window.dataLayer = window.dataLayer || []; function gtag(){dataLayer.push(arguments);} gtag('js', new Date()); gtag('config', 'G-9XV1K4SDWL');
The BEST Places to Eat on Upolu: 10 Best Restaurants on Upolu 🍽️ [2023]
The BEST Places to Eat on Upolu: 10 Best Restaurants on Upolu 🍽️ [2023]

The BEST Places to Eat on Upolu: 10 Best Restaurants on Upolu 🍽️ [2024]


The Top Restaurants on Upolu (Mainly for Dinner)

Travelling is a treat for the senses, so be sure to not neglect your palate while exploring Samoa‘s main island, Upolu. Admittedly, dining options are difficult to come by outside of Apia unless you’re keen on fried chicken and chips or a doughnut from a supermarket bakery. That’s why we highly recommend planning your dining excursions, not only to ensure some variety in your ventures but to avoid a few disappointments. We list some of our favourite dine-in restaurants and places to eat on Upolu in this list.

While you’re here, also don’t miss our complete foodie survival guide for the island, The Food Guide to Upolu: Places to Eat & Food Tours.

1. Ava I Toga Restaurant – Sinalei Reef Resort & Spa

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 Upolu’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.

The BEST Places to Eat on Upolu: 10 Best Restaurants on Upolu 🍽️ [2023]© Samoa Tourism Authority

2. Cocolini’s by the Sea – Le Vasa Resort

Easily one of the best places to stop for lunch or dinner outside of Apia, 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 other resorts our team have visited, whether it’s in the more exotic “puttanesca pasta” or the more 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, Cocolini’s provides a memorable setting for South Pacific and Mediterranean fusion cuisine.

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.

The BEST Places to Eat on Upolu: 10 Best Restaurants on Upolu 🍽️ [2023]©

3. Paddles Restaurant

Easily the most popular dine-in restaurant in Apia, 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. For more restaurants to compare in the capital, check out the 10 Best Restaurants in Apia.

Opening hours: 5 pm to 10 pm Monday to Saturday.
Location: Beach Road, Matautu-Tai, Apia.

The BEST Places to Eat on Upolu: 10 Best Restaurants on Upolu 🍽️ [2023]©

4. Waterfront Restaurant and Bar – Seabreeze Resort

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.

The BEST Places to Eat on Upolu: 10 Best Restaurants on Upolu 🍽️ [2023]©

5. Bella’s Kitchen

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.

The BEST Places to Eat on Upolu: 10 Best Restaurants on Upolu 🍽️ [2023]©

6. Giordano’s Pizzeria

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.

The BEST Places to Eat on Upolu: 10 Best Restaurants on Upolu 🍽️ [2023]©

7. Bistro Tatau Restaurant

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.

The BEST Places to Eat on Upolu: 10 Best Restaurants on Upolu 🍽️ [2023]©

8. Saletoga Restaurant – Saletoga Sands Resort

For another change of scenery away from Apia (unless you’re staying at the Saletoga Sands Resort), stop by for lunch or dinner at the Saletoga Restaurant. Kids and sweet tooths will be pleased here with a menu more extensive than the usual (there’s also a children’s play area), while the dinner and day menu has a heavy Kiwi influence with the likes of New Zealand beef, lamb, pork, salmon and scallops and “Kiwi-style” fish and chips (wrapped in newspaper, which is pretty cool). It’s a taste of the familiar in an airy Samoan dining fale. For more family-friendly options, check out The Complete Travel Guide to Upolu for Families.

Opening hours: 11 am to 9 pm daily.
Location: Main South Coast Road, between Utulaelae and Matatufu villages, south coast.

The BEST Places to Eat on Upolu: 10 Best Restaurants on Upolu 🍽️ [2023]©

9. RiVaiv Cafe

Famous across Samoa for its turmeric juice that Samoans swear by to provide all sorts of health benefits, RiVaiv Cafe also happens to be a darn good place to stop for breakfast and lunch (and also dinner if visiting their Vaitele branch). Try a turmeric kick in a latte or lemonade if you’re intrigued. Otherwise, the two cafes in the chain with a garden setting are best known for their fresh poke, teriyaki and steak bowls, as well as pad Thai, seafood 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 for something sweet. For more dining options for breakfast and lunch, don’t miss our 10 Best Cafes in Apia & Upolu.

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.

The BEST Places to Eat on Upolu: 10 Best Restaurants on Upolu 🍽️ [2023]©

10. 1905 Restaurant – Lava Hotel

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; one of the rare 10 Places with Free WiFi in Samoa.

Opening hours: 7 am to 9 pm daily.
Location: Mulinuu Road, Mulinuu Peninsula, Apia.

The BEST Places to Eat on Upolu: 10 Best Restaurants on Upolu 🍽️ [2023]©

More Places to Eat and the Best Restaurants on Upolu

That’s it for our top recommendations for the best restaurants on Upolu. For more places to eat on Upolu, check out our other food guides:

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.


Robin C.

This article was reviewed and published by Robin, the co-founder of Samoa Pocket Guide. He has lived, worked and travelled across 16 different countries before settling in the South Pacific, so he knows a thing or two about planning the perfect trip in this corner of the world. Robin works and consults regularly with the Samoa Tourism Authority, a local government body representing the tourism industry. Robin is also the co-founder of several other South Pacific travel guides and is a regular host of webinars with the South Pacific Tourism Organisation.

Was this article useful?