A taste of Niue
Your most memorable meals on Niue will revolve around the freshest ingredients. Fisherman supply restaurants with bounty from the sea and the island grows as much as it can. From hydroponic salad ingredients to Pasifika starchy vegetables. These include taro, yams and cassava. The local vanilla and honey products are also legendary.
The Niuean take on the traditional earth oven (umu) food cooking is a feature for special occasions. If you're a food buff, keep your eyes peeled for occasional foodie tours of Niue.
Your luggage will be bulging with legendary Niuean vanilla, coconut and honey products.
Traditional Niuean food
In Niuean culture, food has a proud history of deliciously unique flavours. If you're on the island while a village is holding its annual show day, you're in for a treat. A local earth oven, or umu, will be used to cook some of the village's signature cuisine dishes. You can expect to sample delicious local ingredients like talo (taro), cassava, breadfruit and shellfish. You may even experience the local delicacy uga (coconut crab).
Self-catering in Niue
Many traditional Niue food ingredients are available at the market in Alofi. There is even seasonal tropical fruits on offer but make sure you're up with the first rooster call. This twice-weekly shopping opportunity is popular with the locals and some items sell out fast.
While you're at the market, keep an eye out for a traditional treat, the Niuean porridge known locally as nane. This viscous, coconut-infused superfood will set you up for an energetic day exploring the island.
Niue's main food stores are all in Alofi. The largest is a supermarket that sells a comprehensive range of goods. Many products are imported from New Zealand, so in Niue food prices can be a little higher than at home. A Niuean hydroponic vegetable business supplies some stores, cafés and restaurants. They supply beautifully fresh salad ingredients.
Niue is renowned for organic vanilla. To find out more about this delicacy, take a vanilla farm tour with local entrepreneur Stanley. Watch workers hand-pollinate the delicate orchid flowers (the bees don't know how). Learn how Stanley supplies more than 20 countries with the sought-after beans. This is a bonafide success story. The farm also produces vanilla essence and skincare products. A visit to the Organic Vanilla Store in Alofi is a holiday must-do.
Dining out in Niue
There's a good selection of excellent cafés with astonishing views. Most of Niue's cafés and restaurants are in the main town of Alofi. Look out for different menus as some offer traditional Niuean food to try.
There are great places to have a meal like the Scenic Matavai Resort and Hio Café. Hio at Hio Beach offers fresh food and smiling service out of a converted shipping container. If you are after fresh sandwiches and mini-golf go to Vaiolama, or Crazy Uga for simple, tasty food. For dessert you have to sample the exquisite coconut pie at Falala Fa Café. If you're looking for places to eat in Niue on a Sunday, when everything is closed, head to Washaway at Avatele Beach.
The best Niue restaurants provide a variety of delicious food. You can dine on authentic Indian cuisine at Gills Indian Restaurant. If you're after New York style pizza, book a table at Kai Ika Restaurant. For a more formal special occasion, try the Dolphin Restaurant at the Matavai Resort. There's also a good range of imported beer and wine on most menus. You'll find that Niuean food and drink prices are similar to those in New Zealand.
Gathering food souvenirs
Food souvenirs are hard to beat. Your luggage will be bulging with legendary Niuean vanilla, coconut and honey products. New Zealanders can even take Niue honey back home because it's certified organic and disease-free. As for Lupe Banana Chips - organic, hand-made and eminently edible - one bag is never quite enough.