Aitutaki’s Best Restaurants
Treat the tastebuds to a true island experience on Aitutaki. From fine dining to cheap takeaways, there’s something to suit all tastes and vibes on this tiny lagoon island in the South Pacific. We share the best places to eat, as well as the hidden gems of the Aitutaki dining scene, in this list of the best restaurants on Aitutaki.
Before we begin, be sure to open up our complete recommendations, The Food Guide to Aitutaki: Places to Eat & Food Tours.
1. Avatea Cafe
A little out of the way but well worth the venture, Avatea Cafe serves up contemporary fusion food with an island twist. Try “fish and chips” with chips replaced by fried vegetables and a local pawpaw salad or how about tropical tacos or a vibrant vegetarian smoothie bowl? Enjoy the alfresco atmosphere and quaint gift shop at its secluded inland location near the village of Tautu. They are open 9am to 2pm for breakfast and lunch and 5pm to 8pm for dinner, every day except Sunday. See more decent vegetarian options in The Cook Islands for Vegans & Vegetarians + 10 Best Restaurants.
Location: Tautu. On the inland road near Gina’s Garden Lodges.
2. Rapae Bay Restaurant
Experience fine dining and five-star service at the Pacific Resort Aitutaki‘s Rapae Bay Restaurant. Elevated over the beach and gazing across the lagoon on Aitutaki’s sunset coast, Rapae Bay offers the ideal setting for a more sophisticated evening, as well as the menu to match. The menu offers a range of crowd-pleasing choices with plenty of gluten and dairy-free options. Their most impressive menu is their drinks, pouring everything from cocktails to sake. Learn more about their bar in the 5 Best Bars in Aitutaki. Note that the restaurant is only open to patrons aged 12+ except if they are hosting an island night.
Location: Pacific Resort Aitutaki, just north of Amuri on the main road of the west coast.
3. Koru Cafe
Sustainably minded, Koru Cafe offers a delicious range of meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner seven days a week! They bake their own bread, use free-range eggs from a farm on the island, use ingredients from a local aquaponics farm and an organic plantation: what’s not to love? As for the food itself, enjoy well-presented plates of hot breakfasts to the photo-worthy “Mega Mezze” platter for two. Barbecue packs and heat-up dinner meals can also be purchased from the cafe, either for pick-up or delivery.
Location: Ootu Beach.
4. The Boat Shed Bar & Grill
Enjoy the casual vibe and maritime theme of The Boat Shed Bar & Grill, a popular go-to for visitors and locals alike. Of course, fish dishes are their strong suit with sushi platters, sashimi plates and more available to order or be spruced up with the fish you’ve caught on your fishing charter. They also have an excellent bar with colourful cocktails and beers served in a cooler/holder, while their Saturday karaoke night is always a hit. With a children’s playground, trampoline on-site and a kids’ menu, it’s also one of the best restaurants on Aitutaki for families.
Location: Ootu Beach, next door to Popoara Ocean Breeze Villas.
5. Mouarii Cafe
One of the best restaurants in Aitutaki’s main town, Arutanga, Mouarii Cafe is a great place to go for a feed on generous portions that will keep you going all day and all night. Try local dishes like ika mata served with fried tropical vegetables or indulge in fresh fish dishes like fish and chips or sashimi with fish caught from their in-house fishing charter. Saturday night is their island barbeque night and one of the most affordable buffets on the island.
Location: Arutanga. Up the inland road at the crossroads in the centre of town.
6. Tamanu Beachfront Restaurant
Although open for a la carte dining most nights, the main reason to add Tamanu Beachfront Restaurant to your dining itinerary is its island night. It’s your opportunity to try local dishes, from rukau (taro leaves cooked in coconut cream) to curried pawpaw salad, as well as international favourites at their island buffet. As you dine, you’re treated to live music from a ukulele band then it’s onto the cultural show with energetic dancing and drumming. Tamanu also hosts a “Sunday Sunset BBQ” complemented with live music.
Location: Tamanu Beach Resort. On the main road on the west coast of the island.
7. Flying Boat Beach Bar & Grill
Situated on the private island of Akitua, Flying Boat Beach Bar & Grill is part of the adults-only Aitutaki Lagoon Private Island Resort. The restaurant is open to both resort guests and casual diners who can get the boat over from Ootu Beach. Indulge in perfectly-presented plates of Polynesian-style cuisine not just inspired by the Cook Islands but menus across the Pacific, as well as international crowd-pleasers with a dinner menu that changes daily. It’s also a fantastic place for your sundowners, with Intagram-worthy cocktails and an impressive selection in their wine cellar.
Location: Akitua. Book a table to book your ferry crossing from Ootu Beach or use the phone at the car park located at the waterfront car park, located at the end of the road turn-off just before Koru Cafe (when driving south).
8. Kai Tari Takeaway
Easy to miss but you’ll be glad to spot it on your drive through Amuri, Kai Tari Takeaway offers affordable meals on their blackboard menu. Burgers, fish and chicken meals make up the majority of their menu but more local delights like ika mata, fried fish and coconut cream and sashimi can sometimes be picked up for dinner. They are open Sunday to Friday from 10am to 2pm then 6pm to 9pm, as well as for breakfast on Sunday morning. See more takeaways like this in The Top Cheap Eats on Aitutaki.
Location: Ureia. On the inland side of the main road.
9. Blue Lagoon Restaurant & Bar
It doesn’t get more on the beach than the Blue Lagoon Restaurant & Bar. Located on the shores of Ootu Beach, the restaurant basks in amazing views across the lagoon. Things are pretty casual here with both island and western cuisine, as well as plenty of options when it comes to cocktails, wine and beer. The establishment has been closed for a while due to COVID, but hopefully, it will/is open for business by the time this is published.
Location: Ootu Beach.
10. Aquila Takeaway
Our final recommendation on this list of the best places to eat on Aitutaki is a restaurant with a great local vibe and pleasing food to match. Aquila Takeaway is impossible to miss, set in front of a grocery store adorning pink and purple stripes. Their prices you won’t want to miss either, offering plenty of burgers, salads, curries and wraps for under NZ$15. Using fresh ingredients for their salads, and meat that doesn’t seem too processed, they are certainly one of the better cheap takeaways on the island.
More About Places to Eat and Restaurants on Aitutaki
That’s it for our list of the best restaurants on Aitutaki. Plan more treats for your palate with the following articles:
Finally, don’t miss our foodie must-dos in The Food Guide to the Cook Islands: Places to Eat, Food Tours & Best Resorts for Food.