As Tayla mentioned in the popular '5 must try lunch spots' post, portion sizes in the Cook Islands - are always good I’ve read reviews by people saying they have shared a meal that most Cook Islanders eat by themselves! So again-portion sizes, not a problem in our little paradise.
MURI NIGHT MARKET
A night out for everyone! The Muri night markets are extremely popular amongst both tourist and locals. The night markets are full of stalls offering a variety of food from fresh fruits, local BBQ meals, roast dinners, curries, nachos, squid salads, cheesecakes, desserts and so much more. The night markets are open Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings from 5:30pm, I advise going earlier to get food before they run out later in the night. There is plenty of seating for everyone, you can eat your dinner with the community or take away meals, the buses go directly to the Night Markets. You can get full with only $10 in your pocket! Fun, fresh and cheap!
VILI'S BURGER JOINT
For a small island Rarotonga produces a number of delicious burger joints. Located in Muri opposite the Muri Night Markets, Vili's has been described as the Best burgers on Rarotonga, and even the best Burgers in the world! The burgers are huge, delivering great value for money, delicious chips and the Vili's SECRET SAUCE (optional) is to die for! All the burgers come with fresh produce, The Raro Fish Burger is a popular choice, it comes with a big piece of battered fish, locally caught! The cannibal burger is perfect for all you meat and bacon lovers out there, double pattie, double bacon and lots of cheese kept together with two buns! I know, sounds disgustingly delicious right?! And the Muri Burger probably Villis most ordered burger, with pineapple slices similar to a Hawaiian Burger (but better). Burger prices range from $6 to $14.50-as I said great value for money and I guarantee you will be heading back for round 2, 3 or 4.
The Anchorage Restaurant and Bar is one of my favourite restaurants on the island! I have been to their Sunday buffet night multiple times and everytime I have gone back to the buffet table for another round of food (even if I’m full). Anchorage’s Island Night on Sundays are a great evening with excellent value for money- with the buffet, live music all night and a show from the staff themselves! It’s awesome seeing the chefs and staff doing cook island dancing and interactive pareu tying demonstrations. The buffet has a delicous range of food with big Maniota chips, ika mata and a number of fresh salads as well as fresh fish, steak and chicken with yummy marinade. During the week they have a fantastic creative menu with spectacular presentation an example seasame-crusted yellow fin tuna with coconut rice, wakame, toasted nori, pickled ginger and miso syrup. On Tuesdays they have reef and beef nights.
Vaima Restaurant and Bar is a fantastic restaurant with great food and quality service located in Tititkaveka close to Wigmore’s super store. You have the option of dining right on the beach with your toes in the sand overlooking the lagoon watching the amazing sunsets or inside in the sheltered areas. A beautiful setting ideal for couples, big groups, and families. Vaima restaurant has a wide range of delcioous entre’s, mains and desserts. My picks are the salt and pepper squids for entre’s, Pork belly with crackling and chocolate cake with ice cream for dessert! Definitely head to Vaima if you are into your finer restaurants or are in Rarotonga for a special occcasion or ‘just cause’ I guaruntee you will not be disappointed.
These are just some of the many great dinner spots to enjoy on Rarotonga. There are plenty more you can find in the link below.
Maeva Carr was born and raised on Rarotonga. She is a proud representative of her village Titikaveka and is currently studying at Auckland University. She has been serving her internship with Cook Islands Tourism.