Taveuni for Foodies
If we had to pick the best island in Fiji for foodies, it would have to be Taveuni. The fertile lands are so abundant with tropical fruit, medicinal plants and vegetables that it’s dubbed the “Garden Island” making it the perfect place to discover the organic produce of Fiji. What’s more, the island is rich in culture with the local Fijians eager to share their passion for food, whether it’s through a traditional “lovo” feast or with a personal cooking class. We’ll guide you through all of your best options for a foodie holiday on Taveuni with this foodie guide to Taveuni.
Before we jump into the foodie guide to Taveuni, be sure to bookmark The Complete Guide to Food in Fiji, which has even more advice.
10 Things to Do on Taveuni for Foodies
- Learn how to cook Fijian food in a cooking lesson or demonstration
- Discover natural medicinal remedies in a medicine talk
- Join in on a kava ceremony
- Learn all the uses for coconuts in a coconut show
- Indulge in a traditional Lovo feast
- Do a superfood tour of Taveuni island
- Sample real Fijian food in a village visit or homestay
- Catch your own dinner on a fishing charter
- Treat your loved one to a private dining experience
- Visit the fruit stalls and town markets.
For more information on each activity, see our 10 Things to Do on Taveuni for Foodies.
How to Get to Taveuni
Getting to Taveuni is all part of the adventure. Being located on the northeastern group of islands in Fiji, some 300km (185 miles) away from Fiji’s main island and airport, Viti Levu, Taveuni requires transport either across the Koro Sea or by air. Here are some of your options.
Taveuni by Plane
If you’re looking for a quick and convenient way to get to Taveuni, take a domestic flight from Nadi International Airport, Nausori Airport in Suva or Savusavu Airport on Vanua Levu. Flights to the island are in small planes so book early to secure a place at a good price. Matei Airport is the airport of Taveuni taking approximately 1h15mins to fly from Nadi and 50 minutes from Suva. Private charter services at a more premium price. Find out more about flights to Taveuni in our Taveuni Transport Guide: 8 Ways to Get to Taveuni (& Get Around Taveuni).
Taveuni by Ferry
Because we know that foodies usually love to immerse in the local culture, another good option could be to take the ferry to Taveuni – just like the locals. It’s certainly the most affordable way to cross the Koro Sea from Viti Levu. Ferries run overnight from Suva to Wairiki Wharf on Taveuni, located between the villages of Wairiki and Waiyevo. If travelling from Vanua Levu, catch the ferry from Buca Bay (including a bus service from Savusavu) to Korean Wharf on Taveuni taking around 1h30mins. More details on the ferry companies and more can be found in our Taveuni Transport Guide.
Taveuni by Cruise Ship
Finally, make Taveuni just one dot on the map of many islands you’ll visit with small-ship cruises departing from Port Denarau on Viti Levu (Fiji’s main island). Again, more details on these cruises can be found in the 8 Ways to Get to Taveuni (& Get Around Taveuni).
Foodie Activities on Taveuni
On such a fertile island that it’s known as the “Garden Island” in Fiji, you will be in, arguably, one of the best places to have authentic Fijian foodie experiences. Combine that with the passion the locals have for fresh food while keeping their supplies sustainable thanks to the many marine parks and reserves around Taveuni, and you have an excellent array of foodie activities to choose from.
Fijian Cooking Classes and Demonstrations
Fijians are proud to share their food with visitors, so it’s pretty easy to find a good cooking class on Taveuni. Watch the chefs at work at the Matangi Private Island Resort where you’ll get to sample divine prawn curry in freshly-squeezed coconut milk, roti flatbread and condiments made with tropical fruit from the island. At Taveuni Palms Resort, you have the opportunity to take part in a complimentary cooking class with your own personal chef during your stay. Finally, those staying five nights or more at the Coconut Grove Beachfront Cottages, you’ll receive a complimentary cooking class with the staff.
Taveuni Superfood Tour
Tour the gardens, nectar lab and indulge in a three-course lunch at the Gaiatree Sanctuary on the west coast of Taveuni. Their Spice of Life Superfood Tour takes you into the hills of Taveuni’s interior where you’ll be welcomed with refreshments before taking a detailed garden tour. Then, relax at Gaiatree’s Nectar Lounge where you’ll indulge in a three-course vegetarian superfood experience of ingredient-driven Fijian cuisine. You’ll also get to choose from a selection of healthy sauces, dressing, smoothings, juices and teas. Find out more about the tour on Viator and Tripadvisor.
Fijian Medicinal Walks and Talks
Learn about the natural remedies of Fiji’s “Garden Island” with a medicinal walking tour or demonstration. Na Bogi Ono Farms, otherwise known as Bobby’s Farm, is a fantastic place to experience this where Bobby will give you a tour of this conservation farm full of birdlife and, of course, medicinal plants and tropical fruit. Learn about them all on this walking tour around the farm. Either visit the farm yourself, located south of Waiyevo or organise a tour with Aroha Taveuni. Alternatively, Matangi Private Island Resort offers a weekly Medicine Talk with demonstrations on how to collect and prepare bush medicine.
Fijian Village Visits and Homestays
If you want to discover what Fijians really eat and how they eat it, then the best thing to do is a village visit or a village homestay. Village visits can be arranged at almost any resort on Taveuni, with local villages being so accessible and working closely with the resorts. 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 and consist of simple yet delicious fresh seafood and root crops, usually sat on the floor while eating with your hands. It’s the real deal! Choose your homestay with our 5 Best Homestays on Taveuni.
See more ideas in our 10 Things to Do on Taveuni for Foodies.
Best Restaurants on Taveuni
Taveuni’s food scene is mostly found in the island’s resorts and in a couple of the main towns on the island. Luckily, some of the resorts are open to casual diners, should you want to mix things up a bit. Often, we say that the food you’re served at budget accommodations and village stays is enough of a foodie experience to educate your palette.
Restaurants on Taveuni You Can’t Miss
If you’re spending some time in Matei and manage to pull yourself away from your resort, then 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. Another place to check out in Matei is the Coconut Grove Restaurant open to casual diners. Fresh seafood, organic vegetables and homemade pasta make up much of the ingredients. 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. See more recommendations in our Guide to the Best Eats & Restaurants on Taveuni.
Cheap Eats on Taveuni
Taveuni’s small towns each have a couple of great options for cafe, Fijian and Indo-Fijian-style food often sold on the front porch of locals’ houses. The street food available in Matei and Naqara is ever-changing, so it wouldn’t be appropriate to list recommendations here. Just wander around town and see what’s available!
Private Dining on Taveuni
To celebrate a special occasion, or simply just to treat yourself – you’re on holiday, after all – private dining is a special foodie experience on Taveuni. Many of the luxury resorts offer this option to have a private table set up on the beach, often accompanied by candles and serenaders. Choose Matangi Resort, Paradise Taveuni, Coconut Grove and Qamea Resort, for example. Another option too irresistibly romantic to pass up is a private island picnic available with Matangi Resort, where you’ll indulge in a gourmet picnic on Horseshoe Bay. Vacala Bay Resort offers a similar option on a sailing cruise to Honeymoon Island.
Vegan and Vegetarian Food on Taveuni
While there are no real vegetarian restaurants on Taveuni (with the exception of the superfood experience at the Gaiatree Sanctuary – see above), the high-end resorts are equipped to meet your dietary needs if given prior notice. For village stays or meals at the budget accommodations, you will have to inquire whether they can provide, as most meals served are often made with fresh seafood. Otherwise, we have listed the self-catering accommodation beside this article where you are able to spruce up your own creations from purchases made at the local markets and grocery stores.