The Lido Cafe
Monday7:30 am – 3:30 pm.
Tuesday7:30 am – 8:30 pm.
Wednesday7:30 am – 8:30 pm.
Thursday7:30 am – 9:00 pm.
Friday7:30 am – 9:00 pm.
Saturday8:00 am – 9:00 pm.
Sunday9:00 am – 3:30 pm.
81 Victoria Street
Frank asks if I’d like a coffee as we sit down, I accept, and once it arrives we begin to discuss the origin and journey of Wellington’s iconic The Lido Cafe. My flat white is great, the atmosphere retains its lively buzz as the lunch rush winds down, and sunlight streams in seemingly from all directions thanks to the impressively large glass-clad street frontage.
As the owner and head chef, Frank De Roose knows the place like the back of his hand and has more than a story or two to share. His passion comes across in his direct approach to good value with zero compromise on quality. He champions fresh ingredients and is quick to point out their growing focus on plant-based offerings is at least partially driven by the fact he just prefers to work with vegetables.
The Lido has been a stalwart of the Wellington hospitality scene for almost 30 years, since way back when they were one of the first spots to serve espresso coffee in the capital (isn’t that a funny thought!). Following a complete interior redesign the cafe is bright and welcoming, with the open ceiling painted white and some beautifully contrasting materials like concrete and copper that compliment the terrazzo stone exterior nicely.
In all, it manages to feel a little European, with outdoor seating and its prominent central location providing plenty of foot traffic alongside the regulars from breakfast through to dinner service. Order the avocado bowl or signature kedgeree, grab a seat by the window and watch the world go by over a good meal.
Words by Zack Holmes & Photography by Anna Briggs
81 Victoria Street
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