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Paola’s picks of Wellington cafes

When there are so many places to choose from, it is tricky to narrow the choice.  However, these are some, and I do mean some, of the places I keep going back to.  In no particular order:


One of the first places we dined in when we moved to Wellington, we soon learned this is a firm favourite for many locals and the place to go for breakfast eggs.  Well known for lovely fresh baking, Floriditas is a lovely place to dine any time of day, though my favourite time of day is brunch.  However the team behind this lovely establishment opened another venue a few doors up.  Which leads me to…

Loretta on Cuba

I followed the progress of the transformation of the space that became Loretta on Cuba just over a year ago through Instagram.  The transformation produced an award winning space that works perfectly.  Even better, the interesting and frequently changing menu provides delicious options.  Some of my favourites are the orange and brandy warm rice pudding or the amazing waffles with coconut yoghurt and seasonal berries.


Always busy for good reason, it’s always good!  Wellington coffee legends, husband and wife team Bridget and Jeff who founded Caffe L’Affare, came back onto the scene with their new, all encompassing venture.  Roasting their own beans, baking their own bread, they also own Acme, design the furniture,… Bridget keeps a keen eye on tables so the queue is always well managed.  It’s all good! (Though I still grieve for the Breakfast Pizza, no longer on the menu).

Ti Kouka

Tucked up a dark stairwell on Willis Street, many miss this gem so I delight in introducing friends and colleagues (it’s near my office) to the famed Salted Caramel cookies, not to mention the great menu of interesting dishes that changes regularly. Chef Shepherd Elliott and brother Jessie are the geniuses behind Leeds Street Bakery, so the sweet cabinet is always tempting and the bread is always freshly baked.

The Canteen

Follow these guys on Twitter or Instagram and prepare to be tempted beyond your sweet tooth limits with freshly baked delights.  I love the pulled pork flatbread for a quick lunch in the retro, fairy lighted room.

Hillside kitchen

One of the new kids on the block, the fresh space and coiffed moustached welcome from Jules says you’re onto a winner.  The Lamb Brioche was delicious, and the tweeting of the seasonal, what’s available now, menu tempted me I to try the Fig, mascarpone and apple tartine.  I was inspired to make my own version for a dinner party starter, to much success.


Down at Clyde Quay Wharf, Mojo Coffee have yet another winner, with a menu cultivated by Martin Bosley.  A great space, with bar tables and stools one side, and tables an”d chairs in the other, this is a deliciously busy spot.  The 12 hr cooked beef ‘mince on toast’ is so tasty I haven’t yet moved passed it!

Chocolate fish

Two words: Scallop Sandwich.  So good are these sammies, my mother within a few hours of arriving from the UK made sure a Scallop Sandwich at the Chocolate Fish cafe was part of the schedule!  A quirky cafe in what feels like a dilapidated building is the perfect location for bringing kids and dogs, although the conservatory at the back is an adult only zone, for sitting in the sun over looking the harbour.

Maranui Cafe 

An old faithful, viewed by many as an iconic Wellington cafe, the funky diner is always busy.  A great selection of cabinet food and wholesome menu provides food for all occasions through the day.  Strong Havana coffee and a fabulous view over the beach, it’s a firm fave and visitors we take there have loved it.  Also where I saw Orlando Bloom and Richard Armitage hanging out, brunching, during filming of The Hobbit.

Posted in Restaurant Review, Travel.