Food plays an important part in Niue’s culture, from the sweet ti root used in one traditional ritual to the nu pia starch frequently given as gifts. The biggest feasts are served during traditional fiafia festivals. Niueans take great pride in the high preparation standards they use when cooking traditional dishes with luku ferns, kumara, seafood, bananas, and many other ingredients found in few other places on the planet. Alofi contains the vast majority of Niue’s restaurants along with the island’s largest market and only major supermarket. You won’t find any fast food chains here.
Bars and Pubbing in Niue
The fully licensed bars in many Niue restaurants and the weekly traditional fiafia feasts hosted by a local Hakupu village family are as lively as nightlife gets on this tiny island of just 1,400 people. The island’s most exclusive watering hole is located at the Niue Golf and Sports Club (Alofi, Niue). Although this venue near Niue International Airport is supposedly private, visitors are welcome to enjoy its low drink prices and weekend village dances.
Advance dinner reservations are essential at the Matavai Resort (between Tamakautoga and Avatele, Niue), especially during this fully licensed bar’s Thursday night uga capture demonstrations. These coconut crabs are the island’s most culturally important sea creatures. The Crazy Uga Café (Main Street, Alofi) also boasts a fully licensed bar, but many patrons prefer to order one of the only real espressos served on the island.
Washaway Bar and Café (Avatele Bay, Alofi) is among the few Niue establishments open on Sunday and among the few bars left on Earth which still uses an honesty system. Patrons record in writing what they take from the self-serve bar, then pay the fee before they leave. The lovely Avetele Bay view is another reason why the Washaway is so popular. Juanna’s Restaurant and Bar (Fonuakula, Alofi South) is another popular watering hole where steak is served on Friday nights and roast is served on Sundays.
Dining and Cuisine in Niue
Nearly all Niue restaurants are found in Alofi, including Gill’s Indian Restaurant and Takeaway (Alofi South, Niue). The island’s only Indian restaurant is among the few places where visitors can get a bite to eat on Sunday. Fish or vegetarian options are available upon request, alongside the restaurant’s usual chicken, beef, and lamb curries. Talo’s Restaurant and Buffet (Alofi South, Niue) is closed on Sunday, but offers takeout options during the other six days of the week and entertainment in the form of a Thursday night buffet.
Customers enter Kai Ika (Alofi, Niue), the island’s only Japanese restaurant, through the last surviving door from Auckland’s Mount Eden Prison. All of the sushi and sashimi dishes on this restaurant’s menu are prepared with fish caught directly from a fishing company belonging to the restaurant owner. Sashimi is also on the menu at the Falala Fa Bar and Restaurant (Alofi, Niue), whose other popular items include fish and chips, paninis, and hamburgers.
Some Niue restaurants allow customers to bring their own alcohol, such as Jenna’s Restaurant (Alofi, Niue), which puts on a lively pasifika buffet and show on Tuesday night. Tavana’s Café (Alofi Commercial Centre, Alofi) offers karaoke singing alongside its desserts and Asian dishes.