A Guide to Sustainable Restaurants in Wellington
Eat your heart out and save the planet at these eco-friendly restaurants.
With more Wellingtonians prepared to pay a little more for sustainable products and services, it's no wonder there's an abundance of sustainable restaurants in the capital. Here are our top six sustainable restaurants in Wellington for your next date night, group hang or work lunch.
Just around the corner from The Embassy is one of Wellington's great secrets. It's a guessing game for chef Regnar Christensen and Davey McDonald as to what sustainable fish or produce could turn up on any given morning — but that's what makes each visit so exciting. The floor staff play a vital role in the running of Ortega, from taste testing and pairing new wines to learning new menus each day. Whether you come to Ortega for a date, a family dinner or just to treat yourself, you're sure to be amazed not only by the quality of the food, but also by the quality of the service.
16 Majoribanks Street, Mount Victoria.
You might have come across La Boca Loca at Beers at the Basin or at one of City Gallery's late nights. And you'd be forgiven for thinking they were only a food truck. Or that they only had a cookbook. Or a product range. But in actual fact, they have all of that and more. If you head to Miramar, you can stumble on into their digs and receive the true La Boca Loca experience. Serving some of the best Mexican food to the people of New Zealand, their menu changes seasonally and has an updated take on classic dishes. They're a sustainable business — all their meat and seafood is sustainably raised, and their traditional ingredients are carefully sourced. They're also part of New Zealand's Sustainable Business Network and the Consious Consumers Business — find them on the app.
19 Park Road, Miramar.
Thorndon's Hillside Kitchen made the decision to drop meat entirely from its menu last year. Head chef Asher Boote said that "while the ethical standpoint has had an influence on this decision, it is the drive to continue growing and further innovate the style of food Hillside is known for that has made this an easy choice." New Zealand's local produce now takes a starring role at the neighbourhood favourite. The restaurant utilises its kitchen garden, while turning food scraps into compost for the beds of vegetables and herbs that will make up the dishes.
241 Tinakori Rd, Thorndon.
Maybe the most adorable of all the restaurants in Wellington, Rita is both chic and homely at the same time. Situated in a Te Aro cottage, you'll have to book well in advance to find yourself a table here. At $65 per head for a three-course meal, it could be considered in the middle of the price scale. However, the produce is local, sustainable, and the menu changes constantly. Run by the same people who founded Nikau café, Rita is atmospheric and glam without being pompous — perfect for your next date night.
89 Aro Street, Te Aro.
Heaven is the perfect place for your next group hangout. Catering for all ages, moods, families and tastes, this Cuba Street spot has it all. Shady patches when you need to cool off, an outside area when you need to escape, an indoor area when you need to get away from Cuba Street and a massive sculpture guarding your pizza because…well, because. These guys take sustainability to the next level — their interior is made from recycled materials, they grow their own herbs and they discourage their customers from using takeaway boxes (even though they can be recycled).
247 Cuba Street, Te Aro.
Shepherd is one of the more pricey eateries Wellington has to offer, but it's well worth it. Found down Hannah's Laneway, this exciting new restaurant offers a sustainable and ethical menu without restricting taste. Working closely with the top suppliers in the country, Shepherd continues to make sure that produce is sourced sustainably, and that the whole menu is up to standard. The glamorous contrast of bar stools, purple wallpaper and fresh food makes Shepherd one of the best Wellington eateries. Next time you go make sure to try the oysters.
1/5 Eva Street, Hannah's Laneway, Te Aro.
Feature image: WellingtonNZ.
Published on April 23, 2019 by Florence Cohen