Wellington is home to some of New Zealand’s best pubs, gastropubs and craft beer breweries. Whether you’re keen to head on a capital-city pub crawl, or you just want a place with good food and chilled-out vibes, here are some of the top places to visit.
The Hop Garden
Bar, Pub, Restaurant, Contemporary, European, Wine, Beer, $$$
As its name suggests, The Hop Garden is craft beer pub and restaurant with a strong focus on New Zealand’s microbrewery scene. With a rooftop bar area, its regular line-up of events (which includes fortnightly open mic nights), and a weekly rotation of food specials, this Mount Victoria venue is the go-to for a fun, laid-back night out.
This Irish-style pub and restaurant is a culmination of everything that’s great about downtown Wellington. Pop into the Green Man Pub for an extensive range of craft beers on tap, a diverse bistro-style menu, live music on Friday nights and regular weekly specials. If you like your sports, this is one of the best places in town to watch a rugby match when the two local teams – the Hurricanes and the Wellington Lions – are playing.
D4 on Featherston is an Irish pub with an elegant flair. Besides the usual fares like your classic pint of Guinness, the bar boasts one of Wellington’s widest ranges of New Zealand craft beers, a selection of national and international boutique wines, and quality cuisine to appease the budding foodies – with stone grill dining as its top culinary speciality.
Ever since its first beer pour in 1993, The Malthouse has shown a strong commitment to serving up an incredibly diverse variety of hops – stemming from the lesser-known boutique brewers, to big industry players. The pub is also one of a few in Australasia to house a rare assortment of carefully-aged brews in their cellar.
Bad Grannies is an energetic, steampunk-inspired gastropub. It is known as one of the few places on Wellington’s Cuba Street that has live music playing on Sunday nights – and in fact, there’s something on every night of the week. Aside from its fun events schedule, the pub also offers daily specials for its signature pizzas and drinks.
The Pickle Jar is a family-friendly neighbourhood pub in Karori, renowned for its craft beers and quality food. Head here on a Monday night for their traditional half-metre pizza specials; go on a Thursday for decently priced burgers and brews. On a cold Tuesday evening, you can pop in for their weekly quiz nights as you warm yourself by the roaring fireplace.