Ever visited a city where coffee is as cherished as gold? Let’s check out the top coffee in Wellington New Zealand, where a double shot is standard.
You may have heard the whispers – that Wellington, with its quirky cafes and artisan roasters, is a true paradise for coffee lovers. But until you’ve navigated through the bustling Cuba Street or savoured an expertly brewed flat white at Customs, can you really grasp the magic of the best cafes in Wellington New Zealand?
In this piece, we’ll be your guide to uncovering hidden gems in Wellington New Zealand, tasting coffee masterpieces from The Hangar to Swimsuit Coffee, and immersing yourself into vibrant districts brimming with character like the Cuba Quarter.
Buckle up, it’s going to be one aromatic ride!
The Coffee Roasters of Wellington
If there’s one thing this town loves more than rugby or The Lord Of The Rings trilogy – it’s coffee. Among the many cafés in Wellington are local roasting legends like Flight Coffee, Havana and Peoples Coffee. These guys aren’t just brewing your average caffeine fix – they’re making magic happen.
Wellington is full of roasteries and is home to many award-winning baristas. They seek to achieve perfect taste profiles while taking sustainable and ethical practices seriously.
Top Coffee Spots to Visit in Wellington
Wellington, the capital of New Zealand, is a vibrant city full of life and charm. Alongside the bustling arts scene, stunning geography and the iconic cable car, the incredible coffee culture attracts locals and tourists alike.
Experience The Hangar
The Hangar, on Dixon St, is a staple in Wellington’s café scene with an all-day menu and wide range of coffee options. The home of Flight coffee, brewed from locally roasted beans, this flagship café offers the opportunity to taste a flight of three coffees – perfect for sharing. The all-day food menu features everything from fancy toast to culinary masterpieces.
You’ll be captivated by the stunning interior – an echo of the vibrant energy buzzing around the outside. The service? Let’s just say they make sure you feel like royalty while sipping your flat white.
The Unique Atmosphere of Swimsuit Coffee
Swimsuit brews the locally roasted Peoples Coffee, and like all our favourites on this list, they are serious about good coffee. Swimsuit is also known for its funky atmosphere, cheese scones, and gourmet sandwiches. The Dixon St site is perfect for a bit of people-watching.
Their cheese scones are so good they could start a revolution, gourmet sandwiches adorned with edible flowers are equally tantalising. And don’t get me started about their sweet treats. If you are doing a ‘caffeine-crawl’ in the city, there are two Swimsuit cafes a few minutes walk from The Hangar.
A Supreme focus on better coffee
Another local favourite at this end of town is Customs. Situated on Ghuznee Street, Customs is part of the Coffee Supreme family and is all about better coffee for a better life. While there, you might want to try ‘naughty milk’ for an additional sugar hit. This cafe also knows a thing or two about how to make a mean toastie combo and serves focaccia sandwiches that are nothing short of luscious.
The Cuban Connection
Havana Coffee Works is a bit of a Wellington legend. The founders brought coffee to Wellington, perhaps before Wellington was ready for coffee, eventually moving into roasting in the early 1990s. The café and roastery on Tory St is definitely worth a visit, but you’ve been warned… their coffee is not for the faint-hearted.
Fidel’s Cafe on Cuba St is another Wellington icon. Fidel’s menu covers the full spectrum of food experiences from their signature hash browns to great cabinet food. Gluten free and vegan options are aplenty, and you guessed it, the coffee is single origin Cuban.
We love: Taking a flight of coffee with a side of exceptional service at the Hangar, then doing a bit of people-watching while soaking in the funky vibes (and cheese scones) at Swimsuit. If we’re after a truly bold coffee, we’ll take a walk up Tory St to Havana, perhaps stopping for a mean toastie from Custom’s on the way.
Caffeine in the Suburbs
Moving away from the hustle-bustle of downtown, Wellington’s suburbs are also part of its coffee story.
Coffee for the people
Peoples Coffee café and roastery has been going strong in the diverse and vibrant suburb of Newtown for nearly 20 years. The original Constable St café reflects this colourful community vibe and is a much-loved gathering place.
The Surf-loving Maranui Cafe
If you fancy an ocean view with your caffeine fix, make sure to check out Maranui Café, a beachside institution. Situated along Lyall Bay, it serves up hearty meals amidst quirky interiors that’ll have you reaching for your camera. And let me tell you from personal experience – their flat white coffee pairs excellently with any item on their food menu.
But it’s not just about great food here, it’s also about being part of a community tradition. After all, this cafe started off as part of the surf lifesaving club. That’s right – when they say ‘local’, they mean business.
The retro-vibe of Seashore Cabaret
Seashore Cabaret, located by Petone Foreshore, offers a unique feel with stunning views of Wellington Harbour, further enhancing this one-of-a-kind experience. Picture sipping great coffee amidst retro decor complete with vintage pinball machines. This place gives off a cool mix of old-school charm and vibrant energy – reasonably representative of Wellington itself.
Keeping it Cool in Hataitai
The Coolsville Cartel in Hataitai is a small neighbourhood café that brings some Auckland-roasted coffee (Atomic) to the Capital. Alongside this expertly brewed coffee, you will find the best range of gluten-free food in the city (everything here is gluten-free and delicious).
We love: taking visitors to Wellington to a seaside coffee spot while on a uTours Wellington tour. Cafés in Wellington aren’t just about coffee and food – they are cultural spaces that tell stories about their community through design, music, art installations, and sometimes, even the barista’s tattoo sleeve.
The Wellington café culture is truly a treasure trove waiting for you to explore and indulge in.
FAQs in Relation to Cafés in Wellington New Zealand
How many cafés are in Wellington?
The exact number changes often, but Wellington is packed with lots of cafés. In fact, Wellington is said to have more eateries per capita than New York City.
What is the most popular coffee in New Zealand?
The flat white is the most popular coffee in New Zealand. It is made with a double shot of expresso and steamed milk. This creates a velvety texture with a thin layer of microfoam on top. It is similar to a latte, but with less milk, making it stronger.
Is Wellington the coffee capital?
Absolutely. With its vibrant café scene and top-notch local roasters like Flight Coffee and preference for double-shot coffees, Wellington is known as New Zealand’s coffee capital.
How much coffee do kiwis drink?
More than 70% of New Zealanders drink at least one coffee a day, with 24% consuming three or
more cups a day. You can bet that Wellingtonians increase that average significantly.
You can’t beat Wellington as a destination to explore New Zealand’s coffee culture. Talk to the locals (including uTours Wellington) to find out their favourite brew or coffee supplier, however you may have to stay in town a while to test all the options on offer.