Wellington’s Favourite Neighbourhood Spots

The sunny beach at Titahi Bay in Porirua Wellington.

Venture out from the city centre and visit one of these neighbourhood favourites from across Wellington.

Words by: John Son
Photos by: Anna Briggs 

It’s no secret that Wellington is home to some of New Zealand’s best eateries. From high-end dining experiences to laneway bars and legendary takeaway spots, you can spend a day eating your way through some top-class food in the capital.

But don’t limit yourself to the city centre - each of Wellington’s suburbs boasts its own character and, with it, a favourite hospitality hotspot or two. Whether it’s everyone’s favourite bakery, a bustling café, or the bar that doubles as a community hub, here are Wellington’s favourite neighbourhood spots.

Parrotdog Brewery I Lyall Bay

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60/66 Kingsford Smith Street, Lyall Bay, Wellington

As one of Wellington’s favourite homegrown breweries, Parrotdog is a truly local success story and a popular haunt for Lyall Bay residents. Barely a few steps from the beach, it’s a fantastic place to kick back, no matter the weather, and indulge in the 17 revolving taps showcasing the Parrotdog range (among others). The food menu is also unmissable, with its range of burgers, small bites and more.

BambuchiSan I Hataitai

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31a Waitoa Road, Hataitai, Wellington

Standing at the heart of Hataitai, both geographically and figuratively, BambuchiSan is perhaps the trendy suburb’s most frequented restaurant. Boasting a long and storied history, BambuchiSan now serves fantastic neo-Japanese fare in its intimate yet spacious venue, with its main dining room complemented by a courtyard and a private room. The menu is designed for sharing, so tuck into a broad selection, and don’t forget to check out the blackboard specials.

Peoples Coffee I Newtown

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12 Constable Street, Newtown, Wellington

Great coffee can be found literally anywhere in Wellington, and Peoples Coffee in Newtown is living proof of just that. Thriving with energy all throughout the ta, the café really shines on the weekends, when people from all walks of life convene here for chats and cappuccinos in equal measure. With its clean, no-nonsense f, it’s a great place to pick up a coffee whether you’re on the go or want to sit inside a while.

Rita I Aro Valley

89 Aro Street, Aro Valley, Wellington

An intimate little space with an ever-changing menu of mouth-watering treats, Aro Valley’s Rita might just be the most charming restaurant in Wellington. It’s a perfect spot in the suburbs for a romantic date or a dinner with your closest friends (after all, the largest table they have seats just six). And no need to research the menu beforehand - a new three-course meal is served each day that’s guaranteed to impress.

t bay Café I Tītahi Bay, Porirua

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26 Whitehouse Road, Tītahi Bay, Porirua

Porirua’s t bay café is a great example of what can be achieved when locals put in the work to bring a vision to life. Replacing a library that used to occupy its spot, the café is now a popular brunch spot for the people of Tītahi Bay and its surrounds, with the deck and beer garden out the back making the most of the region’s sunny afternoons.

Baker Gramercy I Berhampore

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465 Adelaide Road, Berhampore, Wellington

Berhampore is always a delight to visit, largely due to its many hospo gems such as Baker Gramercy. The bakery is small but more than packs a punch, drawing crowds from across the city on the four days a week it’s open. Make sure you pack a sourdough loaf or two to go, and don’t miss out on the croissants.

Betsy I Island Bay

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221 The Parade, Island Bay, Wellington

Bringing colour and warm customer service in equal measure to Island Bay, it’s no wonder why Betsy is one of the neighbourhood’s favourite spots. The crew are on a first-name basis with most visitors and the cabinet is always chocka with savoury and sweet treats, making it the perfect place to stop while you’re hanging around the bay. Best of all, it’s an incredibly dog-friendly space, so bring your pet along for the ride.

Salty Pidgin I Brooklyn

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5 Todman Street, Brooklyn, Wellington

Perhaps the most revered name in Brooklyn hospitality, the Salty Pidgin is a favourite gathering place for the people of this fine suburb. Perched at the top of a slope at the heart of Brooklyn, the bistro occupies a commanding spot that symbolises its hold on the locals. It’s certainly a welcoming spot for everyone, whether you just want a beer with some bar snacks on the side or want to explore the fulsome dinner menu.

The Larder I Miramar

133 Darlington Road, Miramar, Wellington

Home to Wellington’s world-renowned film industry, Miramar is no stranger to the spectacular - as can be seen in one of its favourite restaurants, The Larder. A dedicated proponent of the art of nose-to-tail dining, the menu features some truly unique creations - think crumbed lambs’ brains, a divine paua and prawn risotto, and more.

Neat Wellington Places

Take Me Back Traders

Eclectic mix of ceramics and vintage prints on walls and shelves of vintage secondhand shop
Place Hutt Valley Upper Hutt

Take a trip down memory lane at Take Me Back Traders, a family-run vintage and retro store that specialises in sourcing one-off treasures – from unique collectables to furniture and homeware.

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.

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

Empire Cinema & Eatery

Serving tables in aprons.
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.