The Coral Coast for Foodies
Food is an integral part of our holidays – treating our tastebuds and educating our palettes! On the Coral Coast of Fiji, food and culture combine to create a wealth of creative restaurants and food-orientated experiences. For instance, many of the Fijian traditions surround food, as well as their livelihoods, which can be experienced through kava ceremonies, “lovo” and produce markets. That’s just the beginning, so find out more about how you get a real foodie experience in Fiji with this foodie guide to the Coral Coast.
10 Things to Do on the Coral Coast for Foodies
- Learn to cook Fijian food in a Fijian cooking class
- Experience a lovo feast
- Have lunch in a Fijian village
- Take part in the kava ceremony
- Go to the Sigatoka Market
- Do a tropical garden tour
- Enjoy a cultural dinner show
- Try Fijian dishes like Kokoda and Ika Vakaklolo
- Experience fine dining at Ivi, Navo and more
- Try Indo-Fijian curries at a curry house.
For more information on each activity, take a look at our 10 Things to Do on the Coral Coast for Foodies, or simply continue reading…
How to Get to the Coral Coast
Situated on the southern coast of Viti Levu, Fiji’s mainland, the Coral Coast is one of the easiest Fiji destinations to get to. There are transport methods to suit every travel style, from cheap buses to luxurious private transfers. Here are just some of your options.
The Coral Coast by Bus
Budget foodies, you’ll save a ton of money by taking the express bus that runs between Nadi and Suva via the Coral Coast. Express buses from Nadi take around 1h30min to reach the Coral Coast, costing around FJ$6-$10 per person depending on where you are travelling to. Check out Where to Book Bus Transport in Fiji? for more information.
The Coral Coast by Taxi
A quicker and more convenient way to get to the Coral Coast is to catch a taxi. Taxis don’t need to use a meter when leaving a city, like Nadi, so make sure you agree on a price before using the service, which can cost anywhere between FJ$75-$100. See 10 Things You Need to Know About Taxis in Fiji for more tips.
Coral Coast by Private Transfer
Finally, the most luxurious way to get to your resort is via private transfer. You’ll experience the utmost convenience with your driver waiting for you on arrival at the Nadi International Airport. For instance, join the team from Pacific Destinations in their modern air-conditioned vehicles (more info on Viator and Tripadvisor), or stop by ATMs or shops if you need to with Transific Tours (on Viator and Tripadvisor). Prices for these services can be anywhere between FJ$120-$320 one way.
And there’s more! For car rentals, resort transfers and more, check out our 5 Ways to Get to the Coral Coast.
Foodie Activities on the Coral Coast
When it comes to food-orientated experiences, you are spoiled for choice on the Coral Coast. Food is a core part of the Fijian culture, which you’ll discover in the types of tours available. Here are just some ideas.
Fijian Cooking Classes
Learn how to create tasty Fijian dishes yourself in a Fijian cooking class on the Coral Coast! Use traditional cooking methods, such as using coconuts and leaves, as well as cooking with tropical ingredients and often fresh fish! Cooking classes are available at resorts such as the Mango Bay Resort and Fiji Hideaway Resort.
Tropical Garden Tour
Fijian gardens are always a pleasure to explore with banana and coconut palms galore! Coconut husking demonstrations are a staple of any Coral Coast resort where resort staff are usually more than happy to demonstrate how to open a coconut with one swipe of a blade! Alternatively, resorts like the Wellesley Resort offer complimentary guided garden tours of the resort’s gardens to show you the techniques used to grow fruit and vegetables in Fiji.
A must-do on the Coral Coast, and in Fiji for that matter, is experiencing a kava ceremony. Kava is a narcotic drink made from ground Yaqona root mixed with water. This drink is typically shared in Fijian tradition when someone new visits a village. The experience is replicated for resort guests on certain nights of the week where you’ll get to try the drink yourself and learn more about the rituals of the ceremony.
Cultural Dinner Show
Ok, so the “food” aspect of a cultural dinner show is perhaps not the main focus, but it’s still a spectacular activity that happens to involve food. Resorts like Robinson Crusoe Island Resort and Gecko’s Resort put on cultural shows on certain nights of the week. Watch fire dancers, traditional South Pacific dancing, fire walking and more!
“Lovo” is a traditional style of cooking in Fiji where meat and vegetables are slow-cooked in an underground oven. The result is a meal of melt-in-your-mouth textures and smokey flavours! Resorts put on “lovo nights” at least once a week, such as at Outrigger, Fiji Hideaway and Robinson Crusoe Island.
Lunch at a Fijian Village
Jet boat tours are not the obvious foodie go-to, but Sigatoka River Safari has an awesome combination of traditional Fijian food and thrill rides down the Sigatoka River! The jet boat tour departing from Sigatoka takes you through the fertile lands of the Sigatoka valley to Fijian villages where you’ll sit down with the chief for a kava ceremony (see above) and enjoy a Fijian lunch. Find out more about Sigatoka River Safari on Viator and Tripadvisor.
Sigatoka Produce Market
Visiting the hub of the Coral Coast, Sigatoka, is a must for any foodie! Wander the produce markets to see a wonderful array of tropical fruit and vegetables for sale. Talk to the local stallholders who are often eager to share recipe ideas! While you’re in town, stick around for lunch or dinner with an amazing array of authentic cuisine.
Best Restaurants on the Coral Coast
We all know that food is an important part of any holiday, but more so in Fiji where there are many local and international flavours to sample. We’ll give you a few suggestions for different dining experiences below, but for a more in-depth look at the eateries on the Coral Coast, head to our Guide to the Best Eats & Restaurants on the Coral Coast.
Where to Try Fijian Food on the Coral Coast
Foodies should take the time to explore the Sunset Strip of Korotogo for an excellent range of restaurants serving up Fijian dishes. The Ocean Terrace Restaurant at the Bedarra Beach Inn, for instance, serves up a killer Ika Vakalolo of local fish marinated in coconut milk and vegetables. Koko’s Bar, also on the Sunset Strip, serves up amazing Kokoda and Ika Vakalolo to go along with their Fijian-themed bar.
Fine Dining on the Coral Coast
If you’re looking for a restaurant to celebrate a special occasion or “just because” then try one of the fine dining restaurants on the Coral Coast. Outrigger Resort‘s Ivi Restaurant provides intimate and formal dining with a menu of Pacific Continental cuisine. The Navo Restaurant at the five-star InterContinental Resort is another spectacular fine dining option with views of Navo Island and a tranquil lagoon, as well as a window into the kitchen to watch the chefs in action.
Unique Dining Experiences on the Coral Coast
For something a bit out of the ordinary, try restaurants like The Warwick‘s Sazanami Restaurant where you can watch the chefs work their magic at the teppanyaki grills. The five-star resort also offers an intimate private dining experience for couples where they’ll dine on their own private island on a lagoon.
Cheap Eats on the Coral Coast
Whether you’re on a budget or not, it’s always worth getting out of your resort to discover the “real” flavours of Fiji. Meals in towns like Sigatoka are much more affordable, making for some great “street eats”. Try Indo-Fijian curry houses like Raj’s Curry House in Sigatoka or the Indiana Curry House in Namatakula for flavoursome curries under FJ$20! Take a look at our Top Cheap Eats on the Coral Coast for more recommendations.
Vegan & Vegetarian Restaurants on the Coral Coast
We all know how eating abroad can be a little tricky as a vegetarian and especially as a vegan! Luckily, most restaurants on the Coral Coast offer vegetarian options on their menus, but we’ll list a few options below that are particularly good for vegetarian food.
Vegans, however, are better off letting your chosen resort know your dietary requirements prior to booking to see if they can accommodate you. Otherwise, Fiji destinations such as the Mamanuca Islands, Denarau and Suva have more options for vegans and vegetarians.
Restaurants with Good Vegetarian Options
At the Beachhouse backpacker resort, there is always one vegetarian meal on the menu to every two meat dishes, for instance, their excellent avocado and capsicum pasta. Alternatively, The Warwick‘s Pappagallo Italian Restaurant serves up a delectable selection of vegetarian pasta, pizzas and salads.
The vegetarian menu is huge at the Indiana Curry House in Namatakula – definitely one of your best options on the Coral Coast. Tomlu’s Seafood Restaurant near Cuvu serves up some tasty vegetarian cheap eats such as curries, fried rice and chowmein.