Beervana can be a bit overwhelming with its myriad of breweries, food stalls and music acts stretched right across Sky Stadium’s circular concourse. The festival should always be treated as a marathon, not a sprint, and as such it is important to have a decent feed before you turn up to the annual beer showcase.
Wellington has a wealth of tasty food and coffee to offer that’ll give you the full belly you’ll need for a few hours of beer tasting and food sampling as you wander around Beervana. Here are this Wellingtonian’s picks:
Egmont St Eatery
Hidden down one of Wellington’s central city laneways which connects Dixon and Ghuznee Streets, Egmont St Eatery has a delicious and varied brunch offering from 8am on Fridays and 9am on weekends. They have far more to offer than just plain eggs on toast, with their BBQ baked beans and avocado with cornbread a firm favourite of mine, and their smoked potato hash, housemade bacon, and kimchi paired with a slow egg also a stand out. As someone with a niggly food allergy, I also appreciate that they’re willing to switch things out for those with any intolerances. They can get very busy so arrive early or book ahead!
Located at the Embassy end of Courtenay Place and a short walk from the city’s main central city bus stop, Mockingbird has large, hearty brunch options for those with any food preferences. All food on the menu is vegan, but a lot of it doesn’t taste like it; the Mockingburger – their version of the classic kiwi burger – relieves my meat cravings every time, while they also offer a breakfast burger – the Club Croque – with vegan versions of egg, bacon and a number of other ingredients all crammed into an English muffin. Try the brunch bowl for something not in a bun!
With three locations in the central city, it won’t be hard to find a La Cloche cafe on the way from your accommodation to the venue. Specialising in French patisserie, La Cloche also has a range of breakfast meals, filled rolls and freshly-made croissants to fill you up before a few hours of drinking. Being French, there is a focus on eggs and meat on the menu, but they also have a delicious range of beautiful cakes and pastries for those with a sweet breakfast tooth.
Not a breakfast spot as such, but Customs definitely has some of the city’s best coffee on offer. Stop in for a caffeine pick-me-up on Ghuznee Street before heading down to Sky Stadium, and grab a toasted sandwich while you’re there to line the stomach. Customs also serves Porno Donuts on the weekends – which are some of THE BEST donuts this Wellingtonian has ever tasted — and they just happen to be vegan. Flavours change weekly, and you won’t regret trying one.
Wherever you stop in for a pre-Beervana feed though, make sure you save a little room for the tasty treats on offer at the stadium, where there’s always some wild and wonderful morsels on offer.