For worthy eating and drinking experiences around Wellington, NZ (and the greater region) – you can also catch Heather out and about hosting Zest Food Tours around the city…

Best of the burbs

  • Cafe Polo – Corner of Rotheram Terrace and Para Street, Miramar. Excellent food and service, good vegetarian choices, fresh and clever. Slow food/local food principles. Don’t do Sundays.
  • The Larder – 133 Darlington Road, Miramar.  Specialising in nose to tail eating, so usually interesting dishes in a neighbourhood bistro setting. Tuesday to Sunday daytimes until 3pm.
  • La Boca Loca – 19 Park Road, Miramar.  Another worth the drive to Miramar.  Mexican food with fresh seasonal ingredients from local suppliers, hand-made real tortillas, and many tasty options.  Take home deli items available too. Wednesday through Sunday 11.30am to late and Tuesday evenings.
  • Coco at the Roxy – 5 Park Road, Miramar. For the Miramar clean sweep. Tasty small and larger plates in a classy old-world theatre atmosphere. Also the winner of the 2015 Capital Cocktail competition. 7 days and nights.
  • Topor – 3 Beach Road, Plimmerton.  Polish fare done with a light hand (far from stodgy) and well presented in a small beach-side cafe. Friendly owner service. Tuesday to Thursday from 5.30pm, Friday to Sunday 10am til late.
  • Queen of Jackson – 181 Jackson Street, Petone.  Smart tasting plates in a funky and fun environment (check out the Petone monopoly game counter and do go upstairs).  Tuesday to Sunday lunch through dinner.
  • Comes and Goes – 259 Jackson Street, Petone. Spectacularly pretty, light and fresh fare in a simple clean setting. Be prepared to put your name down at the door and wander down the street until a table is available. Tuesday to Sunday daytimes to 4pm.
  • Sweet Vanilla Kitchen – 49 Pretoria Street, Lower Hutt. Totally worth the drive, this wee cafe in an old villa deep in the ‘burbs punches well above its weight, whether counter, menu or cakes. And also oh-so-pretty in presentation. 7 days daytimes, and you can book.
  • Oli & Mi Kitchen – 282 Jackson Street, Petone. While being a little in no mans land to categorise, the food and surface is excellent here. Fine bistro-style in and old heritage building with some interesting flavour combinations. Lunch and dinner Tuesday to Saturday, dinner only Sundays.
  • The Brooklyn Deli – Ohiro Road in the village beside the Penthouse movie theatre. Austrian menu of interesting well executed dishes and house-baked sweets and pastries. Also a wide range of deli products for your take-home pleasure. Tuesday to Sunday daytimes, late night Fridays.
  • Oikos Hellenic Cuisine – 382 Broadway, Miramar. Branching out of The Greek Food Trucks, Oikos specialises in tapas or shared meals for bigger groups. Do book. Tuesday to Saturday from 5pm.
  • Bambuchi – 31 Waitoa Road, Hataitai. Quality tapas and share plates in a rustic but-still-classy Bali beach style environment. Tuesday to Saturday evenings.
  • Chocolate Fish – Shelley Bay.  Funky and buzzy, outdoor sunshine lounging space, pretty much all done on BBQs, superb. Beware a high child zone (although there are many rooms and spaces to get away from the little darlings).  7 days.
  • Gipsy Kitchen – Glamis Avenue, Strathmore, and now also in the CBD on Jessie Street near Moore Wilson.  Delicious deli foods, for inhaling onsite, or taking home for dinner (or that next dinner party).  7 days.
  • Maranui Cafe – a Wellington institution at Lyall Bay in the old surf club. Slightly vego and vegan leaning, both counter and menu, with fabulous sea views. Queues on weekends, set up for kids as well. 7 days.
  • The Botanist – a fully vegan and vegetarian eatery in a lovely old villa at Lyall Bay. Lots of plants and greenery, and a courtyard for fine days. Be prepared to wait for a table here also. 9am-10pm 7 days.
  • Beach House Cafe & Kiosk – on the South Coast between Owhiro and Island Bays (used to be The Bach). Refurbished and run by the original Elements folks, the food is high quality, interesting and well executed. Prepare for queues. Tuesday to Sunday daytimes.
  • Rita – 89 Aro Street. Classic three-course dinners in an old Aro Valley cottage by the Nikau team. The only choice is meat or non-meat and the (same) meals rolls forth for all. A vibe like being at a friend’s kitchen table. 5.30pm and 7.30pm staggered sittings for tables of six max, Tuesday to Saturday.


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