Casual dining in Wellington

Claire Murray | Date posted - 23 Nov 2018
It’s a Tuesday, you’ve had a hard day, your house is a mess, and you don’t want to cook. What’s a guy/gal to do? Head out for dinner of course. But don’t worry, you don’t need to get dressed up cos we’ve put together this list of the best places for casual dining in Wellington. We are firmly advocating pants but no heels or smart trousers are required.

Southern Cross

Probably one of our favourite places in the city, Southern Cross is a fantastic place to take the whole family any day of the week. It’s so child-friendly that they often have children's’ entertainment available, and best of all, they serve plenty of wine. Choose from food like the classic Cross burger or Zany Zeus halloumi, and top it off with comforting puddings like apple crumble or chocolate cake. Best of all, they do delivery of all their tasty dishes if you really can’t face people.

Counter Culture Board Game Cafe

Is there anything that screams casual dining in Wellington more than eating at a board game cafe? The perfect way to spend a weekday night, these guys have over 600 board games for you to get stuck into. They serve up platters including chicken skewers with BBQ sauce and veggie tempura. There’s also mac n cheese, burgers, and tasty desserts to keep you full as you compete on the boards. Name a better way to spend an evening. We'll wait. 


It doesn’t get much more informal than sharing small plates with friends. Which is exactly why you should head to Ombra if you’re looking for something that’s not quite fine dining but is still crazily tasty. This Venetian-style eatery serves up dishes like pizzette (small pizzas), polenta chips, and meatballs, at either their counter top dining station, or at normal tables. Their wine selection is also pretty great and they do a mean Aperol Spritz to shake the day away.

Buddha Stix

This place might not look like casual dining with its gold covered walls, statues, and impressive entrance but it’s the perfect place to head when you just need some comfort food. They serve a variety of Thai dishes from classic laksa to clay pot rice, and delicious lamb shanks in Massaman curry. They also do a great sharing menu which is great when you feel like stuffing your face. For just $30 per person, you get a banquet style menu with different mains, sides, and starters. Get the comfy pants on!

The Flying Burrito Brothers

If casual dining in Wellington is what you’re looking for, we definitely recommend Flying Burrito Brothers. Describing themselves as “a blissful homage to the dining style of Mexico”, these guys serve up delicious burritos, tacos, fajitas, and of course, tequila, tequila! With their colourful decor and flights of tequila (yes flights!), it’s definitely up there with one of the most fun hang outs in the city!
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