Bars in Wellington
There are some great bars in Wellington, all ideally located within a short walk of one another (the city is pretty small). All prices below are quoted in NZ$ and the conversion to £ is roughly halved so, for example, $15 = £7.50.
Read pretty much any list or publication of best bars in Wellington and The Library is on it! It is perfectly located just off of Courtenay Place close to Cuba Street and offers a relaxed atmosphere with amazing cocktails and desserts.
As you would expect from the name, the bar is appropriately themed with books and cosy corners! We visited on a Wednesday when it was happy hour (2-4-1) on all house favourite cocktails ALL NIGHT!! What an absolute bargain.
There are 10 house cocktails to choose from with a good mixture of liquers and flavours. We loved the Apple Pie Daiquiri with rum, apple, fresh lime & spiced bitters served with a cinnamon sugar stem ($15). What a perfect dessert cocktail! The Randy Savage was another sweet cocktail with rum, pineapple juice & fresh lime shaken with gingerbread syrup ($16).
The dessert menu certainly caught our eye and they are 2-4-1 on Tuesdays! There are 8 desserts to choose from and we couldn’t resist the Warm Chocolate Fondant with beetroot and brownie ice cream ($19) and the Build Your Own Pavlova with fresh berries, chantilly cream and a flake ($16). The passionfruit crème brulee and Vegan Eton Mess also caught our eye – so difficult to pick! If you really have a sweet tooth, then go for one of the Library’s mega hard shakes!
We finished with one of the Luxury Cocktails, Alice in Wonderland, with Four Pillars Bloody Shiraz Gin, blackcurrant liqueur, six barrel raspberry and lemon syrup with a glass of French sparkling wine ($19). Just pour in as much of the gin as you desire!
If you fancy a meal before visiting The Library for drinks (and desserts of course!), Chow is operated by the same company and offers a fantastic Asian based menu. There are a number of smaller tables, large booths and an outside terrace area. When we visited it was packed with a great atmosphere. We were obviously delighted to hear that cocktails at Chow are also 2-4-1 on Wednesdays all night and we sipped on a refreshing Passion POPin’: pink gin, passionfruit, fresh lime & soda with elderflower foam ($17).
We shared the following dishes:
- Burmese coconut curry ($18)
- Char-grilled tiger prawns coconut miso butter, yuzu aioli ($19)
- Bok choy tonkatsu sauce ($12)
- Pekin duck gyoza shiitake mushrooms, savoy cabbage, garlic, ginger, plum sauce ($18)
- Chilli beef dumplings spring onion, coriander, kaffir lime, sweet chilli soy ($17).
That was absolutely plenty to share between two of us and gave us a varied selection. We absolutely loved the gyoza and dumplings which were packed with filling. The curry was also an excellent choice (recommended by our waitress) with coconut creaminess and a hint of spice. Chow also offers a very reasonably priced $15 lunch with a broth + 2 selected dishes and rice!
Goldings ‘Dive Bar’ is situated in the popular Leeds St area where the Wellington chocolate factory is based. It is a casual bar with neon lighting, bunting and a small chilled out terrace area.
Best known for its beer, Goldings has several local beers, ales and ciders to choose from (ranging from $9-18) and a small selection of wine ($10-14). We tried the Garage Project Party n Bullshit ($13 on tap) and a Dog Point Sauvignon Blanc ($11). They also offer grilled sandwiches, peanuts, pretzels and chippies! One of the best chilled bars in Wellington!
There was something about Rogue & Vagabond that I just loved! Opposite the bar on the grass, they have large bean bags and beer kegs as tables, as well as high tables and stools directly outside the bar. Similarly to Goldings, it is a casual bar with plenty of beer options but has a greater choice for wine and cocktails. We loved the Mountere Apple Cider ($11 / pint).
On Wednesdays between 5-7pm they have epic offers on their chicken wings with any of their 3 flavours (tangy bourbon bbq, smoky chipotle and dragons fury sauce) only 77c! Or get 12 wings and a pint for just $19. We didn’t think we could handle the hot dragon sauce wings so chose 3x bbq and 3x chipotle which were delicious. The bar also serves pizza, burgers and fries with special deals at lunchtime ($12 or $20 with a pint). Definitely one of the best bars in Wellington!
CGR Merchant is a cocktail bar situated opposite The Library open until 2am at weekends. They offer infusion tasting paddles – classic hits, box of chocolates and triple scoop, which are served in shot glasses ($18) which is a fun way to try different flavoured liqueurs.
We stuck with the classic and seasonal cocktails ordering a Gingerbread Fizz: gingerbread infused gin, lemon juice, sugar syrup, egg white and bubble water ($18) and Jamaican Me Crazy: passionfruit and chilli infused rum, lemon juice, pink grapefruit, aperol and red capsicum cordial ($19). The bartenders were friendly and helpful with our choices and both cocktails were great.
I am always on the hunt for rooftops and was pleased to find the Arborist also offered happy hour between 4-6pm every day. The bar is situated in the Trinity Hotel and you just take the lift to the sixth floor. It does not resemble a typical hotel bar in the slightest and has cosy corners, fairy lights and bunting.
The only happy hour drinks are their frozen slushy cocktails which are 2 for $20 ($14 normal price). We had a Singapore Sling Slushy and Frozebud Slushy (vodka, vanilla, passionfruit, pineapple, raspberry) followed by a pint of Tuatara ($12) and Matawhero Rose ($11/glass). The Arborist also serves pizza, salad, fries and pulled pork croquettes. One to add to your list of rooftop bars in Wellington!
Foxglove is ideally situated in Wellington’s Queen Wharf with plenty of space to sit outside on the terrace. We visited in the evening so sat inside on large comfortable chairs supping on a local gin (Lighthouse) which are 25% off on Tuesday’s. Food wise, they serve a selection of small and larger plates.
East London Girl: Bars in Wellington
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