Denarau for Foodies
Fiji and the South Pacific are islands that can be experienced through the flavours of its cuisine. If you’re looking for an accessible Fiji destination with a wealth of foodie experience then set your sights on Denarau Island. The luxury resort island is a foodie’s paradise, packed with restaurants to try the local cuisine, as well as hands-on food activities. We’ll guide you through the eateries, accommodation and activities that every foodie should try in this foodie guide to Denarau Island.
Before we jump into the foodie guide to Denarau, be sure to bookmark The Complete Guide to Food in Fiji, which has even more advice.
10 Things to Do in Denarau for Foodies
- Go to Fijian cooking school with Flavours of Fiji
- Learn to cook Fijian dishes in a Fijian village
- Try a traditional Fijian “lovo” at the Fiji Culture Village
- Experience an in-the-water restaurant at the Radisson Blu Resort
- Visit the Nadi produce markets
- Enjoy a private waterfront dinner at the Sofitel Fiji Resort
- Do an island excursion cruise complete with a barbecue lunch
- Experience fine dining at Ports O’Call or The Kitchen Grill
- Embark on a sunset cruise with a barbecue or lobster dinner
- Get your health fix at the Waitui Beach Club
For more information on each, check out our 10 Things to Do in Denarau for Foodies, or continue reading!
How to Get to Denarau Island
Situated only 25 minutes south of Nadi International Airport, Denarau Island is one of the easiest resort areas for international foodies to get to in Fiji. What’s more, the island is attached to the mainland by road, so all you have to do is pick your road transport:
Denarau by Taxi
For a quick and direct service, taxis are a popular way to get between Nadi Airport and Denarau. A taxi from the airport will cost around FJ$30-$50 one way, which is easy to catch in the taxi depot just outside of Nadi Airport. When travelling from Denarau, taxis need to be booked in advance with the only taxi company permitted to pick up on the island, Denarau Hire Cars. Get tips on taking a taxi in our 10 Things You Need to Know About Taxis in Fiji.
Denarau by Airport Transfer
For something a bit more luxurious, book an airport transfer to Denarau Island. Your driver will be waiting for you at the airport ready to whisk you to the doorstep of your chosen resort. Private transfers cost around FJ$90-$130 one way. Check out recommendations in the Denarau Transport Guide.
Denarau by Bus
If you’re looking for a cheap way to get to Denarau then you can’t do better than the public bus service, which departs every 5-10 minutes from Nadi to Denarau costing around FJ$1-$2 per person. As for getting around Denarau, a hop-on-hop-off service is available costing around FJ$8 per adult for the full day. Children under 12 travel free with a paying adult. More details on these bus services can be found in our Denarau Transport Guide.
Foodie Activities in Denarau
From hands-on cooking classes to traditional culinary events, there are many ways to experience Fiji through the activities available in and around Denarau Island.
Take a Fijian Cooking Class
You have two amazing yet completely different cooking class experiences to choose from in Denarau. The Flavours of Fiji cooking school gives foodies the opportunity to visit the local Nadi produce markets before returning to an air-conditioned kitchen to learn how to cook Fijian dishes with seasonal ingredients. Find out more about Flavours of Fiji on Viator and Tripadvisor.
Alternatively, the Great Taste of Fiji tour with Tourist Transport Fiji whisks adventurous foodies away from their Denarau hotel to the remote Navilawa Village in Koroyanitu National Heritage Park. There, you’ll experience a cooking lesson to create authentic Fijian dishes, as well as experience a kava ceremony. Kava is a ceremonial drink made from ground-up Yaqona root – a must-try in Fiji! Find out more about Tourist Transport Fiji on Viator and Tripadvisor.
Try a Traditional Fijian Lovo
Nothing represents the flavours and cooking methods of the South Pacific quite like a “lovo”. A lovo is food slow-cooked in an underground oven. The result is a smokey melt-in-your-mouth meal of succulent meat and tropical vegetables. Many resorts around Denarau offer these lovo nights with an unveiling of the lovo and a buffet after the ceremony. Try the Sofitel Fiji Resort‘s Fiji Cultural Dinner, the Lovo Night at Mamacita’s Mexican Restaurant at the Wyndham Resort, or Coco Palms at The Westin Resort. Alternatively, tours to the Fiji Culture Village have a complete immersive night of culture including a local village experience, fire dance and “meke” cultural performances, and a lovo feast. Find out more about Fiji Culture Village on Viator and Tripadvisor.
Visit the Nadi Produce Markets
A Fijian produce market is not just about browsing the incredible array of tropical fruit and vegetables, it’s a cultural and social experience. Stallholders are friendly (not pushy) showcasing the Fijian hospitality the islands are known for. Purchase some fresh fruit to taste some of the sweetest pineapples and flavoursome bananas you’ll ever try, as well as many fruit and vegetable you have probably never heard of. Either take the bus/taxi into Nadi to explore independently or join a Wonders of Nadi sightseeing tour with Excite Tours & Travel (more info on Viator and Tripadvisor).
For more food-orientated experiences, check out our complete 10 Things to Do in Denarau for Foodies.
Best Restaurants in Denarau
Denarau Island offers a wealth of international flavours to please every palette. Fijian restaurants, Indo-Fijian restaurants, Thai, Italian and American: you can find it all here in Denarau – just check out our Guide to the Best Eats & Restaurants in Denarau. For foodies, here are some of the culinary highlights in Denarau.
Where to Try Fijian Food on Denarau
Apart from the traditional lovo feasts offered by the resorts (see above), there are a few delightful restaurants at the Denarau Marina serving up some Fijian specialities. Try Nadina Authentic Fijian Restaurant for some exception dishes that you’ll find listed in our 10 Unique Foods in Fiji You Have to Try. Alternatively, seafood is a huge part of the Fijian diet, with many Fijian dishes on offer at the Bone Fish Seafood Restaurant.
Fine Dining on Denarau
While most of the resorts on Denarau Island offer crowd-pleasing buffets for dinner, there are a few restaurants to escape to with Fijian fine dining. Ports O’Call at the Sheraton Fiji Resort offers a traditional fine dining experience with local produce, while The Kitchen Grill at The Westin Resort dresses up photo-worthy steaks, seafood, chicken and vegetarian meals in their thatched-bure venue.
Check out more options with our 6 Fine Dining Restaurants on Denarau Island.
Unique Dining Venues on Denarau
For special occasions or just for fun, try these dining experiences in Denarau. The Lomani Wai restaurant at the Radisson Blu Resort is Denarau’s only in-the-water restaurant where guests will be treated to kava ceremony and fire show throughout the three-course dinner. You might also want to treat your loved one, friends or family to a private waterfront table at the Radisson Blu Resort or Sofitel Fiji Resort where you’ll get a personal butler and dine under the stars.
Vegan and Vegetarian Restaurants in Denarau
Denarau Island is a holiday destination serving travellers from all over the world. With that in mind, a wide range of diets is taken into consideration when creating Denarau’s restaurant menus. Vegetarians and vegans will not be hard-pressed to find delicious meat-free meals on any menu. However, you won’t find any dedicated vegetarian restaurants in Denarau… yet. Until that time, here are some of your best options for vegan and vegetarian restaurants in Denarau.
Restaurants with Vegan and Vegetarian Options in Denarau
Vegetarian and gluten-free options are well-marked on the menu of Chantara Thai Restaurant at the Radisson Blu Resort. Highlights include the phad Thai, khaw phad sub pa roo and sizzling plates of tofu. On a similar Asian theme, you might also want to try the Indigo Indian & Asian Restaurant at Port Denarau Marina for their extensive range of vegetarian curries and Indo-Fijian cuisine.
For light snacks, you can always count on cafes for vegetarian and vegan-friendly options and that’s certainly the case for Bulaccino, located outside of the Sheraton Resort. Try their quinoa salad, veggie rice noodles, vegan cookies and more.
Finally, get your health fix at the KORO complex at the Hilton Fiji Beach Resort and the Waitui Beach Club at the Sofitel Fiji Resort. The adult-only areas include restaurants with healthy meals to suit a range of diets: vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free!
For more vegetarian options, check out our 10 Best Vegan & Vegetarian Restaurants in Denarau.