The Best Places to Eat in Taveuni
Taveuni is one of the rare outer islands in Fiji where you have a choice of dining experiences. Not only are there resorts dotted around the island with restaurants open to casual diners, but there are a few independently-run restaurants in the towns of Matei and Naqara. In a less formal setting than a restaurant, locals also offer takeaways often off the front porch of their home! With an expat community of Americans, Western food is a big deal here, but you will still find authentic Fijian food and the odd Asian dish when you know where to go. Check out our recommendations in this guide to the best restaurants on Taveuni.
While you’re here, check out our The Foodie Guide to Taveuni.
7 Tips for Eating Out in Taveuni
- Ask around Matei and Naqara for the latest curry houses and cafes – usually an operation on the front verandah of local’s houses. They provide an affordable street eat experience
- Make a trip to Matei and Naqara to visit the local markets selling delicious fresh fruit and vegetables
- Authentic Fijian cuisine is best tried in a village visit or homestay with the locals
- Indian food can be pretty spicy in Fiji, so be careful about what you order if you can’t handle it
- Most resort restaurants on Taveuni are open to casual diners, so don’t be afraid to mix your dining options up a bit
- For ultimate luxury, stay on Laucala Island, a private island resort and five restaurants to choose from
- The drinking age in Fiji is 18 years old.
Fijian Restaurants in Taveuni
With the Fijian culture being ever prominent on the islands of Taveuni and Qamea, finding Fijian-style food is an easy task. Resorts are keen to share Fijian cuisine with guests, often featuring at least “Kokoda”, fish marinated in coconut cream, on the menu. You may also try the food featured on 10 Unique Foods in Fiji You Have to Try. Here are a few examples of where you try Fijian food in Taveuni and Qamea.
Where to Try Fijian Food in Taveuni
A popular resort restaurant open to casual diners in Matei is the Coconut Grove Restaurant. Fresh seafood, organic vegetables and homemade pasta make up much of the ingredients, where there is a choice of Fijian dishes on the menu, including fish, chicken or lobster cooked in coconut cream infused with local ingredients.
Many of the resorts want to provide the full Fiji experience and have the menus to match. At Qamea Resort & Spa‘s Bure Kalau, indulge in a fusion of Fijian Pacific Rim cuisine with fresh local ingredients. The resort also offers diet-special food and health retreats.
Sample simple yet authentic Fijian food at one of the island’s budget accommodations like Vuna Lagoon Lodge. Set outside of Vuna Village, Vuna Lagoon Lodge offers super affordable breakfast, lunch and dinner Fijian style. While you won’t have a menu to choose from, the choice is ideal for non-fussy eaters who want to try something truly local. See more options like this in 7 Best Budget Accommodation in Taveuni.
Fijian Meals in Village Stays
Another way to immerse in the culture is by staying with a Fijian family where meals are offered to guests at a very reasonable cost. Meals are simple yet delicious, usually, a variety of fresh seafood and root crops are eaten while sitting on the floor and eating with your hands – the real deal! See where you can have this type of experience in our 5 Best Homestays in Taveuni.
Where to Try a Lovo
Lovo is a traditional Fijian cooking method where food is wrapped in banana leaves and slow-cooked in an underground oven for several hours. It’s a foodie experience many of us wish to try when visiting Fiji. Taveuni has a few options for trying a lovo, including once a week at Paradise Taveuni, and at the Wiwi Village during the winter season, which can be organised with resorts such as Vacala Bay Resort, Aroha Taveuni and Taveuni Palms Resort.
See more foodie experiences in 10 Things to Do in Taveuni for Foodies.
Asian Restaurants in Taveuni
In comparison to other islands in Fiji, Indo-Fijian food is not as abundant but you’ll still be able to find some great eats on resort menus and sold out of local’s houses. Chinese dishes are also available at some of the restaurants listed below.
Resorts Serving Asian Food
Those travelling along the west coast can stop by the Cliffhouse Restaurant at the Nakia Resort, which does a little bit of everything including Indian and Chinese cuisine. Meals are made with produce grown in the resort’s own garden, as well as local seafood, beef, lamb and chicken. Vegetarian meals are also available.
While the Maravu Plantation Cafe offers a wide range of cuisine, such as Western dishes, it’s also a good place to go for Indian and Chinese food. Curries and fried rice dishes are part of their extensive menu which is one of the most affordable resort menus on the island. Find the cafe at Maravu Lodge in Matei.
On Matangi Island, the Vale-Ni-Kana dining room at Matangi Private Island Resort offers a set menu each day with Asian dishes usually being one of the options. For instance, thyme and tofu fried rice, Thai beef salad, tempura prawn salad, Thai-flavoured mussel and more.
Street Food in Taveuni
Taveuni’s small towns each have a couple of great options for Indo-Fijian food often sold on the front porch of locals’ houses. The Asian street food available in Matei and Naqara is ever-changing, so it wouldn’t be appropriate to list recommendations here. Just wander around those towns and see what’s available!
Western Restaurants in Taveuni
With a large American, Australian and New Zealander expat population, many of which run the resorts in Taveuni, Western food is a popular choice on the island. Pizzas, burgers, cafe-style wraps and sandwiches are all pretty easy to find at the restaurant resorts listed below.
Western Food in Taveuni
On the west side of Taveuni, pop into the Salty Fox Bar and Grill at Taveuni Dive Resort when you’re craving American-style food like pizzas and burgers. It’s a popular place for holidaymakers, locals and expats.
Also on the west coast, Kai Time at the Aroha Taveuni Beachfront Villas is open to casual diners to experience their wood-fired pizzas and ever-popular fish and chips! It’s definitely a place to try European favourites made with local ingredients.
If you’re spending some time in Matei, don’t miss one of Taveuni’s most popular restaurants, Tramonto. Perched on a hilltop overlooking the ocean, Tramonto makes an awesome place to enjoy sundowners before indulging in their thin-crust pizzas.
If you need a fresh loaf of bread, the Matei Bakery & Takeaways is the place to go! They also offer a range of takeaway food, such as curries, chicken and fish dishes.