In recent years, Wellington has experienced somewhat of a rooftop bar boom, with a growing number of newcomers vying for a coveted spot among the New Zealand capital’s hottest food and drink establishments. If you relish the idea of unwinding in an open space, here are the top venues to put on your radar.
Perched atop Wellington’s Trinity Hotel, The Arborist prides itself in being an urban escape that’s shrouded in great views and a healthy dose of greenery. There’s a wide range of drinks available, but frozen cocktails is what The Arborist does best – there’s a regular assortment of ‘flavours of the day’ to try. On the food side of things, this is the place to share some platters with your friends (there are vegan and gluten-free options available). Get in before 5 p.m. to snap up one of the prized seats out by the deck – keeping in mind this joint can get quite busy.
A laid-back rooftop bar with a distinctive Northern Spanish flair. Basque is a place to relish the city vistas from high above while you sample a large assortment of craft beers and sink your teeth into a delectable selection of pizzas, croquetas and tapas. If you have a soft spot for Spanish vino, there are nine different types of sangria on the menu.
Tucked within the lower slopes of Mount Victoria, the Hop Garden is a sanctuary for those wanting a bit of downtime without venturing away from the city. As its name suggests, there’s a strong emphasis on New Zealand craft beers on the drinks’ menu. The garden-patio bar is lined with vines and a glass roof, giving the venue its unique garden-like atmosphere whilst also protecting patrons from the capital’s infamous winds. And a wholesome bite to eat is always a given – just take your pick from a selection of tapas-style small plates and European-inspired a la carte mains.
Live music, a vast array of tap beers and an interesting American-style food menu are some of the features that attract Wellingtonians to this hip venue. Bethel Woods provides a contrast to the corporate setting that surrounds it, with an airy rooftop space that’s set to make any evening that much more dynamic. The bar is also quite close to the Westpac Stadium – making it a nice go-to for those eager for a pre- or post-rugby match drink.