Wellington is full of amazing restaurants, bars, hikes, museums and views. It seems like we find something new to explore every day…and explore we have!
Here are some of my favorite “hidden gems” in Wellington:
The Enormous Crocodile Company is most well-known for its rental Crocodile Cycles (either a regular bicycle or covered multi-seater cycles) along the waterfront. What some people don’t know, though, is that they can get a crazy “Freakshake” in the same place! The cycle rental and ice cream shop is located just opposite of Chaffers Marina. They offer a variety of different milkshakes, both vegan and non-vegan, and even have a “Freakshake of the Month!” This glorious masterpiece was their monthly special and it was ALL VEGAN – hot chocolate, topped with a gluten free waffle (freshly made, may I add), frozen blueberries, a toasted vegan marshmallow, goji berries, cotton candy and a scoop of chocolate Little Island coconut ice cream. If you can’t believe your eyes, imagine how my tastebuds felt. WOWZA.
Little Beer Quarter (LBQ)
Little Beer Quarter, or LBQ, is another small craft beer haven located just off of Victoria Street (one of the main streets in Wellington Central) in a tiny, artsy alleyway called Edward Street. The seats outside are perfect for people watching in the summertime (or even a nice day in the winter), and the people there are hella friendly!
Hashigo Zake is a pretty sizable bar/restaurant that’s actually situated in an alley, through large doors…and in a basement. But MAN once you’re down there, it’s awesome! This may be the American in me speaking, but their range of imported beers is incredible – lots of U.S. brews! My husband and I actually visited Hashigo Zake to watch the 2017 Super Bowl, and we were SO EXCITED to have a Sierra Nevada. In addition to their killer beer selection, they offer a mean vegan pulled pork and some stellar vegan dumplings. Once you find it, you’ll be a regular!
Love Locks on Frank Kitts Lagoon
This particular hidden gem is actually right in plain sight. Along the waterfront at Frank Kitts Lagoon near Oriental Bay, you’ll see hundreds (if not thousands) of “love locks.” Essentially, people write or carve their names on a combination lock and attach it to the bridge to symbolize their unconditional love. Of course my hubby and I took part, and our hearts are warm every time we walk past the bridge. Awwwww!
No, not the public library – that’s really easy to find. The Library is a bar that is themed like – you guessed it – an old library! This place has killer cocktails, live music most nights and super yummy treats. Not to mention you are TOTALLY surrounded by books! There are a few different rooms that you can sit in to enjoy your visit, it just depends on the vibe you’re looking for (and how busy they are). It’s a bit pricey, but very worth the experience. Keep your eye out, though – it’s super easy to miss the tiny sign on Courtenay Place indicating the entrance. Once you find the sign, you have to walk upstairs in a place that seems like you’re going the wrong way (trust me, you’re not). You can also access the entrance through Chow on Tory, another restaurant just around the corner. Cool, right?
This laneway can be accessed from Courtenay Place between Leeds and Eva Streets and WHOA will you be happy you found it! From beer, to pizza, to chocolate – you will get everything you need! The space may seem small, but it is mighty. These aren’t even ALL of the options you’ll have to choose from; just some of my favorites!
First, stop in at Goldings Free Dive Bar. Unfortunately, it’s not free for it’s patrons – “free bar” means that they can put anything they want on tap without any obligation to big-name breweries, so they feature different taps all the time. Local craft brewers, rejoice! If you’re hungry while you’re drinking all of this local beer, order a pizza from Pizza Pomedoro (the OG of Hannahs Laneway) and eat it right at Goldings! Or, for a change of scenery, feel free to eat at the restaurant, of course.
Still hungry? Head over to Wellington Chocolate Factory for a wicked dessert (did you SEE that vegan milkshake?!) and get some of their chocolates to go. And don’t forget to stop into Six Barrel Soda Co.! Mosey your way up the stairs and find the old-fashioned kind of soda (no yucky stuff or fake additives), plus tons of syrups to buy and bring home with you! There are some pretty cool flavors to choose from – including celery tonic – so go wild!
Finally – you can’t leave Hannah’s Laneway without checking out Fix and Fogg’s distribution space. Fix and Fogg is a big brand of Peanut Butter (and all of its variations) in New Zealand – and it happens to be our personal favorite! In addition to just creamy and crunchy peanut butter, Fix and Fogg creates spreads like Smoke and Fire and Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter. I don’t know about you, but the peanut butter fanatic in me is DROOLING right now! Definitely pick up a jar (or 12, I won’t judge) from the window to bring home with you!