Take a seat: Your guide to dining solo in Wellington

An empty restaurant brightly lit by the sun.

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

Words by: John Son 

Photos by: Anna Briggs

Dining solo can be one of the best ways to get to know an eatery. Free from distractions, you have the time and space to get immersed in the menu, the fit out, and the unique vibe of the place. As New Zealand’s culinary capital, Wellington boasts a plethora of cafés, bars and eateries that offer the perfect environment for dining solo. Whether it’s a quick brunch you’re after or a leisurely dinner, here are some of the best places in Wellington for treating yourself to a meal.

Customs

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39 Ghuznee Street, Te Aro

For a quick bite and a coffee in between meetings or before an appointment, Customs is hard to beat. Not only does it serve a fantastic range of Coffee Supreme blends along with its famed toasts, sandwiches, and donuts, it’s one of the best cafés in town for dining solo. Take your pick from the large communal table in the centre of the cafe, the high tables perfect for one, a window seat, or an outdoor seat.

Margot

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163 Riddiford Street, Newtown

A cosy little spot tucked away in a quiet Newtown street, Margot is a colourful wine bar that’s perfect for enjoying a nightcap solo. The tantalising, contemporary European menu offers a range of small bites to pair with your wine from their carefully curated list. Grab a stool by the window if you’re after a quiet moment, or take a seat at the bar to watch the kitchen in action.

Graze Wine Bar

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95 Upland Road, Kelburn

For a suburban option away from the noise of the city, check out Kelburn’s Graze Wine Bar. An intimate space with only 22 seats (including small tables and bar seats), it’s the perfect place to enjoy a quiet night out by yourself with a book in hand. Take your time choosing from the range of small pescatarian plates, accompanied, of course, with a choice from the wine list.

Highwater Eatery

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54 Cuba Street, Te Aro

If you want to add a touch of class to your solo night out, it’s hard to go past Highwater Eatery. The trendy spot at the foot of Cuba Street has wasted no time in establishing itself as one of Wellington’s most-recommended eateries, with exceptional menus to serve all meals of the day. Treat yourself to breakfast, lunch, or dinner perched on a bar seat with views of the open plan kitchen to keep you occupied.

Swimsuit

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38 Dixon Street, Te Aro

Tait Burge’s renowned Swimsuit is another top pick for those wanting to enjoy a coffee alone while out and about. With single seats located by the walls and windows, as well as a handful of small outdoor tables, it’s a haven for introverts or those simply wanting a moment to themselves. Pull up a chair, order your favourite Peoples Coffee brew, and tuck into one of the best cheese scones in town.

A man ordering at the counter inside a small Chinese restaurant.

KC Café

39A Courtenay Place, Te Aro

Not only is KC Café a true Wellington institution, with one of the city’s longest menus, it’s also a very friendly space for solo diners. With well over 150 individual dishes, there’s something for everyone, from rice and noodle dishes to pho bowls and more. Grab one of the booths towards the back of the restaurant for complete privacy as you enjoy your selection.

Egmont Street Eatery

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11 Egmont Street, Te Aro

A classy central city spot built out of a former car park, Egmont Street Eatery is a fantastic place to go for breakfast, dinner, and everything in between. The weekend brunch service is walk-in only, and it’s usually not too difficult to rock up and grab a seat for yourself. Take your seat at the bar, by the kitchen, or at an outdoor table and indulge in the innovative, carefully curated menu.

 

Neat Wellington Places

Twenty Eight

Someone holding a plate of pancakes with strawberries at cafe
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...

BambuchiSan

A colourful tiger cartoon painted on to a white brick wall inside Bambuchisan Wellington.
Place Wellington
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You’re in good hands at Hataitai’s very own neo-Japanese paradise.

Niche Textile Studio

Chair next to a loom.
Place Wellington
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Niche Textile Studio was set up by Christine Brimer to help share her passion with Wellingtonians - creating beautiful woven homeware with a focus on sustainability.

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.