Looking for the most romantic restaurants in Wellington? You have come to the right place!
Wellington, the charming city that captures hearts with its picturesque landscapes and vibrant culture, is undoubtedly a haven for romance.
As someone who has fallen in love with the city’s culinary delights and amorous ambiance, I am thrilled to share with you the most romantic dining spots in Wellington that are perfect for a memorable date night.
Make time for your partner and put one of these restaurants on your Saturday night schedule today.
10 Romantic Restaurants in Wellington You Must Try!
1. Shed 5
Nestled on the waterfront, Shed 5 exudes elegance and offers a delicious seafood-inspired menu, making it an ideal spot for a romantic evening.
Shed 5 is an iconic seafood restaurant that has been serving patrons since 1992. It is situated in a historic waterfront location, within the Taranaki Wharf area, offering beautiful views of Wellington Harbor. The restaurant takes its name from the building’s history, as it was originally a storage shed used for storing goods at the waterfront.
The cuisine at Shed 5 is predominantly focused on seafood, emphasizing fresh and locally sourced ingredients. The restaurant takes pride in its sustainable seafood practices, supporting local fishermen and using seasonal produce to create a delightful dining experience.
Their menu typically features a wide array of seafood options, from various types of fish and shellfish to mouthwatering dishes like seared scallops, pan-fried fish, lobster, and more. For those who prefer alternatives to seafood, there are often options such as free-range meats and vegetarian dishes.
The dining space at Shed 5 is known for its warm and inviting atmosphere, often blending the building’s rustic charm with modern aesthetics. The interior decor typically complements the maritime history of the location, creating an ambiance that adds to the overall dining experience.
The divine chocolate truffle is definitely something not to be missed for desert!
Address: Queens Wharf, Wellington Central, Wellington 6011, New Zealand
2. Jano Bistro
A charming yellow cottage on Willis Street, Jano Bistro impresses with its “bistronomy” menu and an unforgettable culinary journey. Stepping inside, you’ll be greeted by an intimate and cozy atmosphere, perfect for a romantic date.
Jano Bistro is the brainchild of Chef Pierre-Alain Fenoux, a highly skilled and innovative chef with a passion for creating exquisite French-inspired dishes. The restaurant’s name, “Jano,” is a combination of the first two letters of the chef’s first and last names.
Located in the heart of Wellington, Jano Bistro offered a unique dining experience centered around the concept of degustation. Instead of a traditional à la carte menu, the restaurant typically served set degustation menus, where guests could enjoy a carefully crafted series of small, artfully presented dishes showcasing the best seasonal and locally sourced ingredients.
Chef Pierre-Alain Fenoux is known for his culinary creativity, blending classic French techniques with a contemporary twist. Each dish was thoughtfully prepared, with an emphasis on enhancing flavors, textures, and visual appeal.
The dining space at Jano Bistro was often described as intimate and cozy, allowing guests to have a more personalized experience. The restaurant’s ambiance complemented the high-quality dining, providing an inviting and warm setting for guests to savor their meals.
One of the unique aspects of Jano Bistro was its willingness to accommodate dietary restrictions and preferences. Chef Fenoux and his team were known for being attentive to their guests’ needs, ensuring that everyone could enjoy a memorable dining experience tailored to their tastes. For sure one of the most romantic restaurants in Wellington for date night.
Address: 270 Willis Street, Te Aro, Wellington 6011, New Zealand
Celebrating Māori cuisine, Hiakai offers a cultural and gastronomic experience like no other, making it a perfect choice for a special occasion and one of the most romantic restaurants in Wellington without doubt.
Hiakai is known for its innovative approach to Māori cuisine, which incorporates traditional Māori ingredients, cooking techniques, and flavors in contemporary and creative ways. Chef Monique Fiso is of Māori and Samoan heritage and has dedicated her culinary career to preserving and revitalizing indigenous Māori food culture.
The name “Hiakai” itself is derived from the Māori language, with “hia” meaning to desire or crave, and “kai” translating to food. This name reflects the restaurant’s ethos of not only providing exquisite dining experiences but also instilling a sense of pride and connection to New Zealand’s rich food heritage.
Hiakai’s menu typically revolves around seasonal and locally-sourced ingredients, with a focus on traditional Māori produce and cooking methods such as hāngi (a traditional Māori method of cooking in an earth oven). Chef Monique Fiso’s dishes often present a contemporary take on classic Māori ingredients, elevating them with her culinary expertise and artistic presentation.
The restaurant’s dining experience at Hiakai is usually characterized by an intimate and immersive atmosphere. The staff is knowledgeable about the dishes, and they often share the cultural significance of the ingredients and preparation techniques, providing guests with a deeper understanding of Māori food culture.
Due to its unique concept and Chef Fiso’s culinary talents, Hiakai has garnered international recognition and critical acclaim. It is not uncommon for the restaurant to receive accolades and awards for its contribution to the culinary world.
Address: 40 Wallace Street, Mount Cook, Wellington 6021, New Zealand
4. Hippopotamus Restaurant and Cocktail Bar
The Hippopotamus Restaurant and Cocktail Bar is part of the boutique hotel, QT Wellington, situated in the heart of the city. The restaurant’s name is inspired by the famous French children’s book character, “Le Grand Mechant Loup” or “The Big Bad Wolf,” which is a fitting representation of the whimsical and creative atmosphere within.
The restaurant is known for its sophisticated ambiance, which combines contemporary design with French-inspired décor. The interior often features plush furnishings, artistic touches, and quirky elements that add to the overall charm of the dining space.
Hippopotamus Restaurant is known for offering a refined and eclectic menu that showcases a blend of French and Pacific Rim influences. The culinary team, led by an experienced executive chef, aims to create dishes that celebrate the best of local and seasonal ingredients while incorporating French culinary techniques.
One of the highlights of dining at Hippopotamus is the stunning views of Wellington’s harbor and cityscape that guests can enjoy while savoring their meals. The combination of excellent cuisine and a picturesque backdrop makes it a popular spot for special occasions and romantic dinners.
The cocktail bar at Hippopotamus is equally renowned for its creative and expertly crafted cocktails. The bar menu typically includes a wide selection of classic and innovative cocktails, as well as a curated wine list featuring local and international options.
The service at Hippopotamus is often praised for being attentive and professional, adding to the overall dining experience.
Address: 90 Cable Street, Te Aro, Wellington 6011, New Zealand
Still looking for romantic restaurants in Wellington? Why not try Rita.
Rita is known for offering a unique and sophisticated dining experience, helmed by award-winning chef and co-owner, Josh Helm. The restaurant typically offered a set degustation menu, which allowed guests to embark on a culinary journey through a series of thoughtfully crafted and seasonal dishes.
The restaurant’s focus on using local and sustainably sourced ingredients was evident in its menu, with an emphasis on showcasing the best of New Zealand’s produce. Chef Helm’s culinary style was characterized by innovative combinations, delicate flavors, and meticulous attention to detail, resulting in beautifully presented dishes that delighted both the eyes and the palate.
Rita’s dining space was often described as intimate and elegant, creating an inviting atmosphere for guests to enjoy their meals. The restaurant’s warm and welcoming ambiance, combined with attentive service, contributed to its reputation as a top-tier dining destination in Wellington.
One of the unique aspects of Rita was its commitment to accommodating dietary restrictions and preferences. The restaurant was known for being attentive to guests’ needs and providing alternative options for diners with specific requirements.
As with many high-end restaurants, the menu at Rita could change regularly to reflect the availability of seasonal ingredients and the chef’s creative inspiration. This ensured that each dining experience was unique and in harmony with the best offerings of the time.
Given the popularity of Rita and its limited seating capacity, making reservations well in advance is often necessary to secure a table.
Address: 89 Aro Street, Aro Valley, Wellington 6021, New Zealand
A rustic chic restaurant on Cuba Street, Olive offers a delightful window into Wellington’s vibrant culture, perfect for a casual yet romantic dining experience.
Olive is situated in the heart of Wellington, typically offering a contemporary dining experience with a focus on Mediterranean-inspired cuisine. The restaurant’s name reflects its affinity for olive oil, a staple ingredient in Mediterranean cooking.
The menu at Olive often showcases a diverse range of dishes prepared with fresh, locally sourced produce and high-quality ingredients. Mediterranean flavors and cooking techniques are thoughtfully incorporated, resulting in a menu that celebrates the vibrant and robust tastes of the region.
One of the highlights of dining at Olive is the restaurant’s commitment to using seasonal ingredients. This ensures that the menu changes regularly, offering guests the chance to experience new and exciting flavors with each visit.
Olive’s dining space is known for its warm and inviting ambiance, creating a relaxed setting for guests to enjoy their meals on a romantic evening.
In addition to its regular dining offerings, Olive may also feature special menus for occasions such as holidays or food festivals. This allows guests to enjoy themed experiences and culinary delights unique to those events.
The perfect setting for a date night in Wellington!
Address: 170-172 Cuba Street, Te Aro, Wellington 6011, New Zealand
7. Cicio Cacio Osteria
Cicio Cacio Osteria is known for its authentic and rustic Italian dining experience, focusing on traditional recipes and flavors. The restaurant’s name “Cicio Cacio” comes from a popular Italian saying, “Cacio e Pepe,” which refers to a classic pasta dish made with Pecorino Romano cheese and black pepper.
The menu at Cicio Cacio Osteria typically features a variety of classic Italian dishes, including antipasti, handmade pasta, meat and fish courses, and delicious desserts. The chefs at Cicio Cacio Osteria often emphasize the use of simple, high-quality ingredients to create dishes that showcase the essence of Italian cuisine.
The restaurant takes pride in its commitment to preserving the time-honored culinary traditions of Italy. From the preparation of pasta made in-house to the careful selection of ingredients, the aim is to provide guests with an authentic taste of Italy in the heart of Wellington.
The dining space at Cicio Cacio Osteria often exudes a cozy and welcoming atmosphere, reminiscent of a traditional Italian osteria. The ambiance typically enhances the overall dining experience, making guests feel as though they have stepped into a charming eatery in the heart of Italy.
Aside from its regular menu, Cicio Cacio Osteria might also offer special dishes or menus for seasonal occasions or themed events, allowing diners to explore different aspects of Italian cuisine.
The perfect place for a romantic dinner in Wellington if you ask me!
Address: behind Moon Bar 167 Riddiford Street, Newtown, Wellington 6021, New Zealand
8. Salty Pidgin
Located in the hip suburb of Brooklyn, Salty Pidgin welcomes you with its relaxed atmosphere and award-winning wine list, making it a delightful choice for a laid-back yet romantic evening.
The restaurant’s name is quirky and unique, reflecting its laid-back vibe and creative approach to dining.
The menu at Salty Pidgin typically featured a diverse range of dishes, with a focus on contemporary New Zealand cuisine using fresh, locally sourced ingredients. The culinary team often aimed to showcase the best of the region’s produce, incorporating both traditional and innovative cooking techniques.
One of the highlights of dining at Salty Pidgin was the restaurant’s emphasis on seasonal offerings. This ensured that the menu changed regularly, allowing guests to experience new and exciting flavors that align with the best available ingredients at the time.
In addition to its dining options, Salty Pidgin also offered a well-curated selection of beverages.
The drinks menu, featuring an impressive 150 wines, complements the indulgent food offerings. Try their pide, a giant Turkish pizza in the shape of a boat, while sipping on premium wines for a perfect date night.
Address: 5 Todman Street, Brooklyn, Wellington 6021, New Zealand
Inspired by Venice, Ombra delights with its small plates and a bar adorned with wine, making it a perfect stop for a wine-filled romantic date.
This cozy eatery, conveniently located at the heart of Cuba Street, offers lovely large windows for people-watching while you indulge in delicious small plates.
Ombra is inspired by the traditional Italian osterias, which are casual and convivial places where people gather to enjoy good food, wine, and company. The restaurant’s name “Ombra” means “shadow” in Italian, and it reflects the practice of enjoying a small glass of wine with friends while standing at the bar, typically in the shade (ombre) of the buildings in the streets of Italy.
The menu at Ombra usually features an array of authentic Italian dishes with a modern twist. The culinary team often focuses on using high-quality, locally sourced ingredients to create fresh and flavorful dishes that capture the essence of Italian cuisine.
One of the highlights of dining at Ombra is its unique “cicchetti” concept. Cicchetti are small, shareable plates commonly found in Venetian bars, similar to tapas in Spain. At Ombra, guests can order a variety of cicchetti to enjoy with friends and family, creating a communal and social dining experience.
In addition to cicchetti, the restaurant typically offers a selection of antipasti, pasta, risotto, and other traditional Italian dishes. The wine list complements the food, with a curated selection of Italian wines and a focus on natural and biodynamic options.
The atmosphere at Ombra is often lively and vibrant, with an authentic Italian feel. The interior design may evoke the charm of an Italian osteria, creating a warm and inviting ambiance. The perfect romantic restaurant for a casual date in Wellington.
Due to its popularity, Ombra is often busy, especially during peak dining hours and on weekends. Therefore, making reservations in advance is recommended to secure a table.
Address: 199 Cuba Street, Te Aro, Wellington 6011, New Zealand
10. Mother of Coffee
A trailblazer on the Wellington food scene, Mother of Coffee exploded in popularity and recently relocated from Newtown to the CBD. With its balanced blend of herbs and spices, their Ethiopian cuisine offers a unique and flavorsome experience.
The vegan combo, a crowd favorite, is complemented by a heaping pile of injera, fluffy Ethiopian bread that melts in your mouth. The charming and cozy setting adds to the intimate ambiance, creating an ideal space to connect with your partner over an authentic culinary adventure.
Address: 210A left bank, Cuba Street, Te Aro, Wellington 6011, New Zealand
Whether you’re celebrating an anniversary, planning a first date, or simply looking to create new memories with your loved one, Wellington’s romantic dining spots will undoubtedly whisk you away to a world of love and enchantment.
So, take your pick, savor the flavors, and let love bloom in one of the best restaurants in Wellington for couples!