Café Cen­tral

Taste & Travel - - Destinations -

New Zealand's cap­i­tal city, Welling­ton, was the birth­place of mod­ern Kiwi café cul­ture, emerg­ing from the dol­drums of the 60s and 70s to be­come cen­tre of all things cool, in­clud­ing mu­sic, film, food and cof­fee. Although the weather is re­li­ably aw­ful, res­i­dents of Windy Welling­ton love their city, its en­vi­able hill­side perch, com­pact cen­tre and in­die vibe. They're spoiled for choice when it comes to ca­sual eater­ies, with re­put­edly more res­tau­rants and bars per capita than New York City.

Salty Pid­gin is one of the hottest tick­ets in town and a good ex­am­ple of the way in which restau­rant and café mod­els over­lap. On week­ends the doors open at 9:30 am with break­fast-y dishes such as yogurt and but­ter­milk pan­cakes or eggs on cia­batta with mush­rooms and black pud­ding. Dur­ing the week head chef Amy Gil­lies and her team of­fer a so­phis­ti­cated dinner menu, with an ex­ten­sive wine list, in­clud­ing more than 30 wines avail­able by the glass.

Af­ter an up­hill hike to Brook­lyn, a gen­tri­fied his­toric neigh­bour­hood with com­mand­ing views of the har­bour, a pint of Par­rot Dog Pil­sner, one of sev­eral lo­cal craft beers on tap, hit the spot. With half an hour to spare be­fore my friend

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