These are Wellington's coolest bars (and their best deals)
Wellington’s best bars have craft beer, world-class local wines and cool cocktails. Throw in delicious eats and you have the perfect spots for a great night out.
- November 2019
It may be New Zealand’s craft beer capital but there are plenty of cool bars where you can sip cocktails or sample local wines. Here are the best-value drinking spots.
While it’s named after the location of the famous Woodstock music festival, somewhat ironically this bar is situated on The Terrace, Wellington’s business and government office strip. The only rooftop bar in the area, it’s a great spot to enjoy one of 18 tap beers and ciders in the sun, while munching on smoked meats. Try the Reuben sandwich made with house-smoked pastrami, sauerkraut, pickles and mustard. On Thursdays from 4.30pm you can drink two-for-one bubbles and from 6.30pm–7.30pm on Friday, all house beers, wines and spirits are a thrifty AUD $5.
As the name suggests, this bar on popular Courtenay Place is lined with bookshelves groaning with literary classics. The drinks menu runs to about 15 pages and includes everything from single malt whiskies to beer, rare wines and cognacs. A cosy destination on a cold afternoon, you can flick through a well-read tome while sipping a glass of pinot noir from neighbouring Wairarapa and enjoying the gin and tonic cake, a melt-in-the-mouth lemon sorbet with juniper meringue and citrus salad. On Wednesdays, the sophisticated bar serves two-for-one cocktails all evening. Next door at Chow, The Library’s sister venue, you’ll be offered the same deal on Wednesdays, plus Asian-inspired food.
When you venture out of the CBD to buzzing, multicultural Newtown, you’ll find this boutique beer garden with South American memorabilia and a Latin-influenced menu. Tuck into scrumptious bar snacks such as pasteis (Brazilian empanadas stuffed with slow-braised beef, chorizo, pork, beans and tomato chutney) with a beer, wine or Latin American cocktail, such as the Pisco Sour – a traditional Peruvian cocktail that blends pisco (grape brandy), egg white, lime, sugar syrup and bitters. From 4pm-6pm, Monday to Thursday, you’ll pay AUD $7 for a pint of local craft beer or a glass of house wine.
If you love everything Cuban, this is the place for you. Located in two adjoining former worker’s cottages near funky Cuba Street, Havana has been supporting local DJs and musicians for 13 years, hosting live gigs and music events up to four nights a week. A popular hangout for the city’s hipsters, you can nibble on modern tapas, paired with local or international wines, beers or cocktails. Don’t miss the legendary spicy fried prawns, which have been on the menu since day one. From 4pm-6pm, Monday to Thursday, enjoy AUD $9 tap beers and AUD $7 house wines and if you’re here on Friday or Saturday, go loco for AUD $11 Mojitos from 4pm-6pm.
Little Beer Quarter
This hipster haven is tucked away down a laneway in the Edward Street precinct. Bearded bartenders will pour your beer from one of 14 rotating taps or two handpulls, or you can choose from an astounding 100 bottled beers. Snuggle into a retro couch and tuck into hearty fare like Southern fried-chicken burgers and the Marco Black pizza with cavolo nero, garlic, chilli, broken sausage and parmesan. Mmmm! Popular with students, LBQ has great food and drink deals on different days.
One of a number of craft breweries that have popped up in Wellington in recent years, this brewery and bar is inspired by traditional British pubs, with snug booths and a pool table. You can sip your pint while watching brewers hard at work at the tanks through a window. The Parrotdog is one street back from the city’s rolling surf beach, Lyall Bay, so expect to rub shoulders with a surfer or two while you drink your jug poured from one of 15 taps. And on Wednesdays, from 3pm onwards, the jugs are just AUD $20 and there are AUD $20 burger specials that include a half pint served with a burger and fries.