Whether you’re grabbing one to-go, catching up with friends or pouring over a good book, these are the cafés you need to be visiting. Wellington prides itself on its ability to produce a great tasting flat-white. And with cafés on almost every street corner, it’s certainly clear that Wellingtonians love their coffee. They now boast well over a dozen roasteries within the city and 300+ cafes in the greater region. But with so much variety, how are you expected to know where to go? We’ve put together a short list of some of our stand-out favourite coffee shops in the capital that won’t disappoint!
Fidel's is an undisputed favourite among young Wellingtonians, with great Havana coffee, cheap eats and plenty of delicious baked-goods on offer. Located at the top-end of Cuba Street, Fidel’s is best known for its thick-shakes, hearty big breakfasts and dynamic outdoor seating.
Its rustic interior and ramshackle courtyard fit perfectly with Cuba Street’s tone and make for an interesting and enjoyable experience. The staff are always friendly and charismatic. And like most cafés in the Capital, they are always busy. They also cater to a wide range of dietary requirements which is ideal.
Fidel's Café: 234 Cuba Street, Te Aro
Perfect for a mid-shopping spree fix, Lamason Brew Bar is nestled beneath a parking building just off Manners Mall, between Bond and Lombard. The tidy yet understated aesthetic of the café makes for a relaxing and comfortable setting, ideal for those who are looking to take time away from the busy streets of Wellington.
They serve delicious toasties that vary day-to-day. The coffee is well made and comes in a variety of flavours, with fair trade organic beans imported from all parts of the world, from Ethiopian Sidamo to Guatemalan Huehuetenango. For a unique experience you can also try their siphoned, which will give you a deeper appreciation for the different flavours in your cup.
Lamason Brew Bar: Cnr of Lombard and Bond Street
This is one of Wellington’s newer cafés, popping up only in December 2013, it has already built a strong fan base among locals and tourists alike. The space has been well thought out and is filled with lots of natural light and has plenty of seating both inside and out.
They serve Supreme Coffee and have a decent sized menu as well as cabinet food. The café itself sits on the corner of Lyall Bay and overlooks the surf break. It also backs onto the airport so you can watch planes take-off and land as you enjoy your lunch.
Spruce Goose: 30 Cochrane Street, Lyall Bay
L'affare is one of Wellington’s original coffee havens, and has been roasting and serving their beloved espresso since 1990. Though there has been some remodelling of the interior since it was first established the café is still extremely popular.
The menu is full of wholesome options, including the classic eggs-beni, homemade pies, scones and sandwiches. The staff are warm and very hospitable, and can have a coffee in front of you before you’ve even had a chance to look at the menu. The café itself is full of interesting installations and is about twice the size of any regular outfit, making finding a seat much less difficult.
Caffe L'affare: 27 College Street, Te Aro
This café is filled with character and charm, and is a must-do for those who like to stray from the masses. Queen Sally’s first emerged after the very popular Maranui Café burnt down just around the corner on Lyall Bay. After it was rebuilt the owners of both cafés decided to keep Queen Sally’s open due to popular demand.
While they don’t have such an extensive kitchen and are limited by seating, Queen Sally’s offers plenty of delicious healthy options from their cabinet and a handful of tables and chairs to a lucky few. The staff are effortlessly friendly and can produce a perfect Havana coffee in a matter of seconds.
Queen Sally’s Diamond Deli: 200 Queens Drive, Lyall Bay
• PreFab - 14 Jessie St, Te Aro | Fast and friendly service, a great lunch stop.
• Olive Café - 170 Cuba St, Te Aro | Has an amazing courtyard out back.
• Sweet Mother’s Kitchen - 5 Courtenay Plce, Te Aro | A cult classic.
• Gypsy Kitchen - 6 Glamis Ave, Strathmore | Try their counter food, amazing.
• The Seashore Cabaret - 160 The Esplanade, Petone | A new favourite for Petone.
• Peoples Coffee Café - 12a Constable St, Newtown | Passionate about their coffee.