When we landed in New Zealand, it was about 3 pm local time. Smack bang on lunchtime back in Australia, so by the time we got through customs, caught the free shuttle to Jucy, and picked up our hire car from them, we were starting to get pretty hungry. The first place on our list to visit for a bite to eat was The Hop Garden.
A quick question
What’s your favourite thing to eat when you get off a long flight? Let me know in the comments at the end of this post!
This article is all our own experience. Our meal was paid for by us, and no part of it was free or subsidised. That said, many of the links below are affiliate links, which means that I get a small commission if you click it and make a booking or purchase. I hope that you’ll use these links anytime you need to book a place to stay or activity! These small commissions help me to keep travelling so I can write and film more travel guides for you. I would never recommend anything I don’t or would not personally use!
Why we chose to go to The Hop Garden
Our primary reason for selecting this hotel is that they traded on Bartercard they are located reasonably conveniently. Parking in Wellington can be a pain, so we wanted somewhere that had reasonably accessible street parking at the very least, and there is street parking right outside The Hop Garden. We also were intrigued by the vegan crispy cauliflower on the menu.
About The Hop Garden
The Hop Garden is a bit of a hole in the wall kind of bar and restaurant. It’s hidden away on a narrow strip of land sandwiched between other buildings. It’s the kind of place I’d normally pass by and not even give a second thought to. Inside though it’s surprisingly spacious, and when we visited just after they opened, it was dead quiet.
On their website, the Hop Garden indicates they have a focus on the microbreweries of New Zealand, and while we don’t drink alcohol, it was nice to see that this extended to other beverages too, including some unique varieties of ginger beer. I gave the Hardieboys ginger beer a whirl. Made locally in Wellington, I can quite simply say it is the best ginger beer I’ve ever had, period. I wish I could share more about it and even find it here in Australia, but, unless I broke the internet, I can’t find hardly anything about them except this article.
What we got
So, besides the Hardieboys ginger beer I had, wifey got a hot chocolate which was delicious.
Let’s not forget about the food though.
So, because we were there fairly early in the afternoon, only the bar menu was available, not the a-la-carte.
I was super excited to try the cauliflower burger, so that’s what I ordered. Wifey opted to go for the hamburger and we grabbed a medium size hot chips to share.
Wifey’s hamburger came out. The beef rissole is house made and while it’s not the most visually appealing burger you will ever see (not even close), wifey vouches for its tastiness.
Next came out my unusual looking cauliflower burger.
As you can see, it was just cauliflower. No one said anything to us about it so I thought perhaps they mistakenly thought I ordered the crispy cauliflower. They are the same price, and I was hungry, so, while I was disappointed, I just went with it. What I can tell you about this cauliflower is that it is amazing. I was really surprised by just how good this cauliflower is. Whether you are vegan or not, this is something worth trying.
Our chips also arrived, and we were really surprised at how tasty they were as well. The chips are listed as hand cut, and the serving was a decent amount bigger than we expected it to be.
- Vegan food options.
- Reasonably priced menu.
- Interesting drinks from local brewers.
- Street parking.
- Accepts Bartercard (sort of).
- Doesn’t know how to process Australian Bartercard’s.
We really enjoyed the food we had. I was disappointed that I didn’t get the burger that I ordered. That said, they did check the order and noted that I had indeed ordered the burger, so they gave me the crispy cauliflower for free which I really appreciated. We did check with them by email beforehand and also when we first arrived to make sure our Australian Bartercard would be fine, but unfortunately, it turned out they didn’t know how to process it and we had to pay with our credit card instead, so that was also a downer on the experience for us. That aside though, the food really was yum and I loved the Hardieboys ginger beer. Our visit was very quiet and the food did arrive quite quickly. Overall, I’d have to go with 3.5 stars out of 5, mostly because of the cauliflower. It’s just a pity we had two issues when we were the only people there.
Drop in and check them out while you are in Wellington, New Zealand, it’s worthwhile, especially for the cauliflower.
What do others think?
Getting to The Hop Garden
Nestled between Mount Victoria and Wellington CBD, you can find them at 13 Pirie St:
If you are driving, it’s quite easy to get to, the bigger problem is parking. Being just outside of the CBD, there is some free street parking available. However, While there is street parking right outside on Pirie St, there isn’t a lot, and some of it is limited to 60 minutes.
There are two bus stops nearby, one right around the corner on Kent Terrace and one further up Pirie St. You can get bus route 1 to the Kent Terrace stop, or route 2 to the Pirie St stop.
The Hop Garden is open every afternoon from 3 pm until late. Thursdays through to Sunday they open in the morning, but the hours vary. Check out their website for current opening hours.
- The Hop Garden website
- TripAdvisor Reviews
- Zomato Reviews
- Things to do nearby on Klook
- Things to do nearby on Viator by TripAdvisor
- Hotels nearby on Hotels Combined
- Hotels nearby on Agoda
- Hotels nearby on Booking.com
I’d love to know if there is something you particularly like to eat after a long flight, especially if it helps you with jet lag! For me, it’s more about having the nearest meal (breakfast, lunch or dinner) in the local timezone than what I’m actually eating.
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