The Niue Food Guide for Travellers
Everyone’s got to eat and in Niue, eating is more than just getting through the day! In Niue, food is an experience where the Pacific Island culture takes great pride in the meals prepared. Much of Niue’s food experiences are familiar dishes but with a South Pacific flair, while Niuean umu nights and village show days provide an opportunity to try something locally authentic. Niue might be a small island, but it has some big flavours! Check out our advice for all things food in Niue with this complete food guide to Niue.
Before we get into this guide to the food in Niue, be sure to bookmark The Guide to the Niuean Culture for Travellers for even more advice on the local customs, food and similar cultural experiences.
Things to Know About the Food in Niue
- Book a table for evening meals – Niue’s restaurants only take one booking per table per night so they get booked up quickly
- Niuean food doesn’t feature on many restaurant menus – if you want to try Niuean food, go to a Niuean umu buffet night or a village show day
- Niue’s supermarket and convenience stores are well-stocked, while most accommodations have self-catering facilities, so a self-catering holiday is easy to do in Niue
- Only a handful of restaurants are open daily, with some even being open once a week, so check with the Visitor Information Centre for the latest opening times
- Tap water is generally safe to drink at Niue’s accommodations and restaurants – see Can You Drink the Water in Niue?
- Meat, fish and vegetables prepared at Niue’s restaurants are generally safe.
Dining in Niue
Going out for dinner for international cuisine with a Pacific twist is all part of the Niue getaway experience. While Niue has a small selection of restaurants, they each present completely contrasting styles so your palette will never get bored.
Cafes in Niue
From refreshing sandwiches to fresh fish and chips, Niue’s lunch menus are awash with satisfying meals to fuel you for the day’s adventures. Some of the cafes in Niue include:
- Crazy Uga Cafe & Bar, Alofi
- Washaway Cafe, Avatele (Sundays only)
- Katuali Coffee House, Alofi
- Tavana Cafe, Alofi
- Vaiolama Cafe & Bar, Alofi
- Inukaitala Cafe, Alofi
- Crow’s Nest & Keke Time, Alofi
- Hio Cafe & Bar, Tuapa
Learn more about these cafes in the 8 Best Cafes in Niue.
Takeaways/Restaurants in Niue
If looking for somewhere to eat out in an evening, you have the following restaurants to choose from:
- Gill’s Restaurant, Alofi
- Jenna’s Restaurant, Alofi (high season only)
- Dolphin Restaurant @ Scenic Matavai Resort, Tamakautoga
- Kaiika Restaurant, Alofi
- Fusion Flava’s, Alofi (Friday and Sunday only)
- Wok on the Rock, Alofi (Thursday to Saturday)
Learn about these restaurants in detail in The 10 Best Restaurants in Niue.
Bars in Niue
Bars range from vibrant cocktail bars to local watering holes. Niue’s bar offering includes:
- All Relativf, Alofi
- Pacific Way Bar, Alofi (Thursday and Friday only)
- Clayton’s Bar, Alofi (Thursday only)
- Matapa Bar, Hikutavake (Wednesday only)
- Niue Golf & Sports Club, Alofi
- Alofi Rugby Club, Alofi
- Runway Bar, Hanan Airport
Learn more about these bars and more in the 9 Best Bars in Niue.
Self-Catering in Niue
Almost all of Niue’s accommodation (except the Scenic Matavai Resort and the Lialagi Units) have self-catering facilities. With that, you can make use of the food for sale in Niue’s offering of markets, grocery stores and supermarkets and make your own meals while in Niue. It’s a good way to keep the holiday budget in check.
Where to Buy Food in Niue
The largest supermarket, Swanson Supermarket, can be found near the airport. They stock a range of food products imported from New Zealand, as well as local produce and baked goods. Alofi has a few convenience stores, including Double M, MCM and the Central Service Gas Station. The Niue Market often has fresh produce for sale on a Monday, Wednesday and Friday morning. Some villages have small shops with the basic essentials, open either early morning or in the evening. See Where to Buy Food in Niue for more information.
The Cost of Food in Niue
So you can make a rough food budget for Niue, here are some approximate prices for everyday food goods:
- 1.5l (50 fluid ounces) box of milk – NZ$2.90
- 12 eggs – NZ$10
- 1kg (2.2 pounds) rice – NZ$4.90
- 500g (1.1 pounds) pasta – NZ$3.50-$50
- A loaf of sliced bread – NZ$5
- 1kg (2.2 pounds) cheese – NZ$13
- 1.25l (42 fluid ounces) bottled water – NZ$3.50
- 1kg (2.2 pounds) of apples – NZ$6
- Bunch of bananas – NZ$5
- 1kg (2.2 pounds) of tomatoes – NZ$20
- 1kg (2.2 pounds) of onions – NZ$7
- 1kg (2.2 pounds) of potatoes – NZ$5.50
- Whole chicken – NZ$8-$20
- 1kg (2.2 pounds) of beef mince – NZ$15
- 1kg (2.2 pounds) of pork – NZ$19
For a more complete list of food prices, see What is the Cost of Food in Niue?
Traditional Niuean Food
Staple ingredients in the Niuean diet are seafood like tuna, mahimahi, parrotfish, crayfish and uga (coconut crabs). Tropical vegetables are also common in Niuean dishes, such as taro, cassava and breadfruit.
A traditional cooking method on the island is slow cooking ingredients in an underground oven known as an “umu”. Ingredients are traditionally wrapped in banana leaves, but using aluminium foil is a more contemporary technique.
Niue has a range of traditional dishes with influences from Tonga and Samoa. One popular dish is nane, a Niuean porridge made from coconut and arrowroot. Takihi is a popular dish among Niueans, layers of taro, pawpaw and coconut cream. Povi Masima is a Samoan-influenced dish made up of corned beef and green vegetables. You’ll also want to try fai kai ika, a dish typically made with tuna steaks cooked with a native fern and served with a coconut cream sauce. Check out more dishes to try in our list of the 8 Unique Foods in Niue You Have to Try.
Where to Try Traditional Niuean Food
Admittedly, Niuean food doesn’t feature on many restaurant menus in Niue, with Niue’s restaurants favouring international dishes. However, the Scenic Matavai Resort, Hio Cafe & Bar and Jenna’s Restaurant put on weekly Niuean buffet nights where you can sample a range of Niuean food. Village show days, where each village in Niue hosts an event once a year, are also a good opportunity to try Niuean food. Learn more about Niue’s buffet nights in The Ultimate Guide to the Niue Nightlife.
Food Tours and Activities
If you’re looking for a hands-on experience involving food, then Niue offers a range of fantastic food-related tours and experiences. Take part in some traditional uga hunting or fishing, tour a plantation producing the island’s crops or pure organic vanilla. Pick up a pot of Niue’s famous honey made from the world’s cleanest bees. Learn to husk a coconut, prepare an umu and more!
Foodie Things to Do in Niue
- Tour a Niuean plantation
- Tour a vanilla plantation
- Tour a noni farm
- Learn about the food of the forest on a nature tour
- Go to a Niuean buffet night
- Do an uga hunting tour
- Catch dinner on a fishing tour
- Experience traditional food at a village show day
- Dine at Niue’s fabulous restaurants
- Browse the Niue Market
- Pick up some Niuean honey
- Check out the roadside food stalls
Get an elaboration on these experiences in the 10 Things to Do in Niue for Foodies.