The Best Food Experiences and Places to Eat on Aitutaki
Most travellers come to Aitutaki with perhaps just taking a lagoon cruise or lazying at a resort in mind, but the food is quite the event too. Try local dishes, like pawpaw salad (man, we love pawpaw salad), rukau and freshly caught fish prepared umpteen million ways. Treat yourself to private dining on the beach or do what the locals do and head to a cafe or takeaway with international favourites passionately prepared with ingredients from the island’s own hydroponic and organic farms. We go through it all – the food tours, the accommodations and the places to eat, in this ultimate food guide to Aitutaki.
The 10 Best Places to Eat on Aitutaki
Where are the best places to eat on Aitutaki? Here’s our ultimate list of the best restaurants and cafes with something for all tastes and budgets.
- Avatea Cafe (Tautu)
- Rapae Bay Restaurant (Pacific Resort Aitutaki, west coast)
- Koru Cafe (Ootu Beach)
- The Boat Shed Bar & Grill (Ootu Beach)
- Mouarii Cafe (Arutanga)
- Tamanu Beachfront Restaurant (Tamanu Beach Resort, west coast)
- Flying Boat Beach Bar & Grill (Aitutaki Lagoon Private Island Resort, Akitua)
- Kai Tari Takeaway (Amuri)
- Blue Lagoon Restaurant & Bar (Ootu Beach)
- Aquila Takeaway (Amuri)
Scroll down to “About The Best Places to Eat on Aitutaki” to learn more about our top picks!
The Best Food Tours on Aitutaki
Make indulging your palate part of the experience by partaking in one of the amazing food tours on Aitutaki. From cultural affairs, such as island nights, to romantic dinners organised just for you and your loved one, the Aitutaki food tours are certainly a treat for the senses.
Tamanu Island Night
Combine two cultural experiences into one at the Tamanu Island Night. Energetic drumming, captivating dancing and swishing traditional attire are only part of the experience – the finale, in fact. As you relax to the island tunes of a local string band, you’ll indulge in a generous buffet including traditional local foods, as well as some international favourites. Curried pawpaw salad, poke and rukau are just some recommendations, which you can find out more about in the 10 Foods to Try in the Cook Islands.
Experience the rewarding feeling of catching your own dinner on one of Aitutaki’s fishing charters. Reeling in the big ones, such as tuna and mahimahi, is a popular choice outside of the lagoon by one of the local FADs. Anglers can almost always keep the fish they catch when bluewater fishing. Spearfishing and lagoon fishing is also an option, although some species can’t be kept. In addition, bonefishing is typically “catch and release”.
If you want to keep your catch, especially for fishing within the lagoon, let your chosen fishing charter/guide know your intentions first to see if they can accommodate you. Compare charters in The Best Fishing Charters in Aitutaki.
Private Dining Experience on the Beach
A foodie experience essential for couples, imagine it’s just you and your loved one indulging in a lovingly prepared meal under the stars with your toes in the sand. Choose a candlelit dinner in a private pavilion on the edge of the Aitutaki Lagoon Private Island Resort or dine under the stars on a secluded private deck at Aitutaki Escape. A barefoot beach dinner can also be organised at Etu Moana with floral decorations and a mouthwatering meal served at sunset.
More Food Tours on Aitutaki
And that’s not all the food scene on Aitutaki has to offer. Check out alternative food tours, such as:
- Feast on an island-style barbecue on an uninhabited “motu” with an Aitutaki lagoon cruise
- Hit the scenic picnic spots around Aitutaki like Vaipae Wharf, the Arataki Lookout and the Piraki Lookout
- Indulge in a beach picnic platter with Kutekute Tours & Transfers
- Host your own epic barbecue by ordering a barbecue pack from the Koru Cafe
- Experience Aitutaki’s eateries…
… For elaboration on each activity, check out the 8 Best Foodie Experiences on Aitutaki.
About the Best Places to Eat on Aitutaki
Aitutaki might not have the selection of eateries that Rarotonga boasts, but the quality is still there and, to be honest, we’re just happy to forgo the decision fatigue. Within a week on Aitutaki, you can hit all of the culinary highlights, such as the charming Avatea Cafe serving up contemporary fusion food with an island twist. Enjoy the alfresco atmosphere and quaint gift shop at its secluded inland location near the village of Tautu.
When it comes to fine dining, book yourself a table at the Pacific Resort Aitutaki‘s Rapae Bay Restaurant at least once. 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.
Ootu Beach presents a few dining options, with the Koru Cafe not to be missed! For a casual dinner, entertainment and drinks, head to the local watering hole of The Boat Shed Bar & Grill. Alternatively, take the Aitutaki Lagoon Private Island Resort ferry over to the Flying Boat Beach Bar & Grill for one of the island’s most creative cocktail menus and a vibrant dinner menu that changes daily.
For those on a budget or wanting a more locals’ experience, try the cheap and cheerful takeaways of the island, such as Aquila Takeaway in Amuri which uses relatively high-quality ingredients, especially for the price. There’s also Aunty Odeez on the beach serving local fish dishes, wraps, burgers and smoothies on traditionally woven plates. We also like Kai Tari Takeaway which has a more limited menu but occasionally spruces up more local dishes, like fried fish in coconut cream.
Alternative Things to Do on Aitutaki
As much as the food tours and places to eat on Aitutaki are delectable, you can’t travel all the way here just for the food. You’re in one of the most stunning lagoons in the South Pacific! So balance out your stay with some of the alternative activities, such as:
- Snorkel, sightsee and island-hop on the Aitutaki Lagoon with one of the amazing lagoon cruises
- Learn or hone your kitesurfing skills at Honeymoon Island
- Check out the island’s viewpoints, such as Maunga Pu and Piraki Lookout
- Scuba dive with turtles in the Arutanga Passage
- Experience the harmonious singing of a Sunday church service
- Indulge in a spa day at Tiare Spa or SpaPolynesia
- Hit one of the snorkelling spots, like Base One or the western beach…
… and much more! Check out the details of these activities and get more inspiration in the 20 Best Things to Do on Aitutaki.
More About Aitutaki
That’s it for our food guide to Aitutaki and the best places to eat on Aitutaki, but not the end of our Aitutaki advice! Check out these other guides that might not necessarily fall under the “foodie” category, but are still pretty useful:
- The Luxury Guide to Aitutaki
- The Complete Travel Guide to Aitutaki on a Budget
- The Wedding, Honeymoon & Romantic Getaway Guide to Aitutaki
- The Adults-Only Travel Guide to Aitutaki
- The Complete Travel Guide to Aitutaki for Families
- The Complete Travel Guide to Aitutaki
Finally, discover even more foodie trip tips in The Food Guide to the Cook Islands: Places to Eat, Food Tours & Best Resorts for Food and plan your foodie road trip with the Cook Islands Food Itinerary: 14 Days and Cook Islands Food Itinerary: 7 Days.