Where to Eat in Samoa
No island getaway is complete without treating the tastebuds too. Admittedly, in Samoa, dining is a mixed bag with restaurants being incredibly hard to find outside of its cosmopolitan capital, Apia. What’s more, the majority of eateries in this South Pacific paradise, no matter which island you choose, tend to primarily serve deep-fried food – great for a naughty treat; relentless for a 7- to 14-day holiday. But that’s not to say that charming cafes and reputable restaurants don’t exist in the islands of Samoa. You just need to know where to look. Luckily, you’re in the right place with this list of the best restaurants and places to eat in Samoa!
Before we get the list underway, delight your foodie side with The Food Guide to Samoa: Places to Eat & Food Tours, providing you with more gastronomical experiences beyond the restaurant.
1. Paddles Restaurant (Upolu)
Easily the most popular dine-in restaurant in Apia, if not Samoa, Paddles Restaurant brings the culinary know-how of Italy and the Pacific charm of Samoa thanks to its dynamic Italian and Samoan owners. Save room for Italian dishes inspired by the northern regions with the likes of creamy pasta la paloma and seafood risotto, or opt for the fresh local flavours of Samoan oka and pan-seared masimasi (mahimahi) with garlic prawns. With a very friendly yet unpretentious ambience, as well as a kids’ menu with more Italian delights, both visitors and locals are made to feel extremely welcome. See how this establishment compares to the 10 Best Restaurants in Apia.
Opening hours: 5 pm to 10 pm Monday to Saturday.
Location: Beach Road, Matautu-Tai, Apia.
2. RiVaiv Cafe (Upolu)
Famous across Samoa for its turmeric juice that Samoans swear by to provide all sorts of health benefits, RiVaiv Cafe with two locations in Apia also happens to be a darn good place to stop for breakfast or lunch. Try their turmeric concoction in a latte or lemonade if you’re intrigued. Otherwise, the cafe with an attractive clothes boutique and garden setting (in Tanugamanono) is best known for its fresh poke, teriyaki and steak bowls, as well as pad Thai, seafood sushi tacos and vegan tempura sushi tacos. You might also like their pesto panini or burgers. We can certainly vouch for their koko Samoa milkshake, made with Samoa’s very own cocoa beans, if you crave something sweet. Note that RiVaiv has two cafes in Apia; one in Tanugamanono and one in Vaitele.
Opening hours: Rivaiv Tanugamanono – 11 am to 7 pm Monday to Friday. Rivaiv Vaitele – 8 am to 3.30 pm Monday to Saturday.
Location: Cross Island Road, Tanugamanono and Moso’oi Street, Vaitele, Apia.
3. Ava I Toga Restaurant – Sinalei Reef Resort & Spa (Upolu)
As you make your way down the lantern-lit pathway to the lagoon-edge restaurant, you know you’ve arrived somewhere special. Ava I Toga Restaurant is the afternoon and evening restaurant of one of Samoa’s most luxurious resorts, Sinalei Reef Resort & Spa. Delight in fresh seafood and South Pacific fusion dining, from herb-crusted lamb rack to the special Sinalei lobster plate. There’s even a full vegan and vegetarian menu with some creative yet sustainable alternatives. Speaking of, check out more vegan and vegetarian dining across the island in Samoa for Vegans & Vegetarians + 10 Best Restaurants.
Opening hours: 12 pm to 3 pm and 6 pm to 9:30 pm Thursday to Tuesday.
Location: Signposted off Main South Coast Road between Mulivai and Si’umu on the south coast of Upolu.
4. Adria’s Cafe (Savai’i)
A quaint Western-style cafe in the village of Lalomalava on Savai’i, Adria’s Cafe delights with coffee, cake and meat-lover meals to see you through your morning or afternoon. Cosy up in a booth or out in the open-plan dining area with industrial-style decor. Either way, you’ll have the opportunity to tuck into eggs or pancakes for breakfast – just about your only vegetarian offerings – or opt for a hearty beef and eggplant lasagne or teriyaki bowl for lunch. Plus, try their custard tarts! With reasonable prices, Adria’s also appears in The Top Cheap Eats in Samoa, as well as the 10 Best Restaurants on Savai’i.
Opening hours: 7:30 am to 2:30 pm Tuesday to Saturday.
Location: Lalomalava village, signposted on the main road on the east coast of Savai’i.
5. Cocolini’s by the Sea – Le Vasa Resort (Upolu)
Easily one of the best places to stop for lunch or dinner outside of Apia on Upolu, Cocolini’s by the Sea proves that not all resort restaurants are just an afterthought. The restaurant of Le Vasa Resort notably puts more effort into its ingredients and presentation compared to many other resorts our team have visited, whether it’s an exotic “puttanesca pasta” or a classic burger. The oceanfront setting is noteworthy too with its traditional Samoan interiors of exposed beams, thatched roof and hand-carved poles. All in all, it provides a memorable setting for South Pacific and Mediterranean fusion cuisine. That’s why you’ll also find this listing in the 10 Best Restaurants on Upolu.
Opening hours: 9 am to 9 pm Sunday to Thursday and 9 am to 9:30 pm Friday and Saturday.
Location: Main West Coast Road, Cape Fatuosofia, Apolima-utu on the northwest coast.
6. Nourish Cafe (Upolu)
Offering respite from Samoa’s fascination for deep-fried food, Nourish Cafe is aptly named and will likely give you the health boost you need to see you through your day – even if you’re vegetarian, dairy- or gluten-free. That’s not to say that there’s nothing naughty on the menu; we’re looking at you, “raspberry cheesecake waffles”, should you want to indulge in your holiday time. Either way, the creative menu of international favourites uses mostly local ingredients and puts a pleasingly Samoan spin on some of your faves – go on, have a side of plantain with your “Nourish Supo” instead of rice. Barista coffee, herbal teas, slushies, juices and smoothies are all good too. Enjoy either the air-conditioned indoor setting or sit among the plants in the shaded patio area. The establishment is also wheelchair friendly.
Opening hours: 7.30 am to 3 pm Monday to Friday and 8 am to 2 pm Saturday.
Location: Convent Street, behind the Australian High Commission and Immaculate Conception Cathedral, Apia.
7. Bella’s Kitchen (Upolu)
Starting their business out of a food truck, Bella’s Kitchen has become so popular and expanded into their very own restaurant on the Apia Harbour. Sit shoulder-to-shoulder with the Apia regulars in their vibrantly-decorated downstairs restaurant or huddle away upstairs in the air-conditioned dining room with spray-painted murals for company. Although Bella’s does all of the usual deep-fried delights, where they really shine are their noodle boxes, Mexican dishes and thick shakes – all for a very irresistible price that will make you understand why the locals come here again and again. Check out other affordable dining options in The Top Cheap Eats in Apia & Upolu.
Opening hours: 8 am to 9 pm Monday to Saturday.
Location: Beach Road, Mulivai, Apia.
8. Harbourside Cafe & Pizza Bar (Savai’i)
Open for breakfast, lunch, dinner and even for partying on Friday and Saturday nights, Harbourside Cafe & Pizza Bar is a reliable yet reasonably priced dining option in Salelologa on Savai’i. With a couple of industrial-style partitions, you can easily find your own cosy corner of this attractive establishment. Treat yourself to a cooked breakfast or stop by for lunch or dinner with the likes of chicken salad, chicken kebabs, sausage/chicken/fish and chips, sashimi, poke, an indulgent seafood platter or steak. Pizza is obviously a big deal here, so if you’re a fan you might as well… Compare this cafe to the rest of Savai’i’s eateries using the 10 Best Restaurants on Savai’i.
Opening hours: 7 am to 10 pm Monday to Saturday and 4 pm to 10 pm Sunday.
Location: Salelologa, within walking distance of Salelologa Wharf heading north (and opposite the Savai’i Tourist Information Centre), Savai’i.
9. Cornwall Cafe (Upolu)
There’s space for everyone at this rooftop cafe and bar in Apia. Boasting a large indoor space and a slightly smaller outdoor deck where you can watch the Apia traffic below, the Cornwall Cafe is a good go-to for meetings or relaxing with friends and family. Drinks are done superbly here between the barista coffee and refreshingly creative fruit smoothies, all made with coconut cream instead of dairy milk for a true taste of the islands – we recommend the “Tropical Tornado”. All the usual breakfast and lunch suspects are here, between pancakes, omelettes, fish of the day, chicken salad and popcorn chicken. What’s more, it’s just about the only cafe in Apia with free WiFi! See the rest of them in the 10 Places with Free WiFi in Samoa.
Opening hours: 7 am to 3 pm Monday to Friday + 5 pm to 10 pm Thursday and Friday, 7 am to 1.30 pm Saturday and 8 am to 12 pm Sunday.
Location: Corner of Vaea Street and Atenae Street, Apia.
10. Giordano’s Pizzeria (Upolu)
Be transported to the Mediterranean and among the attractive patio gardens of Giordano’s Pizzeria. The closest European-style pizzas we’ve found in Apia, and Samoa for that matter, Giordano’s combines Italian cuisine with a gorgeous balmy setting and ambient lighting. While pizzas are the obvious go-to’s here – popular options are the Mediterranean lamb, salmon and tapenade (chef-made) pizzas – the smoked salmon pasta, lasagne (with a gluten-free option) and tropical salad are all worth venturing off the pizza train. Be sure to have an extra look at the back of the restaurant to find the hidden alcoves in the gardens but you might want to take insect repellent, wherever you sit.
Opening hours: 3 pm to 9 pm Tuesday to Saturday and 5 pm to 9 pm Sunday.
Location: Falealili Street, Moto’otua, Apia.
11. Waterfront Restaurant and Bar – Seabreeze Resort (Upolu)
Even if you’re not staying at the adults-only Seabreeze Resort, at least book one night for dinner at their elegant restaurant nestled into coastal cliffs, the Waterfront Restaurant and Bar. Offering a range of a la carte cuisine on impeccably presented plates, Waterfront is a must-do for comfort food turned fine dining, all accompanied by an enviable sunset position. They also boast an extensive list of liqueurs, spirits, imported beer and New Zealand and Australian wine. What’s more, the restaurant is a child-free zone after 5 pm ensuring a more “tranquil” evening is achieved. For more upmarket dining experiences, take a look at the 5 Best Fine Dining Restaurants in Samoa.
Opening hours: 8 am to 9 pm (bar closes at 10 pm) daily.
Location: Signposted along Main South Coast Road, Aufaga on the south coast of Upolu.
12. Taefu T. Matafeo Store / Netta’s Cake Shop (Savai’i)
At the northern end of Asaga village on Savai’i is the Taefu T. Matafeo Store, also known as Netta’s Cake Shop. Needless to say, the cafe is famous for its cakes and cupcakes which pair perfectly with an espresso, latte, mocha or iced coffee. Either dine indoors on the vibrant sofas or chairs or enjoy the garden table set up outside. They claim vegan and vegetarian snacks are available, while many can vouch for the affordable hot meal, which is usually a set special each day. What’s more, it’s the only cafe with free internet on Savai’i! Get more of your food fix in Savai’i with The Food Guide to Savai’i: Places to Eat & Food Tours.
Opening hours: 7 am to 5 pm Monday, Tuesday, Friday and Saturday and 7 am to 7 pm Wednesday and Thursday.
Location: Asaga village, along the main road on the east coast of Savai’i.
13. Milani Caffe & Cakes (Upolu)
A popular spot right in the heart of Apia town, Milani Caffe & Cakes is an Italian-inspired cafe, of course, with a Samoan twist. Sip on Italian coffee and revel in an ungodly choice of cakes, loaves, biscuits and pastries. You can also stop by for lunch in their large air-conditioned cafe where their menu lurches from tuna sushi burritos to pork belly boa buns to plant-based bowls and then spaghetti meatballs with Napoli sauce and parmesan… No wonder this place easily ranks in our 10 Best Cafes in Samoa.
Opening hours: 7.30 am to 2 pm Monday to Friday and 7.30 am to 1 pm Saturday.
Location: Corner of Convent Street and the Mall, Apia.
14. Bistro Tatau Restaurant (Upolu)
For fine dining in Apia, Bistro Tatau Restaurant is a good go-to to impress with its speciality Asian cuisine, as well as European, Mediterranean and Australasia influences. Start with the likes of steamed dumplings or a tropical oka for an injection of local then move on to pan-fried swordfish, crisp pork belly salad or rib-eye steak. The restaurant offers a relaxed yet sophisticated environment of slick tiled walls and tones inspired by Samoan skin tones and tatau (tattoo) ink.
Opening hours: 12 pm to 2 pm and 6:30 pm to 11:30 pm Monday to Friday and 6:30 pm to 11:30 pm Saturday.
Location: Corner Beach Road and Fugalei Street, Apia.
15. Pacific Jewell Gift Shop & Garden Cafe (Upolu)
Once you’re done perusing the intriguing array of handcrafted clothes, carvings, jewellery and homeware, sit down in the lush setting of Pacific Jewell’s Garden Cafe. With tables scattered in their own private nook of the garden and patio, the place never feels too crowded. Delight in a choice of light bagels, tempting crepes or one of the more hearty all-day breakfasts. As for drinks, choose from coffee, fresh herbal teas, frappes, smoothies and iced drinks. Learn more about shopping here in The Best Places to Buy Souvenirs in Samoa.
Opening hours: 9 am to 3 pm Monday to Friday and 7.30 am to 2 pm Saturday.
Location: Levili Boulevard, Apia.
16. 1905 Restaurant – Lava Hotel (Upolu)
A worthwhile venture on the Mulinuu Peninsula, 1905 Restaurant offers a classic menu in a contemporary setting. The restaurant of the Lava Hotel is named after the historic Mt Matavanu eruption. Its menu also erupts in choices between creative salads, fish, steak and lamb shank (with your choice of weight), pizzas and a range of lunch items that can be arranged for dinner. Plates and cocktail glasses are gorgeously presented in keeping with the modern hotel lobby location with its ambient lighting. Oh, and if you want a moist slice of cake as big as your head, order dessert. One more thing, customers at the restaurant get free WiFi. For more accommodations with excellent restaurants, take a look at the 10 Best Resorts for Foodies in Samoa.
Opening hours: 7 am to 9 pm daily.
Location: Mulinuu Road, Mulinuu Peninsula, Apia.
17. Amoa Restaurant – Amoa Resort (Savai’i)
In the airy dining fale of the Amoa Resort, enjoy an internationally inspired menu with pleasingly local ingredients at the Amoa Restaurant. It’s your chance to try a refreshing Samoan oka (raw fish marinated in coconut cream and spices), taro nachos garnished with seagrapes or stick with the classics such as local pan-fried fish or New Zealand striploin beefsteak. Top it all off with one of the many cocktail options (happy hour is 5-7 pm daily) or a refreshing vai tipolo – a local drink you can find out more about in the 10 Drinks in Samoa You Have to Try.
Opening hours: 11 am to 8:30 pm daily.
Location: Faga village on the east coast of Savai’i.
18. All Things Sweet Cafe (Upolu)
Renowned across Upolu for its cakes featured in many-a-Samoan-wedding, All Things Sweet Cafe also happens to be worth popping in for breakfast or lunch for freshly prepared tuna sashimi, vegetarian frittatas, paninis, wraps and sandwiches. Of course, a coffee or smoothie combined with one of the many tempting treats is mainly what this cafe stands for. They also sell a range of local jams, chutneys and pickles should you want to take some of the flavours of Samoa home with you.
Opening hours: 7 am to 2 pm Monday to Friday and 7 am to 1 pm Saturday.
Location: Fugalei Road, Savalalo, Apia.
19. Krush Juice Lounge (Upolu)
Primarily a smoothie and juice bar, Krush Juice Lounge is your solution to a bit of a health boost in Apia. There are two locations in Apia; one in the city centre and the other in the suburb of Tanugamanono. Either way, your drink will be made with real ingredients in blends that are vegan and genuinely healthy unless, ya know, you choose to treat yourself to the “koko and cream” with peanut butter – we’re not judging. The juice bar also serves 100% vegan meals with their sushi bowls looking genuinely impressive on their social media. However, you may want to call ahead, as no such food menus have been available when our team visited several times during morning hours.
Opening hours: 9 am to 6 pm Monday to Friday.
Location: Apia central – Corner of Togafu’afu’a Road and Atanae Street, Apia (inside Coffee Roaster). Tanugamanono – Cross Island Road, Tanugamanono, Apia (behind the Insel Fehmarn Hotel).
20. Forest Cafe (Upolu)
The wildest cafe in Samoa, literally, Forest Cafe can only be accessed down a steep 4WD road on the highlands off the Cross Island Road on Upolu. What you could get for breakfast or dinner can be pretty wild too, as the chef herself “doesn’t taste her own food”. But with toasted sandwiches and paninis dominating the menu, you have plenty of safe options, or you could opt for a more substantial lasagna, Samoan souvlaki, curry or pancakes. Enjoy all the usual hot beverages, as well as a small selection of smoothies, juices and drinks from the cooler. The setting, nevertheless, is unbeatable; high in the forest with the sound of a nearby stream as your soundtrack. Ask about the walk to the secret waterfalls.
Opening hours: 8 am to 2 pm Wednesday to Friday and 8 am to 4 pm on Saturday and Sunday.
Location: Cross Island Road, signposted opposite the Baha’i Temple, approximately 9 km (5.6 mi) south of Apia. 4WD access only.
More Places to Eat and the Best Restaurants in Samoa
That’s it for our top recommendations for the best restaurants in Samoa. For more places to eat in Samoa, check out our other food guides:
- 10 Best Foodie Experiences in Samoa
- Traditional Samoan Food: 20 Foods to Try in Samoa
- 10 Best Bars in Samoa
Finally, if there’s anything we’ve missed, you’re likely to find it in The Food Guide to Samoa: Places to Eat & Food Tours.