Indulge Like a Local: 5 Must-Try eateries for families

Cook Islands Tourism

Craving a satisfying dining experience that won’t drain your wallet? Look no further - we’ve got five fantastic eateries that come highly recommended by locals, perfect for families that satisfies both your taste buds and your budget.

1) Charlies Cafe is a charming beachside cafe located on the south side of Rarotonga in the village of Titikaveka. With its undercover seating and occasional live entertainment, it's the perfect place to relax and enjoy a meal with friends or family. The "Fish Sandwich" is a hearty meal made with fresh local fish and some would say “can feed two”. There's easy access to the beach, making it ideal for kids to play or swim in the lagoon. Enjoy a glass of wine or beer while watching the sunset. Charlie's Cafe is the perfect spot to soak up the sun and appreciate the laid-back island lifestyle.

2) Ariki Cafe is a popular local restaurant located on the back road of Avarua. Well known for its delicious home-cooked meals, generous portions, and friendly service. The renowned "Steak and Mushroom" plate is a locals' favourite, and for good reason. The steak can be cooked to your liking, from rare to well-done finished with tasty mushroom sauce, chips and garden salad. The menu features a wide variety of traditional Cook Island dishes, as well as some international favourites. If you're looking for delicious and affordable meals in Rarotonga, be sure to check out Ariki Cafe. You won't be disappointed.

3) Palace Takeaways is a popular local burger joint located at the Avarua Harbor. "The Wet" burger is a “Raro must-try” for visitors. The "Wet" burger” is juicy, flavorful, and one of a kind. Palace Takeaways also offers a wide variety of other burgers, seafood dishes and salads with plenty of kid-friendly options. Palace Takeaways is a great place to eat for the whole family.

4) Tucked away behind the Games Fishing Club in Tupapa you will find Rays Hut. Rays Hut is the perfect spot for beachside food, relaxation and if you need a drink, you can pop next door to the Game Fishing Club. A specialty is the “Fish Curry”. Cooked in a creamy sauce with a hint of lime and served with steamed rice. The menu also offers a variety of other great options. You can even watch whales from July to October. Children love exploring the beach while you enjoy a meal. So next time you're in Rarotonga, be sure to check out Rays Hut!

5)Villis Burgershas earned a reputation for its succulent burgers and pizzas. With inviting outdoor seating, it’s an ideal destination for families seeking an easy stopover for snacks or a satisfying meal. Villis Burger Joint is located next to the CITC Kaps convenience store, making it the perfect opportunity to fill-up or grab any essentials you may need.