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.
The Larder – 133 Darlington Road, Miramar. Specialising in nose to tail eating, so usually interesting dishes in a neighbourhood bistro setting. Have won many accolades over the years.
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.
Topor – 3 Beach Road, Plimmerton. Polish fare done with a light hand (ergo non stodgy!) and well presented in a small beach-side cafe. Friendly owner service.
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.
Sweet Vanilla Kitchen – 49 Pretoria Street, Lower Hutt. A cross between Fidels and Midnight Espresso from the city. Delish and substantial lunches and brunches in an old suburban villa. Super-fabulous cake selection for afters, pays to book.
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.
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).
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.
Rita – 89 Aro Street. Classic three-course dinners in an old Aro Valley cottage. 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.
Coolsville Trading Post – 3C Moxham Avenue, Hataitai. A very groovy suburban eatery focussing on healthy grab’n’go food. I recommend eating onsite though as its a funky atmosphere with many local and artisan goodies to browse the shelves for while there.
Arcimboldi – 24 Dundas Street, Seatoun. Another cafe turning out some tasty plates and great baking (which they warm in an oven not microwave, hallelujah!). Also revered by the locals for their pizzas.