What Niuean Food to Try
Niue’s restaurants might be more known for their tropical twist on international favourites but when you have the opportunity to try traditional Niuean food don’t pass on it! Being an island nation, Niuean food typically consists of fish, while plantations grow taro, breadfruit, banana, pawpaw, coconuts, cassava and more. Admittedly, Niue food is not served on the menu of many restaurants, but special Niuean buffet and umu nights, as well as occasionally at the Niue Market and village show days, is where you’ll get your chance to try something authentically local. When you get the opportunity to, these are the unique food in Niue you have to try!
1. Uga (Coconut Crab)
Uga have been a prized traditional food in Niue for centuries, usually saved for special occasions or for older members of the family. There are not many opportunities to try uga for yourself other than on a uga hunting tour, for instance, with Taue Uga Tours. After your tour learning traditional hunting methods, you’ll be offered an uga to be cooked for you and brought to your accommodation. Learn more about the tour in The Best Guided Tours in Niue, as well as where to sample coconut crab in Where to Try Uga in Niue.
2. Nane (Niuean Porridge)
This local dish is typically served for breakfast, made with coconut flesh and arrowroot. Nane has a similar consistency to porridge or a dumpling. It is sometimes for sale at the Niue Market. Learn more about the market in Where to Buy Food in Niue.
3. Takihi (Pawpaw, Taro and Coconut Cream Treat)
A Niuean favourite typically cooked in an umu (underground oven), takihi is a creamy sweet-but-savoury treat made with taro, coconut cream and pawpaw. It’s a staple at many of the umu nights on the island, which you can find out more about in The Ultimate Guide to the Niue Nightlife.
4. Povi Masima (Corned Beef Brisket)
Povi masima a dish shared with Samoan cuisine, due to Niue’s historical influences from Samoa. The dish is made with corned beef brisket mixed with green vegetables, like cabbage, spinach or pak choy. Again, it’s another dish you’re likely to try during an umu buffet.
5. Banana Chips (A Niuean Snack)
A popular snack on the island, Lupe Banana Chips are bananas sampled in a whole new way! These are your healthy alternatives to your standard potato chips. They are typically available to purchase at the Niue Market, as well as the airport market on plane days.
6. Ota Ika (Raw Fish in Coconut Cream)
A popular dish across the South Pacific, ota ika is Niue’s version of raw fish marinated in coconut cream. It is usually also flavoured with chilli and lime, the latter being a common fruit grown on the island. Learn more about Niue’s staple fruit in the 9 Exotic Fruits in Niue You Have to Try.
7. Fai Kai Ika (Fish, Coconut Cream and Ferns)
This fish dish is typically made with tuna, which you can catch yourself with one of the fishing charters in Niue. The classic Niuean cuisine is tuna steak with ferns grown on the island (or sometimes pak choy or spinach) and served with a flavoured coconut cream sauce. Again, find it at your Niuean buffet!
8. Coconut Bread
Last but certainly not least, Niueans love their baked goods, especially coconut bread. Pick up a loaf with a subtle coconut flavour at bakeries, such as the Rolling Pin Bakery in the Swanson Supermarket, the Rockbak Bakery near the airport, Ilena’s Bakery next to BJ Hardware and Rosa’s Bakery available to order and pick up from her home.
More About Niue Food
That’s it for our list of the most unique Niue food but by no means the end of our food wisdom! Check out the following guides for ways to tantalise your tastebuds in Niue: