Eating and Drinking Recommendations

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* '''Little India''', two Wellington locations, 18 Blair Street off Courtenay and 115 Cuba Mall. You can also order for delivery at [].
* '''Little India''', two Wellington locations, 18 Blair Street off Courtenay and 115 Cuba Mall. You can also order for delivery at [].
* '''Higher Taste''', The only pure vegetarian Indian Restaurant.Lower Ground,Old Bank Arcade,Customhouse Quay.
* '''Higher Taste''', The only pure vegetarian Indian Restaurant.Lower Ground,Old Bank Arcade,Customhouse Quay.
* '''[ Cafe Roti Chennai] 16 Willis Street, Wellington Central ''' Simple, Southern Indian food with a tasty, inexpensive lunch menu. BEWARE - most dishes are made with coconut or coconut milk, even the Biryani has cashews nuts. The only dish without nuts was the dhall. They do have wonderful Dosai which can serve as a gluten-free option (dosai are made from a combination of rice and urid bean flour). '''(Recommended by [[Cherie Carbines]])'''
====Newtown Area====
====Newtown Area====
Some of the best ethnic restaurants are on Adelaide road in the southern suburb of Newtown, between Wellington Hospital and the Zoo
Some of the best ethnic restaurants are on Adelaide road in the southern suburb of Newtown, between Wellington Hospital and the Zoo

Revision as of 12:30, 18 January 2010


Around the venue

Town Hall Café

The Wellington Convention Centre has set up a Café in the Wellington Town Hall for our delegates to use during the week of 2010. They will be providing a variety of food to cater for all diets at a discounted rate from Monday 18th January to Friday 22nd January. It will be open from 8:00am until 5:00pm each day (except Friday afternoon; see below).

The morning tea and afternoon tea will be served in the Wellington Town Hall Café. There will also be plenty of bowls of fresh fruit for delegates to help themselves to during 2010.

NOTE: The café will be closed on Friday afternoon so we can set up for the Penguin Dinner

Here is the menu:

Hot Meal (Changes Daily)

  • Monday – Coconut chicken curry with cauliflower & green beans on steamed rice


  • Margherita – Tomato, bocconcini & basil
  • Capricciosa – Salami, olive & artichoke with parmesan cheese
  • Pizza Special (Changes Daily)

Salads (Changes Daily)

  • Greek salad
  • Kumara & watercress salad with mild curry dressing

Cabinet Food

  • Quiches or tarts
  • Frittatas
  • Quesadillas or burritos
  • Deli sandwiches, foccacias, pides, five grain filled rolls
  • Wraps
  • Paninis
  • Muffins
  • Sweet & savoury scones
  • Fresh baked biscuits
  • Sweet slices
  • Danish pasties
  • Cakes
  • Fruit salad

Mojo Coffee

Mojo is a Wellington based coffee roaster based out of Historic Shed 13 on Wellington's Waterfront. Mojo Coffee has 12 Wellington Cafes located conveniently around the CBD and at the airport.

Mojo is providing a coffee cart at the conference venue which will provide delegates with discounted coffee. Mojo has also offered delegates a 10% discount on all coffees bought from Mojo's outlets around the CBD during the week of 2010.

There are heaps of Mojo cafes around Wellington. The barristas are awesome. Mojo barristas get great training, pretty good pay, and a career path (usually to open their own mojo)... No wonder they ace the annual nation barrista competitions.

Nearest Mojo outlets to the conference menus (besides the Mojo cart at the venue):

    • Mojo Bond St. The italian inspired menu includes cabinet food, wood fired pizzas, various italian themed dishes and good beer selection. There are no steps, flat accessibility, but a little bit narrow.
    • Mojo Wakefield St. Corner of Wakefield St and Taranaki St. Google Maps

Mojo on route between ustay and Conference Venue

    • Mojo Bond St (see above)
    • Mojo Invicible dairy, 161 Willis St, Wellington. Google Maps

For more information about Mojo Coffee, please see: Shame their website requires yicky flash player: (Recommended by Brenda Wallace and seconded by Susanne Ruthven)

Around Wellington

The following represents a list of personal recommendations for eating and drinking places around Wellington. Please feel free to fill in regardless of whether you are just a visitor or resident!


Wellington has a lot of restaurants and cafes, in fact more cafes, bars and restaurants per head than New York City. Malaysian food is surprisingly popular and available in most areas. You can also get good Lebanese kebabs anywhere in the city. Fish and chips is the best value food and you usually get better quality in the suburbs.

More or less traditional

  • The Backbencher - opposite Parliament on Molesworth Street. Dine with the political figures of the day, who have a menu to match their misfortunes.

A lighthearted political/current affairs show is broadcast from the Backbencher on Wednesday nights (except in Summer) and the bar will often be packed with various Members of Parliament, Parliamentary staff, political activists, and journalists. Crowd participation is encouraged with heckling common, but the audience are good natured as a camadarie has developed amongst most activists, regardless of affiliation.

  • The Green Parrot, 16 Taranaki St, (04) 384 6080, [1]. Opened in the 1920s and offers a very interesting atmosphere. Great food, large portions, open late, and serves free bread with every meal. The Filet Mignon is great! $10-$30.


  • Cinta', Manners Street (after the mall and before Taranaki Street). Malaysian Chinese Family from Kedah, prices are good as is the food.
  • Satay Palace', Cuba St (between Floridita's and Aunt Mena's). Don't let the run-down decor fool you, ultra-cheap, excellent food and service.
  • Roti, 149 Willis St. Excellent Malaysian cuisine with a twist. The owner is fiercely proud of his cafe's individual approach to each dish.
  • Satay Village, 58 Ghuznee St. These guys do a good curry laksa.
  • Roti Chenai Cafe, Shop 5, 120 Victoria St. Very good Indian and Malaysian cuisine.
  • Satay Kingdom; Left-Bank (off Cuba Mall). This is the student Malaysian restaurant. On most evenings you will find it overflowing with people coming in for its cheap and hearty food. But don't be put off by the large numbers, the service is incredibly fast with food often arriving at your table before you if you're not quick!


  • Great India. Very well-known restaurant. Has won the Wine & Food challenge for several years running.
  • Tulsi, 135 Cuba St or takeaway in the BNZ food court. Their butter chicken was voted best in Wellington. There is a great range of vegetarian and dairy-free food. I would recommend this restaurant for the food, and the prices are good (lunchtime and take away deals are available) they do BYO and there's a little mini-mart with a reasonable (not huge) selection of wines just next door. (Recommended by Cherie Carbines)
  • Little India, two Wellington locations, 18 Blair Street off Courtenay and 115 Cuba Mall. You can also order for delivery at [2].
  • Higher Taste, The only pure vegetarian Indian Restaurant.Lower Ground,Old Bank Arcade,Customhouse Quay.
  • Cafe Roti Chennai 16 Willis Street, Wellington Central Simple, Southern Indian food with a tasty, inexpensive lunch menu. BEWARE - most dishes are made with coconut or coconut milk, even the Biryani has cashews nuts. The only dish without nuts was the dhall. They do have wonderful Dosai which can serve as a gluten-free option (dosai are made from a combination of rice and urid bean flour). (Recommended by Cherie Carbines)

Newtown Area

Some of the best ethnic restaurants are on Adelaide road in the southern suburb of Newtown, between Wellington Hospital and the Zoo

  • Curry Heaven. A fantastic small traditional restaurant, the people are friendly and do takeaways, the Malai Kofta is excellent.
  • Planet Spice. Two doors down from Curry Heaven on Adelaide road, they also do fantastic food, and have an upstairs area.
  • Indian Flavours. A truly Indian experience, all traditional curries, and Indian sweets, very authentic, best place for a home-sick Indian.


Wellington is home to a range of good coffee roasteries.

Local roasters include Cafe Laffare (recently sold for $25 million to an overseas company), Coffee Supreme, Havana, Mojo, and People's Coffee.

Below is a small range from the extensive list of the Wellington Cafe scene:

  • Felix just across from the Michael Fowler Centre at the corner of Cuba St and Wakefield St. Google Maps.
  • Finc on Wakefield St opposite the Town Hall about halfway between Felix and The Lido. Google Maps
    • Hours: Mon 7:30am - 4:00pm; Tue - Wed: 7.30am - 9pm; Tue - Fri: 7.30am - 10pm; Sat 9am to 10pm; Sun 9am to 4.30pm
    • Reviews: Dineout | Sarah Bennett's review 11Mar09
    • Slightly more expensive menu, but a wonderful hangout
  • The Lido across from the Town Hall on the corner of Victoria St and Wakefield St Google Maps
    • Hours: Mon 7:30am - 3pm; Tue - Fri 7:30am - late; Sun - Sun 9am - late;
    • Reviews: Dineout | Sarah Bennett's review 13May09 | Frommers
    • Live jazz on Sunday evenings.
    • one of the older cafes in Wellington. Great selections, and a short walk from the Convention Centre
  • Clarks Cafe. Mezzanine Level, Wellington City Library, near corner of Wakefield St & Victoria St. Accessible via Civic Square Google Maps
    • Hours: Mon - Fri 8am - 7pm; Sat 9am - 4:30pm; Sun 11am - 4pm
    • Reviews: Dineout.
    • One of the few places where you still put your own food on the tray - and then wait for your coffee at the counter.
  • Nikau Gallery Cafe. Ground floor of the City Art Gallery, Civic Square. Google Maps
    • Hours: Mon - Fri 7am - 4pm; Sat 9 - 4pm; Sun - closed
    • Reviews: Dineout | Dominion Post 8Oct09 | [3]. Very good cafe with good food. Uses seasonal, local and organic produce where possible. Prices are relatively high.

  • Caffe L'affare - with its own roastery that supplies New Zealand coffee to cafes and supermarkets across the country. Popular cafe.
  • Midnight Espresso.178 Cuba Street, Te Aro. Monday-Sunday, early til late. always open, and always blasting out tunes. Selection of mostly vegetarian counter food. $5-$20.
  • Fidel's cafe - an popular destination, it is claimed to be one of Wellington's best-known cafes. Has a selection of vegetarian and vegan food
  • Butlers Chocolate Café - Willis Street - Chocolates, Coffee and decadent Hot Chocolatee.
  • Espressoholic - centrally located but tends to have a lot of drunk people in the late evenings.
  • Ministry of Food - just up the road from parliament, what else can you call the place where the civil servants go to eat.
  • Maranui [4]- in the surf life-saving club buildings at Lyall Bay (near the airport). Relax in front of a panorama of the beach and the Cook Strait.
  • Simply Paris - new to Wellington has a range of tasty sweets and pastries.
  • Ernesto - This is a Cuban-themed cafe in mid-Cuba Street allied with Fidels. Good place to watch the world go by.
  • Olive Cafe - a long-established cafe on Cuba Street. Has a selection of vegetarian and vegan food
  • Gasoline- between Woodward Street and The Terrace in Wellington's business district, Gasoline caters to a largely corporate clientele.
  • Deluxe - nestled beside the Embassy Theatre, Deluxe is the ideal pre-movie meeting place.
  • Aro Cafe - On Aro Street, offering a range of vegan and gluten-free food.
  • Plum - located on Cuba Street and recently given a refit. Great coffee and food selection.
  • Kelburn Cafe - Located on Upland road amongst the Kelburn shops.

Turkish kebabs

  • AbraKebabra - a great place to eat quite cheaply ($7-8) and has good kebabs and lots of other things like lasagne or just vegetables. Located in Manners Mall. (note actually run by Iraqi's)
  • Habebie - not Turkish, but Lebanese kebabs. These are more expensive ($9-10) but worth the extra price. It's on Dixon Street, just south of Cuba St.
  • Babylon Kebab - on Cuba street. Open until 3 or 4am during the weekend.

Fish and chips

Every suburb in Wellington has a good fish and chip shop.

  • Aro Street Fish and Chips; On Aro Street.
  • Northland Fish & Chip Shop; 57 Northland Rd, Northland
  • Starfish, Molesworth Street - slightly more pricey than most but worth it.
  • Supremo Takeouts, 2a Moxham Ave., Hataitai
  • Dennis Fish Supply; 103 Randwick Rd, Moera, Lower Hutt
  • Calypso Fish & Chips; 5 Waiwhetu Rd, Waiwhetu, Lower Hutt
  • Plimmerton; Beach Road, Plimmerton, Porirua
  • Athena Fish and Chips, Onepu Road, Lyall Bay
  • Wadestown Takeaways, 102C Wadestown Rd, Wadestown.
  • So Fine Seafoods, 2 Tennyson Ave, Avalon, Lower Hutt. Voted NZs best fish and chips shop in 2008.

Fine Dining

  • The White House, 232 Oriental Parade, Oriental Bay, ☎ 04 385 8555 (, [32]. Lunch Fri (more frequent in Nov/Dec), Dinner 6PM onwards every night. Winner of numerous awards, specialising in seafood, NZ meats and organic veges. edit
  • Citron, 270 Willis St, ☎ 04 801 6263 (, [33]. Dinner Tue-Sat. Chef Rex Morgan has been rated as one of NZ's top chefs. Try the 9-course degustation menu to taste the true wonders of this place. edit
  • Martin Bosley's Yacht Club Restaurant, 103 Oriental Parade, Oriental Bay, ☎ 04 920 8302 (, [34]. Lunch Mon-Fri, Dinner Tue-Sat (book at least 2 days in advance). edit
  • Logan Brown, 192 Cuba Street (corner of Cuba and Vivian streets), ☎ 04 801 5114, [35]. In the former banking chamber of an historic banking building. edit
  • Francois, 10A Murphy Street, Thorndon, ☎ 04 499 5252, [36]. Lunch Tue-Fri, Dinner Mon-Sat (can bring own wine on Mondays). exquisite French dining (and service). edit
  • Boulcott Street Bistro, 99 Boulcott Street, ☎ 04 499 4199 (, fax: 04 499 3879), [37]. Bistro Lunch: Monday to Friday from noon, Bistro Dinner: Monday to Saturday from 6PM, Wine bar: All day Monday to Friday, reservations accepted for lunch only. Private room available for groups of 10-16. Modern bistro. Classic combinations, fresh ingredients, attentive service. Starters: $14-21, Mains: $29-35.


Most cafes do have a vegetarian options.

  • Midnight Espresso (see above)
  • Aunt Menas Vegetarian Cafe, 165 Cuba Street, Te Aro, ☎ 04 382 8288. Lunch Mon-Sun, Dinner Mon-sun). Vegan Chinese/Malaysian food. Friendly staff and a homely atmosphere. $10-$20.

Food Tours

  • Zest Food Tours, ☎ 0800-937 886 or 04 801 9198 (, [38]. Zest operate a number of food, coffee and chocolate walking tours around Wellington. edit

Nearby Food Courts

There are two food courts near the venue:

  • BNZ Centre Food Court. Basement of the State Insurance Tower (nee BNZ Centre - big black square tower), 1 Willis Street (at North end of block bounded by Willis Street, Victoria Street and Willeston Street; entrances from Victoria Street and Willis Street) -- Location on Google Maps (easiest way from the venue is to walk through Civic Square then north along Victoria Street past the public library and police station keeping an eye out for the big black tower on your left). It has been neglected for many years and might not be the most pleasant place to dine, even if the stalls food is good. It is mostly frequented by the many office workers in the area looking for a place where all co-workers can dine together happily. There is Sushi, Indian, Greek, Turkish stalls, amongst others. There are few seats not taken at lunchtime, so you may want to just get take-away (take-out). Some of the stalls offer discounted food after 2PM, and are all closed by 3PM.
  • In the Courtenay Central, 100 Courtenay Place (between Wakefield Street and Courtenay Place, with entrances from both sides) -- Location on Google Maps (easiest way from the venue is to cross to the south side of Wakefield street, walk east towards Taranaki Street, cross Taranaki Street and continue along Wakefield Street, then go in the entrance to your right half way along the next block, just before the car parking building)

The State Insurance Tower food court is only open during the daytime and is busiest at lunchtime. Courtenay Central is open (and most active) through until mid-evening. Both are 5-7 minute walk from the venue (State Insurance Tower is a slightly faster walk due to less waiting on traffic lights).

Sweet Mother's Kitchen

Courtenay Place

Location Reviews New Orleans/Mexican-inspired food. Hard to get a table. worth sneaking there at 5pm for early dinner just to get a table. They have a good beer by the bottle: Emerson's Pilsner. (Recommended by: Brenda Wallace and seconded by Tabitha Roder)

Aunty Mena Vegetarian Cafe

Southern Cuba street

yummy vegan foodz. recommend the good mee goreng and laksa. the decor is not flash, feels like you're in your aunt's kitchen.


Southern Cuba street

pricey, and hard to get a seat - but they are a legend in Wellington. The Nachos are GODLIKE.

Midnight Espresso

Southern Cuba street

178 Cuba Street, Wellington Open all night, short-ish walk up cuba street from conference. recommend:

  • vegan chocolate cake
  • coffee
  • old fashioned potato hashbrown.
  • vegetarian nachos
  • vegan hashstack

Sit in the window, watch people wander by. Only place where you can order a quad shot long black and not have to clarify what you mean. :D


Courtenay place Best Italian in Wellington, always book and try for a table in the courtyard. It won the "most frequent directory call" for me in my first year of living in Wellington before I managed to save it in my phone. 26 Courtenay Place, 04-802 4442 (Recommended by: Tabitha Roder)

mon ami

1 block away from conference venue (Bond street) pasta, bluecheese, venison, good wine range, reasonable beer range. rather under priced, meals about $9. desserts like banana+chocolate crumble and triple chocolate cheese cake.


A fairly casual Japanese restaurant in the Willis St. Village at around 140 Willis St: - about 5 minutes walk from the convention centre. Good food & friendly atmosphere. Sushi, Sashimi, Tempura, Katsu etc. (Recommended by: Andrew McMillan) Reviews: DineOut Sarah Bennett's Review


Similar to Miyabi but slightly larger. In northern Cuba St. upstairs about 50m south of the Wellington Convention Centre: . DineOut


Another Japanese restaurant. A bit more formal & expensive than Miyabi or Hede but they do an awesome job with the Salmon. In the northern part of Tory St: .


The Malthouse

Courtenay Place

The Malthouse (website)

The Malthouse is undoubtedly one of the best places for drinking beer in Wellington, and a home to the New Zealand craft beer scene. A huge selection of beers on tap, traditional handpump and in bottles. Forget about the mainstream NZ selection of beers and start trying to delights of Epic, Tuatara, Three Boys, Yeastie Boys, Renaissance, Emersons, Founders, Moa, Green Man, Mikes, Wigram, etc. A short walk from the convention center and town hall! Free wifi. (Recommended by: Glynn Foster & Brenda Wallace & Chris Edsall)

Hashigo Zake

Hashigo Zake (website)

Hashigo Zake is a cult beer bar offering a wide range of craft beers on tap. Nestled off Taranaki street in an alleyway downstairs below Zibibo it provides a relaxing ambient feel with a constantly changing beer list. Hashigo Zake has regular beer tastings and some of the latest New Zealand beers on tap, so check out their newsletter on the website. If you are a SOBA ( member, you can get discounts on tap beer Sunday through Wednesday. Free wifi. Just round the corner from the convention centre. (Recommended by: Glynn Foster and Chris Edsall)

Hashigo Zake are offering conference attendees a 'large for small' special if you show your conference badge. Check on your USB stick for the full details of the offer.



See above

People's Coffee 13 Garrett St, Te Aro's-coffee Local fairtrade coffee - best beans in town. Further away than mojo, but better coffee. service not so great sometimes.

Kaffee Eis

Courtenay Place You can go far wrong with a trip to Kaffee Eis on Courtenay Place, the Bunker or around in Oriental Bay. With the best gelato and coffee in Wellington, some of the most friendly barristas. Don't forget to taste proprietor Karl's mums fresh sandwiches, they're a treat! (Recommended by Glynn Foster)


136 Cuba Street, Wellington.

  • great coffee
  • very large selection of cakes, including a gluten free chocolate brownie

(Recommended by Cherie Carbines)

Eating and Drinking and Hacking

The Cross

near Southern Cuba street

Laptop + Hacker friendly (there are hackfests here at least once a week), you should be able to find power. Internet access is cafenet (same as the conference venue). Good menu, try the stonegrill - many great beers on tap. I recommend the Bookbinder (english bitter).. Also anything by Epic. (Recommended by Brenda Wallace and seconded by Tabitha Roder based on their love of our OLPC XOs and friendly staff)

Also, a great place for young children. There's an abundance of toy boxes floating around, and they even have face painting and children's games on Sundays. (also recommended by Andrew and Susanne Ruthven)


UStay is charging $15 per day for a hot or continental breakfast.

The following places have been identified as places between the accomodation and the venue where you can get a full cooked breakfast, including coffee for between $10-$20. The first four, in particular, are excellent cafes within a couple of minutes of the venue.

These are listed in order of distance from the main auditorium entrance:

  • As mentioned at the top of this page, there will be a cafe running inside the town hall.
  • Felix, Finc, The Lido, Clarks Cafe, Nikau Gallery Cafe are in the cafe section above
  • Victoria St. Cafe, on Victoria St. a little south and across the road from The Lido.
  • Katipo Cafe, upstairs on Willis St (opposite Mercer Street) is kindof rustic but good. They also host a standup comedy night sometimes.
  • Cafe Neo, at 132 Willis Street: Menu Open 7am Mon-Fri, 9am Sat-Sun.
  • Wholly Bagels. Website has menu, prices, store locations.
    • Hours: Mon - Fri 7.30am - 4pm, Sat - Sun 9am - 4pm
    • Dine in or takeaway. Ordering online allows you to specify pickup time.
    • Naked Bagels (just bagel. no filling or spreads) are $2 each, $19 per dozen.
    • Closest stores to conference venue are:
      • Wholly Bagel, Corner of Bond St & Willis St. Google Maps
      • Wholly Bagel, Cnr Tory & Wakefield St. Opposite Museum Hotel. Google Maps

All of these are also open for lunch.

Supermarket / Food shops

  • New World Metro, 68 Willis St. Google Map. Open Mon-Fri 7am-11pm, Sat 8am-11pm, Sun&Holidays 8am-10pm.
  • 4 Square Food to Go - Cnr Tory & Cable Sts. Open 7 days, 6.30am - 9.00pm
  • Commonsense Organics - Wakefield St, between Tory and Allen Sts. Organic and special dietary foods, both fresh and packaged.