Food Activities on the Suncoast, Fiji
Your journey to Viti Levu’s northern region of the Suncoast should be that of culinary discovery. Towns brimming with Indo-Fijian street food, Fijian villagers inviting guests into their homes, and a whole host of foodie resort activities await on the Suncoast of Fiji. The Suncoast stretches from Lautoka to Rakiraki to Korovou, covering a vast area of Fiji where the culture is as rich as the cuisine. Check out this list of things to do on the Suncoast for foodies for inspiration.
1. Learn How to Make Fijian or Indo-Fijian Cuisine in a Cooking Class
A Fijian cooking class is a celebration of Fijian cuisine and culture through gastronomy. Join the chefs at the beachfront kitchen of the Volivoli Beach Resort in their cooking class where students will learn how to make kokoda – fresh fish marinated in coconut cream, fruit and chillis. You’ll also learn how to make a staple Indo-Fijian side dish known as roti, as well as have the opportunity to pay a visit to the local farmer who grows the ingredients used. Similar experiences can also be enjoyed at Bularangi Villa – an Indo-Fijian cooking class in your own private kitchen, and at Dolphin Island.
2. Visit the Local Markets in Rakiraki and Lautoka
Visiting a Fijian produce market is a must for any foodie visiting Fiji for the first time. Not only will you discover vibrant displays of colourful tropical fruit and vegetables which make for excellent photos, but you’ll experience the friendliness of the local growers. Sellers will be eager to talk to you (but are not too pushy to sell) to tell you more about the food they sell and give tips on how to prepare them. There are produce markets in Lautoka and in Rakiraki, which can be visited independently, as well as on resort tours. For more excursions like those to Rakiraki and Lautoka, see The Best Day Trips from the Suncoast.
3. Catch Your Own Dinner in Handline or Sports Fishing
Fishing is a way of life on the islands of Fiji and a major source of food. Experience making your own catch then return to your resort where the resort chefs are usually happy to cook up your catch. Handline fishing is the traditional Fijian method where you’ll get the opportunity to catch reef fish with accommodation providers such as Dolphin Island and Bularangi Villas. For something more hardcore, challenge yourself to a sports fishing trip with Golden Point Resort, Wananavu Beach Resort, Volivoli Beach Resort or Dreamview Villas. You’ll get the chance to snatch up some of the South Pacific’s largest fish, from sailfish to giant trevally! Find out more in What Types of Fish Can You Fish For in Fiji?
4. Experience a Kava Ceremony
The Fijian culture is extremely accessible on the Suncoast where village visits and village stays are readily available (more on that below). Often, your first encounter with a Fijian village involves a kava ceremony – a welcoming ceremony where you will share a bilo (coconut cup) of a narcotic drink called “kava” with the village chief. It is customary for the visitors to gift yaqona roots used to make Kava, which your tour guide will provide. Otherwise, you will need to bring some yaqona yourself if visiting a village independently. See Fiji Village Etiquette: What to Do When Visiting a Fijian Village for more advice. Kava ceremonies are also demonstrated in accommodation like the Natalei Eco Lodge.
5. Try a Traditional Lovo feast
A traditional “lovo” feast is where food is wrapped in banana leaves and slow-cooked in an earth oven. While the result is a mouth-watering array of meat and vegetables with an irresistibly smokey taste, the preparation for a lovo is quite huge. For this reason, lovos are not super easy to come by on the Suncoast. One of the rare places to experience a lovo is when staying at the luxury Dolphin Island. See more accommodation like this in the 5 Best Luxury Resorts on the Suncoast.
6. Indulge in a Private Dining Experience on a Beach
For something utterly romantic combined with delicious food, how about a picnic on a secluded beach? The Wananavu Beach Resort organises private beach picnic boat trips where you and your loved one will be whisked away to an off-shore island. You’ll get the day to sunbathe, snorkel, swim and indulge in a romantic picnic. Dolphin Island can also organise a picnic for you and your loved one to take on a kayaking trip as you paddle to the nearby islands of Nananu-i-Cake and Nananu-i-Ra.
7. Take Part in a Cultural Village Stay
Experiencing a kava ceremony is just the beginning of a foodie experience when staying in a Fijian village. Homestays in Fijian villages on the Suncoast can be organised through Airbnb and Abaca Lodge in the Koroyanitu National Heritage Park. While the latter is the more expensive option, most homestay hosts will offer meals to eat with the family at a reasonable cost (usually around FJ$15 per person). In a village stay, you’ll get to eat what the locals eat where the locals eat (usually on the floor with your hands). Pick a homestay in our 5 Best Homestays on the Suncoast.
8. Try Fijian Cuisine at the Suncoast’s Restaurants
When in Fiji… Fijians are proud to share their cuisine with visitors, therefore many of the resorts on the Suncoast have at least a couple of Fijian dishes on the menu. For instance, the Nuku Bar & Grill at the Volivoli Beach Resort serves kokoda, ika vakalolo and lobster – all fresh fish dishes with a Fijian twist. Golden Point Resort welcomes casual diners too to sample their international crowd-pleaser menu, including Fijian cuisine and fresh seafood. For those travelling along the Kings Road between Lautoka and Ba, be sure to stop by Tukuni Restaurant to try their ika tavu, kokoda and local delicacies such as octopus, shellfish and seaweed.
9. Scout Out the Street Eats in the Suncoast’s Towns
The Suncoast is dotted with towns brimming with restaurants where you can eat like a king for well under FJ$15. Thalis are a speciality in Ba, where you can expect to pay under FJ$10 at restaurants such as Indiques Restaurant and Mummums Eats and Treats. In Lautoka, Fiji’s second-largest city, you have a wider range of cuisine, from Chinese dishes at Nan Yang to Western favourites at the Blue Ginger Cafe. Check out our full list of recommendations in our Top Cheap Eats on the Suncoast.
10. See a Coconut Husking Demonstration
Coconuts are an important part of the Fijian diet, where you’ll find them incorporated into many Fijian dishes. Learn how to husk a coconut and drink the milk inside with a coconut husking demonstration at Natalei Eco Lodge. Otherwise, the staff at the Suncoast’s resorts are usually more than happy to show you how to open a coconut if you ask.