Jos Ruffell is the co-founder of Garage Project, the craft beer brand launched in Wellington in 2011 with friends Pete and Ian Gillespie. We’re big fans of GP’s wide offering of beer, of course, as well as their delightful artwork - they also make fantastic natural wine.
GP has become a big part of the Wellington hospo scene too, with its taproom in Te Aro and a cellar door in the city’s centre (there’s one in Auckland’s Kingsland too).
“Wellington is a fantastic city that gives you all the cultural events, restaurant dining and bars of a big city, but crammed into a very small footprint. It’s easy to live close to the city but in quiet neighbourhoods with plenty of bush and beach walks close by.”
Jos, who lives in Hataitai, shares some favourite foodie spots in his hometown.
Where do you get your morning coffee - and what’s your order?
My local go-to spots are Customs and Milk Crate – conveniently right next to each other, and just round the corner from Garage Project’s Wild Workshop Cellar Door, and always serving some interesting filter coffees.
Best place for breakfast?
The Larder in Miramar is a favourite spot. Jacob and Sarah are fantastic hosts, the house baked sourdough is phenomenal, and they have a growing range of incredible pies including a wagyu steak and cheese.
Favourite place for date night?
Any number of the great live music, theatres or arts venues in the city are a go-to spot. We love catching shows at BATS Theatre and recently launched a beer - ‘Ghost Light’ to support our mates there.
Favourite place for a drink?
It’s hard to beat one of the many great craft beer bars in the city. A sunny afternoon on the deck outside Golding’s is always a great time, and their tap selection is excellent.
For something fancy?
Rita is a gem. It’s a tiny restaurant in Aro with two fixed seatings each night. Perfect for a little celebration, and as it’s right next to the Garage Project taproom, you can sneak in for a pre or post dinner drink.
The restaurant you’ve been going to for years?
WBC is a classic. Small, intimate dining room. Their seasonal menu has loads of great seafood with a huge wine list and selection of rotating beers.
Favourite restaurant to visit with friends?
AMOK is a relatively new spot that has become a fast favourite. Tashee and Tom are a brilliant team bringing creative dishes that leave you thinking about them long after you’ve left. Their steak tartare is a must try.