The Complete Guide to Self-Catering and Buying Food and Drink in Samoa
Travellers wanting to experience a slice of life in Samoa or perhaps wanting to opt for spending less on food can buy their own. Large supermarkets, small convenience stores, roadside food stalls, markets and more are available to tend to your grocery needs. Find out where you can shop for food, food tips and more in the guide to supermarket and food shopping in Samoa.
5 Tips for Food Shopping in Samoa
- Make sure your accommodation has kitchen facilities if you want to self-cater in Samoa; most can be found in Apia
- Bargaining is not customary in Samoa, so if prices are too high for you, try somewhere else
- It is normal in Samoa for you to be asked to leave bags and backpacks at the front of the store while you shop
- Supermarkets accept some international credit/debit cards, but cash is the best way to pay to avoid 3-5% card fees
- Fruit is very seasonal in Samoa; only fruit such as coconuts, bananas and papaya are available all year round.
How Much Does Food Cost in Samoa?
Local food, like fruit and vegetables, are generally very cheap in Samoa, while international imports are understandably more expensive than you’re probably used to paying. See common food prices in The Cost of Food in Samoa: Restaurant & Grocery Prices.
Can You Take Food to Samoa?
Some food items can be taken to Samoa, but certainly not fresh fruit, vegetables, etc. Take a look at our guide to Taking Food to Samoa for our advice on the subject.
Buying Food at Supermarkets in Samoa
Samoa is home to a couple of large supermarket chains, as well as some larger independent supermarkets, particularly in Apia. Supermarkets are well stocked with brands from Samoa, New Zealand, Australia and China. While they sell fresh food, they don’t always have the best quality or prices compared to markets and roadside stalls (see below). A bakery selling in-house baked goods is usually the pride of a Samoan supermarket but note that it’s best to go early before the good stuff sells out!
Supermarkets are also resellers of at least one of the local phone networks, should you need to top up your phone.
The largest supermarket chain in Samoa, Frankie is a Chinese-run supermarket with several stores across Samoa and provides the only “large” supermarket on Savai’i. Frankie also offers online shopping.
Frankie Supermarkets can be found in the following locations:
- Frankie Fugalei, Fugalei Street, Apia, Upolu
- Frankie Lelata, Lelata Road, Apia, Upolu
- Frankie Lotopa, Papaseea Road, Apia, Upolu
- Frankie Vaitele, Vaitele, Apia, Upolu
- Frankie Utualii, Main West Coast Road, Utualii, Upolu
- Frankie Tanumalala, Cross Island Road, Tanumalala, Upolu
- Frankie Salelologa, commercial centre, Salelologa, Savai’i.
Opening hours for Frankie Supermarkets are different from store to store, but generally, hours are from 7 am to 9 pm Monday to Sunday in Apia and from 8 am to 5 pm Monday to Saturday outside of Apia.
Farmer Joe Supermarket
A locally owned supermarket franchise in Samoa, Farmer Joe is another option for multitudes of choices when it comes to grocery shopping. Their stores are located in the most populated places in Upolu, particularly in Apia and along the north coast.
Farmet Joe Supermarkets can be found in the following locations:
- Farmer Joe Fugalei, Fugalei Street, Apia, Upolu
- Farmer Joe Savalalo, Savalalo Road, Apia, Upolu
- Farmer Joe Vaitele, Vaitele Street, Apia, Upolu
- Farmer Joe Saleimoa, Main West Coast Road, Saleimoa, Upolu.
Opening hours for Farmer Joe vary from store to store, but generally, they are open from 7 am to 10 pm Monday to Saturday and from 3 pm to 8 pm Sunday.
Other Large Supermarkets in Samoa
The remainder of Samoa’s larger supermarkets can be found in and around Apia, which include:
- Myna’s Supa-mart & Bakery, Cross Island Road, Vaoala (7 am to 7 pm Monday to Saturday and 3-7 pm Sunday)
- Sula’s Supermarket & Bakery – Main East Coast Road, Moataa (9 am to 9 pm Monday to Saturday)
- Apia Supermarket – Convent Street, Mulivai (7 am to 5:30 pm Monday to Saturday)
- Lucky Foodtown – Vaea Street, Saleufi (7 am to 5:30 pm Monday to Friday and 7 am to 2:30 pm Saturday).
Buying Food at Convenience Stores in Samoa
The most abundant type of grocery store you’ll find in Samoa is the small locally or Chinese-run convenience stores.
Scattered along the main roads in just about every village is at least one or two convenience stores. They have a broad yet unvaried selection of most essentials, especially dry and frozen goods, while their stock of fresh food is usually local and whatever is in season. The pride of any family-run convenience store in Samoa is their bakery selling in-house baked goods. Note that it’s best to go early before the good stuff sells out!
Most convenience stores are also resellers of at least one of the local phone networks, should you need to top up your phone.
Convenience stores tend to be open Monday to Friday from 7/8 am to 6/7/8 pm. Saturdays tend to have reduced hours. Only the Chinese-run convenience stores tend to be open on Sundays, which are mostly found in Apia.
Buying Food at Markets and Roadside Stalls in Samoa
If you don’t mind doing your food shopping a bit spontaneously, stopping at the roadside stalls for fresh fruit, vegetables or even fish and cooked food, provides you with some of the best quality and best-priced food on the islands. Needless to say, these vendors only accept cash.
Markets in Samoa
Samoa’s markets (marketi) are limited to Apia and Vaitele on Upolu, while Savai’i’s market can be found in Salelologa.
Fugalei Market (Marketi Fou)
Samoa’s largest market is a must-do for all things Samoa! Wind your way through vibrant displays of tropical fruit and vegetables displayed in traditionally woven baskets and stumble upon vendors selling classic Samoan meals like palusami and fai’ai elegi (see 20 Foods to Try in Samoa).
Fugalei Market is open from 6 am to 6 pm Monday to Saturday and can be found along Fugalei Street and Saleufi Street, Fugalei, Apia.
Savai’i‘s answer to the Fugalei Market, the Salelologa Market is in an equally impressive venue but tends to have way fewer stalls to reflect the island’s much lower population. Nevertheless, the market is well worth perusing the wonderous array of locally grown produce.
Salelologa Market is open from 7 am (all day) Monday to Saturday and is located in the commercial centre to the south of Salelolga – turn left off the ferry then right past Lusia’s Lagoon Chalets.
Apia Fish Market
Located on the waterfront by Apia’s main bus station, the Apia Fish Market is a storm of all sorts of colourful tropical fish, octopuses, eels, crayfish (lobster) and sea cucumbers. Although there are usually a few stalls open all day throughout the week, the best time to visit is from 6 am on Sunday morning.
Opening hours are from 5:30 am (all day) Monday to Saturday and 5 am to 9 am Sunday.
Taufusi Drive-Thru Market
Forget fast-food drive-thrus; try something much healthier at the Taufusi Market. Samoa’s only drive-thru market, simply pull up to vendor stalls with your car, tell them what you would like to buy, and they’ll hand it right through your car window.
Taufusi Market is open from 6 am to 7 pm Monday to Saturday and can be found on Vaitele Street, Taufusi, Apia.
A small undercover market in the industrial zone of Apia, Vaitele Market is another opportunity to grab fresh local produce in all of its forms, as well as baked goods. The market is open from 6 am to 7 pm Monday to Saturday and is located on Vaitele Street (between Burger Bills and Frankie), Apia.
Learn more about the markets in the 8 Best Markets in Samoa.
Roadside Fruit and Vegetable Stalls in Samoa
Small roadside stalls display baskets of coconuts, pineapples by the piece, taro and sometimes even fish in the early morning/late afternoon. If you approach one of these roadside stalls, its owner will likely come out to meet you. Otherwise, you can leave cash (ST$5 per large pineapple, for example).
You’ll also come across larger roadside stalls, which are always manned, and usually stocked with a variety of fruit and vegetables. These roadside markets can mainly be found along the main roads of the north and west coasts of Upolu or along the east coast of Savai’i.
Buying Drinks from Liquor Stores in Samoa
Although beer, wine and spirits are sold in supermarkets, convenience stores and even gift shops in Samoa (the liquor laws aren’t so strict), there are a couple of dedicated liquor stores should you be looking for something specific:
Selling a whole range of local and imported beer and wine, Le Well is a one-stop for drinks (as well as home improvement and hardware, because that makes sense). Their “sales” are often only applied to cash purchases, so bear that in mind when visiting.
Find Le Well on Fugalei Street, Apia, as well as in the Salelologa commercial centre on Savai’i. Opening hours are from 8 am to 4:30 pm Monday to Friday and 8 am to 12:30 pm Saturday.
Check out a wide range of local and imported wine, beer and spirits at this liquor store in the heart of Apia. Liquor Planet can be found on Convent Street, Mulivai in Apia town centre, as well as on Cross Island Road, Maluafou on the outskirts of town. Opening hours are from 9 am to 6 pm Monday to Friday.
Buying Food at Resort Gift Stores
Some of Samoa’s larger resorts have their own gift/convenience store. Needless to say, food sold here is usually at a premium price, so they are not the best choice for buying food in Samoa if you want to save money. Nevertheless, they do provide a convenient go-to for imported potato chips, noodles, cookies, confectionary, nuts, crackers, beer, wine and ice cream without having to leave the resort.
Resorts with stores selling food in Samoa include:
More About Supermarkets and Food Shopping in Samoa
That’s it for our complete guide to supermarkets and food shopping in Samoa. For more advice on food, check out the following guides:
- 10 Ways to Save Money on Food in Samoa
- Traditional Samoan Food: 20 Foods to Try in Samoa
- The Food Guide to Samoa: Places to Eat, Food Tours & More
Finally, be sure to check out our 30 Tips for Travelling in Samoa for more advice about visiting the islands.