foodie-guide-to-the-mamanuca-islands-© Tourism Fiji

The Foodie Guide to the Mamanuca Islands

© Tourism Fiji

The Mamanuca Islands for Foodies

Try some of the freshest seafood and some of the best of Pacific Rim cuisine at one of the fabulous foodie resorts of the Mamanuca Islands. If your travel destinations are determined by your taste buds, then the Mamanuca Group, located just off the west coast of Fiji’s mainland, is well worth considering. With many ways to try authentic island cuisine, as well as treat-yourself experiences prepared by the resorts’ top chefs, the Mamanucas will not leave your palette disappointed. Let us guide you through the activities, restaurants and accommodation for foodies in this foodie guide to the Mamanuca Islands.

Before we jump into the foodie guide to the Mamanuca Islands, be sure to bookmark The Complete Guide to Food in Fiji, which has even more advice.

10 Things to Do in the Mamanuca Islands for Foodies

  • Learn how to cook Fijian cuisine in a cooking class
  • Mix your own tropical drinks in a cocktail mixing class
  • Visit a Fijian village and eat with the locals
  • Try “kava” in a kava ceremony
  • Indulge in a private picnic lunch on the beach
  • Take a boat trip out to the Cloud 9 floating bar
  • Try Fijian cuisine at the Flame Tree or Black Coral restaurants
  • Enjoy a teppanyaki dining experience at Tokoriki, Mana and Treasure islands
  • Dine under the stars in a private dining experience
  • Get your health fix at the Totolea restaurant

Find out more about each of these experiences in our 10 Things to Do in the Mamanucas for Foodies, or keep on reading the guide below.


How to Get to the Mamanuca Islands

As the closest island group to the Nadi International Airport, the Mamanuca Islands are some of the easiest islands to get to in Fiji – accessible by either water or air. Most water transport departs from Port Denarau, where many operators offer land transfers from the airport to the port. But if you need to get to Port Denarau independently, check out our 5 Ways to Get to Denarau Island.

Mamanuca Islands via Ferry

One of the most popular ways to get to the Mamanucas from Port Denarau is via the ferry. Expect ferry prices to be around FJ$80-$170 one way per adult and about half price for children. Learn more about ferry operators, schedules and more in How to Take the Ferry to the Mamanuca Islands.

Mamanuca Islands via Water Taxi

Get straight to your desired Mamanuca Islands’ destination in no time with one of the 24h water taxi. Water taxis depart from Port Denarau where your booked service will align with your flight arrival time. Prices depend on group size starting with 1-4 people for around FJ$500-$1,000. More information about water taxi operators can be found in How to Catch a Water Taxi in Fiji.

Mamanuca Islands via Boat Transfer

Many of the resorts on the Mamanuca Islands organise their own boat transfer to their island, some departing from Wailoaloa Beach in Nadi and Vuda Point. Expect prices to be marginally cheaper than the ferries. Dive into more details in our Mamanuca Islands Transport Guide.

Mamanuca Islands via Helicopter or Seaplane

Land at your resort in style with a scenic flight. Air operators can transport you from either Port Denarau or Nadi International Airport to your resort within 10 minutes. Compare your options in our article, Helicopter Vs. Seaplane for Island Transfers in Fiji.

Check out 5 Ways to Get to the Mamanuca Islands.


Foodie Activities in the Mamanuca Islands

For those of us that like to experience different countries and cultures through the tastes and textures, the Mamanuca Islands are a real treat. There are many ways to get hands-on foodie experiences, from traditional Fijian cooking classes to cocktail mixing classes. There are several fun day trips to be had too, such as to relax on a floating bar or even trying authentic cuisine in a Fijian village.

Fijian Cooking Classes

Learn how to create your own island-style meals at one of the Mamanuca resorts’ fantastic cooking classes. At Plantation Island Resort, take some time out to learn how to cook traditional Fijian cuisine using tropical ingredients. Alternatively, Six Senses Resort offers lessons in their very own dedicated cooking school, TeiTei. Learn culinary tricks with the resort’s chefs!

Cloud 9 Floating Bar

Discover Fiji’s most unique dining venue! Most resorts offer day trips out on the water to Cloud 9 – a floating bar serving up wood-fired pizzas and a huge range of local and international beverages. Set on top of a coral reef, Cloud 9 is a stunning snorkelling location giving you a great way to cool off in between lounging on the deck chairs.

Fijian Village Visit and Kava Ceremony

Visiting a Fijian village is a must-do for any foodie. Visits usually start with a kava ceremony – a traditional welcoming ceremony where visitors drink kava (ground Yaqona root) with the village chief and other villagers. Some visits, such as with Six Senses Fiji, include lunch where you’ll get to sample what Fijians really eat! It’s a truly authentic experience. Alternatively, kava ceremonies can be experienced one night a week at many resorts, including Malolo Island Resort on Wednesday evenings.

Cocktail Mixing Lessons

Tropical cocktails are almost the life and blood of a Fiji getaway! You’ll be surprised by the array of creative cocktails available as you explore the islands. Learn how to make these delicious creations yourself in a cocktail mixing lesson at the Beachcomber Island Resort!

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Best Restaurants in the Mamanuca Islands

Sure, a trip to Fiji is about the snorkelling, lazy days by the pool and all around R&R, but it’s not the true “Fiji experience” unless you have good food! Here are some restaurants with exceptional cuisine in the Mamanuca Islands.

Where to Try Fijian Food in the Mamanuca Islands

Enjoy a romantic meal at the adult-only Flame Tree restaurant at the Lomani Island Resort. Indulge in Fijian specialities like kokoda, palusami, ika ni cakau and pork belly of local Vuda pork. The restaurant is also accessible from nearby resorts on Malolo Lailai Island.

More Fijian flavours await at the Black Coral restaurant at Plantation Island Resort serving a spectacular array of Fijian curries and kokoda.

Check out our 10 Unique Foods in Fiji You Have to Try for more information on Fijian dishes.

Unique Dining Experiences in the Mamanuca Islands

It’s incredible how one resort can create a new and intriguing dining experience for each night of your stay. The Tokoriki Island Resort has an array of luxurious dining options to always keep things fresh. As the adult-only resort is renowned for romance, the chefs can time your meals to have in various sunset locations. There’s also the option to have food prepared for you and your loved one in your private villa – complete with musicians and Champagne. Or how about watching the skilled chefs at the Oishii Teppanyaki restaurant?

More teppanyaki experiences can be found at the Nasu Teppanyaki of the Mana Island Resort offering “Japanese-Fijian” fusion dishes. Alternatively, try Matasawa Teppanyaki at Treasure Island Resort – just one of many dining options the resort has to offer.

If you or your partner are looking for a romantic foodie experience, then consider one of the many private dining ventures available throughout the Mamanuca Islands. Dine under the stars with divine cuisine and your own personal butler. Treat yourselves to a private beach picnic at the VOMO Island Resort or a sandbar picnic surrounded by the sparkling Pacific Ocean with Treasure Island Resort.

foodie-guide-to-the-mamanuca-islands-© Tourism Fiji

Vegan and Vegetarian Restaurants in the Mamanuca Islands

Being a vegan or vegetarian can be difficult when travelling, especially when confined to the choices of one resort. With that in mind, we’ve put together a few ideas of vegan and vegetarian-friendly restaurants in the Mamanuca Islands, as well as the resorts where they are located.

Restaurants with Vegan and Vegetarian Options in the Mamanuca Islands

Being a vegan or vegetarian is made easy at the Malolo Island Resort. Let them know your dietary requirements prior to your arrival and they may be able to produce an exclusive menu for you. Otherwise, vegetarian meals are well-marked on their menus. The best restaurant to try for vegetarians is at the Terrace Restaurant, especially with their “build-your-own” speciality section. They also carry a range of dairy-free and egg-free products to spruce you up something delicious on request.

Six Senses Fiji is renowned for providing a sustainable and healthy holiday with a focus on wellness. With that in mind, you can find a great deal of vegetarian and even some vegan options on their menus, whether you’re looking for healthy dining at the Tovolea or a mouthwatering pizza in their TeiTei Pizzeria surrounded by their herb garden.

Vegetarians are not left behind at the Dick’s Place Bar and Bistro on Malolo Lailai Island. Vegetarian meals, of which there are plenty, come straight from their island farm with meals including coconut pot pie and various salads and pasta dishes. Find this restaurant at Musket Cove Resort, also accessible from other resorts on Malolo Lailai Island.

For more fantastic vegetarian and vegan options, take a look at our 10 Best Vegan & Vegetarian Restaurants in the Mamanuca Islands.


Laura S.

This article was reviewed and published by Laura, editor in chief and co-founder of Fiji Pocket Guide. Since arriving solo in the South Pacific over 10 years ago with nothing but a backpack and a background in journalism, her mission has been to show the world how easy (and awesome) it is to explore a paradise such as Fiji. She knows the islands inside-out and loves sharing tips on how best to experience Fiji’s must-dos and hidden gems. Laura is also editor of several other South Pacific travel guides.

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