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Food in Niue

In order to talk about the food in Niue, we are dividing this page in two sections. The first is about the traditional and local food, and the second is about eating out for tourists

Traditional and Local Foods in Niue

Most of what grows in Niue was not native from the land but was introduced in the past from other countries such as Tonga, Cook Island and Samoa. Besides that, from the hundreds of succulent vegetable and fruit introduced, only a few could adapt to the rocky soil of Niue and/or resist different cyclones. In short, Niue is a tropical island with small variety of natural foods. Some people say that Niueans don't want to slave themselves in plantations all day long. For some others, the problem is the lack of population that doesn't justify spending days  working in plantatition. There is also a third theory, that states that products that are imported from New Zealand are cheaper and much more convenient than producing the same thing in Nuie. 

We can be wrong, but in our opinions the 3rd hypothesis is the cause of what we call gastronomic disappointment. We've never seen a local market of a tropical country with so little options and so few people selling products in the market Worst, we've seen a huge number of chickens everywhere on the Island. They are free not fenced, and can be found on the roads, on the tracks, on the trees, sun baking under the sun wearing sunglasses, you name it. Well, we had to buy eggs in the grocery shop and believe it or not, the eggs were IMPORTED from New Zealand AND more, the Chickens you eat are also imported from New Zealand. OK I understand, there are only 1500 people in Niue and not enough busines going on. Anyway, the most important thing is that Niueans are well fed and healthy and not starving like in some other parts of the world.

  Here goes a small list of local foods in Niue:

Paw Paw - One of the sweetest on Earth. Can be found everywhere falling on the roads, in trails and on tracks. (For free). I haven't see it in the market but most houses in Niue have at least one plant and if you ask, they will probably give you the entire plant for free. Delicious 10 out of 10.
Limes and Lemons - Almost impossible to find. Took us almost two weeks to find someone who had a tree in their backyard. The possible reason for this is that Niueans don't use the fruit  to season Pork, Fish, or to squeeze into a cold lemonade. Besides Limes, we did not see any other citrus on the Island.

Coconut - Used in almost every single dishes on the Island. Even coconut bread can be purchase at Neil Armstrong bakery. The green coconuts are nice to drink the water inside and also eat the white "meat" inside specially when it is at a consistency of gelatine.

Bananas - Another very difficult thing to find in Niue. We went twice in the market and nobody had a single one for sale. Finally a good soul gave some to us.

Taro - This root is appreciated all over the South Pacific Islands and in Niue is not any different. The leaves are also eatable. We saw quite a few plantations of Taro in Niue.
Pork meat - Pork in Niue is reserved for special ceremonies and are not eaten frequently. If you want to buy them in the market,  it will be imported from New Zealand as well as beef.
Fish - There are plenty of fish in Niue waters and it is largely eaten by the population usually seasoned in coconut milk (delicious). The Fish Factory sells fresh clean cuts from big fish. Very good value for money and can be taken to New Zealand with an export document supplied by the factory.

Coconut Crab or Uga - Nobody knows the exactly number on the Island. It is considered a delicacy between Niueans and myself. Fortunately no restaurants serves Ugas. Usually it is boiled until red. Some people ask Nz$ 20 for one, or you can catch one yourself. Just ask the locals how to proceed if you don't mind  being awake all night long. This Uga was enough for 2 adults.
Shells - On the reef flats diverse species of shells grows and can be picked during the low tide. A metal tool is necessary to "unglue" these tasty creature from the rocks.
Poke Loku - A mix of papaya, coconut cream and peaces plus manioc starch. It is a local dish.
Lu - Young Taro leaves with coconut cream. Tastes and looks like spinach with coconut milk. Very good local dish.
Pitako Kapia - a traditional manioc bread ( no flower added). 

Curiosity: "UMU" is the traditional way to cook food in Niue, which consists of cooking the food slowly under ground with the food wrapped in leaves and fire  made on top

Where to Buy Food in Niue:

Important Note: Most foods in Niue depends on imports from New Zealand. The ship comes once a month. This means that if you get there a week before the ship arrives, there will be very few things on the selves to buy. Also none of these places accept credit or bank cards. Only cash.

Swan Son Supermarket - At your right just after you pass the wharf (North direction). It is a very basic supermarket mostly selling tin products. 
Petrol Station - Doubles as a small convenience shop. It is the only place in Niue we' found lettuce. Also they sell frozen bread and some tin products.
Commercial Centre - In Alofi, it unites many small shops including the only bank, post office and phone company. The " Double M" that sells frozen meats is located there.
Local Market - Nothing much going on over there. There are few people and produce. The market happens on Tuesdays and Fridays morning, and if you wish to find something, go early (until 8 o'clock) or there will be only animated people chatting. Note: To eat the Corn you must have stainless steel teeth.
Fresh Vegetables - in the bar. Yes you heard right. In front of Pacific Way bar (at the entrance) There is a guy selling some fresh organic veggies such as eggplant, cherry tomatoes, some beans, sometimes bananas, or whatever he has in his hands. There are frozen veggies imported from New Zealand at "Double M" and sometimes  fresh veggies can be found in the market. It’s hard to believe on this little tropical island that so little produce is grown.
Fish - The Fish Factory (Reef Group) has one of the best fresh fish we have ever purchased in our lives. Delicious things such us Tuna, Wahoo, Yellow Fin, Big Eye, Albacore, Mahi Mahi and others. The fish are cut in about a kilo chunks and sealed in a vacuum plastic. About NZ$ 10/ Kilo (they have fresh and frozen).
Bread - There are two bakeries in town but depending on the supply ship arrival, they may run out of flower. The coconut bread from Mr. Armstrong bakery is sublime.
Milk - Only in powder at "Double M" or Long life at The "Frosty Boy" (ice cream and smoothies) passing Crazy Uga Café has sometimes long life milk for sale.
Meats - "Double M shop" sells chicken, beef, prawns and pork, all frozen imported from New Zealand. In this place you also will find frozen veggies (or in tins), sometimes cheese and powder milk. 

Where to eat out in Niue:

There are no fancy restaurants in Niue. Everything is simple but good. The prices are good also, but remember, only Matavai accepts Credit card, all other place are cash.

Matavai Hotel - The most up-market restaurant in Niue. A la carte and some special nights during season. We' ve heard some negative comments about the food, but it seems it is improving with a new team in the kitchen. In Avatele.
Jenna's Restaurant - Home style dinners. On Tuesdays night from 7:00 there is a buffet meal including Island dishes. People raved about it when we where there. Cost NZ$ 25/ head but must be booked a day before (can be done at the tourist information office in the commercial centre). Thrus-Sat from 6 pm Fish & Chips.
Falala Fa - Basically a Cafe (also full bar) serving sandwiches. Dining - Fresh local fish. Lunch 11 am 3 pm Mon - Fri. Dinner 6 pm - to late Mon - Fri. Alofi.

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Gill's Indian Restaurant - Serves different dishes of curry including Beef, Lamb or Chicken with rice and roti. Vegetarian and fish options on request. Mon - Fri 11am -9 pm. Sat-Sun 5pm 9pm. Wine, beer and soft drinks. . Alofi, just beside the road.

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Cliff Restaurant & Music Lounge - BYO, serves Asian dishes with desert and has Karaoke singing. Open: Mon-Trus from 5 to 10 pm by reservation and Sat 5pm to midnight. In Alofi opposite to the commercial centre.
Crazy Uga Café - In Alofi, opposite to the Police Station. Serves breakfast, Snacks and Bar. Open: Mon 9am-3pm. Tue-Fri: 8am-3pm. Sat: 9am-2pm.
Washaway Café - Open only on Sundays from 11 am till late. This is another Willie Santelli place (the other is Crazy Uga) with cold beers and nice sandwiches. The view is spectacular. Avatable. Tourists and expats use to meet there.

The holly grog:

Pacific Way bar, in front of the fish factory, South of Alofi, attracts locals and tourists alike. Sails Bar at Coral Garden, Crazy Uga, Washaway Cafe & Matavai Hotel are good places to drink. There are some others places but these are the most tourist ones. Don't forget...You have until Wednesday after your arrival to purchase duty free grog at the Bond Shop, at the back (and left side) of the Commercial Centre in Alofi.

 

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