New local eats

Treat your taste buds at one of the new eateries, cafés, restaurants and bars in Wellington

Kuikui Lane Gin Bar
Kuikui lane drink
Kuikui Lane 1

No place like nans: Kuikui Lane

120 Victoria Street, Te Aro, Wellington

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Kuikui Lane, the newest bar to open on Victoria Street, is inspired by the Kuia/nans of the world; past and present. Manaakitanga is front of mind at this cosy spot. It is a relaxed environment where you are always taken care of and can be yourself. Just like at nans house.

Māori influence is weaved throughout the whole space. Order from the menu, that’s in te Reo, and pick from food and drink that’s locally sourced such as Māori flatbread parāoa pohema and kumara chips.

Visit from Tuesday - Thursday 4pm to late, or Friday - Saturday 2pm to late.

Making Mediterranean moments: La Linda

178 Willis Street , Te Aro, Wellington

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A beautiful tablecloth, candlelight, and a bowl of fresh pasta will win over that special person you have in mind.

Find La Linda Artisanal Pasta, the newest hack to a freshly made Italian dinner at home, on Willis Street. The small family run business makes artisan pasta that’s packed up with a homemade sauce for you to take home and prepare yourself. 

Choose from delicious pasta such as Ravioli with pumpkin and cheese, chicken and leek, or ham and cheese. Visit from Monday to Friday.

LaLinda Pasta Dish
LaLinda Pasta
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Evil Twins jar
Evil Twins

Good Coffee, Evil Twins

161b Willis Street, Te Aro, Wellington

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The Evil Twins, Stephanie and Natalie Chin, have outgrown their brother’s space on Vivian Street and have fled the nest by opening a coffee shop on Willis Street.

You'll still be greeted with an evil grin from the twins but this time around, you can pull up a chair and enjoy a drink without leaving. Brightening up the minimalist space is a bright red graffiti sign which is hard to miss. Natalie spent weeks designing, drawing and painting to get this incredible result.  

They have more space to whip up the jar drinks they are well known for. Choose from triple shot latte, matcha love, double trouble choc, and cheeky peachy iced tea jars. Visit them from Tuesday - Saturday every week.

Your new local at Twenty Eight

28 Cornwall Street, Hutt Central, Lower Hutt

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Celebrating local suppliers and producers is the newest café on the block where you’ll feel right at home.

Twenty Eight café, on the ground floor of the Professionals building in Lower Hutt, is a modern space with a minimalistic interior. The food is anything but. 

You'll see that their menu is dotted with local producers from across New Zealand such as eggs from Wairarapa, coconut yoghurt from Raglan and more. Visit Monday to Friday from 7:30am - 3:30pm.

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Twenty Eight Cafe Lower Hutt 2
Twenty Eight Cafe Lower Hutt
Next Door Bar Newtown eat drink
Next Door Bar Newtown eat drink cocktail beer wine
Next Door Bar Newtown eat drink food window

Neighbours become good friends: Next Door

3 Wilson Street, Newtown, Wellington

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Newtown’s restaurant, Mason, has solved the age-old conundrum of where to get a drink before your booking - just head next door, of course.

An extension of the existing restaurant, the relaxed bar Next Door is connected to Mason’s dining room via a handy window. A selection of tasty, salty snacks can be passed through for customers to enjoy with their drinks. They’ve got one Parrotdog beer and four natural wines on tap, alongside an interesting list of classic cocktails.

They don't take reservations, so grab a perch at a cosy bar leaner or, if you’re lucky, one of the handful of seats outside. Catch the last of the afternoon sun, and spend an evening getting to know the Next Door neighbours.

Your new pick me up: Little Grump

142 Featherston Street, Wellington Central, Wellington

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Grumps of all ages are welcome at Little Grump, a new breakfast and lunch spot on Featherston Street serving sweet and savoury pastries, quiches, pies, and (of course) coffee.

Their tasty goods come from Goods Cafe in Thorndon, and then freshly baked at Little Grump. The fresh sandwiches and toasties are even made using their own naturally leavened bread.

The sweet location, on the corner of Featherston and Johnston Streets, is super handy, and the floor to ceiling windows on two sides means it the perfect spot to people watch while you caffeinate.

Little Grump's aim is simple, "that everyone who visits leaves a little bit happier." So don't be a grump, go get your goods.

Little Grump cafe cabinet food eat drink Lambton
Little Grump cafe barista coffee eat drink Lambton
Little Grump cafe exterior Lambton Featherston eat drink coffee
Donnie Taco Food Truck

A taste of Mexico in Hannahs Laneway

Leeds Street, Te Aro, Wellington

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Hannahs Laneway has a new addition that's hard to miss. An electric green truck has taken over and is adding a Mexican flavour to Wellington's tastiest little laneway. 

Donnie Taco brings together a refined menu that can be enjoyed at Golding's Free Dive Bar. With three taco options ("mushie", "chooky" and "porky"), burritos, guacamole and tasty "filthy quesadilla" on offer, this little laneway is the perfect spot for a spicy treat. 

While the food truck is only open Wednesday through Sunday, don't worry, you can still get your taco fix the rest of the week inside the bar through the Leeds Street Bakery window. 

Small but perfectly formed, Donnie Taco should definitely be your next menu.

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Staten Eatery food drink eat cbd restaurant interior
Staten Eatery food drink eat cbd restaurant

From NYC to Welly: Staten Eatery

169 Willis Street, Te Aro, Wellington

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Get a taste of New York at Staten Eatery, a creative and casual restaurant in the city.

Located on the corner of Dixon and Willis Streets, the restaurant’s fit-out celebrates Wellington’s vibrant laneways and creative heart, with graffiti from local artist Andrew Tamati-Wright.

If you go, you better be hungry. The menu features Kiwi takes on a range of famous New York classics, like mac n cheese, waffles, bagels and burgers. Sweet tooths will be in heaven too – they have a whole menu dedicated to old-school milkshakes, and epic, build your own ice cream sundaes.

Royally delicious: The Regal Shortbread Co.

109 Discovery Drive, Whitby

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You'll feel right at home at Whitby's newest bakery, The Regal Shortbread Co.

Owner and master baker Anita will make you feel like you've just wandered into your mum's kitchen, serving up her freshly baked goods and top-notch coffee in a beautiful and bright space. Try her addictive shortbread, or any of the other amazing home baking in the cabinets - croissants, pies, pastries, cakes, loaves, scones and tortes.

Anita's shop is just as good for the planet as it is for your tastebuds - all of the packaging is home compostable, and there's a cup library if you forget your keep cup.

Regal Shortbread Co Whitby cabinet baking food
Regal Shortbread Co baking food bread Whitby
Regal Shortbread Co Anita baker
August Eatery exterior

An elegant escape: August Eatery

75 Taranaki Street , Te Aro, Wellington

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August Eatery is housed next to the beautiful heritage building Wesley Methodist Church on Taranaki Street. Walk into the elegant space featuring high ceilings, warm lighting features, and a flood of natural light.

The menu is a flavoursome array of Mediterranean dishes. Think tsoureki French toast with poached pear, roasted Jerusalem artichoke, or farro salad with olives and coconut yoghurt. They also make six flavours of doughnuts in-house.

August Eatery is a shared dream for owners Lisa Lee and Tanase Antipas. Lisa grew up around her family’s successful hole-in-the-wall Japanese restaurant in Sydney, while Tanase spent years as a chef at iconic Wellington restaurants Loretta and Hummingbird. Together, they wanted to bring something different to Wellington's café scene. Open Tuesday to Sunday 7am to 3pm.

Asado @ Nikau

101 Wakefield Street, Wellington Central, Wellington

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They say where there's smoke there's fire, but in this case, it also means there's mouthwatering, freshly barbequed meats and snacks. Follow your nose to Nikau on Friday and Saturday nights for Asado, their Argentinian-style open fire cooking experience.

The set menu includes BBQ bites and meats like venison empanadas and pizza style pork flank, all cooked over a Manuka wood fire. They've also got sides, desserts and a complimentary drink, dished up in their open courtyard next to the iconic City Gallery Wellington and Civic Square.

If you want to try the most epic BBQ ever this summer, make sure you pre-book on their website and arrive by 6:30 pm.

Asado nikau bbq table setting
Asado nikau bbq cooking birds eye view
Eat and drink dough bakery WellingtonNZ By Johnny Hendrikus 2021 lombard lane laneways 10
Dough Bakery bread credit Johnny Hendrikus
Eat and drink dough bakery WellingtonNZ By Johnny Hendrikus 2021 lombard lane laneways 16

Fresh from the oven: Dough Bakery's new CBD spot

6 Lombard Street, Te Aro, Wellington

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The famous Dough Bakery has set up shop in the city.

Originally from Upper Hutt, their new Lombard Lane location is grab-and-go for all things dough - think freshly baked bread, fluffy brioche and delicious sandwiches. Naturally, their doughnuts are divine and come in next-level flavours like raspberry and rhubarb, and orange and saffron. They've also got Supreme coffee and fresh juices from their next-door neighbour, Pickle & Pie.

If you're not friends with gluten, never fear as Dough Bakery has got you covered. Many of their treats are gluten-free and vegan, so nobody misses out if you're on the hunt for breakfast, lunch or a mid-afternoon pick-me-up.

Nashville chicken at Soul Shack

120 Victoria Street, Te Aro, Wellington

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If you can handle the heat then test your tolerance at Soul Shack, the Nashville-style chicken shop.

Starting out on wheels, this once popular food truck has finally found a place to call home. Your fried chicken needs can be fulfilled at Soul Shack's newest home on Victoria street. Now, with a much-anticipated dine-in experience! (Available when Alert Levels are appropriate.)

Dig into your fried chicken that's been soaked in a buttermilk brine for hours before being breaded and fried. The magic to their chicken is their salt; a blend of oil and secret spices. Pick a heat level from 1-4 but be warned level 2 is rated kiwi hot!

Soul Shack
Naumi Hotel Lola Rouge red room
Naumi Hotel Lola Rouge dining room
Naumo Hotel Lola Rouge food on table

Lola Rouge

213-223 Cuba Street, Te Aro, Wellington

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Enter through the boutique inner-city hotel, Naumi Studio Hotel, and be transported to a glamorous dining room in South East Asia at their new restaurant, Lola Rouge.

Dripping with luxe brass detailing and pink and red velvet, this eatery is a feast for all the senses. The menu is a culinary journey around Asia, and includes a full page of plant-based dishes for everyone to enjoy. For the carnivores, there's a range of seafood and meat dishes, including softshell crab and a tandoori tasting plate. Don't forget a nightcap - their cocktail menu is not to be missed, with an impressive selection of unique mixes.

If you've got a bigger group, the private dining is an intimate and breathtaking space for a real night to remember, or make the most of the 60-seater dining room and drink in the vibrant fit-out, in keeping with the rest of the whimsical hotel.

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