Culinary delight: Wellington on a Plate returns to stimulate the capital's taste buds.

It's being touted as the biggest culinary festival in the Southern Hemisphere - Wellington On A Plate is back.

Thousands are expected to eat, drink and eat again in the capital over the next month for the annual festival.

"If you like eating, if you like the best of New Zealand cuisine and hospitality, you need to come and try Visa Wellington on a Plate," Festival Director Sarah Meikle says.

The month-long festival kicks off this weekend, more than 300 venues across the region want to give customers an experience to remember.

"For us it's Christmas, it's bigger than Christmas. We're almost twice as busy," Burger Liquor's Dan Haycock says.

The burger bar is giving customers a cocktail, fine dining, and what it's known for: a Smokey Burger with a twist.

"We're doing what we're calling the Sister of Smokey, it's a fried chicken version of that, some white Alabama sauce, some prosciutto and pink pickle fried onions," Haycock says.

This year's theme is 'Out of Place' - something Cuba St restaurant Floriditas wants to nail.

"We're going about half vegetarian half vegan for an entire week, breakfast, lunch and dinner," Hayden McMillan from Floridtias says.

He's called the week 'Flora no Fauna'.

Hundreds of thousands of meals, drinks, and experiences are expected to be consumed.

"It's important for consumers to remember to be kind, be patient, they might need to wait a little bit longer, but they'll certainly have a fantastic time," Meikle says.