As might be expected of an island more than 1,000 miles from the rest of civilization, Easter Island depends on imported goods to supplement its considerable selection of fresh fish. There are a decent number of tourist restaurants, most of which are centred on the harbor in Hanga Roa, the capital.
Although the island feels like it is thousands of miles from South America, which in reality it is, as a part of Chile, the Latin flavor comes through in the local cuisine. Many of the restaurants serve a menu of the day (menu del dia), which is typically the best value way to eat here. There are also shops selling empanadas (stuffed pastries) including favorites like camarones (shrimp) and atun y queso (tuna and cheese), which make for great snacks that are easy to digest financially compared to the otherwise typically high food prices.
Bars and Pubbing in Easter Island
While there are not a huge number of permanent residents on Easter Island, there are still a few nightlife venues to wet your whistle and get a taste of Island Culture. The hotels are obviously home to a majority of the bars and clubs, but Avenida Atamu Tekena is the main street in town where the party’s happening.
Toroko Disco (Hanga Roa) is a local favorite, which is actually nothing more than a barn with tables. Your entrance fee includes the cost of a raffle ticket which may have you winning a bottle of alcohol at the end of the night. Piriti Discoteque is another favorite with a nice VIP section that gets going late (around midnight).
A traditional Rapa Nui show is not to be missed as you’ll get a feel for the vibrant energy of the dancers. The face painting and Umu underground cooking add to the ambiance.
Dining and Cuisine in Easter Island
It is fair to say that many restaurants offer a bland menu at high prices, which is to be expected under the circumstances, although there are exceptions. On the one hand, this is the price you pay when dining in such an isolated corner of the world. Still, many restaurants offer sumptuous views of the South Pacific along with outdoor dining to take advantage of the superb climate and excellent Polynesian dance as entertainment. This makes the final bill at most places more than palatable.
To avoid adding to the bill when it is time to pay, it makes sense to settle in cash rather than by credit card as the fees are typically up to 10 percent and many restaurants don’t accept plastic. Tipping is appreciated rather than expected and there is no need to be extravagant.