Located on the country’s most diverse strip of funky shops and alternative sights, this unmistakable upper Cuba Street cafe is not one to just walk past. Whether you are wanting an easy breakfast at 9am, a pumping atmosphere to have dinner in, or even that post-party 2am caffeine fix, Midnight Espresso has got your back.
Before I move into the contagious obsession that is Midnight Espresso’s vibe, and of course how to treat the symptoms, we must talk coffee. They proudly use Havana beans, which can be guessed straight away based on the consistent appearance of logos, shirts and cups. Picking up quality coffee in Wellington is easy, but grabbing a quality coffee in Wellington for only $3.50, well that’s a different story. With some of the cheapest prices around, they still deliver on absolutely delicious drinks. Their coffee, a strong blend (not for the faint hearted) is crafted by a well oiled team that genuinely look as though they adore the service they are providing. From classic lattes and hot chocolates, to milkshakes, teas and hot gingers, this is one of the most consistently impressive joints in town.
With good coffee surely comes good food, and in the case of Midnight Espresso, this is one hundred percent true. The cabinet food is a mesmerizing display of cakes, slices, sandwiches, biscuits, and pastries, both sweet and savory. At a good price, you can pick up large items that may as well be treated as nearly a whole meal, and the staff can beautifully package them up for those that wish to takeaway. As for sit down meals, the range seems to be never-ending – guaranteed to be something for everyone. This is backed up by the flexibility of the menu, where nearly all items can be adapted into either vegetarian or vegan versions. In a city full of diverse, socially and environmentally aware hipsters, our culture around veganism and extreme dietary needs is growing. Rather than turning a blind eye as many have, Midnight Espresso have welcomed it with arms wide open.
Clearly Midnight Espresso delivers with its culinary brilliance, but this is nowhere near the best thing about the cafe. While many cafes in the city have tried to jump on board with the alternative atmosphere, nobody will ever nail this the way Midnight Espresso has. Equipped with everything from gothic chic wallpaper, and colourful paintings, right up to the most alternative music and unique staff, they have created an energetic yet soothing environment. Small things like the Metallica pinball machine, and the bathroom walls personalised by customers (reminder – bring a vivid), create a unique experience that will keep you coming back. Their location makes this easy too, Midnight Espresso can be found lying between some of the city’s best vintage boutiques, authentic record stores, retro barber shops, and beautiful art galleries.
Having excelled in so many areas, it should be no surprise that Midnight Espresso gains a spot on my (not so) exclusive list of tops cafes in Wellington. Don’t be shy, go see the magic for yourself at 178 Cuba Street.