Eating out is a huge part of any holiday and here on Rarotonga, it’s no different. Whilst we have the amazing Sandals Restaurant and Barefoot Bar here at Pacific Resort, we do encourage guests to sample some of the local cuisine from around the island whilst they’re staying with us. Whether it’s grabbing a cheap eat for lunch or heading out for some fine dining, Rarotonga has got you covered.
So, the next time you’re staying in Rarotonga, make sure you get out and give some of these tasty places a try:
Top 3 cheap eats on Rarotonga
There’s always a time and a place for a good cheap eat. Sometimes that’s just grabbing something on the run at lunch time in the middle of a hectic day and other times it’s just finding somewhere casual for dinner. Here’s a list of the top three cheap eats on Rarotonga:
1. Barefoot Bar
Open to guests and non-guests, the Barefoot Bar serves up some of the best food options on Rarotonga and we’re lucky to have such talented chefs cooking up great dishes every day. With a prime location right on Muri Beach, enjoy the feeling of sand between your toes as you eat under the stars with tables out on the beach. This is a great place to head for lunch – the fish burger is always a popular option and the courtyard is a real sun trap.
Find out more: Barefoot Bar
2. Mooring Café
This place is a bit of a legend on Rarotonga and claims to serve the original (and most would say the best) fish sandwich on the island. Situated a short 15 minute walk from Pacific Resort Rarotonga in the historic Avana Harbour, the Mooring Café, or as it is sometimes known, the Mooring Fish Café, is a great place to grab a bite to eat for lunch or a casual dinner. The Mooring Café is the top ranked restaurant on Rarotonga according to Trip Advisor and reading the reviews tells you all you need to know about this place – the fish sandwich is the only option! Serving up fresh mahi mahi, tuna, wahoo and more, straight from the boat to your plate, this place is popular with everyone who visits and is a favourite place to grab some lunch.
Find out more here: Mooring Café
3. Vili’s Burger Joint
If you are looking for a tasty burger, look no further than Vili’s Burger Joint. Located just a short walk from Pacific Resort, this place serves up a mean burger and it is a super-friendly, relaxed place to grab a bite to eat, whether it’s a lunchtime burger after a busy morning exploring the island or something a bit more substantial at dinner. This place smashes it out when it comes to reviews, averaging 4.9 on Facebook and 4.6 on Google – there’s a lot of positive vibes for Vili’s and it’s definitely a place you should try if you love burgers.
Find out more: Vili’s Burger Joint
Top 3 fine dining restaurants on Rarotonga
If you are looking for something a bit more upmarket and a lovely place to head out for dinner after a day exploring the island or kicking back on the beach, Rarotonga has a great selection of high quality restaurants that will give you an amazing experience and some delicious food to match. Here are our top 3 restaurants on Rarotonga:
1. Sandals Restaurant
We’ve already talked about the Barefoot Bar which is a great place for casual dining, however if you are looking for something a bit more fancy, then the Sandals Restaurant is a great place to head whether you are staying with us at Pacific Resort or not. Perched above the pond and stream that flow through the resort, Sandals serves up a stunning menu inspired by international dishes but with a Cook Islands twist – where possible all the ingredients are sourced locally and we support many local growers in order to find the freshest produce every day. Fish is again a popular dish but we also serve up some amazing steak dishes. The ambiance at Sandals is perfect and we often have live performances throughout the dinner service. On calm nights, we also move the restaurant out to the beach and it’s a great experience to eat with the sand between your toes.
Find out more: Sandals Restaurant
2. Tamarind House
Tamarind House Restaurant and Bar is a restored heritage colonial house in 2.5 acres of lawns sweeping down to the beach. Situated just a short 3 minute drive from the main town of Avarua, this beautiful restaurant is extremely popular with islanders and tourists alike. Scoring number one on Trip Advisor for restaurant in Avarua, it’s not difficult to see why it is so popular. This is a great place to grab a coffee in the beautiful surrounds of the garden and the shade of the palm trees. It’s also a great place for dinner, with an ever-changing menu of the finest local and international dishes. If you’re in the main town of Avarua, this is a must on your list of places to eat out.
Find out more here: Tamarind House
3. Vaima Polynesian Bar and Restaurant
If you are looking for something a bit more authentic and away from Muri Beach, Vaima Bar and Restaurant is a popular spot with guests and staff alike. The restaurant is set right on the beach on the south side of the island in the village of Vaimaanga. You can choose between indoor dining or dining out on the beach depending on the weather. The hosts, Cameron and Dorothy Robertson, will make you feel right at home. Vaima serves up a great range of Polynesian inspired dishes including a delicious fish curry as well as a great steak and a lovely lamb dish. They also have a great cocktail menu so it is a great place to go for a sundowner and dinner.
Find out more here: Vaima Polynesian Bar and Restaurant
Top 3 cafes on Rarotonga
If you are looking for a great coffee fix after breakfast or something to perk you up after lunch, there are some great cafes on Rarotonga where you can get great coffee, cakes, bread and pastries, as well as picking up sandwiches for lunch. Here is a list of the top three cafes on Rarotonga:
1. LBV – Le Bon Vivant
Just a short 2 minute walk from Pacific Resort Rarotonga you will find this excellent bakery and café in the heart of Muri Village. Serving up speciality fresh food and some delicious baked goods every day, LBV also serves up some of the best coffee on the island. This is a great place to go for a late morning brunch, afternoon bite to eat, or something a bit more casual in the evening. They serve everything from salads to gourmet sandwiches to savoury pizzas, pies and quiches. They are fully licenced and open for evening dining from Tuesday to Friday. The dinner menu is updated on a regular basis, using seasonal produce and making the most of the island’s delicious yield.
Find out more here: LBV – Le Bon Vivant
2. Café Salsa
Café Salsa is located in the main town of Avarua and is a great place to grab breakfast, brunch or lunch as well as picking up a nice coffee. The smells coming out of the café will be enough to lure you in. Whether it’s the roasting coffee or the bread being baked in the woodfired oven, there is always a lovely scent drifting out of the café. They also make their own woodfired pizzas which are always a big hit. The café has a nice relaxing outside courtyard and there is always a comfortable, inviting atmosphere in the place.
Find out more: Café Salsa
3. Coco Latte
Coco Latte is located in Vaimaanga and is an extremely popular café with locals and tourists alike. Renowned for serving up delicious coffee, this place also has a great menu for breakfast, brunch and lunch. The service is excellent and the staff are extremely friendly and welcoming to all visitors. Highlights from the menu include the eggs benedict and the BLT. If coffee is not your thing, they also make some fantastic home-made juices which are all dairy free and extremely refreshing on a hot day. This place caters for everyone and as well as great coffee and juices, they also have a good selection of teas.
Find out more: Coco Latte