If Willis Street is a yo pro jungle (it is), then Café Neo is certainly its oasis; a tranquil centre of calm, quiet peace, providing delicious sustenance to all who want to escape the hustle and bustle outside its doors.
The clean, crisp interior of Café Neo, which helps its patrons forget the thrumming CBD just outside its doors, is a relatively new addition to the long-standing establishment. In 2014, after 20 years serving up to legions of Wellingtonians (sans the clean, crisp aesthetic which makes its décor so charming in all its tranquillity), Café Neo was given the facelift which undoubtedly plays a huge part in its current booming popularity. The interior decoration of the café is certainly not the only thing it has going for it, however. Owner and head chef Luke Crawford oversees the kitchen, which offers patrons an extensive variety of options to satiate any craving.
Those heading to Café Neo for breakfast are spoilt for choice; the menu caters to everyone with its flamboyantly decadent chocolate pancake option ($15), to the simple classics such as eggs on toast ($10). For a more middle-of-the-road option, the bircher muesli with fresh peaches and Greek yoghurt ($13.50) is well worth a try, displaying attention to detail and commitment to well-made food, being a freshly sweet and wholesomely filling option.
One cannot talk about Café Neo without mentioning its burgers. A firm favourite with everyone from hungover students to families out for lunch, these burgers are a highlight of any Café Neo dining experience. Available from 11am onwards, there are a range of different burgers and sides to choose from - including the exquisite chicken, bacon and halloumi burger, served with your choice of garlic butter and parmesan French fries, curly fries, and hand cut agria chips ($13.50). Literally mouth wateringly good, perfectly cooked and packed with flavour with fresh and tasty ingredients.
The drinks list too, leaves no stone unturned with the option of bottomless filtered coffee ($4) for those in need of a caffeine hit, or the Whittakers chocolate milkshake ($7) for those of us who may not need delicious chocolate concoctions, but know that life is a lot better when they are consumed.
With its staff who are efficient and communicative, a charming setting, and a menu that is full of tasty, well-made culinary options, Café Neo is well worth escaping to.