Few people know breakfast options better than those who run a coffee shop. Wellington locals Steph and Nat Chin are the co-owners of Evil Twins on Willis Street, a family-run coffee shop with a twist. “We’re more than just a coffee shop,” says Steph. “We do iced drinks, matcha, hot coffee, and we also do clothing and jewellery.”

Part of running the coffee shop means exploring Wellington’s cafe scene for inspiration. “I think setting up a coffee shop, it’s always been important to us to try different food places and widen our tastebuds a bit,” says Steph. “You can’t forget a delicious coffee, but I think good eggs are always a way to start.”

We asked Steph and Nat for their top picks for breakfast in Wellington.

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August Eatery
“It’s a relatively new spot in the heart of Welly,” says Steph of this arch-roofed venue on Taranaki Street. “We love the aesthetic there, it’s super simplistic and beautiful.” Top picks include the French toast made with tsoureki (a Greek bread similar to challah) and the Istanbul eggs, which combines poached eggs with Greek yoghurt and Aleppo butter. “It’s really different and very saucy,” says Steph.

Prefab Eatery
“When people ask me what’s a good cafe to go to, I always mention Prefab,” says Steph. “It has really great vibes, a beautiful atmosphere and it’s so open.” The venue on Jessie Street is also the flagship cafe for Wellington brand Acme, which bakes bread and roasts coffee in-house (as well as for takeaway). Toasties are the star here, with offerings like porchetta and swiss cheese and tuna niçoise. Alongside the toasties, the Chins say there is one side that is a must-have. “We really like their handcut fries,” Steph says. “We’re carb people – we love fries.”

Beach House and Kiosk
As the name suggests, Beach House and Kiosk, on The Esplanade, Island Bay, is located right on the doorstep to the sand. “We reckon it’s one of the best cafes located on the south coast of Welly,” says Nat. “They also have a really beautiful ocean view of the South Island.” The menu at Beach House is a combination of punchy flavours, with spice-heavy brunch options like masala baked beans and a roti roll with curried egg. The Chins like to keep things easy at Beach House. “Their granola is really good with house-made yoghurt,” says Steph. “I think what we like about Beach House is they source local produce. It’s nice to be eating local.”

Maranui Cafe
Sitting on top of the Maranui Surf Life Saving Club is Maranui Cafe, a local favourite with beautiful ocean views. “Inside the cafe they have a really cute vintage design which is quite different than most,” says Steph. The interior is an eclectic jumble of furniture and colours with a beach-worn, rustic vibe. Combine all of that with the menu, and it all makes for an ideal breakfast spot. “They do amazing eggs benedict and hash browns,” says Steph. It’s also a great place to cool off with an iced drink when the summer heat rolls in.

Olive
Olive is in one of Wellington’s favourite spots, Cuba Street. “We love their outdoor seating because it has a really beautiful garden exterior,” says Nat. “It gives it a really chill, relaxed, cosy atmosphere.” The breakfast menu at Olive is simple, favouring breakfast favourites. “They don’t offer a huge range, but it’s very simple and easy to choose from,” says Steph. “We would probably go for poached eggs on sourdough. Poached eggs, hollandaise, mushroom, spinach, hash browns – all of that good stuff.”

This article is produced by Broadsheet in partnership with Wellington NZ.