Entertainment and dining out are quite low-key in Kiribati and confined to the main towns and villages in hotels and guesthouses. The local cuisine is seafood-based and dishes are somewhat of an acquired taste, with Western menus limited. Note that alcohol is banned in some of the Outer Islands.
Bars and Pubbing in Kiribati
Bars are few and far between, though there are places to kickback on the main islets of Tarawa, and most of the major hotels have some kind of watering hole. Betio has a few of note, including the Royal Bar (Central Betio, South Tawara), which is air-conditioned and open until about midnight on weekends and 10:00 p.m. during the week. Another popular spot in Betio is Captains Bar (Betio, South Tawara), best known for their monthly weigh-ins of the Betio Game Fishing Club.
Tarawa, the capital, has several spots, including the so-called called kava bars and the Midtown (South Tarawa) disco, which is open until late. The Night Spot also has a dance floor, while the Lagoon Club (Ambo, South Tawara) is the most popular nightlife option on the islet. On Christmas Island, London is the main settlement, although tourist hotels have the pick of the bars such as in the Captain Cook Hotel.
For local music and dancing, consider attending "Island Nights," which are all about showcasing traditional Micronesian culture.
Dining and Cuisine in Kiribati
I-Kiribati traditional food is based on rice and fish, with the sashimi being as good and as fresh as it gets. The palu sami (a coconut cream-curry powder-taro leave-seaweed concoction) is a Kiribati specialty, though visitors may want to try it with chicken or pork as opposed to plain. In the south, be sure to try the pandanus fruit with coconut cream.
There’s a lack of Western restaurants, although the bigger hotels and guesthouses have full menus, but expect to pay more. Fruits and vegetables are also quite limited and equally pricey, while coconuts are ubiquitous and very nutritious.
There are plenty of eateries in the main towns of Kiribati, including fast food and Chinese restaurants. Bairiki and Betio have several options, including Amms Restaurant (Betio, South Tawara), Matarena’s Restaurant (Bairiki, South Tawara) near the wharf and the Café (Bairiki, South Tawara). You can also find fish and chips in Betio. The Ambo Lagoon Club (Ambo, South Tawara) is good for both eating and drinking and has a pool and sports on TV. There’s a maneaba meeting house here, too, which is good for local feasts and movies.