French Polynesia is a remarkable place thanks to its environment and its cultural wealth. This is also what makes Polynesian cuisine a unique gastronomy, uncommon and with many specialties. Tahitian food has many influences, including French and Asian cuisine. Every Polynesian dish is unique thanks to the seafood, tropical fruits and vegetables, and the meeting of cultures… and it is delicious! So where to eat in Tahiti? Here are our tips.
Where to eat in Tahiti: the atmosphere of the “Roulottes”
To discover the favorite food of the local population, you can go to the “roulottes”. These food-trucks are the major meeting place in weekend evenings, especially in Papeete on Vaiete Square, or in Pirae on the parking lot of the Aorai Tini Hau Park. You can choose among a variety of food. It’s the best place to eat in Tahiti while enjoying the pleasant outdoor atmosphere. Besides the fish dishes, we recommend tasting kebabs (“brochettes” in French) and grilled food or Asian specialties such as Chao Men -with noodles and sautéed vegetables, it is a must in Tahiti!
While exploring the islands, you will also be able to find some roulottes along the road during daytime, perfect to take a small break.
A mix of people, language, and taste that make Tahiti much more than just a tropical destination.
The Papeete Market: ideal for tahitian food
You cannot travel to Tahiti without visiting the exceptional Papeete Market! In the heart of the city, you will discover all the authenticity of Polynesia. Fruits, vegetables, traditional dishes, crafts, tropical flowers... everything here will immerse you in the culture of the islands of Tahiti. If you want to taste the food, we advise you to get up early! Particularly on Sunday mornings because you will find everything to make a real Tahitian breakfast. Firi firi (coconut flavored donuts), coconut bread, Pua'a Rôti (pieces of roasted pork), and fresh fruit will be waiting for you. And for a 100% authentic experience, we also recommend a small portion of Tahitian raw fish and Asian specialties such as spring rolls or Chao Pao (stuffed steamed buns).
Restaurants and snacks in Tahiti
During your stay in French Polynesia, you will find many restaurants offering cuisine from around the world: French, Italian, Asian cuisine... There are many good places to eat well in Tahiti: in town, by the sea or in hotels. Note that most restaurants also have the traditional raw fish with coconut milk or the famous tuna sashimi on their menus.
There are many snack-bars, especially on beaches or in town as in the To'ata square in Papeete. These small restaurants serve simple and authentic food, with many dishes made with fish, meat, or specialties with Asian flavors, which are very popular in Polynesia. You can eat in a relaxing atmosphere that makes you feel on holidays every day!
The culinary specialties of the traditional Tahitian oven
In Polynesia, the conviviality is the most important part of a meal. The biggest traditional meal takes place every Sunday: the whole family meets for ahi ma'a, or the "Tahitian oven". Typical Polynesian food in a festive atmosphere. The restaurants rarely offer this type of food, since it is cooked in a traditional way, slowly in a hole in the ground. However, some hotels and family hotels offer to taste these unique flavors on Sundays. You can also ask about guided day trips that sometimes offer this service.
Now, you know where to eat in Tahiti. You can make your choice and discover all the dishes of Polynesian gastronomy. Enjoy your meals and your discoveries!