean-side cafe, complete with a large outdoor area and a chilled vibe.

Bus Stop Café

A vintage living room sitting next to large windows.
Place Kāpiti Coast
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The Bus Stop Cafe is a hidden secret a stone's throw away from Te Horo Beach.

Peoples Coffee Roastery

A man with child sitting on a couch at Peoples Coffee in Wellington, New Zealand.
Place Wellington
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Head to Newtown, venture a bit further past the chaotic and colourful Riddiford Street, and you’ll stumble across Peoples Coffee’s roastery HQ café, the...

Squirrel

The beautiful entry to Squirrel cafe in Wellington.
Place Wellington
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Nestled near the corner of popular Blair Street, Squirrel offers a warm and inviting haven complemented by a menu that showcases the best of Wellington’s producers and suppliers.

For the Sweet Tooths: Where to Dessert in Wellington

Two hands holding an ice cream cookie sandwich.
For those times when you just need to finish with something sweet, Wellington has got you covered.

The Raumati Social Club

Customers sitting at tables inside a wooden decorated Raumati Social Club.
Place Kāpiti Coast Paraparaumu
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Raumati Social Club is a bit of an institution at Kāpiti Coast.

Dark Horse

Customers chatting at tables outside the cafe.
Place Kāpiti Coast Paraparaumu
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Dark Horse Coffee co. has been providing the people of Kāpiti Coast and beyond with delicious artisan coffee since 2016.

Beach Road Deli

The brightly lit interior of Beach Road Deli on a sunny day.
Place Kāpiti Coast Paekākāriki Editor's Pick
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On the main street of the cute seaside township of Paekākāriki, you’ll find Beach Road Deli – a bright and beachy café offering great coffee and quality...

Olde Beach Bakery

A view of the inside of Olde Beach Bakery on sunny day.
Place Kāpiti Coast Paekākāriki
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Olde Beach Bakery pumps out delicious baked goods in the heart of Paekākāriki for the enjoyment of locals and visitors alike.

Sunday Cantina

The counter and kitchen inside Sunday Cantina cafe.
Place Kāpiti Coast Paraparaumu
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Adding a splash of colour and fun to the Poplar Ave corner at Raumati South, Sunday Cantina is in the business of providing customers with healthy, fresh food in a cheerful...

Customs

A female staff member looking down at the floor behind the counter at Customs.
Place Wellington
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Some of the finest coffee in town since 2010, Wellington's Customs is the flagship café co-owned by Coffee Supreme and their long-time employee, Tim Norriss.

The Best Places to Eat on Cuba Street, Wellington

The entrance to Fred's in Wellington.
Here is our definitive list of the best places to eat on Wellington’s most iconic street.

Dough

A hand putting a burger on a plate on to a blue table.
Place Wellington
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It may trace its roots to Upper Hutt, but Dough has certainly made a name for itself among bread lovers in Wellington’s city centre.

August Eatery

The red and glass exterior of August Eatery.
Place Wellington
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August conjures many things in the minds of Wellingtonians: the last throes of a bitingly cold winter, the promise of warmer days ahead, the prospect of the country’s...

Belén

Person holding a vegan pastry with strawberries at Belén, Wellington.
Place Wellington
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The vision for Wellington bakery Belén was simple: to prove there are no limits to what can be created with plants.

Fred's

Sandwich on a wooden bench top at Fred's, Wellington.
Place Wellington
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Wellington loves a little food bar and a small but punchy Cuba Street shop simply named Fred's might just be the hottest place in town to grab a sandwich.

Myrtle

Sweet pastries and biscuits on display at Myrtle, Wellington.
Place Wellington
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Offering a local taste of New York chic, Myrtle is the spinoff bakery everybody wanted from one of Wellington’s most revered suburban eateries.

Duck Island Wellington

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Place Wellington
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It was only a matter of time before Hamilton’s Duck Island ice cream came knocking on Wellington’s door.

Zelati

Woman holding ice cream on cone.
Place Wellington
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From the texture to the rich, bright flavours, their range of sorbet and gelato offerings are impressive on the palate and pleasing to the eye.

Fidel's Café

Viva Fidels signage on a villa wall.
Place Wellington
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Fidel's is a Cuba St institution and a go-to for those in search of great food, sharp service and good vibes in the heart of the city.

Take a seat: Your guide to dining solo in Wellington

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Looking to treat yourself to a meal away from home? Here are the best places to dine if you're alone in Wellington.

Elements

Black exterior with outdoor seating.
Place Wellington
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The tagline and ethos at Elements say it all, ‘Real food, everyday’, and this popular Wellington café is a destination for good reason.

Swimsuit

Exterior blue cafe with patrons eating outside.
Place Wellington
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Community is definitely the feel you get here too - expect to see people reading books, catching up on university goss, and all with impeccable coffee in hand.

Peoples Coffee - Lukes Lane

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Place Wellington
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If you know Peoples Coffee in Wellington, you’ll know the business is much more than just a café and roastery.

Betsy

Place Wellington
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In a suburb that seems like it’s perpetually on holiday, easy-going modern deli Betsy feels right at home in Island Bay.

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.

Maranui Café

People chatting at tables at Maranui cafe Wellington.
Place Wellington
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A café housed in a heritage surf lifesaving building that once had a close call with a fiery fate

Cosy Corners, Filling Foods and Winter Warmers around Wellington

A fluorescent sign that says 'just as hot as you'.
Wherever you go in Wellington, you’ll be sure to find a cosy corner offering a hearty meal or a punchy cocktail to keep you warm in winter.

Queen Sally's Diamond Deli

Front window of Queen Sally's Diamond Deli and cafe Wellington.
Place Wellington
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A Lyall Bay mainstay, Queen Sally's is the amazingly kitsch and eclectic café which services the residents of, and visitors to, this rather lovely Wellington suburb.

Frank's Newtown

Doughnuts on a counter inside Frank's Newtown cafe in Newtown Wellington.
Place Wellington
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Frank’s Newtown is a little replica of its sibling café on The Terrace and has found itself to be a quickly loved part of Newtown culture.

Staple Espresso

A woman pouring coffee.
Place Wellington
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Sleek and simple, Staple Espresso speaks volumes about letting a product do the talking – and in this case it’s the coffee that’s got people chatting

Empire Cinema & Eatery

White tiled front counter.
Place Wellington
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Empire is fitting for a cinema that pre-dated ‘talkies’ when it played its first reel in 1925, but as far as movie theatres go, this one is more for those who’d pick pinot over popcorn.

Hillside Kitchen & Cellar

Seating inside the restaurant.
Place Wellington
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Without any conventional marketing, Hillside’s profile has been built by partnering with great local producers like Six Barrel Soda, Fig & Fog, Two Sisters wine, and Noble Estate Olive Oil.

Bicycle Junction

Close up of a woman on a bike.
Place Wellington
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Catching on to the retro cycles trend, the clever people behind Bicycle Junction's new neighbourhood bikery, describe themselves as “Urban Specialists”.

Pickle and Pie

The cafe space.
Place Wellington
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After many a lunchtime spent hankering for just a ‘good old sandwich’, Tim Tracey and Mia Freeman decided to take matters into their own hands.

Rich Coffee Roasters

A coffee being made.
Place Wellington
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Although the relative new guys on the block, Rich Coffee Roasters are by no means amateurs.

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.

Black Coffee

View of outdoor seating area.
Place Wellington
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A coffee shop, music shop and art gallery all in one, Black Coffee has quickly cemented itself as one of the favourite Newtown hangouts.

Olive

Interior wooden tables and chairs.
Place Wellington
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Olive provides attentive service, luxurious ambiance, perfectly poached eggs and a top cup of black coffee.

Deluxe Espresso Bar

Red framed Deluxe front entrance.
Place Wellington
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Open till late in the evening, this has for years been a popular coffee spot with young and old, hipsters and working folk – anything goes.

Mystic Kitchen

A woman eating at a counter by the window inside Gispy Kitchen cafe Wellington.
Place Wellington Editor's Pick
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You have no doubt heard of this café’s laid-back vibes, easy-going staff and damn good food.

Peoples Coffee

Inside Peoples Coffee in Newtown, looking through the steel frame opening to where customers are dining.
Place Wellington
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Championing ethical and sustainable coffee from its Newtown cafe.

Best Ugly Bagels Wellington

Best Ugly Bagel front sign.
Place Wellington
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Located in the lively neighbourhood of Te Aro, they serve what they do best, delicious bagels accompanied with classic Havana coffee.

Seats in the City - The Best Places to Take in the View in Pōneke

A view of Mt Victoria on a sunny day.
Appreciate the beauty of Wellington from the best angles by heading to these seats with a view in the capital.

Tomboy

Close up of donuts with fresh strawberries from Tomboy, Wellington.
Place Wellington
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A small boutique café, cakery and catering business with the feel of a country cottage kitchen.

Havana Coffee Works

Interior view of Havana Coffee Works.
Place Wellington
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This cozy, retro café on Tory Street moves through to an open-air, garage-style roastery.