WellingtonEat & Drink
Waiter setting a table inside Ortega Fish Shack. A large Marlin is mounted on one wall and a very large painting of a lake is on the other.

Ortega Fish Shack

  • Location

    16 Majoribanks Street, Mount Victoria, Wellington

  • Website


Ortega Fish Shack is one of those restaurants beloved by both locals and visitors. Described by one reviewer as “fine dining in disguise”, Ortega is upmarket dining with a laidback, good-time vibe.

As the name suggests, it’s predominately a seafood restaurant serving fresh and sustainable . The menu changes each day, depending on what fish is available. But regardless of the catch, there’s always ceviche on the menu — fresh raw fish with herbs, crispy shallots, and ginger dressing. And, despite being a self-titled fish shack, Ortega’s steak and fries have a passionate local following.

Ortega’s popularity is down to its two owners. Award-winning maitre d’ Davey McDonald will welcome you to the Shack with a grin and farewell you by the door at the end of the night. And Mark Limacher is an award-winning chef who has been quietly influential in the food world.

Close up of an orange raw fish dish served at Ortega Fish Shack.

The restaurant is in a two-storey, 1800s building in Mount Victoria. Ortega’s aesthetic is beachside bistro: weatherboard shutters, mosaic-tiled floors, walls covered with nautical paraphernalia and mounted fish. The waitstaff are clad in casual clothes and leather aprons. Like Davey, they’re the perfect mix of knowledgeable, attentive and friendly.

When describing the drinks list, one word comes to mind: epic. Spread over 50-plus pages, there are even chapters to the menu, making you smile as much as it makes you thirsty. Davey and his crew will take you on a guided tour or lead you straight to what you didn’t know you felt like drinking. If sherry is your thing, you’ve come to the right place.

Fun, friendly fine dining — you heard it here first, folks.

2 customers sharing a plate inside Ortega FIsh Shack.