Yet another one of Wellington's fine cafes. The range of single origin coffees changes regularly and is available just how you like it (cold drip and other cutting edge coffee styles available). They're next door to the Quilter's 2nd-hand bookstore and so make an excellent place to pore over your find from the book mine.

Yet another one of Wellington's fine cafes. The range of single origin coffees changes regularly and is available just how you like it (cold drip and other cutting edge coffee styles available). They're next door to the Quilter's 2nd-hand bookstore and so make an excellent place to pore over your find from the book mine.

Small plates with the inspiration of the cuisine of Venice are the staple here. Excellent value for money with a good view of life passing by on the junction of Cuba and Vivian streets. Anything with polenta or sardines is recommended, as is the 'polpette' or meatballs (when available). They don't take reservations so if your group is larger than four you may need to wait for a table to become available... which is an excellent excuse to have an aperitivo

Small plates with the inspiration of the cuisine of Venice are the staple here. Excellent value for money with a good view of life passing by on the junction of Cuba and Vivian streets. Anything with polenta or sardines is recommended, as is the 'polpette' or meatballs (when available). They don't take reservations so if your group is larger than four you may need to wait for a table to become available... which is an excellent excuse to have an aperitivo

Best flying fox in the inner city (and some great winding paths with multiple foot bridges in a rain-forest like environment)

Best flying fox in the inner city (and some great winding paths with multiple foot bridges in a rain-forest like environment)

One of Wellington's newest purpose built cinemas (2 screens) able to screen all formats (from 35mm to HFR 3D). Comfortable leather seats with good leg-room throughout. Also contains a restaurant and a well-stocked bar. Lunch and Dinner served every day (last seating for the restaurant usually around 8.30pm). A destination cinema in the suburbs with close links to the people at Weta Productions just down the road. (And they of course stock Gunpowder Rum).

One of Wellington's newest purpose built cinemas (2 screens) able to screen all formats (from 35mm to HFR 3D). Comfortable leather seats with good leg-room throughout. Also contains a restaurant and a well-stocked bar. Lunch and Dinner served every day (last seating for the restaurant usually around 8.30pm). A destination cinema in the suburbs with close links to the people at Weta Productions just down the road. (And they of course stock Gunpowder Rum).

Boulcott Street Bistro, Chef Rex Morgan, Wellington

Boulcott Street Bistro, Chef Rex Morgan, Wellington

Considered and bespoke drinking pleasure with all the classics referenced and none left behind - always able to whip up something new, off the cuff and on the spot.  Where I often go to see what can be done with the flavour explosion that is Gunpowder Rum.

Considered and bespoke drinking pleasure with all the classics referenced and none left behind - always able to whip up something new, off the cuff and on the spot. Where I often go to see what can be done with the flavour explosion that is Gunpowder Rum.

Some of the finest coffee known to man or beast comes from this cafe/roastery... and then by night it becomes one of Wellington's newest cocktail hangouts. Many a fine concoction of rum and sundries to be had - Jake and Corey are your drinksmith guides.

Some of the finest coffee known to man or beast comes from this cafe/roastery... and then by night it becomes one of Wellington's newest cocktail hangouts. Many a fine concoction of rum and sundries to be had - Jake and Corey are your drinksmith guides.

Wellington's most intense bric-a-brac/junk shop experience - the first part of this cluttered space is a mere decoy - behind lies a mini-warehouse of lost and found pseudo-treasures. If you're looking for glassware, vinyl, books, memorabilia this is the place

Wellington's most intense bric-a-brac/junk shop experience - the first part of this cluttered space is a mere decoy - behind lies a mini-warehouse of lost and found pseudo-treasures. If you're looking for glassware, vinyl, books, memorabilia this is the place

One of NZ's longest running cocktail bars, an institution if you must (since c.1999-2000).

One of NZ's longest running cocktail bars, an institution if you must (since c.1999-2000).

Perhaps Wellington's finest collection of bottled beers and ever changing draught varieties (including ye olde Englishe hand-pull) is to be found here. Carefully chilled beers from both near and far are to be had for love or money (well, mostly money - haven't tried love - it might work). Colin is the owner and also a fine host.

Perhaps Wellington's finest collection of bottled beers and ever changing draught varieties (including ye olde Englishe hand-pull) is to be found here. Carefully chilled beers from both near and far are to be had for love or money (well, mostly money - haven't tried love - it might work). Colin is the owner and also a fine host.


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Southern cooking for the soul(ful) - curly fries, po-boys, fancy-flavoured milkshakes... satisfaction guaranteed in this Wellington institution. Very busy at peak times (brunch/lunch/dinner) so time your visit well - outside tables too, but the wind doesn't like hat'wearers.

Southern cooking for the soul(ful) - curly fries, po-boys, fancy-flavoured milkshakes... satisfaction guaranteed in this Wellington institution. Very busy at peak times (brunch/lunch/dinner) so time your visit well - outside tables too, but the wind doesn't like hat'wearers.

All you can eat Mongolian BBQ... what more do you need? When the food budget is running lean this place is ideal (my record is 4 helpings... and a few pina coladas). Larger groups should book ahead, otherwise stroll in with your bottle of plonk (BYO welcome) and feast like you have to carve out an empire in the morning (extra points for dressing as the Great Khan or ordering the smoking dry-ice dessert)

All you can eat Mongolian BBQ... what more do you need? When the food budget is running lean this place is ideal (my record is 4 helpings... and a few pina coladas). Larger groups should book ahead, otherwise stroll in with your bottle of plonk (BYO welcome) and feast like you have to carve out an empire in the morning (extra points for dressing as the Great Khan or ordering the smoking dry-ice dessert)

Yet another one of Wellington's fine cafes. The range of single origin coffees changes regularly and is available just how you like it (cold drip and other cutting edge coffee styles available). They're next door to the Quilter's 2nd-hand bookstore and so make an excellent place to pore over your find from the book mine.

Yet another one of Wellington's fine cafes. The range of single origin coffees changes regularly and is available just how you like it (cold drip and other cutting edge coffee styles available). They're next door to the Quilter's 2nd-hand bookstore and so make an excellent place to pore over your find from the book mine.

Eat and Drink Like a Local in Wellington: Ortega Fish Shack. Photo by Peter Burge

Eat and Drink Like a Local in Wellington: Ortega Fish Shack. Photo by Peter Burge

The largest second hand bookstore in town, they got everything covered. New (that is to say 'old') stock coming in daily so there's always something new to add to your bedside reading pile. But be warned, if you don't pick it up there and then there's a good chance it will be gone next time. They offer cash or book credit for your unwanted books. Pick up something then head round to Memphis Belle round the corner for coffee and a chance to gloat over your latest find - or else head across…

The largest second hand bookstore in town, they got everything covered. New (that is to say 'old') stock coming in daily so there's always something new to add to your bedside reading pile. But be warned, if you don't pick it up there and then there's a good chance it will be gone next time. They offer cash or book credit for your unwanted books. Pick up something then head round to Memphis Belle round the corner for coffee and a chance to gloat over your latest find - or else head across…

One can often judge a city by its public library. Wellington's Central Library must be one of the world's more user-friendly.  Large children's section, good range of different media (music, DVD, etc.), large graphic novel collection, massive collection of lending magazines... good disabled and pram access all areas (widely spaced shelving), many cosy reading nooks, a cafe, and frequent free activities for young and not so young. [And watch out for the regular book sales on the ground floor…

One can often judge a city by its public library. Wellington's Central Library must be one of the world's more user-friendly. Large children's section, good range of different media (music, DVD, etc.), large graphic novel collection, massive collection of lending magazines... good disabled and pram access all areas (widely spaced shelving), many cosy reading nooks, a cafe, and frequent free activities for young and not so young. [And watch out for the regular book sales on the ground floor…

A patch of Cuban sun even on the most drab Winter's day - lovingly crafted from two conjoined working men's huts this bar and restaurant is a welcome splash of local colour. Regular live music events in the bar often lead to spontaneous dancing and a good time had by all. Or grab a mojito and a cigar and head to the open air area out the back to play cards or backgammon. The restaurant serves both lunch and dinner from a menu of small plates made on the fly.

A patch of Cuban sun even on the most drab Winter's day - lovingly crafted from two conjoined working men's huts this bar and restaurant is a welcome splash of local colour. Regular live music events in the bar often lead to spontaneous dancing and a good time had by all. Or grab a mojito and a cigar and head to the open air area out the back to play cards or backgammon. The restaurant serves both lunch and dinner from a menu of small plates made on the fly.

Excellent brunch destination from the people who brought you the original Caffe L'Affare - they also make easily the best baguettes in town under the name 'ACME': pick them up here or at Moore Wilson's down the street... but you have to be quick, they sell out like hot bread

Excellent brunch destination from the people who brought you the original Caffe L'Affare - they also make easily the best baguettes in town under the name 'ACME': pick them up here or at Moore Wilson's down the street... but you have to be quick, they sell out like hot bread

Excellent bistro-style cookery served with a minimum of fuss in this small but perfectly formed eatery. Long-time hospitality worker favourite with a view down the length of Courtenay Place. Good wine list. Menu is often a mix of French and Italian standards but it changes regularly. Semi-formal, but no jacket required. Lunch and dinner.

Excellent bistro-style cookery served with a minimum of fuss in this small but perfectly formed eatery. Long-time hospitality worker favourite with a view down the length of Courtenay Place. Good wine list. Menu is often a mix of French and Italian standards but it changes regularly. Semi-formal, but no jacket required. Lunch and dinner.

The Bresolin in Wellington - the ever expanding empire of the Bresolin brothers has established this embassy of food and good times in upper Willis Street. From the people who brought you Scopa, Duke Carvell's, Tommy Millions and the recently sold Crazy Horse Steak House. Sunday is 'roast beast' day in their sun-drenched terrace. Truly inventive dishes (both large and small) are available in the restaurant, backed up by a well-picked wine list and draught beer. Also open for coffee all day…

The Bresolin in Wellington - the ever expanding empire of the Bresolin brothers has established this embassy of food and good times in upper Willis Street. From the people who brought you Scopa, Duke Carvell's, Tommy Millions and the recently sold Crazy Horse Steak House. Sunday is 'roast beast' day in their sun-drenched terrace. Truly inventive dishes (both large and small) are available in the restaurant, backed up by a well-picked wine list and draught beer. Also open for coffee all day…

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