Rarotonga offers a range of dining choices for visitors. When dining in Rarotonga, choose between restaurant or cafe style settings. Most dining establishments in Rarotonga offer lovely views over the lagoon and a choice of food to suit all tastes. Some Rarotonga restaurants and cafes also provide a children's menu.

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Rarotonga – Where to Eat

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Dining in Rarotonga

Trader Jacks Bar and Grill – Rarotonga

Trader Jacks bar and restaurant is an institution in the Cook Islands, offering great food, great service, great drinks and a great time. Overlooking the waters of Avarua Harbour the Trader's restaurant enjoys a stunning setting along with a reputation for quality dining, with superb, freshly-caught seafood a feature.

The Traders bar is one of the most popular in the South Pacific. But Trader Jacks is more than just somewhere to eat and drink – it is a place where you can experience the Cook Islands, meet the local characters and enjoy the South Seas lifestyle.

With its "bar-over-the-water" ambience, Traders retains a roguish charm – not least thanks to the larger-than-life presence of the proprietor himself, Jack Cooper. Since opening in 1986, the establishment has earned a reputation to rival that of Aggie Greys in Samoa, Quinn's in Tahiti and the Dateline in Tonga. It has even been described by politicians and journalists as the country's second parliament and true financial centre of the economy!

Open throughout the week from midday until late, bar snacks and meals are available throughout the day. Traders has become synonymous with quality seafood and innovative dining. At lunchtime, it is a popular spot for locals and tourists alike. The cool sea breeze and beautiful views make it a wonderful location for a relaxing afternoon meal. As the sun sets over the water the bar area begins to fill up with the dinner crowd and those looking for a cool drink. Watch out for the colourful local characters, from politicians to business people who congregate at the bar to catch up on all the island gossip.

Trader Jacks also provides live music and, at weekends, guests are treated to sounds from some of best bands on the island. On Friday, traditionally the big night out on Rarotonga, the place is packed to the rafters with locals and tourists – dining, drinking, dancing the night away and enjoying the unique atmosphere of this now-legendary South Seas establishment.

The latest incarnation of this Cook Islands landmark was launched in August of 2006 opening with completely redesigned and rebuilt premises and a new menu that takes full advantage of the expertise and products of the establishment's subsidiary Blue Pacific Foods and its state-of-the-art fish processing plant (also located in Avarua). A feature of this redesign is the new Trader Jack Pizza Shack that services both the restaurant and the popular Vaka Bar. Red and white meat dishes are featured in the new menu but the emphasis is most definitely (and naturally) on seafood in all its wonderful variety.

Sandals Restaurant and Barefoot Bar – Pacific Resort Rarotonga

Dining at Pacific Resort is a fine experience. Be relaxed with a casual beachfront meal at Sandals Beachfront, be tempted by succulent fresh seafood, Pacific and international dishes at Sandals restaurant, or be summoned by beating drums to an authentic Cook Island feast. Alternatively, be indulgent and simply order breakfast, lunch or dinner in the private sanctuary of your room.

Pacific Resort Rarotonga offers a variety of dining options and venues including:

  • Sandals Restaurant serving breakfast and dinner daily
  • Sandals Beachfront serving lunch and dinner daily
  • Sandals Courtyard serving lunch and dinner daily
  • Sandals Sandbox serving lunch and snacks daily
  • Barefoot Bar serving lunch and snacks daily
  • Breakfast operates from 7:30 to 11:00am
  • All day snacks / lunch menu operates from 11:00am to 5:30pm daily except for Monday and Friday when it runs till 10:00pm
  • Dinner operates from 6:00pm to 10:00pm
  • Barefoot Bar is open for full beverage service from 9:00am to 11:00pm
  • Happy Hour at Sandals Courtyard and Barefoot Bar every evening between 4.30pm - 6.00pm
  • Moon Light Happy Hour at Sandals Courtyard and Barefoot Bar every evening between 8.30pm - 9.30pm except Monday and Friday when it runs from 9.00pm - 10.00pm

Friday Night is our Island night offering traditional Umu cooked food (ground oven), and Monday nights offers an 'a la carte' Island night – both nights come with an exciting fast beat Island show! See the more info tab in this listing for further details.

Our cuisine team can accommodate a group booking of any size. We cater for Weddings, Birthdays, Incentive groups and other special events. Additionally we are able to accommodate catering requests at other venues around the island. We have a variety of set menus and dining options available on request.

Tamarind House Restaurant – Rarotonga

This beautiful old heritage colonial house on a 2.5 acre garden property was originally built to house the managers of the Union Steamship Company sometime between 1910 and 1915. The house remained the property of the Company until 1988. The house later became the residence of the British Consul until the lease was sold to Sue Carruthers and Robert Brown in 2003.

Sue and Robert have been in the restaurant business on Rarotonga since 1984 and although semi-retired after selling The Flame Tree in 2000, had decided to go back into the business if they could find an old colonial house on the ocean front. They had enjoyed running a small cafe in their private botanical garden two days a week, but were ready to open an upmarket restaurant in a beautiful location on the waterfront if they could find suitable premises. So when the Union Steamship House became available, the opportunity was too good to pass up.

There was a lot of renovation work to do, but with a good team the work was completed in just ten weeks. Verandahs were extended on the front and sides of the house, and a commercial kitchen installed in the existing kitchen. The gardens were landscaped with palms and plants from Sue and Robert's private garden in Muri.

The new name 'Tamarind House' has been given to the property as the tamarind tree is found in all tropical countries. A tamarind tree did grow on the property until the mid-1980s, and many people remember eating the fruit from this tree as children. The tree was probably destroyed in the hurricane of 1987. Besides being a beautiful shade tree, the tamarind produces fruit that is used in many exotic dishes throughout Africa, Asia and the Caribbean. A new tamarind tree has been planted in the garden and in future years will become part of the history of this beautiful home.

The Edgewater Spaghetti House Pizzeria and Grill – Rarotonga

Indulge in the rich tastes of Italy at the Spaghetti House, located at our Rarotonga resort's entrance off the main road.

Open 7 nights from 5.00pm to 9.30pm, the Spaghetti House Pizzeria and Grill has a relaxing, laidback atmosphere to complement its authentic Italian cuisine.

Enjoy the rich, tantalizing selections of pizzas, pastas and other signature Italian dishes on offer, all within a leisurely stroll of the resort.

Tumunu Garden Bar and Restaurant – Rarotonga

The Tumunu is the oldest restaurant in Rarotonga with the original name and owners, Eric (the crazy Welshman) and Julie (his Aussie wife). The Tumunu celebrated its 30th birthday just last year!!

Tumunu in Cook Islands maori means Coconut tree. The base is chopped and hollowed and then home brew is fermented in it. It then becomes a social gathering place for food and drink. This is our Tumunu! Not only is it the oldest restaurant in Rarotonga (30yrs) but it is also the first public liquor license to be issued and was a local "Hot Spot" for many years. Still has the original owners too! The pace became too fast for us however, so others have taken over that role. The Tumunu is now a more sedate and relaxed restaurant with rustic garden surroundings and features a wide variety of local artifacts and much, very much more, entertaining memorabilia, all of which has been given to the Tumunu by visitors and locals alike.

Don't be fooled by the outside appearance. Once you walk over the bridge it opens up to a tropical garden and unique dining room with a colourful collagen ceiling and decor. It has a friendly, welcoming atmosphere and it's fun!! It has been described as "The Fawlty Towers of Raro" by some. Eric may still seem a little "touched" from those old days, but there is always someone in the wings to take control.

The menu features a wide variety of:

  • Seafood
  • Fish
  • Vegetarian
  • Juicy tender steaks
  • Chicken meals
  • Children's menu

All hearty meals and great value for money!!!

Pacific Village Café by Pacific Resort – Rarotonga

Pacific Village Café is located on the main roadside entrance to Pacific Resort Rarotonga.

This funky, new brasserie café is set right in the hub of Muri's Pacific Village. Surrounded by sights and scenes of Muri attractions and action, this fun spot is an amiable crowd-pleaser. Open 7 days a week from 8am to 8pm for Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.

The water fountain, fishpond, exotic plants and the Polynesian umbrellas suggest the Pacific Village Café is a little piece of Tuscany in a tropical setting.

The first thing you will notice when you walk into Pacific Village Café is the fresh produce. A gourmet's delight! Succulent king prawns, Italian and French cheese, black olives, fresh mussels, Thai beef, roast vegetables, shaved Marlin, superb salami and healthy salads.

The Café Team are very proud of their creation. "Fresh is the word" says Chef/Manager Arvin Kumar, "that's what our diners want! Take our filled rolls for example. Smoked Chicken, Salmon and Creme Cheese and Roast Chicken Wraps, they are made everyday at 10am and 2pm. That's really fresh!"

Sails Restaurant and Bar – Muri Beach

Sails Restaurant has long enjoyed a reputation as a great place to enjoy the best Rarotonga has to offer in pacific cuisine, unparalleled lagoon views and friendly service.

Located right on the white sandy beaches of Muri Lagoon our modern restaurant offers indoor and outdoor dining. A fabulous setting for special occasions, wedding ceremonies and receptions, corporate events and private parties.

Take a swim in the safe crystal clear waters of muri lagoon before settling down for a tasty relaxing breakfast or lunch. Hire kayaks to explore the fish life before sampling our famous cocktails. Wander down for a coffee and cake and just soak up the sun, sea and service. Watch the moon rise over Koromiri island from the candle lit deck overlooking the lagoon.

We look forward to seeing you soon. Open 7 days from 8am till late. Sails is a dining experience not to be missed, kitchen open for meals all day.

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