119 Dixon St, Te Aro, Wellington
Opens 7am weekdays, 8am weekends; closes 4pm weekdays, 5pm weekends
Granola $16.50, porridge $15; Flight coffee (incl filter and cold); Tea Drop (black teas) and Libertine (herbal and green) teas
Hangar evolved out of the coffee roastery Flight, founded in 2012. Coffee remains a specialty, with a good range of blends, origins and brewing methods. It is a popular café, holding a respectable crowd when I walk past on the way to work in the mornings. On Saturdays you need to be in before 9am if you want a seat.
What we are looking at here is a toasted muesli that Hangar call granola. I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt, because although it doesn’t clump into crunchy clusters like a granola, it is nevertheless fairly crunchy. The presentation is quite striking. It’s the flower petals that do it. And I guess the fact that everything is arranged around the small jug of milk in the centre, though really no great care has gone into setting out the ingredients.
You get fresh fruit in the form of blueberries, strawberries and sliced banana. The yoghurt is a coconut variety and the milk is oat milk. There wasn’t a lot of either, so I had to ask for more milk to wet the granola. There are sunflower and pumpkin seeds in the granola as well as walnuts and pecans and it is the generous serve of pecans makes this mix distinctive. Less special is the usual dried fruit: sultanas, apricot and cranberries.
I also had the above granola/muesli in October 2019. This consisted of toasted small oat flakes, peanuts and almond slivers, with added dried apricot, cranberries and raisins/sultanas. You got a nice berry compote and a Greek yoghurt, as well as a very large pot of regular milk. I remember not being sure what to do with the pot. Should I remove it and leave a big hole in the centre or eat round it? Anyway, it’s nice that things have moved on from dairy milk and yoghurt in 2020.
I turned up at about 8.15 on a Saturday morning and you can see how few people were there in the photo above. But by 9am people were standing about waiting for a table (see below).
The coffee can be really excellent here and there are so many ways you can have it. Three roasts of filter are usually on offer, and cold brew is also available. Sometime I’m going to try their coffee tasting options: you can try several roasts at once, or try the same coffee made in different ways (black espresso, filter and flat white I think).
On another occasion I had honeydew melon green tea and smashed avocado on toast. The tea was served very nicely in a ceramic pot and you could pour the tea into a tea cup rather than the ubiquitous repurposed tea cup. The avocado was fine, though not outstanding. I found the grilled five grain toast a bit on the burnt side for my taste.
Hangar used to have newspapers to read, but as of February 2022 they are no longer being offered. That makes the place a lot less attractive for me now, despite the coffee. On the other hand, dogs seem to be accepted. A cute inner city one was welcomed by the waitress and sat on the bench seat next to me beside its owner. Maybe, like plant milk, that is a sign of the changing times.
Some of the best coffee in town and the granola is good but has rather too much dried fruit to be very healthy. Nice that it comes with plant based yoghurt and milk as standard. The space is OK, but can feel a bit confined and basic, though the rough-sawn timber humanises it somewhat.
Reviewed October 2019 and February 2022.
Menus, ingredients and opening hours may change. Check with eatery before you visit.