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Thistle Inn Bar & Restaurant

4 star rating
32 reviews

Cuisine: Irish, A La Carte

3 Mulgrave St
Thorndon
Wellington City
04-499 5980
 

Hours:

  • Mon – Sat 10am – 1:00am
  • Facilities/Features:
    • Business Dining
    • Children's Menu
    • Conference Facilities
    • Out Catering
    • Private Dining Room
    • Private Functions
    • Private Parties
    • Romantic Dining
    • Wedding Functions
  • Payment Types: EFTPOS, Visa, MasterCard, AMEX
  • Price Range: Moderate, $15 - $25
  • Dress Code: Casual
  • Alcohol: Beer, Wine, Spirits
  • Seating for: 150
  • BYO/Corkage: No BYO
  • Good For Groups: Yes
  • Good For Children: Yes
  • Takeaways: Yes
  • Delivers: No
  • Takes Reservations: Yes
  • Dietary Restrictions: Vegetarian, Vegan, Dairy-free, Gluten-free
  • Wheelchair Accessible: Yes
  • Outdoor Seating: Yes
  • Meals: Brunch, Lunch, Dinner, Dessert
  • Wi-Fi: Paid

Established in 1840, The Thistle is one of the oldest pubs in New Zealand. With friendly, casual bistro dining for both lunch and dinner, The Thistle is the perfect place for groups large and small.

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32 Reviews for Thistle Inn Bar & Restaurant

24th June 2014
4 star rating
Yum food and tasty drinks – friendly bar staff make it into an all round great place to meet with friends. Go there!

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Bex

1

24th June 2014
4 star rating
Very cosy pub, freindly staff and good vibe. Go there regularly for after work drinks, have only orderd Kumera fries from the menu and they are yummy.

Visited May 2014

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Clare

1

23rd June 2014
5 star rating
Yummy food, great beer and wine. It looks great and it’s got a great atmosphere. We always enjoy the food. It’s great for after work drinks and if we lived nearer I reckon it would be our local. Definitely worth a visit!

Visited April 2014

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Sarah

1

22nd June 2014
4 star rating
Awesome little pub in the central Wellington. A great menu – simple food done well. The staff always make you feel welcome and will go above and beyond. I went there with a work group for lunch to indulge in the the bluff oyster special. What we didn’t realise is that we should have pre-ordered our oysters due to the popularity. We were a bit disappointed but having the standard menu to order off was a pretty good second choice. However one of the waiters was going to get us our oysters… lucky for us a table for 4 ended being 2, so before we knew it we were abounded in oysters.
They have a great beer selection with a mix of craft and non-craft on top. And an excellent wine selection.
Highly recommended

Visited March 2014

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20th June 2014
4 star rating
The Thistle is a great old pub, ideal for after work drinks, or if you feel hungry a meal.

Food prices are reasonable and the menu is innovative and has a great range to choose from. I have eaten here twice, my latest meal was the rib eye with mushrooms, cook to how I asked, mushrooms were devine. The pub has a good wine selection to go with dinner.

The staff are great, always cheerful and polite.

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Marty

1

17th June 2014
4 star rating
The Thistle is a great wee pub. It has good craft beer and friendly staff that will even come to your table and take your order!. The fire is great on a winters night. The snacks are hot, fast and tasty and the food is good.

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14th June 2014
4 star rating
The Thistle Inn – my local. It rocks. And here is why: 1 – staff – really friendly and helpful. Will give you a bit of a friendly ribbing if you deserve it, which I often do. Always with a smile – service is quick, even when it is full to the brim with public servants. 2 – price – become a friend of the thistle and drinks become reasonably priced for this part of town. Certainly cheaper than the Backbencher – 9.50 for a pint of craft beer. Not super cheap, but pretty good for this part of town. Best bet is to buy the super jugs – 33buks but nearly 5 pints. good value. 3 – beer range – they have your standard monteiths brews, but also have black dog on tap, and a revolving tap of greatness – they have had Keruru and some Funk Estate recently. 4 – food – they have a good range of bar snacks and they rock a good lunch. Always warm, always friendly and always up for a laugh. Get down there

Visited May 2014

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12th June 2014
4 star rating
Great place to meet and dine with friends, or just have a pint or two after work. Become a follower of the bar and receive promotional updates for special themed dinners and activities.

Nice old character building with plenty of history, easy walk from rail station. Has a good selection of beers from standard swill to craft IPAs so has something for all.

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12th June 2014
5 star rating
The Thistle has been a Wellington institution since 1840 and there’s very good reason for it. The staff are friendly, efficient and fun and the atmosphere is welcoming.

The food is delicious, much better than just “pub” food, and their wine selection is very good (with my favourite – The Doctor’s Riesling). I went here for my birthday lunch last year and they really made me feel special.

As I work close by I always find that our favourite place to chill after 5pm on a Friday is the Thistle. They also have deals and specials on all the time, which makes my wallet happy. I highly recommend for after-work drinks, lunch or dinner!

Visited April 2014

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Rowan

1

3rd June 2014
4 star rating
Really like the place. Food was excellent, friendly staff and a convenient location. Nice place to relax after work – highly recommended

Visited May 2014

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30th May 2014
5 star rating
My family going back to my Great Grandfather who had a neighbouring business over the road from the Thistle have been neighbours and or customers of the establishment since the mid 1840s and because of the great service, splendid service from the friendly staff and the good atmosphere will continue to be for quite a while yet.No strangers in this pub! Only friends , some of whom you are meeting for the first time-All congratulations to Richard and his helpful team

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30th May 2014
5 star rating
A good selection of beer on tap, tasty honest pub food and excellent friendly service. Food and beverages are reasonably priced. The Thistle Inn has plently of room for large groups and many different areas inside to find a nice space to chat. There is a good atmosphere. Even when the Thistle Inn is busy it is easy to get good service as the establishment is well staffed. Highly recommended for all occasions.

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22nd May 2014
5 star rating
Dined here last night with a group of girl friends, menu small but everything look amazing, I had scallops to start with which were presented amazingly and then had the steak which was served with a palenta cake which I hadn’t had before and it was amazing. Atmosphere was good they were super busy but were seated in the dining room which is separate from the main area so was great.

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20th May 2014
5 star rating
Excellent pub!! Great location as I worked at the ministry so Friday drinks was always fun. They make a pretty sweet seafood patter and the gravy that comes with the fries is incredible. The decor is really nice and suits the ‘vintage’ look since it has been there since 1840. Drink prices are a tad expensive but nothing ridiculous, and well worth it for the atmosphere and friendly staff.

Visited February 2014

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19th May 2014
5 star rating
I dine at the Thistle Inn regularly as it is close to my work and handy to the Wellington Stadium when there is a rugby game on. It is a great pub with a friendly, relaxed atmosphere, and I would recommend it to anyone looking for somewhere to catch up with friends for a drink or something to eat. The food is very good, always fresh and well presented. For me the best thing is the varied menu and interesting ingredients that make every meal here a treat. Add to that the good selection of drinks and tap beers, plus the fact that the Thistle is part of Wellington’s history, and I think this is a must visit spot for Wellingtonians and visitors to the capital city alike.

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19th May 2014
5 star rating
Great atmosphere and food at this pub. It gets very busy between 4-6 so if eating early be prepared for a bit of business.
The staff are always friendly and they have a ‘friends of the thistle’ club to discount drinks.

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18th May 2014
4 star rating
One of my locals, it’s been here since 1840 so they must be doing something right :) Range of spaces to have a drink, have a conversation or have a meal. Great Quiz night on the first Tuesday of the month! Good range of drinks.

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17th May 2014
4 star rating
We come here regularly, and love it. Great meals, and a great atmosphere with very friendly staff. The location is also a big plus for us, being close to work and to the railway station and stadium.

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16th May 2014
5 star rating
The Thistle Inn sits in the middle of Thorndon, which makes it a favourite with many a public servant! We often frequent the establishment as a group, and are never left disappointed. The food is fantastic and is reasonably priced, the staff are always welcoming and the service is superb. As regulars, it is also great to be recognised and usual orders remembered. The Thistle also runs a great loyalty scheme ‘friends of thistle’ which allows for free platters when you visit with a group of 10, cheaper drinks as well as a free main for your birthday. There are not that many establishments in the Wellington area that look after their regulars this well, so it’s always a pleasure to come back.

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17th April 2014
4 star rating
Superb food and atmosphere with a superior winelist and outstanding quality of customer service.

Also very attractive staff.

I shall make a point of revisiting frequently.

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25th March 2014
5 star rating
We went here for a meal last night after attending a friends 60th birthday there, we were so impressed by the venue, service and food we returned for dinner, and wow the menu is lovely and diverse and presented well. Our serve a young australian lass was very attentive and was a pleasure. I am currently in the process of looking to book my wifes 60th there as well, such a great place

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Jo

1

18th March 2014
5 star rating
Firstly I’d like to say the the service level we received at the Thistle Inn was simply sensational, our waitress Tracey was funny and chatty and suggested a lovely Pinot Gris to go with my fish. I had been told by my friend that works near the thistle that it was worth a visit and so tried it out with my hubby. We sat in the courtyard area and enjoyed a fantastic meal with another couple we know. My Paua fritter was probably my highlight and my friends Scallops were also really great. My hubby also enjoyed talking to the young barman about craft beers, apparently the Thistle Inn is starting to get a pretty decent range in! Excellent experience all round

Visited February 2014

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28th February 2013
3 star rating
I have to admit to feel a little bit conflicted about this review.
To start we ordered chips and gravy and garlic bread. The chips were undercooked, to the point of still being cold in the middle and the gravy was super strong and tasted like it had come straight out of a packet mix. However, the cheesy garlic bread was delicious.

I ordered the venison which was described as being served with a medley of summer vegetables and jus. I was imagining some nice new potatoes, maybe some courgettes and baby carrots. What arrived was a salad with enough lettuce to keep a rabbit in business for a week, two sad little baby carrots, three baby beets and what I thought was a potato cut into quarters with a couple of cubes of feta.

Popping the potato into my mouth, I discovered to my horror that it was a pickled radish. Argh! Seriously, if you’re going to put a nasty little radish into someone’s meal you need to be honest about it not have it masquerading as part of a “medley” looking like a potato.

The venison, what there was of it was delicious, but at five thin slices for $28 the dish was overpriced and there was no jus to be found. While I finished the dish feeling very healthy, due to the complete lack of carbs on the plate I was also still hungry. If I’d wanted a salad I would have ordered a salad – at the least they should change the menu to accurately reflect what the dish is.

Having said all that, it appears that I had the bad luck menu options on the night as my colleagues who had the salmon, steak, risotto and fish and chips all had meals that looked delicious.

Service was variable. Staff were friendly and food arrived reasonably quickly but we had to go and find a waitress both when we wanted to order and after our meals no one came near us and we had to go on the hunt again to get another drink.

All in all, I may be back but not soon and I’ll be a lot more careful about what I order.More

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12th July 2012
4 star rating
Went to the thistle inn for a birthday lunch Monday 9Th of July, very good really quite hard to fault, food was to a very high standard and really generous sized portions. waiters advice on an unoaked Chardonnay was right on the money. Scallops X2, seafood pie and ham hock terrine all very very good the seafood pie being the outstanding entree, but all were very well presented although burnt toast on the terrine was a bit of a let down and the pickled vegetables were no where to be seen?… mains, pork rib eye, rib eye steak, lambs fry with bacon and fish and chips which was HUGE!!! but everything served to an exceptional standard. the only complaint i could say was that the Celeriac Mash was maybe a bit too widely used and a little bit of variation wouldn’t go a miss. the big highlight was the birthday cake which was very very cool and tasted excellent. and service though out was very good and after enquiring as to whether we could buy some wine glasses as a memento (as it was my 21st birthday) the waiter graciously obliged and big ups to him he was brilliant and is a very good at what he does and makes an awesome cocktail!

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Nikki

6

13th February 2012
3 star rating
Went here for a work dinner. We had more people than we had booked for but the waiter quickly accommodated us all.

It was a Monday night. We were told the specials and couldn’t resist the value of the 2 meals for $20 menu.

I had the risotto which I regretted upon seeing the serving size. It was an entree serve size. So those with the smoked salmon salad and the fish and chips had huge meals.

I must admit though – the risotto was filling…but if I’d seen a picture first I would have ordered something different.

Service was okay but waiter felt the need to interrupt during the drinks order to say that a bottle of wine will only serve so many drinks, just before the person ordering the drinks ordered another bottle of different wine.

I like the layout though. It seems to have a good atmosphere. I would go there again and order off the regular menu.

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28th December 2011
3 star rating
Not bad for a quick beer and some chips

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16th September 2011
4 star rating
Usually go there to watch the rugby or before a game for snacks and drinks. Had dinner for first time, scallops with black pudding was amazing… def did not expect presentation and calibre of food for pub dining! Friend had Lamb shanks, he thought they were very well cooked and considering how busy they were the service was fantastic. Looking forward to going back!

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Tas

1

22nd July 2011
1 star rating
Went to Thistle Inn for dinner – Great atmosphere, lovely warm fire etc.

The Bar was about half full and the staff were very friendly and helpful.

However….

Food was terrible. Sent first meal (risotto) back as it was swimming in oil and appeared to have no rice! Second order (soup) looked and tasted as if it was made from a packet. My partners steak was good, he had no complaints, but I walked away hungry not wanting to try a third dish.

Saving grace – the staff had the wisdom not to charge for anything (drinks or food!) However this will not be enough to get me back.

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Comment from Sara O. of Thistle Inn Bar & Restaurant 19/09/2011   
Hi Tas, I apologise for your dining experience with us, we pride ourselves on offer great food and great service, therefore I am very disappointed that your experience with us wasn’t up to standard, if you could email us your details (postal address) I can send…    More »
20th July 2011
2 star rating
Nice enough place to meet friends for drinks, neat old building nicely done up. Service was pleasant but food was very disappointing. The only thing on the menu that sounded appetising was the chicken satay kebabs but they came out greasy, fatty and tough.

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20th May 2011
3 star rating
Agree with the above. Food and drinks were great but not out of this world. Atmosphere however is superb. An iconic place with a lot of history right in the heart of Wellington. The bar can get a little noisy at times, but that’s when you escape to the quieter courtyard and dining room. Definitely a great place to take your colleagues or family to for a quiet dinner or drinks after work.

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19th March 2014
5 star rating
I first reviewed the Thistle Inn back in 2009 have been multiple times over the years and thought I better update this review, we went for a group dinner last week there were 10 of us, the service was out standing with our waiter showing us a great time and having a laugh! (really made the evening!) the food was serious wow factor for a “pub” very interesting diverse menu and all ate from the shared plates and platter menu which was nice so we could all get a taste of everything, if you are a bit of a foodie go check it out it won’t disapoint

Visited March 2014

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17th November 2009
3 star rating
I ate here in a group of six for a mid week lunch. The food was nice but not anything i would go racing back to have again – I had the squid salad – The toilet door had no lock on it (however they had put a notice up warning you about this and noting that you could use the accessible loo instead) service was fine, but bothing really stood out as being exceptional.

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