The most important tip I can give you on Fiji local food, and the only one that will make you elevate from being a tourist to becoming a real traveler immersed in the local culture, is “Stay away from McDonalds“. When visiting Fiji, there is awesome local food to try. Head to the local eateries too, and go where the locals go. For me, the food, wine and and even the water is part of the travel experience.
What to Eat in Fiji
Locals eat in the cafes and small restaurants that are found in every town. The food is wholesome, cheap, and highly variable in quality. What you order from the menu is often better than what comes out of the glass display case, except for places that sell a lot of food quickly and keep putting it out fresh. Fish and Chips are usually a safe bet, and are widely available.
Many cafes serve Chinese food of some sort along with Indian and sometimes Fiji-style fish , lamb, or pork dishes. Near the airport, a greater variety of food is found, including Japanese and Korean. Local delicacies include fresh tropical fruits (they can be found at the farmer’s market in any town when in season), paulsami (baked taro leaves marinated in lemon juice and coconut milk often with some meat or fish filling and a bit of onion or garlic), kokoda (fish or other seafood marinated in lemon and coconut milk), and anything cooked in a lovo or pit oven.
Vutu is a local variety of nut mainly grown on the island of Beqa, but also available in Suva and other towns around January and February. A great deal of food is cooked in coconut milk, take note that everyone reacts different to increased fat levels in their diet. Take care when ordering chicken meals. Very often the chicken will come cut into one-bite pieces, but with all the bones left, so it’s quite easy to choke on sharp bone.. When uncertain, always ask for boneless chicken meal.
A customary dish in Fiji includes a starch, relishes and drink. Starches common in Fijian meals include taro, yams, sweet potatoes, or manioc but can include breadfruit, bananas, and nuts. The relishes include meat, fish, seafood, and vegetables. Drinks include coconut milk but water is most prevalent. The Ocean Terrace Restaurant, P O Box 1213, Sigatoka, Fiji Island, ? (679) 650 0476, . The Ocean Terrace Restaurant offers seafood prepared daily. They also provide a selection of fine wines to go with your meal. If, however, you do not enjoy seafood or have shellfish allergies, The Ocean Terrace Restaurant offers more casual meals such as pizza and burgers.
What to Drink in Fiji
A very popular drink in Fiji is yaqona (“yang-go-na”), also known as “kava ” and sometimes referred to as “grog” by locals. Kava is a peppery, earthy tasting drink made from the root of the pepper plant (piper methysticum). Its effects include a numbed tongue and lips (usually lasting only about 5-10 minutes) and relaxed muscles. Kava is mildly intoxicating, especially when consumed in large quantities or on a regular basis and one should avoid taxi and other drivers who have recently partaken. Kava drinking in Fiji became popular during the fall of cannibalism, and originated as a way to resolve conflict and facilitate peaceful negotiations between villages. It should not be consumed alongside alcohol.
Other local foods, or drinks that you recommend? Please add and comment.