If you fancy Havana Coffee as black as your soul, double-shot, and kindly double-cupped, Midnight is the go-to for your daily fix of caffeine. Located on the corner of Vivian and Cuba Street, It’s almost hard to imagine Cuba Street without the existence of the somewhat iconic Midnight Espresso. As the name suggests, Midnight, open till 3am daily, has generously provided insomniacs and early-birds alike with their coffee fix since 1988, well below market price. While the standard long black in Wellington averages at $3.50, against all the odds, Midnight has kept it at a charitable price of $2.50.
With the constant soundtrack of chatter, clutter and decidedly hipster music, Midnight never seems to have a dull moment. Staff are always humming, dancing (or having a puff outside during breaks), and seem to be having a ball. Sit outside on the benches, and even if you’re not a regular customer, they’ll have some great yarns in store for you. Inside is cosy, and full of alty, hippy Wellingtonians who may make you feel a little out of place if you don’t have a tattoo or two. It goes without saying that Midnight has character, and prides itself on being quirky and different.
Order staple dishes like nachos, toasties and homemade curry on their blackboard menu, or choose your favourite from an impressive array of cabinet food. ‘GF’ and ‘Vegan’ signs run like a housemaids duster across the menu, making it the perfect cafe to meet everyone’s nutritional requirements. Their gluten free caramel slice is unrivalled, and is assured to make your day instantly better. The marriage between the gooey, dreamy, caramel, and the sweet, crunchy, biscuit layer will no doubt convert you into a Midnight regular: not such a terrible addiction considering this cafe is kind to your wallet.
If you have a love-hate relationships with cake (that is, you love it if it’s moist and hate it if it’s dry) try their chocolate cake - I guarantee it’ll meet your standards. Perfectly moistened and a hearty amount of icing, it’s enough to call it your lunch. Not to forget their carrot cake and date scones, too. All slices and cakes come with a generous dollop of locally produced Zany Zeus yoghurt, or their homemade and rather heavenly vegan coconut cream.
While awaiting your meal, have a nostalgic moment playing on the pin-ball machine, or discover new hobbies like kung-fu, pilates and yoga pinned on their notice board. Alternatively, sit by the window at the front of the cafe - it’s the perfect place to spend an afternoon people-watching, considering how much character Cuba Street has to offer.
If you haven’t been charmed by Midnight Espresso yet, stop by next time you’re walking down Cuba Street - I assure you, it won’t be the last time you step foot into this cafe.