The 10 Best Pavlova Spots in Wellington, New Zealand

A kiwi classic
A kiwi classic | © T.Tseng / Flickr
Joe Coates

Wellington is New Zealand’s capital, not just in name, but also when it comes to all sorts of delicious food. As far as the famous Kiwi dessert of pavlova goes, Wellington has some of the best spots in which to grab some, as this top 10 demonstrates.

1. Charley Noble

Bar, Restaurant, Australian

When it comes to a pavlova there are all sorts of ways to go about it. On one hand you can really mix things up, adding exotic ingredients or having the whole dessert deconstructed. Sometimes though, simplicity is best and there’s no need to be messing about with an old classic. This is how the kitchen at Charley Noble Eatery & Bar must feel because their pavlova here is a timeless mix of the best Chantilly cream and berry marmalade. What more do you need really, when the ingredients are as good as the ones you’ll find here?

2. Floriditas

Restaurant, Australian, Fusion

Located in the heart of this bohemian street is Floriditas, where the high ceiling, quirky decor and bright, colourful ornaments provide a cool space for you to enjoy the delicious modern cuisine. It has recently had a bit of a well-deserved facelift and is looking sharper than ever. Floriditas have breakfast, lunch and dinner covered, and if you come at the weekend they have a specialised brunch menu waiting. When it comes to brunch fare, these guys are famous for their eggs, which are available any way you care to imagine. This is the sort of comfortable, classy joint in which brunch all too easily turns into dinner and cocktails. Pavlova wise, well, how does a bit of the old brown sugar pav with tamarillo, pistachio and cream strike you?

3. Giddy-Up! Mussel Bar & Lounge

Restaurant, Seafood

© Kimberly Vardeman / Flickr

This restaurant is unique in Wellington, as it is the only truly dedicated spot that gives itself over almost exclusively to the humble mussel. Boy oh boy, what they can do with the New Zealand green-lipped mussel though – a creature prized among the fancy restaurants in Europe, but one which is among the cheapest forms of protein available at this end of the planet. When it comes to dessert they also offer up a mean pavlova. Having a main of mussels and a pav to end your meal is basically the most Kiwi munch you can have, and when the pavlova is only $8 NZD it’s an absolute no-brainer.

4. Monsoon Poon

Bar, Restaurant, Thai, Asian, Fusion

We wouldn’t be living in the age of the millennial without at least one restaurant on our list offering their pavlova in smashed form now, would we? Monsoon Poon has been a favourite on the Wellington restaurant scene for years and years now. They offer the very best that southeast Asia has to offer when it comes to food in a fantastic warm ambiance. Knowing their customer base though, they also have their take on this favourite Kiwi dessert. Their smashed pav comes with meringue, passionfruit cream and blueberry crisps, and is well worth the ordering.

5. Lone Star

Bar, Restaurant, Steakhouse

Mini Pav
© Anne-Lise Heinrichs / Flickr

Sure, it’s a chain, and that’s a word that has become synonymous with garbage, but if you’re after a big ol’ slab of the meat, a cold beer and a place to watch the game, then this is a no-brainer. Lone Star has a few of their establishments dotted around the country, and their formula is along the same lines as The Hard Rock Cafe. Big meals, loud music, dark wooden interiors and plenty of screens. The beer garden is fairly simple, but it fulfills the needs of the patrons. Lone Star is one of those places that is a safe bet when you run out of ideas on where you want to go to put the nosebag on. It won’t surprise you, but it won’t disappoint either. The pavlova is, once again a fairly standard affair but you won’t go away complaining, and when you need to scratch that pav itch, Lone Star will see you right. Located in an outer suburb of Wellington, this is one of the best places in the area to get a proper feed.

6. Loretta

Restaurant, Cafe, Oceanian, Australian

© T.Tseng / Flickr
If you’re in Wellington and want to try something different, you can try Loretta, where there is always something new, since the menu changes every day. Open from breakfast until dinner, the selection is constantly changing to reflect the weather and to ensure the best eating experience possible. The décor is chic and stylish and the food achieves an excellent balance between classy and rustic. When it comes to why we’re here on this occasion – eg. the pavlova – it comes out exactly as you’d imagine – fennel pavlova, whipped coconut cream, passionfruit curd. It’s simple and yet not so.

7. Spruce Goose

Restaurant, Cafe, Bar, Australian, Oceanian

Yummy Pav
© jules / Flickr

Pavlova with strawberries, Chantilly cream, pomegranate molasses and roasted pistachios – it sounds good, doesn’t it? It tastes good too. Better than good, actually. It’s a great combination of a couple of unique twists on a classic dessert concept. Open from 7am till late, means that whether you’re after a quick morning coffee, a late night knees-up or anything in between, simply swing on in to the Spruce Goose. They live and work by the ideal that there’s no reason to go messing about too much with customer favourites, and this mentality makes for a rewarding dining experience.

8. Higher Taste Restaurant

Restaurant, Indian, Chinese, European, Vegan, Vegetarian

Located at the Old Bank Arcade, in the heart of Wellington city, this Hare Krishna eatery specialises in all things vegetarian and vegan. Higher Taste’s hearty menu boasts a variety of European, Indian and Indo-Chinese dishes – from samosas, to paneer, and chow mein. If you have a bit of a sweet tooth, these guys also serve purely vegetarian ice creams, as well as many other appetizing goodies. It’s not on the menu all the time, but when the chef has whipped up a pavlova, you’ll be happy you kept your eyes peeled for it.

9. Logan Brown Restaurant

Restaurant, Contemporary, European, Oceanian, Gluten-free, Vegetarian

© Jessica Spengler / Flickr

Since opening its doors in 1996, Logan Brown has made a name for itself with its innovative, contemporary flavours and dedication to evolve with emerging dining trends and service styles. The restaurant’s à la carte dining menu emphasises the greatest New Zealand ingredients, from fresh seafood to beef, lamb and locally-sourced produce. On Saturdays, Logan Brown changes things up a notch by offering five and seven-course degustation sessions, as well as a three-course bistro option. As with any top-class restaurant, the menu is constantly evolving and changing with the seasons, produce available and whims of the chef. However, if the pavlova is on the menu then – like every other dish on there – it’s going to be worth a nudge.

10. Boulcott Street Bistro Restaurant

Bistro, Restaurant, European, Oceanian, Gluten-free, Vegan, Vegetarian

© Cliffano Subagio / Flickr

A charming Victorian cottage is home to the local dining institution known as the Boulcott Street Bistro. The restaurant has been dishing out a range of classic bistro-style dishes, contemporary creations and comprehensive wine lists since 1991, so they’re well established on the capital’s fine dining scene. Set menus are available for groups, and the restaurant even has a birthday cake-making service for those extra-special celebrations. As with Logan Brown the dessert selection will vary week to week. Like Logan Brown, if the pav is on the menu – last served with a delectable boysenberry sauce – then do not hesitate in grabbing yourself a hearty portion.

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