Where To Eat In Rarotonga

burger at palace takeaways in Rarotonga

Where To Eat In Rarotonga- All Tested & Tried

There are a variety of places to eat in Rarotonga. Whether that is the seaside food trucks, burger joints, ocean view restaurants, markets or fancy hotel eateries. Though, with all these options it can get a little overwhelming, especially if you want to try them all. That’s way I have created the ultimate list of where to eat in Rarotonga!

Where To Stay In Rarotonga?

Find the best hotels in the area

Kiikii Inn & Suites

Beach front location with affordable bungalows from $105.00 per night.


Club Raro Resort

With standard rooms from $130.00 you can enjoy life on the beach at an affordable price.


Sanctuary Rarotonga Resort & Spa

Romantic adults only resort. With rooms from $230.00 per night enjoy luxury in peace.


The Rarotongan Beach Resort & Spa

Set on a private beach this 4 star resort is the perfect getaway from $190.00 per night.


Where To Eat In Rarotonga

Punanga Nui Market

The must be place any Saturday morning is the Punanga Nui Market. Duck down for the perfect breakfast or lunch meal from one of the many stalls. From fresh smoothies, chicken, crepes and of course coconuts!

If you are craving some homemade goodies this is the place to be as the local community sets up with amazing homemade cakes and pastries fresh out of the oven! Spend the morning trying a little bit of everything and relaxing under the beautiful Rarotongan sun.

Opening Hours: Saturdays, 8am until 2pm.

Location: Ara Tapu, Avarua, Cook Islands

Enjoy fresh fruit

crepe at the punanga nui market

Punanga Nui Market

Mooring Fish Cafe

This iconic Rarotongan eatery is a hot spot for locals and tourists, and for a good reason, their sandwiches! Located next to the fishing club you can be sure the iconic FOB sandwich is made with the freshest fish and on wonderfully soft turkish bread.

With both covered and uncovered tables you can relax ocean side no matter the weather.

Opening Hours: Monday to Friday 10.30am until 3.30pm and Sunday 12pm until 4pm, closed Saturdays.

Location: Ara Tapu, Muri Beach, Rarotonga.

mooring fish cafe in rarotonga

LBV – Le Bon Vivant

LBV or Le Bon Vivant is an amazingly delicious eatery and is my number one recommendation for where to eat in Rarotonga. With a gorgeous outdoor setting, vibrant surrounding gardens and many little chicken families it is the perfect place to start your day.

Which an amazing range of incredible looking counter food, the best donuts of my life and well crafted menu options there is something for everyone here! Even if you are a little bit fussy like me the hospitable staff will have no problem accommodating your requests. Oh and if you like chai lattes, make sure to try the iced chai latte, it is one of the best drinks ever!

Opening Hours:  Seven days a week. from 7.30am until 4pm.

Location: Ara Tapu, Muri Beach, Rarotonga.

donut from le bon vivant

breakfast from le bon vivant - where to eat in rarotonga

Charlie’s Cafe and Bar

If you ask anyone in Rarotonga where to go for lunch they will no doubt say Charlie’s Cafe. This place is a Rarotonga icon and a must visit when in the Cook Islands capital.

This seaside eatery features everything you could ever want, from amazing ocean views to sandwiches as big as your head. Make sure to pop in for the relaxing atmosphere and social vibes, it is the perfect place to get into island life.

Opening Hours:  Monday to Saturday from 11am until 10pm, closed Sundays.

Location: Ara Tapu, Takitumu District, Cook Islands, about 5 minutes past central Muri township when traveling clockwise.

sandwich from charlies cafe and bar - where to eat in rarotonga

view from charlies cafe and bar- where to eat in rarotonga

Muri Night Markets

One of the most popular dinner options in Rarotonga is no doubt the Muri Night Markets. With a variety of stalls with so many options you could spend hours here trying different dishes!

Join locals and tourists alike and try some beautiful homemade food, some of which is made straight in front of you. From amazing cakes, crepes, fresh seafood and local delicacies, your taste buds will be in heaven!

Opening Hours:  Sunday, Tuesday. Wednesday and Thursday starting at 5pm (weather permitting).

Location: Muri Beach Village, between Sails Restaurant sign and Beachcomber Accommodation.

cake at the muri night market

stalls at the muri night market

Palace Takeaways

If you are looking for an amazing cheap eat in Rarotonga, Palace Takeaways is the place to be. This roadside stall features port views and local chickens, oh and of course their famous palace burger!

With quick service, fresh ingredients and a damn tasty coleslaw we visited Palace Takeaways numerous times while in Rarotonga. The burgers are extremely affordable and you know this is the place to be when it is always busy with both locals and tourists!

Opening Hours: Seven days a week, 8am until 10pm.

Location: Ara Tapu, Avarua District, near the port.

burger at palace takeaways in Rarotonga

Deli-Licious Cafe Limited

One of my favorite breakfast spots in Rarotonga is Deli-Licious Cafe. With fresh ingredients featured and an amazing selection of both cabinet and menu food options, it will have your mouth watering.

Make sure to snag yourself one of the tables in front to watch life go by on the happening Muri Beach.

Opening Hours: Sunday to Friday 7.30am until 3pm, closed Saturdays.

Location: Ara Tapu, Muri Beach, on the far end when traveling clockwise.

breakfast from deli licious cafe

Vili’s Burger Joint

If you are looking for a delicious burger Vili’s Burger Joint is the place to be! With quirky decor and enough jokes on the wall to put a smile on your face it is a must visit for lunch or dinner.

If you have any burger in Rarotonga you must have one from here, my partner can highly recommend the smokey bbq bacon which is all he could talk about for the rest of our stay. Also make sure to get one of the milkshakes, they are extremely flavorsome and the thickest thing you’ll ever drink.

Opening Hours: Weekdays 11.30am-9pm and Weekends 12.30pm- 9pm. Closed on Mondays.

Location:  Ara Tapu, Muri Beach, opposite the Muri Night Markets.

smoothie from vilis burger joint

bbq burger from vilis burger joint

Trader Jacks

If you are sick of roadside dining then Trader Jacks is the perfect place to come for Lunch or Dinner. With an extensive menu and fresh seafood on offer it highlights the best of Cook Islands produce as well as Western favourites.

Be sure to try the pizzas which are known as the best on the island! A perfect base mixed with delicious toppings makes for the ultimate meal.

Enjoy the beautiful views over the Pacific Ocean and the waves crashing on the reef on the deck. This, mixed with the extremely hospitable staff make Trader Jacks a must visit when in Rarotonga!

Opening Hours: Monday to Saturday 11am until late.

Location:  Ara Tapu, Avarua District, Cook Islands

mushroom pizza from trader jacks

garlic bread from trader jacks

Te Vara Nui Village

Te Vara Nui is a must visit for Dinner when wondering where to eat in Rarotonga. With a delicious buffet dinner and amazing over water show it is truly the perfect way to spend an evening.

The assortment of food options include both western and local options allowing you to try some new Cook Island dishes. Everything is labeled as well, so you will be 100% sure if what you are eating is vegetarian, dairy free or gluten free. This is a big plus if you have a complicated diet like me!

Opening Hours: Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays starting at approximately 7pm (bookings essential).

Location:  Ara Tapu, Muri Beach, approximately 15 minutes drive from the main town of Avarua.

Want to explore more of the Rarotongan food scene? Why not do a DIY food tour!

assorted cakes at te vara nui for dessert

salads for dinner buffet te vara nui rarotonga

fruit platter for dessert at te vara nui



Want more Cook Islands inspiration? Check out….

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. So, if you click on it and purchase something, I get a small percentage at no extra cost to you. As always all opinions are my own and your support is much appreciated.

Backpackers Wanderlust was a guest at Te Vara Nui in Rarotonga, however, as always, all opinions are my own.

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    Your typical New Zealander, now discovering the world one country at a time. With a high-end backpacking style I prefer to glampack across the globe by embracing the best of each destination. All of which I share right here on Backpackers Wanderlust. 




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  • 45 Responses

    1. It looks so delicious! I was casually browsing for food images to get inspiration as I’m hungry and… well, now I am salivating ahah

    2. Oh man, I should not have read this while I’m hungry! It all looks soooo good! What a great, comprehensive list, too. 🙂

    3. Great article! Would love to go to the Cook Islands one day – Rarotonga will definitely be up there on the list of places to go ?

    4. These Pictures are drool-worthy!… Red Berry smoothie sounds very healthy indeed. Did they have good places for vegan dinner? 🙂

    5. OMG! I’m legit drooling right now! Every piece of food you posted looks amazing! I’m about to jump on a plane and go hit up all these spots for brunch!! Haha

    6. I am so jealous! Ever since my favorite teacher in elementary school told us about his trip to the Cook Islands, I’ve wanted to go. This all looks super delicious!

    7. Oh dude, I am absolutely salivating at the mouth! The picture of that first smoothie has got me craving so hard. What were the prices like for food in Rarotonga? It’s so damn close to Aus, I’m ashamed I haven’t been there yet but flights are just so much pricier than getting to Asia etc.

    8. Oh this is amazing! I was in the Polynesian club in college and learned how to do traditional dancing from Cook Islands. Ever since, I’ve been wanting to go! This food is mouth watering and makes me want to head there asap!

    9. So many good options, I wonder when I would have time to see the sights! I live in a land-locked area right now, so I love to get fresh seafood when I’m near the ocean!

    10. I’d love to go to the Cook Islands, mostly for the beach, but the food options look pretty good too!

    11. What a great round up! I love to eat at a mix of low-key local spots and some higher end places and this list has it all. I’ve seen so many beautiful shots of the Cook Islands, definitely need to make it there an eat my way through this list!

    12. Oh yum!! The donuts look so yummy! And I love Charlie’s Cafe and Bar too, that view is just perfect for a late lunch <3

    13. Those donuts stopped me in my tracks. Wowser. I hadn’t considered the Cook Islands a particularly foodie place, but guess I was wrong! That pizza looks pretty fine too…

    14. OKAY SO I NEED TO GO THERE ASAP! Your blog posts are always so detailed and helpful and don’t get me started on your photography… WOW!!

    15. What a great guide! The food markets are definitely my favourite thing when on Rarotonga, especially the Muri Night Market! Also we had a great meal at The Rickshaw Restuarant, amazing Asian food!

    16. Great post – so many good looking food options! I love market food – will have to check them out when I get to the Cook Islands!

    17. This is an amazing food guide to Rarotonga! I’d love to try the food at the Punanga Nui Market. And you sold me of those night markets when you said ‘cakes’ and included that photo!

    18. Ok, I was already mad for not going there when I had a chance, but now, it’s lunch time here in France, and I regret even more not being there!!! Great article and great pictures!

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