Guest blogger Jessica Macklin is a part-time student and a full-time hipster. Here she divulges her hippest hotspots in Wellington, aka “Wellywood”, for a beer and a baguette…
Wellington has to be the hottest city in New Zealand, judging by its population of too-cool-for-school hipsters. Although there is some debate surrounding the definition of “hipster”, for those not in the know, a hipster is essentially an anti-commercial individual who values independence and wit, and is generally at the forefront of the latest trends in (non-mainstream) fashion, (indie) music, art, food and good times. They are essentially the people who start and spread the trends. By the time the rest of the world catches on, they’ve already moved on to something else.
If you happen to be a hipster yourself or are interested in viewing these quirky creatures in their natural habitat, book your sweet Wellington hotel close to these spots. Read on for a guide to the hottest hipster hangouts in Wellywood. Just remember to pack your oversized glasses if you’re planning on going in undercover!
Milk Crate Café
Although there are many Wellington cafes that are too cool for school, Milk Crate is the best of the lot. It’s close to the cultural precinct of Cuba Street, making it a convenient location for breakfast and lunch, before or during your sightseeing adventures. The fair-trade coffee served at Milk Crate is pretty darn fine and probably the main reason hipsters keep coming back. The café is also owned by a cool crowd that are heavily into their art and always up for a friendly chat. If you get a chance between baguettes, pick their knowledgeable brains about what’s going on in the area that week.
Sweet Mother’s Kitchen
Take your hipster hunting to new heights with a trip to Sweet Mother’s Kitchen in the uber-cool location of 5 Courtenay Place. With its energetic atmosphere and friendly crowd, it always makes for a great night. It’s a quirky kind of joint, and the walls are covered in messages from patrons, souvenirs, fake fruit and vegetable lights. The New Orleans–inspired menu is as funky as the décor, with dishes including po boys (a New Orleans–style sandwich) and Dan boy (a sandwich of fried and fermented soy bean cake with beetroot, lettuce, and tomato). Grab a group of travel companions, order a couple of cocktails and share plates. Then, sit back and let the crowds entertain you until late in the evening.
The home of hipsterdom, Matterhorn is a place where the creativity of the concept is only matched by the coolness of its clientele. It is the place of artisan produce, and the menu contains many seasonal delights including crispy pork belly, house-made kimchi, pink radish, truffle boudin blanc, chestnut puree, bacon and sage. Aside from the incredible food, Matterhorn means good music. It’s the home hangout of the Eggs, a group of Wellington’s most talented musos. When the Eggs aren’t in the vicinity, the rare vinyl records come out to play and can be heard until the wee hours of the morning.
Mighty Mighty Bar
Moving up the hipster hierarchy is the hot hangout Mighty Mighty Bar, which happens to be the definition of cool, located smack-bang in the middle of Cuba Street. With its kooky line-up of live acts, including all girl-punk bands, old-school rock DJs and local rhythm-and-blues solo artists, Mighty Mighty delivers an awesome experience every time. Check out the killer cocktail list, with top picks including the Wahine Disaster (tequila, crème de vanille, pink grapefruit and pineapple), Bro Diddley (scotch whiskey, apple juice and ginger wine) and Black Balls (Kiwifruit vodka, absinthe, cinnamon syrup, kiwifruit and ginger beer).
Good Luck Bar
Having made it to the list of the World’s Best Bars, Good Luck Bar in Wellington is an exceptional treat. The cocktail list is inspired by the ancient Chinese text of I Ching or “Book of Changes.” It consists of aptly named drinks including the Shabu Shabu Blazer and the Fenghuang Blazer. It’s also a gorgeous space, described by World’s Best Bars as a “sultry opium den”. Chill out with the hipsters over a cocktail or two, and bop the night away to the sound techno beats and contemporary jazz tunes