Eight of the best bars in Wellington

Cuban-themed Havana is a Wellington institution and is still going strong after 20 years. HAVANA BAR
Cuban-themed Havana is a Wellington institution and is still going strong after 20 years. HAVANA BAR
Wellington has a watering hole to offer every taste, need and want. Here you'll find our top-eight selection of the best places to grab a drink in the capital.

You know what they say, you can’t beat Wellington on a good day – especially when there’s a good bar involved.

And New Zealand’s wee capital has no shortage of those.

But even if you catch Wellington on a, let’s face it, more commonly blustery and soaking day, Wellington’s watering holes have something to offer everyone.

With so many bars to choose from – whether you’re into craft beer, cocktails, wine, music or a cosy spot for a date – we’ve whittled them down to our top eight.

Wellington’s best eight bars

Third Eye Brewery

First up, if you’re into craft beer, then look no further than Third Eye, Tuatara’s flagship pub on the edge of the CBD.

A great place to meet friends after work or to sample the myriad of different brews on offer, this is a charming friendly local that’s distinctively Wellington.


If the night is likely to take you into the smaller hours, then you may find yourself at Caroline.

And if you’re looking for somewhere with regular live music then this is your spot.

Decorated with a hip, Bohemian theme, Caroline has a cultured feel to it despite it’s “big night” reputation.


Still going strong after 20 years, this bar is a veritable Wellington institution. No prizes for guessing that the drinks, food and mood have a Cuban twist.

There’s also a secret outdoor spot so you can catch some rays here, despite the towering concrete that surrounds, and pretend you’re in the Cuban capital itself with a dark rum and a squeeze of lime.

It’s not quite on the patriotic thoroughfare Cuba St, but close enough, just around the corner on Wigan St.

Noble Rot Wine Bar

They say never buy a bottle of wine on a night out when there’s better value in the supermarket, but you’ll happily ignore that theory to sample the service, attention to detail and love of wine that thrives at Noble Rot.

Sommelier Maciej Zimny is rightly proud of his wine list, and a visit here is an education in viticulture as much as a drink-stop.

Rogue and Vagabond

One of the best places for people-spotting in summer, the staff Rogue and Vagabond will keep you comfy on busy days by chucking a few beanbags outside when the crowds spill outside.

A fun and energetic place to stop for a drink or two, Rogue and Vagabond is right amongst it in the Cuba St area. A perfect place to start the night or settle in.


Head to Crumpet if you’re in the mood for a classic cocktail with an unusual backdrop: the bar is prohibition-themed, so you’ll feel like you’re stepping onto the set of Boardwalk Empire when you call in.

Hanging Ditch

Perfect for a date with your other half, Hanging Ditch makes the list for the cosy intimacy you’ll enjoy here, wherever you decide to sit.

Brilliant for cocktails, this bar is ideal for enjoying your company and surroundings as much as the drinks on offer.

Goldings Freedive

We’ve saved the most taste-pleasing, most Wellington, most friendly bar until last.

Goldings Freedive is as good for a craft beer aficionado as it is for a date, or a group of workmates hang out letting off some steam.

With a slightly overbearing, man-cave feel, it can get a bit cramped at busy times (which is most of the time) but that’s all part of the fun.

To keep you going, Goldings serve Pomodoros Pizza from across the alleyway.

A true Wellington melting pot and meeting spot that’s not to be missed!

Read more: Wellington’s best steak restaurants



Let us keep you up to date with our weekly MiNDFOOD e-newsletters which include the weekly menu plan, health and news updates or tempt your taste buds with the MiNDFOOD Daily Recipe.