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.

Words by: John Son 

Photos by: Anna Briggs

The first name on the itinerary of many a visitor to Wellington, Cuba Street has a grip over Wellington quite like no other street does. And it’s not difficult to see why, with its quirky little shops, splashes of colour throughout, and its cast of weird and wonderful characters.

One of the main reasons Cuba Street has such a pull, however, is the array of top-notch eateries that call it home. From classy fine-dining establishments to decades-old Asian institutions that have stood the test of time, Cuba Street is truly a place that caters to even the fussiest of eaters. Here’s a pick of the best places to dine on Wellington’s most beloved street.

Scopa Pizzeria

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141 Cuba Street, Te Aro

In the city’s hotly contested pizza scene, Scopa Pizzeria continues to hold its own, thanks to the excellent fare it serves right from the heart of Cuba Street. Diners at the cosy corner spot can indulge in a range of traditional pizzas, complemented by a diverse menu featuring cannelloni, fresh salads, and fried goods. Don’t leave without trying Scopa’s famed hot chocolate, a lusciously thick, decadent cup of goodness.

 

1154

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132 Cuba Street, Te Aro

Step across the road from Scopa Pizzeria, and you’ll find 1154, the other half of the Bresolin brothers’ Italian double act. Pasta’s on the menu here, making it the perfect stop for a cheeky second round after you’ve had your fill of pizza. Grab your favourite traditional pasta and a couple of garlic and rosemary rolls to mop up the sauce before finishing off with the renowned flourless chocolate cake. With options to meet most dietary requirements, the pasta here is as inclusive as it is addictive.

 

Highwater Eatery

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54 Cuba Street, Te Aro

Head to the very start of Cuba Street to find one of its classiest dining places: Highwater Eatery. Featuring low-hanging lights set against exposed brick walls on one side and intimate bar seating on the other, it’s a sophisticated venue whether you’re popping along for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Sustainability is at the heart of the methods at Highwater, which only further enhances the taste and quality of the food on offer, and the chef’s menu is a great way to sample it all.

Fred's

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149 Cuba Street, Te Aro

Wellingtonians love their sandwich bars, and Fred’s is a lively little spot that espouses the city’s obsession with all things sliced bread. Stop by to grab a simple cheese-based toastie, or tuck into one of the more exuberant offerings featuring fillings such as fried chicken and rare roast beef. People’s coffee is available to pair your sandwich with, so you know the team knows their stuff.

Kisa

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195 Cuba Street, Te Aro

Done well, Middle Eastern cuisine is a joy to behold, and Kisa is one of the best places to sample it in Wellington, not just on Cuba Street. Take a large group and pick a swathe of any of the mezze plates to share, as they’re all equally as mind-blowing. Plenty of vegan, vegetarian and gluten and dairy free options, as well as a sumptuous dessert range, mean a good time is guaranteed.

 

Ombra

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199 Cuba Street, Te Aro

A veritable Cuba Street institution, Ombra is simply one of the safest picks for a great meal in town, whether it’s your friends, your family, or that special someone, you’re trying to impress. A delectable range of small bites, salads, pizzettes, pastas, meat dishes, and more means all the bases are covered, all served in one of the most intimate little venues in the city.

The run down entrance to Aunty Mena's in Wellington.

Aunty Mena’s

167 Cuba Street, Te Aro

A pioneer in Wellington’s vegetarian and vegan scene, Aunty Mena’s has been around for yonks and isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, proving that simple, tried and tested recipes just work. The comprehensive menu has something to tickle virtually every fancy, from hearty curries and classic noodle dishes to deep fried treats. Vegetarians, non-vegetarians, and everyone in between are all welcome.

Olive

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170-172 Cuba Street, Te Aro

Consistently ranking among locals’ favourite places for a brunch in town, Olive’s reputation is certainly well-earned. The main dining area looking out onto the hustle and bustle of Cuba Street is attractive enough, but the place’s real drawcard is the courtyard out back - a roomy, tropical oasis awash with greenery. Always brimming with patrons for breakfast and brunch, Olive serves all the classics, and its waffles of the day are not to be missed.

Floriditas

161 Cuba Street, Te Aro

Another of those fine establishments that’s practically synonymous with Cuba Street, Floriditas is absolutely buzzing all day, every day. The best way to get acquainted with this hospitality stalwart is perhaps through a brunch visit - with options like whipped Zany Zeus ricotta on toast and roast duck kebab, Floriditas knows how to make a first impression.

 

Rasa

200 Cuba Street, Te Aro

Cuba Street is lined with some fantastic Malaysian eateries, and the charismatic Rasa is the clear go-to for many. Having served delicious Malaysian curries, dosai, and more to hungry Wellingtonians for over two decades, Rasa knows just what makes the locals tick and remains an immensely popular option for a cosy (if a bit chaotic) BYO.

 

Neat Wellington Places

Iko Iko

Cards and posters on display inside Iko Iko Cuba Street, Wellington shop.
Place Wellington

The home of all things fun and fancy free, Iko Iko will treat you to something just a little different.

Taste of Home

Woman eating noodle bowl.
Place Wellington Editor's Pick
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This place has a cult following simply due to word of mouth - proof that the flavours here are something Wellingtonians just can’t get enough of.

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.

Joe & Joy

A large glass cabinet at the counter of Joe and Joy cafe.
Place Kāpiti Coast
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Joe & Joy is a husband-wife-run bakery and cafe in the heart of Waikanae village.