FIND YOUR FIX
234 Cuba Street This Wellington institution at the top of Cuba Street marries strong coffee with revolutionary chic in the tarp-topped courtyard and darkened rooms decked with Castro memorabilia. As well as coffee, there’s wine, cider, ale and loose-leaf tea (try the Kawa Kawa Fire — a native herb with ginger and lemongrass); fidelscafe.com.
38 Dixon Street One for the coffee purists, a raffish, op-shop-furnished bolthole that has been scooping award after award — best barista, best cafe, best coffee — for its FairTrade, single-origin espresso. A cross between cafe and science lab, the Belle bustles with too-cool baristas expert in all sorts of arcane coffee lore (Chemex, cold-drip, syphon, V60). 161 Cuba Street Housed in a handsome Art Deco former department store, the most elegant cafe in town effortlessly channels the Left Bank with walnut tables and linen napkins. Great breakfasts and cakes, and a Mediterranean-inspired menu, keep locals coming back. Try pasta with roasted cauliflower, popped capers and witlof, and the figgy pudding with eggnog custard; floriditas.co.nz.
272 Cuba Street More op-shop chic at this charming cafe in a small Edwardian house crammed with plaid cloths, antlers and the sort of place mats your granny might use. There’s comfort food to match: macaroni cheese, roasts, Dunedin cheese rolls, pavlova and banana splits. If you fancy afternoon tea with a dose of chintz, pop by neighbouring Martha’s Pantry.
The Parade, Lyall Bay Located in the Gidget-groovy Maranui Surf Life Saving Club, this place is packed, come rain or, well, rain. Aussies will be happy just to watch the surf from a cosy perch, tucking into steamed mussels and fries or Manuka smoked bacon and hash browns; maranuicafe.co.nz.
157 Lambton Quay This cafe is incredibly popular with city workers, given its clubby vibe and oldfashioned, canteen-like, serve-yourself, well-priced meals: soups, hotpots, sticky cakes, even jellies.
above The popular Maranui Cafe