What to eat and drink in the Cook Islands
Sandals Restaurant & Barefoot Bar, Rarotonga
This beachfront restaurant serves up fresh seafood and local and international dishes, while lavishing you in a romantic island atmosphere. You can sit at finely decorated tables on the sand with the palm trees at your back and the water stretched out before you. An Island Night is held every Friday, during which you can enjoy traditional cooking methods, songs, dancing and music.
The Boat Shed, Autaki
Situated on the famous Popoara beach, The Boat Shed has a rustic appeal with its wooden structure and antique decorations. The diverse menu lets you select from a range of tasty meals including seafood and Asian dishes. If you’re dining during whale season, you may be treated to a whale show just off the reefs in front of the restaurant.
High Tide Bar & Grill, Rarotonga
The High Tide Bar and Grill brings a bit of western charm to the island, with an all-you-can-eat pizza buffet. Owned by friendly locals, the restaurant has a fun atmosphere that extends to the adjoining bar, which offers cheap happy hour specials from Wednesday to Friday. Enjoy ocean views from the spacious balcony while you eat.
Tamarind House, Raratongo
Housed in a restored colonial house and set on sprawling manicured lawns that stretch down to the beach, Tamarind House is easily one of the best establishments to taste the flavours of the Cooks. The menu is often changing things up with new dishes from both local and international influences. If you’re ever dining at the Tamarind House, it’s worthwhile trying the fresh tuna nicoise salad or the taro leaf and roast pumpkin lasagne. After dinner, you can take a moonlit stroll through the gardens or along the beach.
Sails Restaurant, Raratonga
If you don’t want to decide on just one type of fish for dinner or you’d prefer to give your taste buds a tour through the South Pacific's fish, the Sails Restaurant can accommodate with its Moana Nui Trio main course. If you order the Moana Nui Trio, you receive three deep-ocean fish served over kumara (sweet potato), rukau (taro leaves) and ratatouille. The restaurant's location, right on the edge of Muri Lagoon, provides excellent views for you to enjoy while eating.
Flying Boat Fish & Chip Cafe, Rarotonga
Close to Avarua you can find the Flying Boat Fish and Chip Cafe, which delivers a truly casual atmosphere along with delicious fish and chips. You can choose to eat at one of the picnic tables outside or purchase takeaway and enjoy the fresh seafood down by the water. You can also purchase a tasty seafood platter of fish, prawns and other delicacies. This little establishment is great for a change of pace from the other notable dining options.