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Cafes make use of open spaces around Wellington.
Cafes make use of open spaces around Wellington.

You can take your medicine at Dr Mojo's

Wellington has more bars, cafes and eateries per capita than The Big Apple. So where should business travelers eat when they visit the coolest little capital in the world?

Foodies on a business trip to New Zealand's capital won't find Wellington an easy city to navigate. Simply put: it's small but there are just too many fine dining choices, from Ambeli's special star-gazing menu to a nine-course degustation menu at Logan-Brown.

In fact, there are more eateries, cafes and bars per capita in Wellington than New York City, according to the travel guru Lonely Planet, which recently dubbed New Zealand's second-largest city the "coolest little capital in the world."

But as modest as Wellingtonians are, they will confess to being snobs - when it comes to their preferred cup of flat white, which blends a third of espresso with two thirds of steamed milk and a swirl of froth. There are more than half a dozen independent roasteries in the region that offer their own varieties, although one blend of up to seven different beans that is not be missed is "Dr Mojo's Medicine". It's made fresh in Mojo Coffee's new headquarters, snuggled inside the Historic Shed 13 on Wellington's waterfront, and is one of just many stops on the "capital tastes" food tour offered through an outfit called Zest.

Plenty of cafes can also be found on Cuba Street, while Courtenay Place offers the best mix for those with an eclectic taste. The latter leads to the Embassy Theatre, which was built in 1924 but was restored, in part, by Sir Peter Jackson for the world premiere of his final instalment in The Lord of the Rings trilogy.

In terms of lodging, consider staying at the Museum Hotel, which isn't the top-ranked place in the city but offers the most unique backstory. While its owners display their personal collection of contemporary art throughout the lobby and each floor, what's more noteworthy is that the five-storey, 3,500-tonne hotel is the largest building ever relocated in the country. It was moved 120 metres on railway tracks to make room for a new waterfront museum.

The Quote: "New Zealand is not a small country but a large village." Sir Peter Jackson, the director who lives in Wellington and is now filming The Hobbit there.


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