Wellington boasts the best nightlife in the country, with a huge selection of late-night bars, cafes and ethnic restaurants offering every possible cuisine from Europe, Asia and Polynesia. Cuba and Courtnay Place are the liveliest districts and have the best choice of cafes and restaurants in the city, whilst more upmarket establishments can be found on Queens Wharf for waterfront dining.
First opened in 1963 by two Swiss brothers, the Matterhorn is one of Wellington’s institutions. It was voted NZ Restaurant of the Year in 2008 and NZ Bar of the Year three years running. For a truly unforgettable experience opt for the seven-course degustation menu, available in the evenings only. Booking is essential.
NZ Restaurant of the Year in 2009, it is located in a 1920s revamped bank chamber. The restaurant focuses on high quality dining in a relaxed and contemporary setting. Dishes use the finest ingredients. The restaurant boasts an extensive wine list of over 230 NZ and international wines, which will delight wine lovers. A six-course degustation menu is available on Saturdays ($110 pp, wines extra)
Crazy Horse Steak House
The restaurant has won a number of awards since it first opened in 2006. Its menu is a celebration of the best of New Zealand food, and beef in particular. It offers an extensive list of NZ and Australian wines. It is the ideal place for a special meal. Set menus range from $65 to $100.
Chow prides itself on quality ingredients such as free range meat and eggs. It is famous for its fresh, Asian-inspired contemporary and fusion cuisine; 2 for 1 food deals on Monday.
Established in 1983, Great India is Wellington's top authentic Indian restaurant. Its menu combines superb traditional dishes with a stunning array of modern Indian delicacies such as Goan Pork Curry and Samba Masala, a venison curry from Nepal-North India. With more than 60 dishes, its menu can satisfy every taste. Its wine list offers a fine selection of New Zealand and international wines, as well as over 55 local and imported beers.
A colourful and festive restaurant serving contemporary Asian cuisine. Monsoon Poon explores the exotic flavours of India, South China, Vietnam, Thailand, the Philippines, Malaysia and Indonesia. An intimate dining experience.
Flying Burrito Brothers
A Mexican cantina and tequileria, it combines a festive bar above and an intimate restaurant setting below.
Wellington's most celebrated Chinese restaurant, Yangtze has been open since 1977 and uses the best of local produce in its traditional Chinese recipes. The Peking duck is a unique experience – from $65 (one course) to $125 for three courses. Cheaper, and equally delicious, options are also available: Spring Onion & Ginger Venison, 5 Spices Chilli Pork Loin and Sichuan Whole Fish amongst others.
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