Great food and drink are very much part of the entire Wellington experience. But that doesn’t mean you have to break the bank to get a taste the capital’s best culinary offerings. Whether you’re on a tight budget, or just saving up for a special treat, make sure to check out these brilliant cheap eats around New Zealand’s coolest city.
Restaurant, Malaysian, Asian, Vegetarian, $$$
This place is quite popular among locals – and for a very good reason. Cheap prices, sizable portions and an authentic Malaysian taste are just some of the many reasons why people keep coming back to Little Penang. Mains are usually around NZ$14-$15, and other items are well below that price. If you’re with a group, there’s always the option of getting a set menu.
Mexico meets New Orleans in this tasty establishment. Po’ boys, gumbo, beignets, tacos and burritos are just some of the dishes Sweet Mother’s Kitchen is renowned for. The eclectic, chilled out cafe boasts a diverse selection of “belly fillers”, all coming under the NZ$20 price range. There are takeaways and gluten-free options available too.
Pronounced ‘coffee ice’, this is the place to go to if you’re feeling like a generous helping of gelato or a nice cup of coffee. Kaffee Eis actually has multiple locations, but their Cuba Street shop is the largest and most diverse. You can order some breakfast, grab a bite from their cabinet selection, or you can satisfy your sweet cravings with some of Wellington’s best ice creams.
You can’t go wrong with a place that sells New York style pizza at NZ$5 per slice. Tommy Millions is located right at the heart of the city, and tends to stay open quite late on Friday and Saturday nights. Not only are their pizzas (slice and full-size) great value, they also offer decently-priced sub sandwiches, coffee and Italian hot chocolate.
One of the best ways to immerse yourself in Wellington’s food scene is to experience the most dynamic market in the city. A treasure trove of stalls, catering for all tastes and budgets, are lined up on Cuba Street every Friday and Saturday evening. True to the street’s alternative charm, the Wellington Night Market brings plenty of live entertainment to the sidewalks too.
Restaurant, Creperie, French, Gluten-free, Vegetarian, Dessert, Fast Food, $$$
While we’re on the subject of food stalls, we can’t pass up this pop-up gem. Crepes A Go Go is a cute little hole-in-the-wall establishment with a large assortment of sweet and savoury crepes. The latter is made with buckwheat batter, which is gluten, sugar and dairy free. Wellington-bound exchange students, take note: these guys offer a 10% discount for the uni crowds.
Aunty Mena's Vegetarian Restaurant and Cafe, Wellington
With an incredible range of Malaysian dishes under NZ$15, no budget-conscious foodie can miss heading out to Aunty Mena’s. As the name suggests, this restaurant specialises in all things vegetarian – but even the meat lovers among us will relish their delicious dishes and large portions. This a no-frills venue, tucked away in a central city location, that offers chilled-out vibes with their veggie bites.
This one is reasonably-priced, appeals to Kiwi summer traditions, and has a decent offering of gluten free and vegan options – what more could you ask for? The Thorndon Chippery is always good place to grab a cheap bite to eat in the city. If you’re dropping by on a Tuesday or Thursday, they do a NZ$5 happy hour special for beer and wine. Along with a selection of fresh fish and cheap express lunches, The Chippery is renowned for their NZ$12 vegan burger.