Wellington: Cuba Street and the Saturday Night Market

I love markets, especially food markets, and the thought of them just make me light up with joy.  I do love eating.  We arrived in Wellington on Saturday afternoon with rain and wind.  Despite the rain, we walked out to Cuba street famed for its many restaurants and quirky cafes.  On Saturday evenings there is a little Saturday night market.

Cuba Street is Wellington’s version of South street in Philadelphia.  I loved that street.  Cuba street is around four blocks long and was named after a settler ship of the same name in 1840.  In the olden days, the tram route passed by it and now it is a pedestrian only street. In 1995 it was registered as a historic area with its old buildings dating from the late 1800’s.  As you walk along, on many buildings you can imagine it’s former life as retail stores or banks.  I think back to old movies.  

Burger King is housed in a beautiful former Bank of New Zealand building. I wonder what the bankers back then would think if they knew their bank would one day be home to a fast food burger place.  It makes me smile. Nothing in life is permanent.

The street is not modern like the CBD which is just a few blocks away, but it’s a cluster of art shops, galleries, fashion and lots of fun quirky coffee places. My kind of place. It’s not too far from Victoria University and so there are lots of university students walking around. On corners you have street performers or buskers giving the place a lively ambiance. When it’s warm outside the place must be so lively. 

There are so many restaurants there selling all kinds of foods from spanish, mexican food to thai, malaysian and vietnamese food.  Surprisingly there are no breadshops. I suppose kiwis are not that into bread like the french.  If you want cakes and baked goods, go to the cafe or supermarket.

We head to the night market on lower cuba street and instantly I am reminded of Bangkok’s own little markets with food stalls, food trucks and tables selling artistic creations.  It’s small though with roughly twenty stalls and nearly all owned by asians. But then Wellington region only has a population of roughly 400,000.  There’s a wide variety of foods ranging from pizzas to thai food or malaysian food. 

Alex and I decide to head to the local fish and chips place to be reviewed in my next post.