Come August, the capital will be transformed into a thriving hub of gastronomical proportions.
It goes without saying that come August 11, the Dish team will be posted in the city of coffee, burgers, beer and all things artisanal.
Wander around Wellington and it becomes pretty clear that coffee culture is a verified religion, with craft beer certainly not short of its devout followers. For those making the ultimate foodie's pilgrimage to Wellington, we've curated a visitor's guide to Visa Wellington On a Plate, showcasing the region's best events, workshops, tutorials and degustations, so that you can eat your way through the capital with zero fear of missing out.
With well over 100 events on offer, the capital's eateries, venues, laneways and carparks, are all set to host countless celebrations of food and beverages through exclusive set menus, events and pop-ups. Behold, a tantalising amuse-bouche of what to expect come Wellington On a Plate:
1. Keep it crafty
Artfully roasted coffee and the country's best craft beers are true religion around these parts. Wellington is a city boasting a glittering line-up of artisans, think the boys from Garage Project or the team from Cafe L'affare. When it comes to beer and coffee, the passion here runs deep. This August, the city will again play host to Beervana, a celebration of all things beer, while Grape vs Grain will enable visitors to decipher what makes a seriously good beer pairing. Beer No Evil, Pie No Evil will see Nelson-based brewery Sprig & Fern team up with Waikanae-based Siggy's Pies for the ultimate showdown.
Acclaimed Wellington-based restaurant Grill Meats Beer will be curating beer and food matches fit for royalty, while the team at Garage Project have joined forces with Martin Bosley for Oysters on Marion. The masters at Tuatara will borrow from the ancient tea ritual, to create a food and beer match with a distinct point of difference.
2. But first, coffee
When it comes to coffee, Wellingtonians are doing something right. While Americanos and Macchiatos are the drink du jour, there's still plenty on offer for the resident flat white drinker. This year, the Meadow Fresh NZ Barista Championship will take hold of the city, with a bit of caffeine-induced competition. The event is scheduled to kick off at L'affare Roastery in Newtown on Wednesday August 23. For those willing to get hands on with the beloved bean, The Mojo Roastery will host a ticketed Coffee Roasting Workshop – be sure to book ahead to avoid missing out.
3. Burgers, burgers, burgers
It's little secret that burgers rule the roost when it comes to street food culture in the capital. In keeping with previous years, Burger Wellington will celebrate the region's best burgers with an annual burger feast and subsequent crowning of the city's best burger. Garage Project have again jumped on board to match all that burger goodness with three delicious new brews.
4. Culinary collaborations
There's a lot more to Welly than street food, with this year's incredible culinary collabs testament to this. From Attica's Ben Shewry at the Shack to Cumulus Inc. taking over Egmont St. Eatery, the collaboration series boasts a whole new outlook on some tried and true Wellington institutions. We don't doubt this series will be a sellout, be sure to secure your tickets well ahead of schedule to avoid missing out.
5. Global gastronomy
For the travelling foodie, there will be cuisine from all over the globe front and centre throughout the festival's 18-day duration. There's a focus on international fare, including Phoenecian cuisine, the very best of Chinese food, to the flavours of Europe and what typifies the contemporary Kiwi culinary scene on a global scale.
6. Street eats, beats and culture
Welly is a city spoiled for choice across gastronomy and the arts, so we're hardly surprised that they've chosen to combine the two. With events that focus on Pulitzer Prize-wining food critics to the evolving art of food styling and photography, local music and exhibitors of the tiniest proportions, what's not to love?
To read more about Visa Wellington On a Plate, view the event programme or secure your tickets, see their website right here.