The Fab Four of Fine Dining
For the very best culinary experience in Wellington, consider one of these four outstanding restaurants: Boulcott Street Bistro, Logan Brown, the White House Restaurant, and Martin Bosley’s Yacht Club Restaurant—all seriously expensive.
Quick Caffeine Fixes
Apart from the other cafes reviewed in this section, you’ll find excellent coffee and good atmosphere at One Red Dog, 9-11 Blair St. (tel. 04/384-9777); Caffe L’Affare, 27 College St. (tel. 04/385-9748), which has a fabulous humming atmosphere; and Starbucks (tel. 04/472-4861), now firmly ensconced in several city locations, including the Old Bank Arcade & Chambers, on Lambton Quay (tel. 04/922-0624), and also on The Terrace and on Willis Street. And for constant reliability, you can’t beat my busy little favorite, Arabica (tel. 04/473- 7697), opposite the InterContinental hotel on Grey Street, where people pour in like ants to a new food source.
Whether you want to stock up on picnic food or just sit and enjoy coffee with a fine range of edibles, don’t miss these inner city delis and bakeries. Dixon Street Gourmet Deli, 45 Dixon St. (tel. 04/384-2436), has a glowing reputation as long as my arm; and Smith the Grocer, in the Old Bank Arcade, Lambton Quay (tel. 04/473-8591), is a surprise tucked in between leading fashion stores. Both have a wide range of specialty items to take home, plus delicious ready-to-eat treats for the moment. Bordeaux Bakery, 220 Thorndon Quay (tel. 04/499- 8334), and Le Moulin, 248 Willis St. (tel. 04/382-8118), are two superlative French bakeries; and for Italian-style breads, try Pandoro, 2 Allen St. (tel. 04/385-4478; www.pandoro.co.nz).
A Taste of France
La Cloche, 134 Hutt Rd., Kaiwharawhara, Wellington (tel. 04/473- 4892; www.lacloche.co.nz), sits at the bottom of the Ngaio Gorge beside a BMW showroom. It’s there that you’ll find the two Francois’s—French business partners who have Wellingtonians lining up for all things French and edible in a former warehouse jammed with goodies to eat in or take away—over 40 French cheeses for a start, and their fresh breads are scrumptious. Open Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm; weekends 9am to 3pm.
The best of Wellington’s worthwhile food courts is Gourmet Lane, in the BNZ Centre, 1 Willis St. This place is a dream for dollar-wise travelers, as even NZ$10 will fill the gaps. The choices include Chinese, burgers, gourmet pies, barbecue, and more. It’s open Monday through Thursday from 8am to 5pm, Friday from 8am to 8pm, and Saturday from 10am to 3pm. Another popular choice is the Reading Food Court at Reading Cinema, Courtenay Place Central (tel. 04/801-4601).