Attractions at Westpac Stadium — aka the Cake Tin — make a trip to the capital imperative, writes Jared Savage.
Italian-style meatballs, roast beef with yorkshire pudding, burritos and nasi goreng - the new menu at the Cake Tin is a step up from the standard greasy fare at sports grounds.
"We reckon this is the best stadium food in the country," says Shane Harmon, and it's difficult to disagree.
We're in Wellington to watch the All Blacks take on the Springboks and having a quick drink with the boss of Westpac Stadium at the brand new Mezzanine Bar.
There's an hour to kill before kick-off and supporters of both teams are watching a replay of the last match between the great rivals on wall-sized screens at each end of the long bar.
There's a growing sense of anticipation, good food and beer, plus some light-hearted banter between the fans of the rugby-loving nations. The only thing missing is the craft beer Wellington prides itself on.
Looking across the harbour and to the lights of the city, it's hard not to feel a pang of jealousy.
As an adopted Aucklander, I'm an Eden Park stalwart and have grown to love the misshapen stadium, which has improved out of sight since the Rugby World Cup makeover.
But spending a day in the capital has made me realise the difference, not just between the venues, but the game-day experience in each city.
By lunchtime, downtown Wellington was pumping with clusters of Springbok and All Black fans, decked out in their team's colours, eating and drinking in the bars and restaurants around Cuba St.
There was a real vibe, a convivial atmosphere of footy fans enjoying themselves all day, which I've only really experienced during the halcyon days of the Rugby World Cup.
Craft beer is king in Wellington so my mate and I - released from husband/father duties for a weekend "bromance" - strolled up to Garage Project for a tasting session.
Take your own flagon to the microbrewery, which is a former gas station in Aro Valley, or you can pick from a selection of cans.
As kick-off drew closer, we joined the migration towards the Cake Tin and the short distance reminded me of the missed opportunity of a waterfront stadium in Auckland. People arrived early at the ground and filled up the spacious bars on site - why doesn't Eden Park have those?
The All Blacks clung on to win 14-10 to cap off a great day, but there are plenty of reasons to come back to the capital.
Shane Harmon, who joined Westpac Stadium from Australia after an earlier stint with the RWC, has made a concerted effort to attract big events to Wellington.
English Premier League teams Newcastle and West Ham United have already visited this year, with the Four Nations League Final and Elton John just around the corner.
Add in a big summer of Cricket World Cup, an AFL exhibition match, then the Fifa U20 tournament, there's even more excuses to get away for another Boys' Weekend.
Getting there: Jetstar flies up to eight times a day from Auckland to Wellington.
Be there, boys
Apr 25: AFL - St Kilda v Carlton
May 30 - June 14: Football - FIFA U20 World Cup
The writer travelled courtesy of Positively Wellington Tourism.