The Destination Every Coffee Lover Needs to Visit
New Zealand may be one of the most laid-back countries around, but Kiwis definitely don’t take their coffee drinking lightly. And nowhere is this more obvious than in the windy capital city of Wellington—renowned for its buzzing coffee culture and stunning scenery alike.
You’ll be hard-pressed to find a drip coffee in Wellington, but the flat whites and piccolos are nothing short of an art form. Whether you’re planning a day of urban exploring or about to hit the ground running for an outdoor adventure, these cafés are sure to deliver a caffeine buzz strong enough to carry you through.
A weathered minty-green facade lets you know you’ve arrived at Havana Coffee Works, a staple on the Wellington coffee scene known for its strong roasts and eclectic interior. Instead of grabbing a coffee and dashing off, do as the Kiwis do and stick around awhile to sip your drink while soaking in the city’s creative and down-to-earth spirit. Besides serving top-quality espresso, Havana is also a roastery that ships its sustainably sourced and well-loved beans to cafés and restaurants throughout the country.
If you’ve somehow grown tired of New Zealand’s coffee options and are after a bit of variety, head to The Hangar, where you can bask in a perfectly presented tasting flight, which lets you try three separate single-origin coffees or blends. Served in colorful Acme & Co. cups, the flat white sampler may be one of the most aesthetically pleasing café offerings you’ll ever set eyes on. Owned by a trio of self-described coffee nerds, this café is all about experimentation, and there’s always something interesting to try.
Situated at Wellington’s picturesque Lyall Bay, Maranui Cafe is a bit of a local institution that’s located right on the beach just above a surf lifesaving club. The best way to experience Maranui and take in some of Wellington’s beachy character? Order your coffee of choice, grab a window seat and fantasize about a move to Wellington while watching surfers catch wave after wave just a few sandy steps away. Minutes from the airport, Maranui is a solid choice if you’re looking for a quick caffeine hit after landing or a farewell flat white as you head out of town.
Sitting in its current location for more than 25 years, Caffe L’Affare is an old favorite as far as Wellington cafés go, serving 150,000 or more coffees every year. With more than 120 seats, you shouldn’t have any trouble finding a place to perch in the sea of mismatched chairs and tables. Pair your coffee with poached eggs on toast, and you’ll be well fueled for all the Wellington escapades that await.
Beth Krietsch is a food and travel writer based in New York. Follow her on Instagram at @beth_kri.
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