Wellington is acclaimed as the gastronomic capital of New Zealand
, as well as the actual capital of this island nation. And in line with this reputation, its restaurants deserve to be explored. We list 10 of the best to start with.
Hippopotamus Restaurant and Cocktail Bar
Bar, Cocktail Bar, Restaurant, French, Fusion, $$$
Restaurant, European, Contemporary
With the subtitle ‘Wellington’s outstanding fine dining without pretension’, Logan Brown has been serving innovative and mouth-watering dishes since its opening in 1996. The restaurant is nestled in a listed building dating back to 1920 and uses seasonal, organic and local ingredients in a menu of contemporary delicacies.
92 Cuba Street, Te Aro, Wellington 6141, New Zealand, +64 4 801 5114
After a life dedicated to gastronomy, Martin Bosley and his partner opened the restaurant they had dreamed about for years. An internationally acclaimed seafood dining establishment, Bosley claims the philosophy of its food is simple: ‘eat what’s in season, what’s local, and what’s fresh’. With a stunning waterfront location, Martin Bosley’s is a must-go destination for seafood lovers.
103 Oriental Parade, Wellington 6011, New Zealand, +04 920 8302
Handmade Butter and Salt at Martin Bosley’s | ©Jessica Spengler/Flickr | ©Jessica Spengler/Flickr
Ortega Fish Shack and Bar
Bar, Restaurant, Seafood, Steakhouse, $$$
Ortega Fish Shack and Bar
Ortega Fish Shack and Bar is a great location to enjoy sensational seafood in a quirky setting. Set in a shack, kitted with maritime lighting dangling from nets and marine themed artworks, Ortega certainly feels oceanic. The head chef prides himself on his culinary travels, and unites the best ingredients, years of experience and creativity to produce ‘interpretations designed to bring your palate an experience it will remember.’
16 Majoribanks Street, Wellington 6011, New Zealand, +04 382 9559
Ortega Fish Shack and Bar | ©peter burge/Flickr | ©peter burge/Flickr
Taking great pride in small food industries, the environment and, most importantly, flavor, The Larder works directly with many of its suppliers, using organic and local ingredients. With a philosophy of ‘nose to tail eating’, the restaurant aims to use and honor all parts of the animals. The seared calves liver with caramelized tongue is incredible.
133 Darlington Road, Miramar, Wellington 6022, New Zealand, +04 8910354
White House Restaurant
Head chef Paul Hoather and his wife Louise run the award-winning White House Restaurant, holding the values of freshness and sustainability at its heart. The restaurant uses eco-eggs, free range Waimarino pork, Angus pure beef, organic meat and also operates its own roof top garden, all of which can be enjoyed while enjoying panoramic harbor views.
232 Oriental Parade, Wellington 6011, New Zealand, +04 385 8555
Bar, Restaurant, Chinese, Contemporary
Focusing on flavors from Eastern Asia, Ancestral fuses history and tradition with modern gastronomy. Authenticity in culture and taste are the foundations of each dish, with the menu exploring modern Cantonese and Sichuan flavors. The restaurant also has a garden bar, which is the perfect setting from which to enjoy their stunning range of cocktails.
31-35 Courtenay Place, Wellington 6143, New Zealand, +64 4 801 8867
Restaurant, Swiss, Contemporary
Opened in 1963 as a Swiss coffee house, Matterhorn has a sensational menu full of subtle surprises, a beautiful dim-lit atmosphere and a rotation of some of Wellington’s most talented musicians. The restaurant also takes great pride in its drinks menu, with a wide range of beers, wines, spirits and cocktails.
106 Cuba Street, Wellington, New Zealand, +64 4 384 3359
Wine Glasses and Lights at The Matterhorn, Wellington | ©Newsbie Pix/Flickr | ©Newsbie Pix/Flickr
Crazy Horse the Steakhouse
The menu of Crazy Horse the Steakhouse is a celebration of New Zealand’s culinary culture, from meat and fresh produce to a wine list showcasing the best New Zealand has to offer. As the name suggests, the steaks are the star performer on the menu, and Crazy Horse uses only the best livestock, which can be traced back to the individual animal and farm.
129 Willis Street, Wellington 6011, New Zealand, +04 801 5152
Grilled Steak | ©Ralph Daily/Flickr