15 Scrumptious, Unforgettable Restaurants in Fiji

From mouth-watering local fare to expertly prepared international cuisine, Fiji is a gourmet paradise. Dining experiences in Fiji are limited only by your sense of adventure.

It used to be that visitors to Fiji ate fresh fish or made do with transplanted dishes from New Zealand or Australia. But in recent years Fiji has seen an explosion of restaurants based on ingredients and influences from around the world. The Fiji foodie revolution has brought must-try international dining experiences to this exotic locale. It would be a shame to conclude your visit with sampling them.

Fiji is an island nation that floats in the clear blue waters of the South Pacific. It’s about 1,700 miles east of northern Australia and 1,600 miles north of New Zealand. It is known for the freshness and variety of its fresh seafood. If you enjoy fish, then you should certainly take advantage of the seafood. It’s extraordinary. But you will also find a wide variety of dishes, both local and international, at restaurants ranging from casual to formal.

Here are 15 exceptional restaurants in Fiji suitable for any budget.

#1 Vunibokoi

Expansive ocean views greet diners on the terrace at Vunibokoi.


Insiders flock to Vunibokoi for the Friday night buffet of traditional Fijian delicacies.

That’s a great option, but you should know that there is also a full menu that changes frequently based on the availability of fresh seasonal ingredients.

Vunibokoi is located in the Tovu Tovu resort on the small island of Taveuni, a 45-minute flight from Fiji’s main island. Taveuni is worth a visit so you can walk on its pristine beaches and explore the world’s fourth-largest tropical rain forest.

#2 Maya Dhaba

Located on bustling Victoria Parade in Suva, Maya Dhaba earns consistent good reviews from travelers for its impressive selection of northern and southern Indian cuisine. Although the restaurant serves meat dishes, its wide array of tasty meatless dishes makes it a great choice for vegetarian vacationers.

Reviewers say Maya Dhaba is authentic, delicious and clean. A few reviews note that some dishes are a bit salty, but the staff is highly accommodating and is happy to prepare low-sodium versions of any dish upon request.

In addition to the sit-down restaurant at Victoria Parade, Maya Dhaba operates a take-out location within the food court of a popular Suva mall, the Morris Hedstrom City Center. It features most of the same dishes as the Victoria Parade location, so it’s a great option if you are in a hurry to get to the beach.

#3 Indigo

Dine under the stars at Indigo.

Follow Fiji’s southern coast westward from Maya Dhaba and turn north when you hit the beach. After 120 miles and 2 1/2 hours you’ll find yourself in the seaside town of Nadi, which features Fiji’s second superb Indian restaurant.

It’s misleading to call Indigo an Indian restaurant. While the menu features five pages of mouth-watering Indian dishes, you’ll also find a broad selection of Chinese, Malaysian, and Thai specialties.

I’m usually skeptical of restaurants that combine so many international cuisines. More often than not, the chefs’ expertise proves a poor match for their ambitions. Indigo, however, receives high marks from visitors and natives alike.

Indigo offers both inside and outside seating and a menu with something for everyone. No visit to Fiji is complete without a visit to Indigo.

#4 Baka Blues

Here’s a surprise: Baka Blues is a New Orleans-style café restaurant that features Cajun and creole recipes from Louisiana – with a Fiji flair. The menu is augmented with Tex-Mex specialties, Southern-style barbecue, burgers, and more than a few vegetarian options.

This friendly Pacific Harbour restaurant is a favorite meeting place for locals and tourists alike. After dinner you can move to the bar, where a DJ spins New Orleans jazz and contemporary favorites and the bartenders dispense a wide array of tropical cocktails.

This restaurant does its best to accommodate its customers’ every need. They’ll even watch your dog for you, if you like, in a special run set aside for guests’ pets.

#5 Blue Bure

Fiji is a small country but it has three official languages. Two reflect the country’s colonial history: English and Hindustani. The third is Fijian, the original Polynesian language that natives call Na Vosa Vakaviti. In that language, the word “bure” refers to a small hut or cabin built of whatever’s handy, often patched together with ropes or vines.

The Blue Bure is a hostel the offers affordable accommodations to travelers on a tight budget. Located just outside the city center of Nadi, the Blue Bure also features a restaurant that has earned an international reputation.

Italian cuisine dominates the Blue Bure menu, but every dish benefits from a Fijian twist. Chefs use local seafood and produce to create such traditional dishes as scampi and tortellini…but they’re likely to augment traditional recipes with coconut, ginger and other exotic flavors.

Don’t let the low prices fool you. The Blue Bure is well worth a visit. It’s one of the best restaurants in Fiji.

#6 Mamacita

Mexican food in Fiji? You bet – and at Mamacita it’s first-rate.

Mexican food in Fiji? Sure, why not?

Mamacita offers delicious Mexican cuisine al fresco, plus Fiji’s widest selection of gourmet tequilas. Take a table at the bar, which is located on the water, and watch the waves as you sip a cocktail and enjoy authentic Mexican food that wins raves from travelers year after year.

A traditional American breakfast is always on the menu at Mamacita for those who overindulge in tequila or simply prefer a heartier meal to start the day.

Mamacita is located at the Wyndham resort on Denarau, a tiny island near the city of Nadi on Fiji’s west coast. A short causeway makes the island accessible by car, bicycle or foot.

#7 Tu’s Place

Thai, Chinese, Australian and local specialties are always on the menu at Tu’s Place, an informal restaurant with a reputation for catering to local diners as well as tourists.

Tu’s Place is situated in Martinar, a small town near Nadi. The restaurant is known for its breakfast and for such dishes as kokoda, a local variation on ceviche that includes coconut cream for a tropical touch.

Tu’s Place’s focus on local sourcing ensures that food is fresh while helping to support the local economy.

#8 Daikoku

Love Japanese food? Get your fix in Fiji at Daikoku. With locations in Suva and Nadi, Daikoku is always nearby.

If Japanese food doesn’t appeal to everyone in your party, a trip to Daikoku could still be in order. Thai, Malaysian and Chinese dishes also appear on the menu. Recent daily specials included barbecued pork and Nizakana, a traditional Japanese dish featuring fresh fish poached in sweetened soy sauce.

#9 New Nadi Farmers Club

The New Nadi Farmers Club is a bit off the beaten track, but it’s well worth a visit. Locals love the casual atmosphere, the cold beer, the snack foods and the entertainment.

If you’re in Nadi, make a point of visiting Thursday, Friday or Saturday so you can check out the fire dancing. It’s really something special.

You won’t find a fancy five-course meal at the New Nadi Farms Club, but you’ll find delicious pub grub served with a smile and plenty of happy people to spend time with.

#10 The Plantation

Everything about the Plantation is upscale, delicious and luxurious.

Celebrating a special occasion in Fiji? Visit the Plantation, Fiji’s premier spot for fine dining.

The Plantation is located on Sonaisali Island, a five-minute boat ride from Fiji’s main island, on the grounds of the Sonaisali Island Resort. The menu is based on Fijian specialties as well as techniques and ingredients from classic world cuisine.

The Plantation offers a full menu, but the best way to experience this extraordinary restaurant is the nine-course degustation menu. This meal is a new surprise every day as the chefs select the day’s freshest and tastiest ingredients and combine them in innovative ways.

This is definitely the place for dinner with that special someone. The Plantation deserves a place on any list of the most impressive restaurants in Fiji.

#11 Taste Fiji Kitchen

Do you have a sweet tooth? Do you love coffee? Taste Fiji Kitchen is for you.

Taste Fiji is a maker of some of Fiji’s most delicious and decadent desserts. The staff packages chocolates, cakes, and other treats for resale throughout the island and in its own gift shop.

Taste Fiji Kitchen is an on-site café that adds a selection of breakfast and lunch options.

This low-key restaurant is located on a busy road with a view of passing buses and cars, so the ambience doesn’t exactly scream “tropical island.” The food more than makes up for the location, however. If you’re like most visitors you’ll pack a bag of cakes, brownies and truffles to take with you once you’ve finished.

#12 Waters Edge Bar & Grill

When you’re looking for a relaxing meal in a fun environment, Waters Edge may be just what you’re looking for.

From snacks to sandwiches to main dishes, you’ll find quick, hot, tasty food from a variety of cuisines. The menu features pizza, pasta, steak, sandwiches and, of course, seafood. Try the Thai chicken fried rice – you won’t regret it!

The Waters Edge Bar & Grill is located in Pacific Harbour on Fiji’s main island.

#13 Bulaccino

Don’t let the low-key decor fool you. Bulaccino serves good food and great coffee.

With a focus on farm-fresh cuisine and great coffee, Bulaccino is a terrific spot for breakfast or lunch. Of course, the fact that they feature a broad range of wines means that a casual dinner is a perfect option too.

From sandwiches and salads to amazing baked goods, everything tastes better with a mug of coffee brewed from Bulaccino’s specially developed locally roasted beans. The staff prepares each cup exactly to your liking.

Bulaccino has locations in Nadi, Suva and Denarau, so you’ll always find a good cup of joe nearby.

#14 Le Café Beach Bar & Grill

Locals consider Le Café a hidden gem. Located in Korotogo on Fiji’s southern coast, Le Café is about halfway between Suva and Nadi, which makes it a perfect place to take a break from driving.

Le Café features delicious fresh food served simply with wine and cocktails. It’s a small place and service can slow down when it’s packed, so consider enjoying a leisurely lunch.

With a menu spanning burgers, Chinese cuisine, traditional diner fare, French dishes, breakfast, Indian food, pizza, pasta, seafood, sandwiches, Thai food and tapas, this kid-friendly restaurant truly offers something for everyone.

#15 Amalfi

Italian food probably isn’t your first thought when you think of restaurants in Fiji, but Amalfi might surprise you with its execution of classic Italian dishes.

This Denarau Island restaurant offers spectacular views and authentic Italian dishes made from imported Italian specialties augmented with fresh local ingredients. Pasta, pizza and other Italian classics are well-represented on the menu, as are many dishes based on fresh seafood. Wines from Italy, Australia and New Zealand are available to complement your meal.

10 Tips About Eating in Fiji

  • Dairy products are not produced in commercial quantities in Fiji, so you’ll be limited to imports of questionable freshness. Fiji isn’t a spot to explore dairy options.
  • Fijian food contains a great deal of seafood, of course, along with coconut, rice and sweet potatoes. Food is cooked over an open fire or in an underground oven. Curries are especially popular.
  • If you are traveling with children or you venture into local communities, you may well be invited to a Fijian home for a meal. Be aware that it is impolite for anyone to eat before the guest does. If food is set out on a serving table, your hosts and the other guests will stare at it longingly until you finally fill your plate. Moreover, they will not tell you about this custom, as that would be considered rude according to local mores. Do everyone a favor and take some food…otherwise everyone is going to spend a very hungry evening.
  • The most popular Fijian dishes are kokodo and palusami. Kokodo is a cevichelike dish made of bite-size pieces of raw fish in a coconut cream sauce with chilies, lime, salt and onions. Palusami is corned beef or fish cooked in taro leaves. It may be served hot or cold.
  • Much food is prepared “lovo” which means it is cooked underground and steamed with local vegetables. Any type of meat can be cooked this way.
  • You are likely to encounter vegetables that are indigenous to Fiji. Be sure to try them, as you will likely not find them elsewhere. Duruka is the flower of the cane shoot. It’s often cooked in coconut milk and used in curries. Tavo is a purple potatolike tuber. Nama is a local seaweed with little bubbles that pop in your mouth – it’s a little strange at first but much loved by adventurers who give it a try.
  • Traditional Fijian desserts are fruit salads and cakes. Bananas, cassavas and whipped cream are the most common ingredients. Honey cake is another popular dessert – it’s even better a day or two after it’s cooked, as the flavors have time to meld as the cake sets.
  • While the water in resorts will be drinkable, you should take care when drinking water in the villages. Many travelers experience stomach upsets. Stick to bottled water.
  • A restaurant that is always empty should be taken as a warning sign. While it is unlikely that you will visit a bad restaurant, it’s always a good idea to stick to places that appear to be popular with the locals.
  • Peel and wash all produce before eating it. It’s better to be safe than sorry, especially when purchasing from a farm where animals and insects are around. Meat and seafood should be cooked thoroughly.

Cover photo: http://thewatersedgefiji.com/

About the author

Nancy K.

When I’m not busy writing my next travel article, you can find me showing America to exchange students, hiking, cycling or planning my next vacation. My favorite destination is anywhere I haven’t been yet! You can follow or, better yet, talk to me on Twitter and G+.

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