Eating Out Cook Island Style


Rarotonga offers a little of everything so once you have tried the umukai feasts you may like to visit some of the other restaurants.  Restaurants range from gourmet cuisine to friendly island-style restaurants.

The food selection includes superb international cuisine through to the old favourites – Chinese, Italian, Indian and Continental.

The overall quality and presentation of food in the Cook Islands is very high, and a variety of international dishes are available.

Whatever style of cuisine you find tempting, you’ll be impressed by the friendly, helpful service.  The staffs is always willing to meet your every need and are only too happy to explain any dishes you might like to try.

Most restaurants are open for dinner from 6pm – 9.30pm.

RESTAURANTS & CAFÉ’S Rarotonga, Cook Islands

Flame Tree Restaurant
Set in a tropical garden setting with an inviting casual atmosphere. Specialising in exotic cuisine from around the world- a changing selection of tempting dishes to please all tastes

Pawpaw Patch
The ambience is simple, classy yet funky with spectacular artworks where guests enjoy good conversation, fine wine and superb food.  The restaurant has the European influence of integrating the kitchen into the restaurant so guests are able to watch the chefs at work preparing their meal.  The menu has a slant on cosmopolitan food with an Island flavour,   Try the restaurants signature dessert, the  Pawpaw Brulee.  Beers are NZ$5 and top shelf from NZ$7
BBQ Buffet on Sunday 6pm –9.30pm

Kikau Hut
The Kikau Hut is in Arorangi and they serve European style cuisines from Monday to Saturday .They have regular live music.

The Portofino Restaurant, a landmark in Rarotonga for over 15 years, is open Monday thru to Saturday from 6pm to serve you the finest in Italian cuisine on the island

Sails Restaurant
It is located on the white sandy beaches with stunning views of Muri.  The indoor and outdoor setting is perfect for casual lunch, evening meal or corporate and wedding and birthday luncheons and dinners.  The restaurant is open daily and the daily “
Chefs Special’ include inventive dishes using fresh produce and seafood in season. The Sails Classic fishcakes on a bed of curried pawpaw are “yummie”.  Try the Tropical Flame cocktail

Staircase Restaurant & Bar
Reasonably priced cuisine with first-class views of Avarua harbour. Open from Wednesday- Saturday, Staircase offers 2 island nights per week. Friday nights are popular for locals to hang-out when dining is over and its time to experience the Rarotonga nightlife!

Tamarind House Restaurant
Tamarind House is a beautifully restored heritage colonial house originally built in 1910 for the Union Steamship Company.  Located about 3 minutes from Avarua township it is set on 2.5 acres of lawns sweeping down to the beach.  There is a feeling of nostalgia for a bygone era in the peaceful seclusion of a truly unique tropical setting.
Enjoy brunch, coffee, lunch, dinner with fine wines or a cocktail on the verandah overlooking the palm-shaded lawns to the ocean

The curry dishes are very popular and recommend the Tamarind chicken curry in tomato, coriander and coconut sauce with cumin served with steamed rice and chutneys.  The baileys with white chocolate cheesecake are divine.

Trader Jack’s
Trader Jacks bar and restaurant overlooks Avarua Harbour.  The cool sea breeze, beautiful views, “bar-over-the-water” ambience, Traders retains a roguish charm where you meet the local characters and the proprietor himself, Jack Cooper (aka “The Trader”).

It’s a very popular spot for lunch and as the sun sets over the water the bar area begins to fill up with the dinner crowd.  They relax with a cool drink and watch the local fishermen heading out through the harbour to net fly fish.  There is live music on Friday and Saturday nights.  A variety of dishes is featured on their menu but the emphasis is on the seafood.  Try he seafood chowder – its yummy

Tumunu Restaurant
Tumunu Restaurant serve a selection of seafood, as well as local and European dishes. Open for dinner from Monday – Sunday 6pm – 9.30pm

Vaima Restaurant
For that island ambience and friendly local style hospitality visit the Vaima, near Wigmores Superstore coming towards the waterfall in Titikaveka. Situated right on the beach, they have an extensive menu with a touch of tropical tastes. It’s no wonder why its a favourite for both locals and visitors. Open Monday-Saturday from 6pm

Fine dining in a relaxed & air-conditioned atmosphere serving world class Pacific/European cuisine. The service is excellent, the food is scrumptious, and a dinner reservation is a must. Its Cook Islands Fusion cuisine at its best! Email:

Blue Note Café 
Local, global and vegetarian cuisine. Open everyday from 8am in the historic Banana Court Building. Ph 23236

Café Salsa
Creative cuisine at affordable prices. The best woodfire pizzas and breads in the pacific. Situated downtown Avarua.

Saltwater Café
Located at the “halfway mark” in Turoa, Titikaveka Saltwater Café boasts the #1 Fish and chips on the island. Directly across from the beach with their own marine viewing platform, it’s a great location for snorkeling too! Open 7 days with Wednesday nights being their famous “Thai Night”. Ph 20020

 MaireNui Gardens. 
Set in botanical gardens, Maire Nui is a traditional Polynesian Are styled-café that has a backdrop of stunning mountain views.  The Café is open daily for breakfast and lunch with freshly baked olive bread and tropical muffins.  There are choices of either lunch  or the afternoon blackboard menu and the cafe features organic produce grown in their garden.  Try their fresh banana-pawpaw muffin with Atiu coffee or mint tea..

Raviz Indian Cuisine
Still looking for that Indian curry fix whilst on holiday? Then look no further as Raviz is the place for you! Located next to Goldmine in Avarua, Raviz’s is open 7 days for lunch and dinner. $6.95 takeaway curry packs available during lunch only. Ph 22279 email: