Best French Restaurants in Wellington

The Top 6 French Restaurants in Wellington, NZ (and Why They’re Incroyable!)

Did you know there are over 1,000 different types of cheese in France? As far as I’m concerned, all the cheese you can eat is just one of the many, many reasons to love French cuisine. 

Of course, you’re probably wondering now what that has to do with New Zealand. Well, a lot of our cities have French restaurants run by transplants or people with actual experience running establishments from the old land of the Gauls – and Wellington is a perfect example.

Here, you don’t have to book a plane ticket to indulge. From cosy bistros to fine-dining establishments, Wellington boasts a surprising number of fantastic French restaurants. And you know what? I’ve tried them all!

If you want to know which ones to go to, I’ll let you know today. Here’s where you can get delicious French food when in Wellington.

1. Jano Bistro

Jano Bistro

Address: 270 Willis Street, Te Aro, Wellington 6011, New Zealand

Hours: Wednesday to Saturday – 5:30 PM to 11 PM 

Phone: +64 4 382 9892

Jano Bistro isn’t your typical all-white-tablecloths kind of place. Their menu changes every 6–8 weeks, so you’re always in for a surprise. 

They don’t overwhelm you with a huge menu. Instead, they offer two different set menus depending on the night you visit. 

The Jano Tasting on Wednesdays and Thursdays is a shorter experience, while the Jano Experience on Fridays and Saturdays gives you more courses to savour over a longer dining time.

Both include the option to add on beverage pairings to perfectly complement your meal.

Pro Tip: Make sure you try their selection of international French wines or their non-alcoholic housemade cocktails (for those of you who don’t drink).

2. Boulcott Street Bistro

Boulcott Street Bistro

Address: 99 Boulcott Street, Wellington Central, Wellington 6011, New Zealand

Hours: Monday to Friday – 12 PM to 9 PM 

Phone: +64 4 499 4199

If you’re after a French vibe with a local twist, then Boulcott Street Bistro is a sure bet. Their menu blends classic French bistro dishes with New Zealand classics. 

You can’t go wrong with BSB’s famous lunch t-bone (it’s popular for a reason). Their pan-fried market fish is delicious too.

And they have a top-notch wine list. They have a well-stocked cellar with wines from all over the world.

Pro Tip: Boulcott Street Bistro offers a fantastic 3-course set menu. It’s a steal compared to ordering a la carte. 

3. Aubergine 


Address: 322 Tinakori Road, Thorndon, Wellington 6011, New Zealand

Hours: Monday to Sunday – 12 PM to 2:30 PM , 5:30 PM to 10 PM 

Phone: +64 4 471 2500

At Aubergine, the menu doesn’t change too often, and that’s the way we like it. You know you will be getting lovely, reliable, and well-crafted French dishes that never fail to please.

The ambience is made with some classical music softly playing in the background to give it that little touch of class that makes it uber romantic for a perfect little date night or makes it lovely and intimate for that special occasion.

Be sure to try the boudin blanc, delicious chicken sausages served with white beans and crispy shallots. Or if you’re a vegetarian, ask for the roasted aubergine, which is a must try, obviously with a gorgeously sumptuous caper and sweet pepper caponata. 

You can’t go wrong either with the herb-roasted lamb rump served with chickpeas and Swiss chard.

Pro Tip: Don’t miss out on their cheese platters! They’re known for always offering a fantastic selection of local and international cheeses.

4. Hippopotamus Restaurant & Cocktail Bar

Hippopotamus Restaurant & Cocktail Bar

Address: 90 Cable Street, Te Aro, Wellington 6011, New Zealand


  •  Monday to Friday – 6:30 AM to 10 AM 
  • Saturday & Sunday – 7 Am to 11 AM 

Phone:  +64 4 802 8935

Hippopotamus Restaurant & Cocktail Bar is like Parisian chic getting a playful high-five from Wellington’s creative side. Head up to level three (that’s level “trois” for fancy points!), and you’ll be met with an atmosphere that’s both posh and playful.

Plush textures, pops of colour that’ll make your eyes do a happy dance, and chandeliers galore. It’s like stepping into a glamorous, modern French film. 

But Hippopotamus isn’t just about the looks (although, let’s be honest, those chandeliers are pretty swanky). The food here is where the magic happens. They’ve got a breakfast of champions. 

Hippopotamus serves up a golden hour breakfast that’ll make you want to savour every bite. Delicious pastries, fancy eggs, and all the good stuff to start your day feeling like royalty.

Pro Tip: Feeling fancy? Treat yourself (and a friend!) to their high tea. It’s next-level amazing.

5. Bistro Le Marche Francais

Bistro Le Marche Francais

Address:  262 Thorndon Quay, Pipitea, Wellington 6011, New Zealand


  • Tuesday to Friday – 8 AM to 3 PM 
  • Saturday – 9 AM to 3 PM 

Phone: +64 4 499 1834

Le Marche Francais is all about relaxed vibes and delicious, homemade cooking. Here, classic French dishes are done right. Think buttery quiches, fresh salads, and pastries that melt in your mouth. 

You have to try their le québécois. These French Canadian pancakes are basically an excuse to eat dessert for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. The fluffy pancakes are drizzled with real maple syrup and topped with fresh bananas—what’s not to love? 

Their salmon and spinach quiche is also flavorful and satisfying. 

Pro Tip: Don’t miss out on their ever-changing dessert of the day! They whip up something new and delicious all the time.

6. Le Petit Lapin

Le Petit Lapin

Address: 162 Karori Road, Karori, Wellington 6012, New Zealand

Hours: Monday to Sunday – 9 AM to late

Phone: +64 4 920 0320

Le Petit Lapin serves up French food that warms your soul. For starters, their baked camembert is a cheese lover’s dream. 

The gooey camembert gets baked to perfection and is served with a sweet and spicy plum relish, crunchy candied walnuts, and warm sourdough bread for dipping. Food coma, anyone?

And if you like seafood, you shouldn’t miss out on their coquille st. jacques. Scallops are a French speciality, and Le Petit Lapin does them justice. These pan-seared scallops are plump and juicy, sitting on a bed of creamy lemon beurre blanc sauce.

Pro Tip: Check out their weekly sorbet special!