Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and while pancakes topped with ice-cream is a perfectly good treat-your-self option, it’s worth knowing where you can score a hit of nutritious goodness the next time you’re on a health kick in New Zealand’s capital.
So where is the best breakfast cafe in Wellington for a well-balanced morning meal? Well, you might be surprised to discover that everything from a much-loved all-day eatery to a keto-friendly cafe on Wellington’s busiest pedestrian strip have some seriously healthy – and most importantly, delicious – options. Just don’t read on if you’ve got an empty stomach…
Neo Cafe & Eatery
Healthy cafes in Wellington don’t come much better than Neo Cafe & Eatery. Seriously, this place ticks all the boxes. Vegetarian options? Check. Vegan meals? Check. Gluten-free goodies? Check. The team at Neo also pride themselves on using artisanal producers and local suppliers, plus they’re all about supporting environmental and community causes. While the menu is chock-full of yummy dishes that you don’t have to feel guilty about eating – like the gluten-free raspberry buttermilk pancakes or vegan granola – an absolute standout is the veggie brekkie. Grilled halloumi, beetroot and carrot slaw, avocado, hash browns and sprouts combine to create one of the best healthy breakfasts in Wellington.
132 Willis Street, Te Aro, Wellington
View this post on Instagram
Calling all vegans, plant-based eaters and veggie lovers!! Did you know that we have a secret menu item, this is called our vegan brekkie and is a vegan take on our veggie brekkie, it comes with wilted spinach, roasted tomato, beetroot and carrot slaw, portobello mushrooms, avocado, and sprouts, all on a peice of toasted 5g bread! ???
With a focus on sustainable and organic produce, Ti Kouka has quickly become a popular go-to spot for a healthy breakfast in Wellington. The menu is overwhelming – in a good, too-many-options-to-choose-from kind of way – and the award-winning burger selection is a tempting distraction. But hungry punters come to Ti Kouka for two reasons: the coconut and dark chocolate porridge or the mushroom mince on sourdough. The former is a deceptively nourishing sweet treat made using maca and organic peanut butter, while the latter boasts poached eggs and a kale and almond pesto. Best of all, Ti Kouka compost all their scraps and recycle where possible.
76 Willis Street, Wellington
It may not be considered a cafe in the traditional sense, but there’s no denying that those seeking an outstanding vegan breakfast in Wellington should make for Higher Taste. As the only non-profit Hare Krishna restaurant in the city, it’s renowned for pure, nutrient-rich vegetarian and vegan fare served up with a side of spirituality. The menu is enormous, covering soups, salads, curries, street food specialities and sweets, and everything is presented in a buffet-style arrangement, so the best thing to do is grab a plate and load it up with a bit of everything. And don’t forget to wash it all down with a fresh juice or smoothie.
Old Bank Arcade, Customhouse Quay, Wellington
Could The Botanist be home to the best vegan breakfast in Wellington? Well, the hordes of people who line up every day waiting for a table sure seem to think so. This converted villa by the sea is a strictly plant-based establishment, specialising in vegetarian or vegan versions of classics like brekkie burgers or Reuben toasties. It’s near impossible to single out one nutritious dish that’s a cut above the rest, but the buckwheat banana pancakes are definitely an attention-stealer. This Instagram-worthy creation is loaded with banana, facon, maple, toasted nuts and dairy-free mascarpone, and makes for the ultimate morning indulgence. Be sure to visit on Tuesdays when it’s two for one pancakes.
219 Onepu Road, Lyall Bay, Wellington
View this post on Instagram
For those of you who keep missing out, we’re giving you advance warning so you can diarise! Two for one Pancake Tuesday, 9am-3pm, and the vegan salted caramel cream cheese is to die for..so get on your bike to Lyall Bay! Now nut free on request too? #thebotanist #pancakes #twoforone #vegan #vegetarian #glutenfree #nutfree #wellington #lyallbay #food #yum #happycow #abillionveg #plantbased
Paleo is one of those hot buzzwords doing the rounds on the health food scene, but what does it actually mean? Essentially, a paleo diet mimics the types of food our hunter-gatherer ancestors would have eaten thousands of years ago – think lean meats, fish, fruit, vegetables, seeds and nuts. And the best paleo cafe in Wellington serving up your daily dose of wholefoods is Seize. While their juices alone are worth a visit (the Golden Glow with carrot, orange, apple, ginger and turmeric is sensational), the Seize Bowls are so divine you’ll be contemplating a full-time paleo diet upon finishing one. There’s a few different varieties, but all are loaded with a delicious mix of salad, veggies and toasted nuts.
117 Lambton Quay, Wellington
The name says it all really; if you’re after the tastiest all-day breakfast cafe in Wellington, Midnight Espresso has got you covered. Just don’t expect greasy or sugar-laden offerings at this late-night eatery (it’s open till 3am). Instead, the menu is predominantly vegetarian and vegan. Fruit kebabs or healthy slices are perfect if you’re after a small snack, but a favourite dish would have to be the Eggs Midnight: a veggie and chickpea patty piled high with poached eggs, spinach, pesto and hollandaise. Cracking coffee and a pinball machine (yep, you read that right) add to the charm.
178 Cuba Street, Te Aro, Wellington
If it’s good enough for royalty, it’s good enough for this list. That’s right, back in 2018 during their tour of New Zealand, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle graced Maranui Cafe with their presence, officially giving this seaside eatery the royal tick of approval. While it’s not known what they had, they definitely would’ve been spoiled for choice. With plenty of vegan options on its menu, Maranui Cafe is certainly one of the more healthy places for breakfast in Wellington, and a line-up of options for the little ones makes it one of the top kid-friendly cafes in Wellington, too. If we had to pick just one dish though, the tofu scramble with stir-fry veggies is a surefire winner.
Lvl 1, 7A Lyall Parade, Lyall Bay, Wellington
Floriditas is a Wellington institution. Known for their egg dishes (a whole section of their breakfast and brunch menus is devoted to the humble egg), Floriditas does googs every which way, from poached with hot smoked salmon and watercress, to whisked with parmesan and herbs for a delicious omelette. Can’t decide between sweet or savoury? The breakfast plate comes with a soft boiled egg, toast with butter and jam, and a serving of chia and coconut pudding. Those seeking a keto-friendly cafe in Wellington can turn to Floridita’s famously rich scrambled eggs. Pair it with bacon and avocado and you can’t go wrong.
161 Cuba Street, Te Aro, Wellington
The bright and sunny Nikau Cafe is a delightful breakfast cafe in Wellington that truly has it all. Located next door to the City Gallery Wellington, it’s a popular spot known for an ever-changing menu jam-packed with seasonal goodies. There’s certainly lots to salivate over here, but ask any of the regulars and they’ll likely tell you it’s the kedgeree with house-smoked fish that’s worth returning for over and over again. Kedgeree, an Anglo-Indian risotto dish made with creamy, spiced rice, boiled eggs and topped with smoked fish, may not be your standard bacon and eggs combo, but it’s a certified taste sensation.
City Gallery Wellington, Te Ng?kau Civic Square, 101 Wakefield Street, Wellington
View this post on Instagram
Amongst our new seasonal dishes, come and find our tomato salad: Heirloom tomatoes, mozzarella di bufala, creamy basil and sage dressing. If you are not drooling already we don’t know what’s wrong with you ? #tomatoes #heirloomtomatoes #mozzarella #healthyfood #foodporn #nikaucafe #nikau #wellylife #wellyfood #summerfood
Egmont St Eatery
Follow the smell of coffee beans down a skinny alleyway and you’ll find Egmont St Eatery, a hidden gem that’s well worth hunting down. This multi-level cafe – once an industrial car park – is a charming inner-city foodie hotspot that aims to showcase seasonal, local produce in a unique way. The Monday-to-Friday morning menu is a smorgasbord of bold dishes: coconut pudding with cashew crumble, and smoked potato hash with housemade pastrami, slow egg and spinach are just two heavenly creations. A standout, however, is the BBQ baked beans. Served up with cornbread, rocket, avocado and herb crema, it’s a modern and appetising take on a brekkie classic.
View this post on Instagram
Open grilled halloumi sandwich with avocado, pea, roast capsicum, pecorino, watercress Genovese & dukkah • You’ll find this summer favourite available daily, featuring on our breakfast, lunch, brunch & bar menus.? ? We are open for brunch throughout the long weekend, opening from 9am tomorrow & Monday, Wellington Anniversary. No bookings necessary & as always, no surcharge.
Hungry to start your day at one of these breakfast cafes in Wellington? Book cheap flights to Wellington with Webjet, plus find hotel accommodation to go along with your next getaway to the NZ capital.