When hunger strikes and you've no time to waste, I suggest you head to Tommy Millions and Lucky Chicken, sitting on the corner of Courtney place and Taranaki Street. As any local will tell you, this place is a mecca for quality fast food.
On arrival, I was rushed by the foot traffic exiting the Royal New Zealand Ballet. As they hurried past, I spied Tommy’s trademark smile peering through the window, cheerfully serving hungry punters, a perfect example of how street-level eateries move with the beat of the people in Wellington.
Tommy Millions – a pizza, sub and now fried chicken joint serving simple, seriously delicious street food – was established in 2011 by local foodie Tommy Kirton. The historic building that once stood as a public toilet, is now a trendy, architectural hub for fresh, fast fare. Here, you'll find a plentiful menu of pizza and subs; the pizza (available by the slice) is a traditional New York-style thin crust, cooked just right. The menu covers all of the crowd-pleasers, and is designed to suit any diet, from veggies to bona fide meat-lovers.
My favourite slice is the “Porker” – a perfectly golden base topped with tomato, mozzarella, salami, house sausage and red onion. All pizzas are served by the slice but also available to purchase as a whole pie. The team here offer hungry pedestrians their own in-house coffee brew, Gentlemen's Bean, from early until late, so that you can get your daily fix en route to wherever it is you're going.
Over on the adjacent window is the recently-added Lucky, where the team are quite simply mastering the art of fried chicken. The menu includes hearty options to satisfy the late night munchies, including the “bomber chicken burger”, served in a soft white brioche bun with just the right amount of lettuce and lashings of special Lucky sauce. For a vegetarian alternative, there's the "double-happy crispy halloumi burger", served with crunchy slaw, pickles and hot honey. If you only have room for a snack, settle on the crinkle cut fries with gravy and chicken poppers (a twist on a classic poutine, without the cheese curd). As far as flavour goes, this will surpass even the tastiest KFC snack box.
The ambience and vibe that Tommy has created around these businesses is friendly and enjoyable. The staff are passionate about what they do, offering exceptional service – even during the wee hours of Sunday morning. When I caught up with Tommy, I asked him what he enjoyed most about hospo. His answer was simple: "No two days are ever the same."
Thanks a million, Tommy.
101/103 Courtenay Place
Te Aro, Wellington.
Monday – Friday: 7.30am – 11pm (pizza from 11am)
Saturday: 11.00am – 4.00am (pizza from 11am)
Sunday: 11.00am – 11pm
Corner Courtenay Place and Taranaki Street,
Te Aro, Wellington.
Monday – Friday: 11.30am – 2.30pm, 5.00pm – 8.30pm
Saturday: 5pm – 1.30am
Sunday: 5pm – 8.30pm