Nifty Nooks: Wellington…

So sorry for my little absence. Life has lacked inspiration lately so I escaped to the city to seek out the energy I was craving. Mix the gritty, character filled, streets of Wellington with old friends whom have so many new tales to tell and adventure driven spirits to help raise you from the ashes and you definitely gain a fresh perspective.

It was strange to be back in the city after seven months to find that not all that much had changed. People had of course moved on and the nostalgia was haunting in every familiar place with no recognisable face but it was wonderful none the less.

On Sunday I celebrated my twenty fourth birthday (which was bloody terrifying let me tell ya) and we all used that as an excuse to drink, dance and eat all we could. I spent a bunch of money but I laughed so much and just felt the light lift me again.

Obviously, seeing as coffee is the key to my existence, I spent a load of time sipping some of my favourite city brews. I forgot how good Wellington does it. I know I spent a bunch of time reviewing places when I lived there last year but I definitely missed out on some hot spots and I even tried some new places this time around. So here we have a wee nifty nooks round up. Do enjoy sweet little coffee beans.

Beach Babylon

Where? 232 Oriental Parade, Mount Victoria, Wellington 6011

Beans? Peoples Coffee

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These guys do everything from a classic cup of joe to vegan milkshakes to cocktails. They have main meals and cabinet food galore and the vibe is very retro and carefully cluttered like a lot of digs in it’s loudly alternative mother city. They’re on the beach front and despite the winter tempts we made the most of the delightfully rare no wind of the morning by brunching outside. A classic avocado smash on toast with some yummo vegan pesto was my hangover choice and just writing about it has me craving it again. The soy flat white was top notch too, good smooth coffee and skilled milk work. They use peoples coffee which is quite a standard choice up north but rather less so in Wellington, home of the havana roasters. Still doesn’t beat Flight or Kakako for me but still a yummy one.

Enigma

Where? 6011, 128 Courtenay Pl, Te Aro, Wellington 6011

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This cafe is the heart of my memories in Wellington. From plant pots of chai on a winter morning with my favourite people to late night munchies, mid night out. It’s one of those hubs for the people. I used to escape there back when I lived in the hostel at night to do some writing and grab some alone time. It’s dingy in an underground, hipster, way. Very Wellington. The coffee is pretty standard really but they do a nice coconut milk and they have vegan food both on the menu and in the cabinet. The sweet muffins are real nice and the courtyard out back is a niche little retreat. I really missed that electric no sleep mantra of the city. Everywhere in the Mount closes super early.

Beat Ugly Bagel

Where? 5 Swan Lane, Te Aro, Wellington 6011

Beans? Havana

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This was a new discovery, despite having been opposite my place of work back when I inhabited Cuba Street. I get the hype now, though I didn’t actually try a bagel (my mates were real satisfied). They use Havana which I’ve never been a cheerleader for but it was a good flat white none the less and I dug the energy of the place. The staff seem to genuinely have fun, shouting the orders to each other and repeating them back, dancing around behind the counter and having a top laugh with one another.

Milk Crate

Where? 35 Ghuznee St, Te Aro, Wellington 6011

Beans? Rich Coffee

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This spot is where you’ll find my ultimate favourite brew in the whole city. I found it about two weeks before I left back in November and made a huge effort to visit everyday because it was just that good. They’re just off Cuba Street, fronting a clean store that sells pottery and luxury clothing items. It’s one of them clean spaces, industrial looking and home to the less roguish and more pretentious city hipsters. But the coffee is fucking yum. It’s one of those rare spaces where I’ll more than happily nab a long black and enjoy every sip of it. They use Rich coffee, which is a roasters in Newtown, Wellington I do believe. And  it’s a beauty for sure. I hear wondrous things about their food too and I did spot some vegan bits flouncing around in the counter but I’ve not ventured into that territory so I can’t say. Just make sure this tops your list for city centre coffee fixes.

N x

Nifty Nooks: Welly Round up…

In the end I lived in Wellington for around four months and in those months, me being me, I obviously spent a considerable amount of my time, and my funds, in cafes. I just dig coffee…hard.

Anyways I thought I’d support some of my favourite little spaces in one post to give them the recognition they deserve. Wether it was a quick drop in and drink, a place to zone into my latest read or the just right vibe to get my creative juices flowing, here they are:

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Southern Cross:

Where: 39 Abel Smith St, Te Aro, Wellington 6011 (Just off of Cuba Street).

The Beans: Havana

The Usual: A large soy flat white with an extra shot of espresso (they come in a joyous hug mug, oh the comfort!) and Smoothie bowl.

Vibe: A long stay type venue. The inside and courtyard seating are pretty large so even on the most bustling of days a seat is pretty easy to nab and the staff never make you feel like you need to move on. There are also a few choice spots to shield your screen from prying eyes, sheltered booths and cute little garden corners, great for getting stuck into some writing.

Memory: Sitting in the courtyard on a vacant morning in a little beam of sunshine reading a book and sipping my coffee. It was so peaceful and I felt so calm.

 

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Innocent/No Strings:

Where: 161b Willis St, Te Aro, Wellington 6011

The Beans: When I left Welly they were just starting to serve filter coffee, using Havana Beans.

The Usual: The Cocoa juice (Number 5 maybe?) and a raw snickers bar (though the above picture avoids my addiction and features an equally as yummy acai bowl.

Vibe: A grab and go. There is a window bench but it’s such a small space that it makes sense to take away. The guys who work there are simply the friendliest people going though so you will probably stand around for a wee while chatting all things yummy. I used to grab my favourites on the way to a cafe that didn’t sell vegan friendly foods (usually Starbucks for the pretty speedy internet).

Memory: The day pictured. Sitting in Glover park in the sunshine and getting chatting with a couple slack lining guys from Belgium. It was one of those moments when I felt fully connected to life.

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Hangar:

Where: 119 Dixon St, Te Aro, Wellington 6011

The Beans: Flight (praised be my favourite coffee!)

The Usual: A cold brew. They cold brew. Man I want one right now.

Vibe: Always packed on the time I visited, though that was usually on a weekend when everyone wanted brunch. The space is clean and modern, a stellar hipster retreat. They have an open kitchen, white walls, hanging bulbs and a wall dedicated to original skateboard deck designs. It’s quirky and invigorating, a great creative space.

Memory: A hungover brunch date with one of my closest friends Lee. Me being quiet because I’d damaged myself with too much rum but also feeling all of the love for the passionate ramblings of my company. It was one of those times when you really feel every single sip of your brew.

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Tuatua:

Where: Boatshed 4, Frank Kitts Park, Wellington 5032, New Zealand

Beans: I’m not 100% but I remember they were fair trade and organic

Regular: A soy chai (Not coffee *gasp*)

Vibe: Blissful. This was the first cafe I ventured to in Wellington. The staff were quirky artsy student types and I got chatting to them about veganism. Somehow we got onto the subject of my love for chai but inability to order a vegan friendly one anywhere, turns out their recipe was vegan and so it became a regular thing on those winter days when I was finding my feet. You can boat watch, people watch and journal. The whole energy around the little shed is continually inspiring. It’s one of the few places I’ve been able to sit without anything but my coffee and just be.

Memory: The first day in Wellington, feeling completely alone but honing in on that little seed of euphoria budding inside. I felt so completely alone that it went from fear to liberation right at one of those tables overlooking the water.

So there we have some of my fave nooks in Welly. There are a couple more I’d love to mention however, that I can’t seem to track down images for.

The best coffee I had in Wellington: Milk Crate, a soy flat white. I only went like three times toward the end of my stay because I’d always been to intimidated to go in but it was a mighty fine cup of joe each and every time.

Other nifty spots: Midnight Espresso, if only for the soul of Cuba Street it holds within its walls. Raglan Roast but the little shed one on Abel Smith St., not the new one on Dixon. And of course my beloved Fidel’s which has it’s own review Here.

All the love and blissful vibes, N x

Nifty Nooks: Fidel’s, Wellington

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Cuba street is the heart of Wellington. One of the purest examples of why it’s constantly referred to as the ‘coolest small capital’. With heaps of thrift stores, independent boutiques and shabby chic cafe’s you could easily spend an afternoon strolling around and stumbling on new finds. Of all the cafe’s and restaurants though, Fidel’s might just be my favourite. Whether it’s ducking inside out of the rain for an almond milk flat white and a vegan cupcake or chilling out in one of their two courtyards for vegan nacho’s on a sunny Saturday. Their menu is impressive, their staff easy going and smiling and the vibe of the place is just so Cuba street.

On this particular day we crashed in solitude out in their side courtyard and hunched over Nacho’s in a too hungover state. By the end of our meal we were full on delicious coffee and yummy plant based mexican goodness. They have vegan cheese so you can get all up on that pizza hype too. Their brunch menu is the only thing I’ve yet to sample, it ends at 4:30pm, which is just way too early for me to be ready and alive on a Sunday (which is usually our Fidel’s day). The drinks menu is also pretty vegan friendly, with juices and a choice of soy and almond milk. There is even a healthy almond cocoa drink for the health conscious plant based eater. Try their BBQ tofu salad or vegan bowl for something a little less indulgent too!

 

Any recommendations for vegan foodies in Welly? Pop em in the comments!

 

Peace and blissed vibes, N x