Tahiti Food & Drinks
The cuisine of Tahiti is internationally renowned for its fresh fish, exotic fruits and vegetables which are prepared with a Polynesian influence and a touch of French flair.
Who better to serve these delectable dishes than the irresistible Tahitian natives themselves. Restaurants offer French, Tahitian, Chinese, Vietnamese and Italian dishes for the discerning palate. The native Tahitians are also known for their sauces which contain homegrown vanilla beans.
Despite the majority of meat being imported from New Zealand, there are many incredible traditional foods to enjoy in Tahiti. It is not surprising that seafood is very popular with clams, crayfish, shrimp and local ocean fish appearing on most restaurant menus. Tropical fruit is also a speciality and fruits like pineapple, coconut, mangoes, limes, papaya, oranges and grapefruit are readily available.
Papeete is considered the food capital of Tahiti. At most resorts throughout the islands, a Tama’ara’a or Tahitian Feast is held at least once a week. This involves cooking in a himaa (an oven that has been dug into the ground). Food is wrapped in banana leaves and the hole is covered with sand making it airtight. Cooking can take up to several hours but is well worth the wait as the food comes out soft, tender and fall off the bone ready
One popular dish, Poisson cru (ia ota), which consists of raw fish marinated with lime juice and soaked in coconut milk, is so delicious and light that it melts in one's mouth. Chevreffes, another popular Tahitian entree, are tasty freshwater shrimp which can also be found on the beautiful native islands of Tahiti.
To complete any amura'a (meal), the Tahitians serve Poe, a sweet pudding made of taro root flavored with banana, vanilla, papaya or pumpkin and topped with coconut-milk sauce - the ultimate dessert.
Try the mouth-watering French croissants or the tasty biscuit-like treats, kato, which are made with coconut milk. A cup of the local coffee, which is flavoured with vanilla bean and served with sugar and coconut cream, complements any of these delicious Tahitian desserts.
Les Roulottes are a great way to sample Tahiti's cuisine at a moderate price. The roulettes, or rolling restaurants, are colourful, electrically lit vans that serve the best inexpensive cuisines in Papeete. Even if visitors aren't planning to eat, they can appreciate the Tahitian culture by walking around these ornately painted vans. Both locals and visitors can dine on Tahitian specialties from grilled chicken to roast pork and pizzas to chow mein and flaming crepes.
Another way to sample authentic Tahitian cuisine is to attend a Tahitian feast called a tamaaraa. At the feast, visitors will be greeted by traditional Polynesian singing, dancing and celebrating. Native Tahitian dishes of fish, roasted pork and chicken are cooked in an underground oven called ahimaa and are served to the hungry visitors as a sample of classic Tahitian cuisine.
Visitors to Tahiti will receive a final taste of Tahitian tradition as the tamaaraa concludes with a full Polynesian show complete with exotic costumes and dancing.
The traditional beer of Tahiti is Hinano lager, brewed since 1955, it is available on tap and in bottles and cans. It is considered to be very crisp and refreshing. Another popular beer is Tabu - a Tahitian pale lager. Rum is popular and Moorea is home to the Pineapple Factory and Fruit Juice Distillery which produces fruit-infused rums with flavours like pineapple, coconut and ginger.
French wine and champagne are the most common types of wine found on the islands, however Australian, New Zealand and Californian wines are also available.
Inspired by local ingredients (coconut, banana and vanilla), tropical cocktails are very popular in resorts.
Things to know:
Tipping is not customary or expected in Tahiti, however it is welcomed for particularly good service.
Things to try: fresh tuna, casse-croute (local sandwich), and Tahitian vanilla.
Tahiti Travel Information
At Goway we believe that a well-informed traveller is a safer traveller. With this in mind, we have compiled an easy to navigate travel information section dedicated to Tahiti.
Learn about the history and culture of Tahiti, the must-try food and drink, and what to pack in your suitcase. Read about Tahiti's nature and wildlife, weather and geography, along with 'Country Quickfacts' compiled by our travel experts. Our globetrotting tips, as well as our visa and health information will help ensure you're properly prepared for a safe and enjoyable trip. The only way you could possibly learn more is by embarking on your journey and discovering Tahiti for yourself. Start exploring...book one of our Tahiti vacations today!
Extend Your Stay
Consider an additional stopover after or before your Tahiti vacation at one of Goway's other South Pacific destinations. You can choose from our selection of Australian vacations, New Zealand vacation packages, one of our Fiji resorts or perhaps take a Cook Island vacation.
Book your Tahiti vacation with Goway!
With a wide choice of Tahiti vacations and experiences, Goway’s Downunder wizards can offer you many ways to explore, and enjoy the Islands of Tahiti. Relax with a romantic tropical island stay, enjoy a luxury cruise through turquoise blue waters, escape on a air-land getaway and more. We want to be your first choice when next you go globetrotting to Tahiti.
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