The Gluten-Free Guide to Niue + Best Restaurants©
The Gluten-Free Guide to Niue + Best Restaurants

The Gluten-Free Guide to Niue + Best Restaurants


A Niue Guide for Gluten-Free Diets and Coeliac Disease

Here we go again; another trip another dietary minefield! Not only does Niue have a limited but diverse selection of cafes and restaurants, but they are not yet accustomed to putting “GF” indicators on their menus. In Niue, you’ll have to rely on your own gluten Spidey-senses to suss out what you can and cannot eat. If you have a more serious intolerance to gluten, there are some extra precautions you’ll need to take, which we cover in this complete gluten-free guide to Niue!

5 Tips for Gluten-Free Dining in Niue

Before we get into the heavy stuff, here’s a summary of the guide in a few quick tips:

  1. Cafes and restaurants rarely have gluten-free options labelled on menus, so it’s best to know what you can and cannot eat and ask the right questions
  2. Bring your own soy sauce, bread, pizza bases, etc. to give to restaurants
  3. Completely intolerant to gluten? Let the restaurant staff know your dietary circumstances before ordering (or booking – you have to book to get a table for evening dining in most Niue restaurants anyway) to see how they can ensure there are options for you
  4. Self-catering is the safest option for those with coeliac disease, as gluten-free ingredients are readily available in supermarkets
  5. Note that many of the traditional foods of Niue are free from gluten, such as nane, takihi and ota ika – so don’t be afraid to be adventurous and attend an umu night or two.
The Gluten-Free Guide to Niue + Best Restaurants©

Visiting Niue with Coeliac Disease

Food in Niue either comes in the form of eating at local cafes, restaurants, markets and food trucks or self-catering. Whether you have coeliac disease or you simply prefer to eat gluten-free, you’ll find the same challenges in Niue where eateries do not explicitly promote which of their meals are gluten-free.

For eating out at Niue’s cafes and restaurants, we highly recommend that you bring your own gluten-free bread, pizza bases and/or soy sauce depending on what sort of dishes you prefer to order. See the “The Best Restaurants with Gluten-Free Food” section below for more tips. Note that many restaurants on the menu deep-fry fish and meat in batter, so be sure to ask how fish and meat are cooked before ordering.

Niuean umu nights, where traditional food is slow-cooked in an underground oven and served buffet style, is typically a safe option for those with gluten intolerance, with most traditional foods made with coconut cream, fruit, vegetables, meat and seafood. It’s very rare for gluten ingredients to be added to these dishes. When in doubt, however, be sure to ask. See a list of umu nights and their schedules in The Ultimate Guide to Niue Nightlife. Bookings are essential.

Alternatively (or additionally), cooking your own meals is a safe way to make sure that your gluten-free needs are seen to (and not cross-contaminated with gluten ingredients). There are plenty of gluten-free ingredients in Niue’s supermarkets, as well as a special diet section of Swanson Supermarket with gluten-free substitute goods. Find out more about self-catering in the “Gluten-Free Self-Catering in Niue” below. All accommodations except the Scenic Matavai Resort have self-catering facilities, but we list the ones with the most complete kitchen set-ups in the 10 Best Self-Catering Accommodations in Niue.

The Gluten-Free Guide to Niue + Best Restaurants©

Gluten-Free Self-Catering in Niue

Niue makes things pretty easy for gluten-free grocery shopping, with most supermarkets selling gluten-free staples, such as rice, fruit, vegetables, meat, etc. Not only that but the Swanson Supermarket, the largest supermarket in Niue, has a special diet section with gluten substitutes, from gluten-free cereal to flour. Learn more about what to expect from Niue’s grocery stores in The Guide to Supermarkets & Food Shopping in Niue.

One fallback of relying on Niue’s supermarkets for gluten substitutes is that there is a limited supply of these goods on the island. Consequently, as supermarkets wait for the monthly cargo ship to unload (typically toward the end/beginning of each month), shops have usually sold out of these goods. For this reason, if you rely heavily on gluten substitutes, you may want to bring a few packets with you to Niue – see Taking Food to Niue: What You Need to Know to learn more.

If you’re used to cooking with naturally gluten-free ingredients, then that’s something you have in common with Niueans! Traditional Niuean staples include taro, breadfruit and plantains (bananas), which are starchy foods that are often used for carbohydrate intake. Pick up supplies from the Niue Market (see the 5 Best Markets in Niue) or even join Tony from A5 Plantation Tours (see the 6 Best Guided Tours in Niue) who often stocks tour-goers with more fruit than they can eat!

The Gluten-Free Guide to Niue + Best Restaurants©

The Best Restaurants with Gluten-Free Food in Niue

Niue is an island with a lot of gluten-heavy meals – burgers, pizzas, sandwiches, you name it! For this reason, we’ve scouted out the restaurants in Niue with gluten-free options so you don’t have to! Note that these are restaurants with gluten-free options only – we can’t testify to any foods not coming in contact with gluten products.

  1. Kaiika (Alofi) – Japanese sushi cooked by a Tokyo chef! They will do pizzas if you bring your own gluten-free base.
  2. Vanilla Cafe (Alofi Commercial Centre) – Specialises in Indian curries served with rice for lunch and dinner.
  3. Manuiz (Alofi) – Almost all food is gluten-free during their Niuean umu night.
  4. Lilo’s Restaurant (Hakupu) – Their fortnightly umu night features mostly gluten-free food.
  5. Hio Cafe & Bar (Tuapa) – Niuean tasting platter is gluten-free. Talk to staff; they are usually accommodating for special diets.
  6. Niue Market (Alofi) – Not a restaurant, but local snacks sold like nane and pitako futi are gluten-free.
  7. Dolphin Restaurant, Scenic Matavai Resort (Tamakautoga) – Usually a couple of gluten-free options like pan-seared fish, coconut taro chicken, etc.

For more restaurants we love, take a look at The Food Guide to Niue: Places to Eat, Food Tours & More.

More About Food in Niue

That’s it for our complete gluten-free guide to Niue. Now plan more foodie endeavours with these extra guides:

Finally, plan a trip around Niue with food in mind using the following itineraries: Niue Food Itinerary: 4 Days, Niue Food Itinerary: 5 Days, Niue Food Itinerary: 7 Days and Niue Food Itinerary: 14 Days.


Laura S.

This article was reviewed and published by Laura, editor in chief and co-founder of Niue 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 Niue. She knows the island inside-out and loves sharing tips on how best to experience Niue’s must-dos and hidden gems. Laura is also editor of several other South Pacific travel guides.

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