The Best Things to Do on Savai’i for Foodies
Travelling is a treat for all of the senses. So, if you’re a bit of a foodie, be sure to give your palate a real taste of the South Pacific on Savai’i. Authentic gastronomical experiences are certainly not hard to come by on the island that can’t help but effortlessly share its distinct culture with visitors. With that, we’ve compiled some of the best foodie experiences on Savai’i, from insightful plantation walks to private dining by the lagoon.
Before we get started, be sure to also look at The Food Guide to Savai’i: Places to Eat & Food Tours, which is everything a foodie on Savai’i needs to know.
1. Tour a Cocoa (Koko) Plantation
See where your Whittaker’s Chocolate originates (if you’re from New Zealand) on Va’ai family’s koko (cocoa) farm. Departing from Va-i-Moana Seaside Lodge, the Koko Plantation Tour has you seeing the koko cultivation process from seedlings to dried cocoa beans. The tour also includes a demonstration on how to make koko Samoa (Samoan hot chocolate) with tastings! For more drinks to try on the islands, check out the 10 Drinks in Samoa You Have to Try.
Location: Va-i-Moana Seaside Lodge, between Auala and Asau villages on the northwest coast.
2. Browse Local Produce and Try Local Snacks at the Salelologa Market
At the Salelologa Market, peruse a wonderous array of tropical fruit and vegetables while mingling with the friendly locals. As well as sampling some of the sweetest bananas and juiciest pineapples you’re ever likely to try, you’ll also be treated to the sights of locally crafted carvings, woven bags and fans, handprinted lavalava (sarongs), coconut jewellery and much more. There’s also a small food court selling cheap baked goods and fried food, usually including the likes of pork buns, doughnuts and fried chicken and chips – see The Top Cheap Eats on Savai’i for more places to eat on the cheap.
Location: Salelologa in the commercial centre to the south of town – turn left off the ferry then right past Lusia’s Lagoon Chalets.
3. See an Abundance of Local Fruit and Vegetables on a Village Walk
You’ll drive through many villages during your time on Savai’i but nothing compares to experiencing them at a more relaxed pace. Cue the “village walk” an activity that resorts such as Amoa Resort and Va-i-Moana Seaside Lodge offer guests in order to share more about the Samoan culture and villages. The village walk with Amoa, in particular, takes you to plantations where you’ll touch, smell and, if you’re lucky, taste the fruit, vegetable and herbs lining the village road. These are very casually guided tours, taking more of an approach for you to ask questions rather than sit through a rehearsed speech. For more ideas on cultural activities, also check out the 8 Best Cultural Activities on Savai’i.
Location: Amoa Resort – Faga village on the east coast. Va-i-Moana Seaside Lodge – Between Auala and Asau villages in Asau Bay on the northwest coast.
4. Learn How to Make the Perfect Cup of Koko Samoa
Another fantastic cultural insight Amoa Resort offers is the Koko Samoa Demonstration. Join the friendly local staff at the resort bar to not only learn how koko Samoa (cocoa) is grown on the island but how locals turn it into a unique version of hot chocolate that’s made every morning in typical Samoan family homes (and usually doesn’t last long either). You’ll understand why this is after trying some of the smooth cocoa goodness for yourself, which is sweetened just to your liking!
Location: Amoa Resort – Faga village on the east coast.
5. Tour Florence’s Farm
Stay at the unique B&B experience of Florence’s Place inland in Fa’a’ala village for the fascinating foodie experience of exploring a 300-acre farm awash in taro, coconuts, papaya, pineapple, limes, bananas and livestock. After learning about the Samoan way of life through your friendly hosts, Ruth and Kelvin, you’ll indulge in the farm’s fare through home-cooked meals. Learn more about the accommodation in the 10 Best Guesthouses & B&Bs in Samoa.
Location: Fa’a’ala village (Palauli district), signposted off the main road on the southeast coast.
6. Treat Your Loved One to a Private Lagoon-Side Dinner
For something a little romantic, treat yourself and that special someone to a private dining experience. Le Lagoto Resort makes the whole process easy with its “Romantic Dining Lagoon Side” package, which includes a bottle of bubbles, a cocktail, a dedicated waiter, a three-course dinner and a romantic dining set-up by the lagoon. Alternatively, Jet Over Hotel in Salelologa is also said to offer private dining. For more couple-centric experiences, check out the 10 Most Romantic Things to Do on Savai’i for Couples.
Location: Le Lagoto Resort, Fagamalo village on the northeast coast. Jet Over Hotel, Salelologa north of the ferry terminal.
7. Indulge in an Umu Feast
The traditional Polynesian method of slow-cooking fish, tropical root vegetables and dishes like palusami is usually saved for special occasions in Samoan culture, but there are a couple of ways to experience this special meal for yourself on Savai’i. Guests at Aganoa Lodge are treated to locally-inspired cuisine throughout their stay, including the “umu night” which is often a highlight of the meal plan! Alternatively, Va-i-Moana Seaside Lodge puts on an umu demonstration on a Friday night if they have sufficient guests staying with them (be sure to enquire ahead of time).
Location: Aganoa Lodge – Signposted off the main road in Fa’a’ala village on the southeast coast. Va-i-Moana Seaside Lodge – Between Auala and Asau villages in Asau Bay on the northwest coast.
8. Stop By the Roadside Fruit Stalls
More opportunities to buy delicious local produce await simply on the roadsides of Savai’i. Many roadside stalls just have a woven basket of coconuts or pineapples; wait by the stall and someone will likely come out to greet you – otherwise, leave cash; ST$5 per large fruit is a safe bet. Other roadside stalls are full huts with a complete offering of vibrant fruit. We especially like a couple of roadside markets near Lalomalavu – look out for the organic eatery under a vibrant shelter selling fruit, vegetables, coconut juice and barbecue food.
Location: All over Savai’i. Lalomalavu is located on the east coast, just north of Salelologa.
9. Catch Your Own Dinner on a Fishing Charter
Head out on the azure waters to catch Pacific pelagics, such as mahimahi, yellowfin tuna, sailfish, trevally and more on a fishing charter. Enjoy a day of snorkelling, fishing and lunch with Amoa Resort‘s own 30ft boat exclusively for your group of up to five guests (minimum age 18 years old). Alternatively, get in touch with Va-i-Moana Seaside Lodge in Asau Bay for a personalised fishing experience of either a half- or full-day charter on one of their two fishing boats. The two accommodations will cook up your catch at their restaurants for you to try your preferred way. For more on getting “hooked” in Samoa, head to The Ultimate Guide to Fishing in Samoa.
Location: Amoa Resort – Tours depart from their resort in Faga village on the east coast. Va-i-Moana Seaside Lodge – Between Auala and Asau villages in Asau Bay on the northwest coast.
10. Experience the Local Fare at a Beach Fale
Dining on what the locals usually eat or even trying traditional meals is certainly not too much of a task on Savai’i. One of the best ways to sample the local cuisine is by staying at a beach fale where a substantial local breakfast and dinner are all part of the experience. Food is enjoyed family-style in the accommodation’s dining fale where breakfast is usually the likes of chocolatey koko rice, hearty papaya soup (supo esi), and perhaps toast or omelettes with a selection of fresh local fruit. For dinner, Samoans love curries, chop suey and stir-fries but you’re also likely to try local dishes like palusami with sides of taro and breadfruit. Find out more about Samoan dishes in the 20 Foods to Try in Samoa.
Location: See our list of recommended fales in the 10 Best Beach Fale Accommodations on Savai’i.
11. Stop by the Barbecues, Cafes and Restaurants!
Finally, an obvious foodie experience but one still worth mentioning is dining at Savai’i’s cafes, restaurants and barbecues! Admittedly, Savai’i isn’t exactly teeming with eateries. Instead of eating at cafes and restaurants, Samoans are more likely to stop by their local roadside barbecues for marinated chicken or lamb with a side of taro, breadfruit and/or rice and chop suey. Why not give it a go?! Otherwise, there are a couple of delightful Western-style cafes in Salelologa, Lalomalava and Asaga, while resorts like Amoa Resort in Faga, Le Lagoto in Fagamalo and Stevensons in Manase provide a more formal dine-in experience with Western and Samoan cuisine.
Location: All over Savai’i! Check out our recommendations in The Best Places to Eat on Savai’i: 10 Best Restaurants on Savai’i.
More Foodie Experiences on Savai’i
That’s it for our list of the best foodie experiences on Savai’i. For more mouthwatering activities, browse more of our food-related guides:
- The Top Cheap Eats on Savai’i
- The Food Guide to Savai’i: Places to Eat & Food Tours
- 10 Best Foodie Experiences in Samoa
Finally, don’t miss any essential eatery or food tour with The Food Guide to Samoa: Places to Eat & Food Tours.