Wellington is a city that's spoiled for choice when it comes to culinary offerings.
From craft beer breweries to cuisine from all over the globe, whatever it is that you're craving, chances are you'll be able to find it here.
In a bid to ensure we'd covered all of our bases before Visa Wellington On a Plate – scheduled to kick off on Friday, August 11th – we decided to curate a sampler of tasty delights, or a smorgasbord if you will, of Wellington's most delicious fringe suburbs. You can thank us later for this one.
1. Te Aro, Aro Valley
If you're craving: a masterfully-brewed craft beer
It's little secret that the Aro Valley has morphed into a suburb that's hip with a capital 'H'. Arguably the craft beer drinkers' mecca, here you'll find all kinds of local brewers showcasing a seriously impressive line-up of pale ales, IPAs, porters and stouts. Follow your nose (the aroma of malt and barley is hard to miss) and you'll discover more than a few home-grown favourites, namely the award-winning Garage Project, Te Aro Brewing Co., Fortune Favours, Black Dog Brewing Co, Third Eye –Tuatara Temple of Taste and Choice Bros, to name but a few.
If you're craving: a taste of the world
This eclectic little suburb has evolved into one of the city's most diverse communities. Here you'll find food offerings from all over, with this year's event offering guests a unique Petone World Food Tour. Get acquainted with the people behind Petone, businesspeople from Italy, South Africa, Asia, India and New Zealand. Take the Finding Flavour walking tour and view the neighbourhood in a whole new light.
3. Upper Hutt
If you're craving: dinner with a twist
While Trentham Racecourse has held a reputation around these parts for decades, Trentham is also home to Rimutaka Prison, one of New Zealand's only maximum security prisons. In keeping with previous events, this year the prison will open its doors to a uniquely different dining experience, Rimutaka Prison Gate to Plate. Celebrated chef Martin Bosley will return to mentor prisoners through a hosting a dining experience, offering ticket holders a 3-course meal unlike any other. Due to increased demand, this event selects guests via a ballot system, in case you missed out, be sure to check out the Rimutaka Prison Gate to Plate Pop-Up.
For a casual vibe with a strong sense of community, pay a visit to the Trentham Mess Hall – a deliciously delightful throwback to army dining halls of yesteryear, or enjoy a cold beer at Panhead Custom Ales, a uniquely different brewery housed in an old Dunlop tire factory.
If you're craving: coffee, coffee, coffee
It's little secret that they're brewing something special around these parts. Enjoy your favourite brew at Peoples Coffee or sample the Ethiopian delights on offer in the neighbourhood. Newtown is also home to the L'affare Roastery, a site that will again play host to a series of curated and caffeinated festival events. From hands-on coffee masters at work, to an insightful look at South Pacific cuisine with Maori-Samoan chef Monique Fiso, there's plenty to keep you occupied.
If you're craving: old-school cool
Fancy an old-school English dining experience? Or perhaps an evening at the local pub? When the fog clears, Karori is one of the city's best urban fringe suburbs. Located at the western edge of the urban area of Wellington, here you'll find Homewood, the residence of the British High Commissioner. Guests will be invited in this year, to enjoy a dining experience unlike any other. Enjoy a five-course menu by resident chef Jacinta Saeki and Laura Greenfield of Field & Green, championing modern British cuisine, made with produce from the household garden. For those seeking a casual bite and brew, One Fat Bird offers 16 beers on tap, hearty modern pub fare and a great live music offering.
If you're craving: wine o'clock
A mere hop, skip and a jump from Wellington, this stellar region is home to some of the country's favourite wineries, with Martinborough a vetted hotbed of local producers. Wine-lovers will be spoiled for choice this year, with hands-on events like Winemaker for a day at Matahiwi Estate and the Riversdale Coastal Walk & Dine. For those with a penchant for fine wine and finery, Fermented Fashion is an event that'll bring out the budding sommelier (and couturier) in anyone.
It’s not just one day. It’s not just one location. It’s a region-wide culinary takeover.
Wellington warms up in Winter with 17 days of food related fun as Visa WOAP (pronounced woah-app) takes over 11-27 August. Wellington’s restaurants, venues, laneways and carparks are host to wild celebrations of food and beverage through exclusive set menus, burgers, cocktails, unforgettable events and pop ups.