Fiji: Where the locals dine
Preparing the lovo (earth oven) in the village of Navivi, Fiji.
Traditional Fijian food is to die for our Insider introduces you to the best of this and international cuisine on the islands.
Feasting with the Fijians
Most large resorts on Viti Levu have a lovo night once a week. This is a great opportunity to sample Fijian dishes and the buffet is usually accompanied by traditional dancing (meke). It takes time to prepare Fijian dishes properly and they must be served fresh, thus restaurants specialising in this cuisine are rare. One of the best known is Vilisite's Seafood Restaurant with locations between the Naviti and Warwick resorts on the Coral Coast. The Old Mill Cottage Café in Suva is popular with the staff from nearby embassies. Most locals get their ika in lolo (fish in coconut cream) from stalls at Suva Market.
The spices of India
Indian food is popular among office workers in Fiji as it's fast, tasty, and inexpensive. The open porch at Tata's Restaurant in Nadi, just down from the large Indian temple, serves excellent curry lunches. Suva has the largest number of Indian restaurants. The Hare Krishna Restaurant opposite the Reserve Bank of Fiji, Govinda Restaurant on Marks Street, and the Curry House on Waimanu Road offer an all-you-can-eat vegetarian thali lunch a set meal with several curries, dhal, roti, and chutney, served on a metal plate. In Fiji's second city, Lautoka, you'll be invited to a vegetarian lunch if you join the congregation for the 11am Sunday service at the Sri Krishna Kaliya Temple.
Virtually every town and city in Fiji has a choice of Chinese restaurants, many of them serving alcoholic beverages (most of the Indian restaurants are "dry"). In Nadi, Bohai Seafood Restaurant above a bank on the main street isn't as flashy as some of the nearby tourist restaurants but you're more likely to meet the local Chinese community there. Many of Suva's Chinese restaurants are along Victoria Parade, including Peking, Vine Yard, and Fong Lee. In Lautoka, try the Nan Ying Restaurant near the Lautoka Hotel. In Levuka, the Sunday evening buffet at Kim's Paak Kum Loong Restaurant is famous.
Pizzerias are almost as common as Chinese restaurants in Fiji and they need no introduction. For a juicy steak, there's Cardo's at the Denarau Marina in Nadi. In Suva, Tiko's Floating Restaurant downtown is known for its steaks and seafood. Otherwise, try JJ's in the high-rise building (a former YWCA) just across Sukuna Park from Tiko's. A number of upscale Japanese and Korean restaurants are also in Suva.
Have you eaten at any of these places in Fiji? Know of any others worth mentioning? Tell us about it using the comments form below.
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