13 Best Cafes in Wellington: Trendiest Places of 2024

Wellington is the hippiest and the most artistic city in New Zealand, and you will recognize it by visiting some of the most unique cafes of the coolest capital in the world.

If you are looking for excellent New Zealand coffee, breakfast, brunch, or lunch, here are the best cafes you will ever find in Wellington. Some of them are pretty old and have a long history, while others have opened recently but have already won the hearts of Wellingtonians.

The must-visit cafes in Wellington are:

  1. Fidel’s
  2. Prefab-ACME
  3. L’affare
  4. Gemini Cafe & Eatery
  5. Pour and Twist
  6. Goods
  7. Raglan Roast Coffee
  8. Customs
  9. Maranui Surf Lifesaving Cafe
  10. Neo Cafe & Eatery
  11. The Hangar
  12. Urban on Manners
  13. Enigma Cafe

In no particular order, here are the best cafes in Wellington for every purpose, whether you want to grab a coffee or have a wonderful experience of eating a filling meal.

If you are moving to Wellington, read the Pros and Cons of living in the capital city.

Cafes of Wellington that everyone must visit

Wellington has some of the best, if not the best coffee and cafe culture in New Zealand. It’s a young, energetic city filled with cafes, bars, clubs, and restaurants.

In fact, the renowned cafe culture of the world’s coolest capital started in the 1930s; it later expanded in 1950 with many coffee shops opening then. Thanks to European immigrants, who played a significant role in the development of coffee culture here. During that period, exotic new foods and new Italian espresso machines were introduced.

The café scene has become a trend and fashion for Wellingtonians over the last 20 years. Today, there are more than 300 cafés throughout the city, more per capita than in New York City. 

As you can see, the cafes of Wellington have long history and traditions, so, you can’t leave this place without visiting at least several cafes. In this article, we present the best and the hottest spots to grab a craft coffee, enjoy a long brunch, or even an early dinner.

1. Fidel’s Cafe

Source: Fidel’s Cafe
  • Address: 234 Cuba Street, Te Aro
  • Working hours: 8.00 am – 3.00 pm; Friday – 8 am to late; Saturday – 9 am to late
  • Google rating: 4,5
  • See on Google maps
  • Visit website
  • Highlights: Diverse menu with full meals and cabinet food, funky seat settings, great atmosphere, and fast service. 

Fidel’s Cafe is one of the most popular and most visited cafes in Wellington. It has been serving locals and tourists since 1996. Located on a trendy Cuba Street, this place is hard to pass.

Fidel’s is good for everything that your heart desires at the moment. From breakfast menu to even meals for dinner. Highlights of the menu are sandwiches, salads, and plenty of fresh pastries. They are open from 8 am and close at 3 pm, but fortunately work till late on Fridays and weekends, allowing dinner as well.

For larger groups, you can give them a call and book a whole venue or a part of it.

The interior of Fidel’s suits the atmosphere on Cuba Street, with funky, colorful decor. Yet, even if you decide not to go to Fidel’s, you certainly have to visit a prominent Cuba Street, so save their address!

Prices are very reasonable for New Zealand, with no meal costing above $22. Check out their menu.

2. Prefab-ACME

Image credit: Prefab-ACME
  • Address: 14 Jessie Street, Te Aro
  • Working hours: 7.00 am – 3.00 pm; Saturday closed; Sunday closed
  • Google rating: 4,6
  • See on Google maps
  • Visit website
  • Highlights: Breakfast, pizzas, burgers, bakery items, eggs on sourdough.

Prefab-ACME is a modern and relatively large cafe compared to New Zealand standards, with whopping 180 seats, serving full meals for breakfast, brunch, or lunch. Not to mention they have an in-house bakery and nice coffees too. Prefab-ACME is a preferred cafe by locals, especially for weekday breakfast and Saturday brunch.

Casual, modern outpost for coffee, seasonal breakfast & lunch eats & housemade bread. Check out their menu. It’s the best place on the list for solid meals like pizza and burgers.

Keep in mind that the cafe is closed on weekends.

In addition, the owners of Prefab-ACME eatery run a website where you purchase a small variety of locally grown and made products, including their branded coffee and fish sauce.

3. L’affare

Image credit: L’affare
  • Address: 27 College Street, Te Aro
  • Working hours: 7.00 am – 3.00 pm
  • Google rating: 4,4
  • See on Google maps
  • Visit website

L’affare is the third-best cafe to visit while in Wellington and is popular among locals and tourists alike. It’s an urban cafe with plenty of wide open space and 145 seats. Besides, it was around for 33 years (from 1990), so they definitely know what they are doing.

Cafe L’affare is located in the heart of Te Aro, a bustling part of Wellington. The design of this cafe is industrial, which is very common in artsy Wellington. That said, the space is functional, allowing fit plenty of people.

Their menu includes all the common items you will expect in a full cafe, plus some excellent cabinet food.

Don’t be scared by some bad reviews L’affare attracted on the internet. It’s a common tendency for people to leave a review when they are not satisfied. This cafe still wins, even if there were a few unhappy customers out of thousands.

Lastly, there is also L’affare in Auckland, so don’t miss a visit if you are there.

Hidden gem of Welly

Gemini Cafe & Eatery

Image credit: Gemini Cafe & Eatery
  • Address: Shop3/100 Tory Street, Te Aro
  • Working hours: 9.00 am – 3.00 pm
  • Google rating: 4,6
  • See on Google maps
  • Visit website
  • Highlights: Creative, innovative recipes

If you are looking for something more interesting and creative than the average Kiwi breakfast, Gemini Cafe is the best place on this list! It’s a cute, modern eatery in Te Aro that specializes in unique drinks and innovative foods.

They work since 2019 and haven’t gained as much traction as other cafes, but it’s for the good, as Gemini is so so good, that everyone will run over there if they knew about its existence.

Food at Gemini not only looks absolutely gorgeous, but it also tastes so! In addition, prices are very reasonable, with meals ranging between $18 and $23, on average. Because this place is so amazing, you should book a table in advance, otherwise, you might wait in line for 30 minutes and more.

Some of the highlights on the menu are Churros french toast, Crusty crab croissant (real crab in your croissant!), and Chicken Popcorn.

4. Pour and Twist

Image credit: Pour and Twist
  • Address: 13 Garrett Street, Te Aro
  • Working hours: 9.00 am – 2.00 pm
  • Google rating: 4,9
  • See on Google maps
  • Visit website

Looking for a high-quality hand-brewed coffee? No need to look further, staff and founders at Pour and Twist know how to make coffee better than anyone else.

If you are into brews, and more creative coffee styles than your average espresso, this shop is spot on! Pour and Twist is the first fully manual coffee brew bar in New Zealand.

Yet, it’s a small coffee shop, best for a quick coffee shot and a cookie if you want a snack, there isn’t any serious food available apart from sandwiches. That said, you can eat and drink inside but take away is very common among the visitors.

Their menu features all coffee types and many coffee drinks you probably never heard of, like Grey Marble.

At Pour and Twist, every process of coffee making is done manually, and it’s the best place for brews, probably in the whole of New Zealand!

Keep in mind, that it’s not a place to get a traditional espresso coffee as they don’t have a coffee machine!

5. Goods

Image credit: Goods
  • Address: 342a Tinakori Road, Thorndon
  • Working hours: 7.30 am – 2.00 pm
  • Google rating: 4,8
  • See on Google maps
  • Visit website
  • Highlights: Bread and pastries

Goods is a cute bakery with some epic French baked items and, of course, a good coffee. Yes, New Zealand has bakeries that specialize in something else than pies. Arguably best croissants, and best pastries in Wellington.

With items ranging between $5 – $15 in price, Goods is your place for an affordable and full with carbs breakfast. Goods are freshly baked daily, besides, there are some food items in the cabinet.

Notice that it’s a cafe with pastries and sandwiches only, no other food is served.

6. Raglan Roast Coffee

Image credit: Raglan Roast
  • Address: Chaffers Dock 22 Herd Street Shops 8/9, Te Aro
  • Working hours: 7.00 am – 5.00 pm
  • Google rating: 4,6
  • See on Google maps
  • Visit website
  • Highlights: Most delicious flat white in Welly

Raglan Roast has some of the best coffee in town. It’s a high-quality, crafted coffeeshop, similar to Pour and Twist, but they also make espresso specialty coffee. Raglan Roast has several locations in Wellington as well as in other cities. Some of their cafes are tiny, but one on Chaffers Dock, near the waterfront, is pretty spacious.

Raglan Roast offers some epic coffee you will never come across. In addition to coffee, there are some quick bites to enjoy, like cakes and cookies. Sip your coffee with a view of Welly Waterfront – a secret to a wonderful start of the day.

Also, forgot to mention, Raglan Roast has the lowest prices on coffee in Wellington! Black or white coffee costs between $3 to $4 per cup!

You can also shop for some yummy coffee beans on their website.

7. Customs

Image credit: Customs
  • Address: 39 Ghuznee Street, Te Aro
  • Working hours: 7.30 am – 3.00 pm
  • Google rating: 4,7
  • See on Google maps
  • Visit website
  • Highlights: Coffee, caramelized banana butter toast

Another cafe on Cuba Street, Customs is known for coffee, toast, and yummy snacks. They have their own coffee brand Coffee Supreme. That says something about the quality of the drinks they serve!

The Interior of Customs definitely stands out, it’s a good-looking, pretty organized, and minimalistic cafe, totally opposite to crazy Fidel’s, which is located on the same street.

The menu of Customs is very short, people mainly grab a toast or sandwich. There is no cabinet food, and all items are prepared freshly.

You can also shop for their coffee beans on their website.

8. Maranui Surf Lifesaving Cafe

Image credit: Maranui Surf Lifesaving Cafe
  • Address: 107 Lyall Parade, Lyall Bay
  • Working hours: 7.00 am – 4.00 pm; 8.00 am – 5.00 pm – Fridays and weekends.
  • Google rating: 4,6
  • See on Google maps
  • Visit website
  • Highlights: Breakfast, vegan options.

Located literally on another site of Welly Waterfront and CBD, Maranui Surf Lifesaving Cafe is a hidden gem with amazing breakfast & lunch options. Everything from service, food, and ambiance is on point.

Maranui Cafe is a lovely, bustling, but relaxed place far away from the hectic downtown. This eatery has become a go-to Sunday brunch spot for locals. 

Besides all the food and drinks, you will enjoy a stunning view of Lyall Bay and surfers going after the waves. On a menu, check out their vegan and gluten options, which are delightful.

When visiting Wellington, Maranui Cafe is a must-do, not only because of its food and design but also the surroundings – have a look at the beaches! The cafe is located directly on the beachfront at Lyall Bay. Therefore, Maranui Cafe is perfect for a relaxing breakfast or brunch away but close to the city.

9. Neo Cafe & Eatery

Image credit: Neo Cafe & Eatery
  • Address: 132 Willis Street, Te Aro
  • Working hours: 7.30 am – 3.00 pm
  • Google rating: 4,6
  • See on Google maps
  • Visit website

Neo Cafe & Eatery is a place for you to enjoy interesting meals and quality locally roasted coffee. Cafe specializes in all-day brunch, fresh cabinet salads and has an in-house bakery! This place is suitable for both a heavy breakfast and lunch.

You will find there a range of gluten-free, vegetarian, and vegan dishes. Their menu varies with the seasons, ensuring you get fresh local produce on your table.

Overall, it’s a typical Kiwi cafe with stables like English breakfast, Eggs Benedict, Gingerbread Pancakes, Bacon & Egg Butty, and some burgers. In contrast to other cafes, they decorate dishes in a pretty way.

10. The Hangar

Image credit: Hangar
  • Address: 119 Dixon Street, Te Aro
  • Working hours: 7.00 am – 2.30 pm
  • Google rating: 4,5
  • See on Google maps
  • Visit website

Looking for some delicious food accompanied by a good cup of coffee? The Hangar is a Wellington classic. It’s one of the favorite cafes among locals, not without a reason. The Hangar is renowned to have amazing coffee, everything from brews to lattes, and incredible food.

The Hangar is one of the few places that serves beloved among locals Flight Coffee (where you can try 3 different coffees), which they started back in 2012.

At Hangar, breakfasts and brunches are the best. Some of the menu’s highlights are mushroom toast, french toast, and bacon butty. Dishes change with the seasons ensuring you get the fresh stuff! Additionally, they serve cocktails, beers, and local wines.

11. Urban on Manners

Image credit: Urban on Manners
  • Address: 2 Manners Street, Te Aro
  • Working hours: 6.30 am – 4.00 pm
  • Google rating: 4,6
  • See on Google maps
  • Visit website
  • Highlights: Urbans eggs, avo toast.

Urban on Manners (Manners Street) is located in the heart of Wellington and is a spacious eatery with so many delicious items and coffees on the menu! Moreover, their prices are some of the most affordable I ever came across, especially for the quality that they deliver.

Besides, Urban on Manners has the most extensive menu compared to all places mentioned. Try their Shakshuka, pancake stack, and Urban eggs.

Prices are very reasonable, with an average of $16 – $20 for an awesome meal. Coffee will cost you between $4 to $5, also lower than usual.

Cafes with long working hours

Enigma Cafe

Image credit: Enigma Cafe
  • Address: 6011/128 Courtenay Place, Te Aro
  • Working hours: 7.30 am – 11.00 pm
  • Google rating: 4,3
  • See on Google maps
  • Visit website

Enigma café & bar is an eatery situated in a busy and somewhat crazy Courtenay Place. It’s a corky place with a rocky design, which fits right into Wellington’s vibe. They have a huge menu and cabinet full of food to choose from.

Enigma literally has everything, from breakfast options to mains, including pasta, and even ice cream. Also, you can opt for one of many cakes with your coffee.

Enigma’s food and coffee are nothing out of the ordinary but deserve mention for their good portion sizes, affordable prices, and incredibly long working hours. If you are hungry at night, they got you covered!

See the full menu here.

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