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Beyond the CBD

July 14, 2017

While central Wellington clearly has an abundance of awesome places to eat, our suburbs and wider region pack some serious punch when it comes to their foodie offering. You can go to just about any part of greater Wellington and find something marvellous to eat. If you’re a suburb-dweller or just keen to explore a little further afield this August, here’s what to eat and drink when you’re out and about:


If you’re heading over the hill, the land of Pinot Noir (home to Wellington Wine Country, our awesome sponsors of Dine Wellington) is also the land of great kai. Celebrate the art of upcycling with Fermented Fashion – this event is sustainability at its finest. The kai itself consists of three courses made from less loved and often wasted produce, accompanied by sustainably-produced Gladstone wine. While this whole feast is going on, the winning looks from the 2017 Oversew Fashion Awards will be donned on the catwalk, with a parade of sustainable and beautiful clothing made from waste textiles.

If you’re more of a hands on type, you’ll want to go behind the scenes at Clareville Bakery to find out how baker and owner Michael Kloeg makes his ridiculously good bread over a glass of wine and a cheeseboard at Clareville Bread Masterclass. You’ll take home enough to keep you full of carbs for a few days, plus recipes to become an artisan baker at home.

If you miss out on tickets, never fear – Clareville is also serving up a Festival Dish of braised lamb neck with peas, broad beans and pomegranate drizzle for lunch, and a burger featuring Eketahuna Country Meats lamb with feta and beetroot relish.

Also in the sunny Wairarapa, Café Medici are well known for their blissful burgers, and took out the best burger + beer match in Burger Wellington 2014 with the Holy Cow burger. They’re bringing this beaut back with Holy Cow 2 this year, with a beef patty with Fix & Fogg BBQ sauce and Kingsmeade Wairarapa Jack cheddar, all in a bun from the aforementioned Clareville Bakery.

If the great outdoors are your calling, there's one or two more tickets left to Riversdale Coastal Walk & Dine, and overnight event showcasing our little place in godzone of scenery, cuisine and wine. Gourmet glamping?

If you like to step a little outside of your comfort zone, Greytown Hotel’s Festival Dish is for you – seared ostrich marinated in smoked paprika and horseradish mash. I can’t say I’ve ever eaten ostrich, but I’m intrigued. Their Burger Wellington also sounds intriguing, featuring a smokey venison, blue cheese and Boerewors sausage patty.

A spread from Beat Kitchen

The Hutt

The Hutt Valley is a food lover’s dream, with plenty of producers and importers of the most obscure and sought-after foodie items plus lush scenery as a backdrop to the whole thing. If you’re keen to explore this region, Beats, Brews, Buses and Brews combines the Hutt’s booming brewing scene, excellent food trucks and spacious green landscape for a bit of food trucking with a difference. Beat Kitchen’s global street food will be matched with beers by Baylands Brewery, with three delicious courses in the exquisite and historic Woodroyd Estate.

If you’ve got sprogs, head along to Hutt Food Lab and teach them about the amazing things they can do at home with food. Combining adrenaline, mess, experimentation and cuisine with help from some of the region’s tastiest food suppliers, GNS Science, WelTec and more.

And the foodie suppliers of Petone, some of whom were importing olive oil for eating back when it was considered a medical product, are opening their doors with Petone World Food Tour. These are the folk who helped make the Wellington culinary scene what it is and opened doors to international ingredients, which you’ll get to taste and learn how to cook with on this tasty tramp.

The Hutt Valley’s eateries are also serving up plenty of Dine Wellington dishes with the region’s typical creativity. La Bella Italia is famed for its incredibly good Italian fare, and their Festival Dish of Longbush pork with chestnut ravioli will be an impressive meal. Although I’m yet to visit, my fellow blogger Chris loves Petone’s Oli & Mi Kitchen, and I fully trust his judgement. This eatery is known for clever fusion flavours, and this year’s France-meets-China Festival Dish of Canton-style pork belly with trotter terrine and sabayon truffle sounds like fusion done respectfully and deliciously.  

The family-friendly Food Truck Rally is also heading to the Hutt, popping up in Dowse Square on Sat 19 and Sun 20 August, and Trenthan Racecourse on Sat 27 August.  

The ‘Burbs

Wellington’s bounteous burbs are always just a short walk or drive away, and brimming with brilliant eats. This August, you’ll want to check out:

  • Beach Party in Lyall Bay: Don your favourite midwinter beachwear for this (thankfully indoors) celebration of Kiwi beach culture, featuring Six Barrel Soda cocktails and snacks from surfy spots Maranui and Queen Sally’s Diamond Deli.
  • Virtual Dining in Thorndon: Okay, this is on the fringe of the city, but I’m gonna call Thorndon a suburb. The historic Thistle Inn is embracing the most cutting-edge technology to take you on a virtually delicious journey around the Wellington region to find out what goes into making some of your favourite local products.
  • Made by a Samoan in Newtown: a Pacific party at its finest with inspired eats, music and cocktails as Samoan chef Monique Fiso takes you on a journey to more tropical places.
  • City of Gold at CoCo at the Roxy: professional taco eater and LA Times food critic Jonathan Gold comes to Miramar for a special screening of the documentary that follows the Pulitzer Prize-winning diner. Enjoy the screening and eat as Jonathan eats. 
  • The Ramen Shop’s haiku burger, for its clever and poetic form alone, although I know it’ll be straight up yum.