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Previously on Trip Advisor there were comments about bringing additional food supplies with you. Niue is not a Third World destination and most foods you will have on your supermarket shelves at home, can be found here. Some packet cereals are more expensiv, and only UHT milk is available in cartons. Fresh seasonal vegetables can also be more expensive as prior to the establishment of hydroponic operation, these vegetables came in on the weekly flights.
In recent years there has been an increase in local bread production with speciality bakeries opening. Rockbak Bakery is an examplpe of this with a wide range of breads, buns, pizza breads adn creamed doughnuts.
Eating out on Niue. Updated 18/12/12
There is an increasing range of restaurants and food outlets catering for the rise in tourist numbers. While most of the food prepared in these restaurants is shipped in on a monthly freight service, the cost of eating out compares favourably with prices one would pay in New Zealand.
While some restaurants specialise in serving Niuean dishes with locally grown produce, most menus cater for the Western style dishes. Where ever you dine out, you will find a wide variety of fish dishes, that Niue is famous for. With a large economic fishing zone that has an abundance of the pelagic species, wahoo and mahimahi - species with succulent white flesh and a variety of tuna that can be prepared as sushi or sushimi. While these dishes are most sought after, the iconic Niuean version of “fish and chips” is perhaps the most popular. Most often the large servings of fish are either slabs of wahoo or mahimahi, cooked in a beer batter with side salads and generous servings of French fries. Generally the high grade tuna is used in the raw dishes mentioned above, but who knows you might even find, encased in batter, is high grade tuna. Almost sacrilege !
The Niuean fish and chips meals should be issued with a warning “ You will be disappointed when you return home and order takeaways from your local fish and chip shop. “ , after experiencing the quality and quantity you have enjoyed on Niue. Another taste treat for visitors are the diced raw fish dishes (ota), marinated in locally prepared coconut milk with lime juice. For those visitors who have never tried such dishes and would think twice about eating raw fish “at home” , you will be in for a surprise and a real treat !
Another speciality on many menus here is the large coconut crabs or “uga” ( Pronounced ung ah!) As with most crab species , the flesh is found in the large claws and legs that have to b e cracked open to extract the meat. There is a definite technique to be mastered here, but your Niuean hosts will show you how easy it is, AFTER you have struggled to “liberate” the flesh.
Locally grown produce. As part of your Niuean experience, one should try the various taro dishes and takihi- a baked dish of sliced taro and coconut cream. This is wrapped in a leaf of a local tree and baked in an “umu” (hangi in New Zealand) - an underground oven with cooking heat generated by heating stones.
During your visit here, you may be invited to take part in a traditional feast where fish, chicken, taro, locally raised pigs and other delicacies are prepared in this way.
To meet the demand for salad vegetables there are hydroponic farms providing much needed fresh greens as well as herbs and a range of tomatoes.
A visit to the 'Washaway Cafe' at Avatele on Sunday for lunch or dinner is a lot of fun - burgers and drinks in a lovely setting.
Check out Crazy Uga (means "crazy coconut crab") in central Alofi for example.
Cooking for yourself.
While “eating out” is always a pleasure, especially on Niue, there are grocery outlets to provide the basics you will need to cook on your own facilities.. A wide range of frozen foods is available in these shops, such as chicken and convenience foods, and imported meats similar to those available in your local supermarket. Because of transport costs these will be marginally more expensive than you are used to. However, you will be pleasantly surprised at what you can buy, either in the “supermarkets” or in the local markets on a Tuesday and Friday mornings - be early !!.
The local market.
A visit to this market in the centre of Alofi is a “must” even if you don’t buy anything. Meet the locals, see the locally produced crafts for sale, be tempted by the hot foods available and above all enjoy the ambience. You will not be pestered to “buy” but you will be expected to pay the “going” price as Niueans don’t haggle over the price of goods.
Above all , Niue is not a “Third world” destination and you will be surprised at the variety, range, quantity, quality and cost of food here. All Niueans love their food and you will see why after experiencing the many taste treats available.
See Trip Advisor for restaurant reviews. However there are more restaurants that haven’t made the most of exposure on TA.
Duty free allowance.
There is a similar duty free allowance, comparable to NZ and available at the Government Bond store in Alofi. Most of the prices are cheaper than that you will pay in Auckland duty free outlets.No bottled beer is allowed into Niue and this will be confiscated by Customs Officers whould you attemp to bring any in. However you can bring in wine and spirits up to your allowance. You have up until 3 working days after your arrivasl ro redeem your duty free allowance, by producing your Boarding pass.