45 Dixon St, Te Aro, Wellington
Opens 7.30am weekdays, 9am weekends; closes 4.30pm every day
Granola $13.50; L’affare coffee; Tea Total tea
Dixon Street Deli goes back to 1930 when it began as a farm and poultry produce outlet. In 1974 it became a more general purpose delicatessen and was the place in Wellington to buy such exotic European foods as olives and olive oil, salami, pickles and coffee beans. Some of this history is documented in photos and clippings on the walls. At some point I think it combined being a café and a deli, but now it is solely an eatery, so the name is a bit of a misnomer.
This is a review I first wrote in 2019 but updated and with images mostly from 2022. The amazing thing is that the granola was almost identical. Right down to the exact sort of fresh fruit: pear, apple, grapes and orange. Talk about sticking to a formula. But no complaints, as it’s a pretty good one. Far better than those eateries who change the menu every few months and take a really good product off and replace it with something inferior. Here’s my 2019 photo:
The granola was slightly spicy and dominated by large oat flakes, almond slivers and unusually large chunks of dried fruit, mostly pawpaw and apricot. I don’t think there were any other ingredients besides the oats, almonds and dried fruit. And the actual quantity of dried fruit was quite low: the sum total in my bowl was pretty much as you see in the photo below. The yoghurt was plentiful and unsweetened.
Actually, looking at the 2019 photo I see there was a slight difference: it had whole almonds rather than sliced, and there was some fresh kiwifruit and dried pineapple.
In 2019 turned up here at 8am on a cold winter’s weekday morning and the heaters above the comfortable upholstered seats provided a nice cosy atmosphere. There were two or three other stray loners like me getting their breakfast or coffee when I walked in but others gradually arrived.
There were newspapers to read, and at this hour, plenty of larger tables to spread one out on. And no problem grabbing one of the soft bench seats.
On my second visit in early 2022 on a Saturday morning there were also few people, but Covid was probably keeping some away. Friday’s paper was available but I was told they didn’t get the Saturday edition. Shame. Such a perfect place to read a newspaper too, with the European style soft seating and no crowd.
The coffee I had in 2019 was fine, but nothing special. The tea I had in 2022 was, I was told, Tea Total, and that’s certainly the branding that was on the tins, but my teabag came with a Twinings tag.
A comfortable environment with good, healthy, no-frills granola. And reliably consistent. Tea and coffee quality is ho-hum, and lack of Saturday newspaper detracts for me personally.
Reviewed July 2019 and updated March 2022
Menus, ingredients and opening hours may change. Check with eatery before you visit.