The Complete Guide to Self-Catering and Buying Food and Drink in Niue
Travellers looking to experience Niue like a local or just want to save money on food can buy their own groceries on the island. From a flashy modern supermarket with a giant uga (coconut crab) at the entrance to humble market stalls, there are a surprising amount of options when it comes to food shopping in one of the world’s smallest countries. We go through the supermarket, grocery stores and markets available in this quick guide to supermarkets and food shopping in Niue.
5 Tips for Food Shopping in Niue
- Unless staying at the Scenic Matavai Resort, you will have access to self-catering facilities at your accommodation
- If self-catering, after landing in Niue don’t head straight to your accommodation – stop by the Swanson Supermarket first! It’s right by the airport – take a left out of the airport car park
- Grocery stores can become low on stock when waiting for the monthly cargo ship to unload, usually at the end/beginning of the month
- Bargaining is not practised in Niue, so if the price is too high go somewhere else
- Fruit is very seasonal in Niue; only fruit such as coconuts, bananas and papaya are available all year round.
How Much Does Food Cost in Niue?
Food is perhaps a little more expensive in Niue than what you’re used to. See common food prices in The Cost of Food in Niue: Restaurant & Grocery Prices.
Can You Take Food to Niue?
Some food items can be taken to Niue, but certainly not fresh fruit, vegetables, etc. Take a look at our guide to Taking Food to Niue for our advice on the subject.
Swanson: Niue’s Largest Supermarket
Niue has one large supermarket, the Swanson Supermarket. Located at the Swanson Complex on Tapeu-Poritt Road (near the airport with a giant uga crab outside), the Swanson Supermarket is a good go-to for your grocery shopping while on the island.
Swanson Supermarket stocks a wide range of New Zealand imported foods, has a bakery on-site (Rolling Pin, open Tuesday and Friday from 7 am to 1 pm, selling cream cakes, desserts, hot pies and bread), as well as sells imported and local produce (fruit is best bought in the morning if available).
They also sell cosmetic and toiletry products, as well as light medication such as pain relief. More on health products can be found in Information, Shops & Services in Niue.
Swanson Supermarket Opening Hours
Swanson Supermarket’s opening hours are from 8 am to 6 pm Monday to Thursday, 8 am to 7 pm Friday and 10 am to 6 pm Saturday. Note, opening hours are subject to change with little notice – see our guide to Opening Hours in Niue: Odd Hours, Tide Times & Things to Know.
Grocery Stores in Alofi
You can purchase a wide range of groceries from the grocery stores in Alofi. About the size of a convenience store, Alofi’s grocery stores offer a good range of food items at similar prices to what you will find at the Swanson Supermarket, so they are always worth checking for comparison.
Opening hours: 7:30 am to 7:30 pm Monday to Thursday and 7:30 am to 8 pm Friday to Saturday.
Located in the Alofi Commercial Centre, Double M stocks all your basic groceries, as well as meat, fruit and vegetables (when available) and dry food. They also specialise in local food products, such as Niue Honey and Niue Noni Juice. If you’re taking these items back to New Zealand, be sure to check How to Get a Quarantine & Phytosanitary Certificate in Niue.
Moko’s Central Mart (MCM)
Opening hours: 9 am to 8 pm Monday to Friday and 2 to 8 pm Saturday.
Also in the Commercial Centre of Alofi, MCM has all your basic essentials, from toiletries and baby products to fresh, frozen and tinned groceries and fresh bread. They are definitely worth comparing with Double M as they are so close.
Central Services (The Gas Station)
Opening hours: 7 am to 7 pm Monday to Saturday and 4 pm to 7 pm Sunday.
Central Services on Alofi’s main road (at the south end of the town) stocks a wide range of frozen, tinned and packaged essentials, hot pies, cold drinks and the occasional fruit and vegetables. They also stock a good range of local bread, best purchased in the morning.
Ilena’s Bakery & Store
Opening hours: 6 am to 11 am Monday to Sunday.
Your morning go-to for a wide range of groceries, not to mention baked goods (doughnuts, bread and more) made on-site, Ilena’s Bakery & Store is located in Alofi South next to Pacific Way Bar. They typically have more stock when the other grocery stores are running low (probably due to its out-of-the-way location). Also, ask about their car hire.
Opening hours: Odd mornings and 7 to 9 am Sunday.
Opposite the main intersection in Alofi South, Niue Adventures is primarily a fishing tackle shop but also has a surprising range of groceries, from eggs to tinned goods, and baking items to fresh vegetables (when available).
Note, opening hours are subject to change with little notice – see our guide to Opening Hours in Niue: Odd Hours, Tide Times & Things to Know.
Village Shops in Niue
Some villages around Niue have a small shop selling a few essential food items. They have limited opening hours. Locals or accommodation hosts are usually happy to point you to the nearest store. Pay with cash.
Tiki’s Shop – Hakupu
An unsuspecting building on the Hakupu village green with a white criss-cross fence and a small sign above the entrance door (see image), Tiki’s Coconut & Handicraft Shop is a welcome refuge for refreshments (snacks, ice cream, drinks and coconuts), as well as a few basic food essentials.
If there’s no one minding the store, just shout “Shop, please!” to the house immediately behind the store.
JZ Imports – Lakepa
Located before the Lakepa village sign on the road to Mutalau, JZ Imports is easy to miss aside from the “Open” sign when it is, indeed, open. The shop sells soft drinks and basic food essentials, as well as hats and sunglasses.
Markets in Niue
An alternative place to buy fresh local produce is at the Niue Market or “Markete”. This is located in Alofi next to the Tourist Information Centre and only takes place on selected mornings and afternoons.
There is typically fresh fruit and vegetables for sale, as well as uga (coconut crab) and fish on occasion. However, the offering and variety of produce depend on the season (note that during the winter season when most visit Niue is when there’s typically the least amount of fruit for sale).
When is the Market Open in Niue?
The Niue Market is open:
- Tuesday, 6 am to 8 am
- Wednesday, 8 am to 12 pm
- Friday, 6 am to 8 am and 4 pm to 7 pm
- Saturday, 6 am to 9 am
There is also an organic market on the first Thursday of the month (4 pm to 7 pm), which typically has more produce to choose from.
Market schedules can change, so it’s best to inquire at the Visitor Information Centre for the weekly schedule on arrival.
Liquor Stores in Niue
Although beer and wine are sometimes for sale in supermarkets, there are a couple of dedicated liquor stores should you be looking for something specific.
Niue Bond Store (NB Liquor Store)
Opening hours: 9 am to 6 pm Monday to Friday and 12 pm to 6 pm Saturday.
Selling a whole range of local and imported beer, wine and spirits, Niue Bond Store is a one-stop for drinks. Duty-free drinks can also be purchased here, which you can find out more about in The Guide to Duty-Free Shopping in Niue. Find Niue Bond Store located in the Swanson Complex, near the airport.
Vai Mamali Liquor
Opening hours: 7 pm to 10 pm Saturday.
Hidden among some industrial buildings between Niue Broadcasting and the Police Station, Vai Mamali Liquor is the locals’ go-to when it is open.
Hydroponic Farms in Niue
Although not as easy as popping to the supermarket, hydroponic farms in Niue offer the opportunity to buy fresh vegetables from the farm if you make an order.
Located at Peta Hill, on the Alofi-Hakupu Road a little further up from Stone Villas, Maihi Land sells fresh hydroponic goods to those who prebook. Inquire at the Visitor Information Centre for an up-to-date phone number.
Niue Fresh supplies Swanson Supermarket with its hydroponic vegetables, so that would be the best place to pick up supplies.
More About Supermarkets and Food Shopping in Niue
That’s it for our complete guide to supermarkets and food shopping in Niue. For more advice on food, check out the following guides:
- Information, Shops & Services in Niue
- 10 Unique Foods in Niue You Have to Try
- 10 Ways to Save Money on Food in Niue
Finally, check out The Guide to Food in Niue for places to eat, food tours and more.