Your Guide to Wellington’s Best Burgers

Someone holding a fried chicken burger with a sesame seed bun.

There’s nothing quite like the satisfaction and satiation you get when you finish a burger that delivers on all fronts. So we have left no stone unturned in our search for where to find the best burgers in Wellington.

Words by: Julia Rutherford

A perfectly chosen bun (brioche, pretzel or otherwise), that expertly grilled pattie (meat or plant-based) and then the carefully selected fillings, salads and dressings to complement. Whether you fancy a stacked burger with all the trimmings, sides and milkshakes if you please, or perhaps you have a more refined burger palate and want something entirely different and creative, this round-up has you covered.  

There is a strong case to be made for Wellington being the burger capital of New Zealand. Not only will this list demonstrate the bountiful breadth of burger proficiency throughout the city, but it is also home to Burger Wellington the country’s biggest competition celebrating this wonder food. Make sure you put the next event in your diary, so you don’t miss out on sampling all that deliciousness! In the meantime, we think we have just what you need to satisfy when a burger craving strikes. 

LUCKY

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105 Courtenay Place, Te Aro, Wellington

Smack bang in the middle of all the hustle and bustle of Wellington’s centre you will find LUCKY, famous citywide for their incredible takeaway burgers. Purposely keeping their menu short and sharp, LUCKY focuses on using free range and local ingredients to produce the best burgers possible. For the carnivores among you, their fried chicken option is tender, juicy and crispy, while their vegetarian option with fried halloumi won’t leave you missing the meat. And for those who can’t choose, there’s a combo option! Most importantly, don’t leave LUCKY without an order of their renowned gravy fries, the sides are what makes the enjoyment of a burger after all.

Burger Liquor

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129 Willis Street, Te Aro, Wellington

What first grabs your attention as you walk up to Burger Liquor is the colourful exterior and artwork by Wellington local ChimpOne. This fun vibe continues as you enter through the front doors and with eclectic decor, this burger bar makes you feel instantly at home. As the name suggests, they are serious about two things here, and on the liquor side, they certainly don’t do things by halves. There’s a range of specialty bourbons and rums to try, interesting cocktails and perhaps the most exciting - hardshakes, where the traditional milkshake gets an indulgent, alcoholic upgrade. And of course, they don’t skimp on the burgers either, and with a menu range to suit all kinds of preferences, there’s also the option to ‘pimp ya buns’ with a choice of extra toppings. How good?!

Egmont Street Eatery

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11 Egmont Street, Te Aro, Wellington

Venture down one of the city’s most vibrant laneways and what once was an old industrial car parking site, is now home to Egmont Street Eatery. Attention is on providing a refined experience for all their diners, and eating here is a real treat. Consistently featured as a finalist in Burger Wellington over the last few years, Egmont St knows a thing or two about producing tasty burgers. With an ever-evolving menu featuring local and seasonal ingredients, your best bet for sampling their burger prowess is during their brunch service Fridays through Sundays.

Salt and Wood Collective

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11 Ngaio Road, Waikanae

American BBQ is the name of the game and sizzle, smoke, steam and smell are some of the key plays at Salt and Wood. From making marinades, pickles and preserves in-house to cooking just about everything in the restaurant’s smoker (we’re talking shaved brisket and chicken skin crackling), no shortcuts are taken under this roof they share with sister brewhouse North End Brewery. It’s more than worth the drive to experience the epic flavours and textures packed between burger buns here — in their words, “great beer deserves a co-star.” Wrangle your mates to Waikanae next time you’re craving a bold meal and a cold pint.

Neo

132 Willis Street, Wellington

Neo is beloved by Wellingtonians and has accumulated many well-deserved accolades for their food and hospitality over recent years. They specialise in creating a cosy, relaxed environment, serve up wholesome food and basically make you feel like you want to spend the whole day there. In addition, they also produce noteworthy burgers with special in-house sauce and a grilled brioche bun always. If you still have room after the main event, Neo’s cabinet is full of tempting sweet treats to serve as your dessert.

Photo Credit: Neo

Wilson Barbecue

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17 Johnsonville Road, Johnsonville, Wellington

From food truck and pop-up beginnings to a permanent restaurant in Johnsonville, Wilson Barbeque has made a name for themselves on the Wellington food scene. They are serious about their meat and low n’ slow is the philosophy here, producing the most tender and delicious results. Among their menu items, there are some incredible burgers on offer showcasing this slow-cooked goodness, and even a vegan option with a jackfruit burger making an appearance. Like any good barbeque joint, there are tempting bites and sides to accompany your burgers and milkshakes that look too good to say no to.

The Botanist

219 Onepu Road, Lyall Bay

The Botanist in Lyall Bay is just where you want to be on a sunny weekend day - make that any day of the week really! With picture-perfect views of the water and an inviting sunny courtyard, this plant-based cafe knows a thing or two when it comes to serving epic meat-free burgers. From breakfast options with hash browns, to burgers that pull inspiration from Greek and Korean cuisine, these creations at The Botanist are a must-try. And with craft beers on tap and local organic wines to pair with your meal, what could be better!

Photo Credit: The Botanist

Parrotdog Bar

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60/66 Kingsford Smith Street, Rongotai, Wellington

A stone's throw away (or a brisk five minute walk round the corner) from The Botanist you will come across Parrotdog Bar. Celebrating everything that is beloved about this craft beer brand, their dining area is a throwback to small-town taverns and pubs of a bygone era. Everyone is welcome here and the friendly atmosphere and good vibes extend to their menu, in particular their burgers. When you feel like a good classic cheeseburger, a fish burger or even an ‘um-possible’ vege burger, Parrotdog is your go-to, and don’t forget to order a pint of your favourite brew to go with it.

Neat Wellington Places

Yoyo

Furniture inside the store.
Place Wellington

Yoyo celebrates the creative talent of New Zealand designers in furniture, homeware and lighting.

Old St Paul's

Place Wellington

While Old St Paul’s is no longer affiliated with the Anglican Church (or any church for that matter) it still makes a beautiful spot to come and reflect no matter if you’re atheist, agnostic or still deciding.

Iris Store + Studio

The front window inside Iris Store + Studio in Wellington.
Place Wellington
Services key icon. Wellbeing key icon.

Nestled in a creative corner of Wellington and surrounded by like-minded boutique neighbours, Iris Store + Studio is much more than a one-stop shop for all your beauty needs.

Tricky's Sandwich Co

Chicken sandwich being placed on the table at Tricky's Sandwich Co
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.