From upscale seafood restaurants to local haunts plating up authentic Fijian fare, we pick out nine of the best eateries so you don’t have to.
Set on a tiny island afloat in an azure sea, Wicked Walu is reached by a small causeway and creates quite the Fantasy Island experience, especially if you arrive in the evening when the path is beautifully illuminated by flaming tiki torches. The restaurant specialises in the freshest seafood platters piled high with lobster, mahi-mahi, mud crab, scallops and oysters, as well as char-grilled steaks and mouth-watering desserts like chocolate tart. Dine by candlelight on the beach or in the atmospheric, open-sided pavilion, and feel free to bring the kids – they get their own menu and can build sand castles or hunt crabs on the beach.
Sundowner Bar at Outrigger Resort
There are times when nothing beats a wood fired pizza or an Aussie grass fed rib eye with all the trimmings. Throw in a beautiful beachfront setting and relaxed vibe and you get the picture. Sunsets on this stretch of the Coral Coast are dramatic and definitely call for a fresh and fruity cocktail – try the frangipani flow with pineapple, strawberries, coconut and golden rum. Starters include a tasty kokoda – Fiji’s raw fish salad in coconut milk – spiced up with prawns and oranges. Gourmet pizza includes a vegetarian version with avocado, capsicum, coriander and chilli.
A small and cosy restaurant with live music, a casual seaside vibe and fabulous Fijian fare. Choose from the daily catch of reef fish – the delicious Fijian-style ika vakalolo (cooked in coconut milk, lemon and spices) is a must, while lobster can be prepared anyway you like, and authentic Indo Fijian chicken curry comes with homemade chutneys. Vegetarians won’t go hungry, with classic dhal soup, flavourful coconut spinach rou rou soup, spinach ravioli and a hearty vegetarian curry platter on the menu.
If you have a few hours to kill in Nadi and are looking for something outside of the pricey Denarau resorts, Taste is the place to head. More café than restaurant, you will find a good range of breakfasts, and Pacific fusion-style fare that isn’t particularly fancy, but is thoughtfully prepared and consistently delicious. Good coffee goes down well with fresh baked pastries, while the signature, much-raved about dish is the caramelised Vuda pork belly. Vegetarians also have a good selection, including a lovely baked ricotta, hearty salads, fragrant tamarind rice noodles with tofu, and moreish local root crop crisps.
Indigo Indian Asian Restaurant
Indo Fijians make up about half the population, so make sure to sample some authentic Indian cuisine during your Fiji holiday. Indigo offers beautifully presented food bursting with the intoxicating taste and aroma of chilli and spices. Vegetarians hit the jackpot with a menu ranging from creamy palak paneer to piping-hot dal makhani, pindi chana masala and excellent stuffed paneer tikka. Naan bread and roti are just the way they should be, while zesty pickles and chutneys hit the spot. Non-vegetarians also have a huge choice, with masala crab making a popular (albeit messy) specialty, as well as a hot and spicy vindaloo, and Asian staples, such as Szechuan chicken and Thai green curry.
Baka Blues Café
Take a holiday from your Fiji holiday and spend an evening at the groovy, New Orleans-inspired Baka Blues Café. Talented musicians jam out the blues in this atmospheric bar filled with hand picked memorabilia from America’s deep south, while the jukebox is packed with oldies, and the big screen streams live sports. Specialising in barbecue, Creole and Cajun food, generous meals include Route 66 chilli with garlic bread, sizzling baby back ribs, Texas T-bone, and a flamboyant smoked chicken in a pineapple boat. Kids can order from their own menu and occupy themselves with colouring books and giant Jenga. The bartenders mix a mean mint julep, while beer is packed on ice so your Fiji Bitter is always served super cold.
Bulaccino and Hemisphere Wine Bar
From humble beginnings as a small café in Nadi, Bulaccino has spread its wings and now has a fresh and breezy café on Denerau Island and its own organic farm, which ensures lots of tasty produce. The Namaka branch in Nadi doesn’t look like much from the street but don’t be put off, this café is a great-all rounder with an Art Deco interior and lovely garden space at the back. Refuel with a perfectly brewed signature organic coffee, frosted cup cake or classic high teaoOr keep it light with a fresh salad, fruit smoothie and a lovely grilled fish with lemon and garlic.
This piece was originally published in March 2016 and has been updated.
Top image: Wicked Walu Fiji