Ti Kouka (Upstairs, 76 Willis Street)
I was introduced to Ti Kouka when I first moved to Wellington and it remains a firm favourite of mine. It is next to the New World Metro on Willis Street, making it super convenient for anyone who works in the CBD area. Out the front of the café it is extremely light and spacious, making it a great place to take along some work or a book and lose yourself (although the place fills up drastically at lunchtime, so you may be required to move unless you are eating). The menu is classic yet quirky; simple food combined with an air of elegance to make it slightly unique. Associated with Leeds Street Bakery, it stocks the Leeds Street salted caramel cookies (the best salted caramel cookie I have ever tasted – and that’s from a tough critic) as well as a vast array of scones and other sweet treats. The menu changes quite frequently, keeping it exciting and new. The hard-boiled eggs come out with cute little beanies (to keep them warm, obviously) and the bread also comes from Leed Street, making for a delightful combination. Although the lunch menu is exciting and unique; I find it hard to go past the broccoli salad (it sits on the counter and is just so delicious).
Another strong contender in the Wellington on a Plate hype, the place has just been serving all round great food and coffee to the public since 2010.