Visa Wellington On a plate is gearing up to take diners out of their comfort zones and back in time for the month of August.
Focusing on the unsettling nature of last year and our inability to travel overseas, the festival has announced it's running with the theme, "Out of Place," and will feature cuisines and dishes from around the world.
Festival director Sarah Meikle said it couldn't be more appropriate.
"It really is a description of how everyone has felt over the past year. Everyone has been put in a new place, one they aren't that comfortable with and that's a great place to be in when making dining decisions.
"It teaches you to make choices like going to an event or trying a dish you wouldn't normally try, because this is your moment to do something out of the ordinary."
She said the more exotic and international flavour is just want people are craving.
"There is that sort of subconscious sort of feeling that we're replacing travel with dining out experiences. You can see the world at home, for this year at least."
Normally the event is split evenly between Dine and Burger Wellington, but this year the two will cross over between August 13 and 15. With Beervana falling on the same weekend and Cocktail Wellington running throughout, punters can expect a hospitality extravaganza.
"If you aren't from Wellington and you want to come and get a bit of the festival then that is the weekend to do it. But I'd say get organised because it will be really busy," said Meikle.
The concept of time will also dictate a lot of the events programme, with the acclaimed restaurant Shepherd set to recreate the golden age of travel on board the Interislander as it cruises around Wellington Harbour.
256 burgers are entering the competition this year, some coming from the Wairarapa, Kāpiti and Hutt City regions.
Ollie Edwards from Kāpura designed 19 burgers for last year's competition, which accounted for more than 27,000 sales.
He said he's beyond excited as it is just as much fun for those involved as it is for the punters.
"People literally save up, make lists and have checklists before the month starts. Wellington is average and bleak in winter, and this gets everyone out and brings the city to life again.
"From my point of view it's seeing people talking about your burger, your creation and your idea. It's about taking an idea on a piece of paper and turning it into an experience. It's a good feeling when you do well but you take it all with a grain of salt."