The Best Food Experiences and Places to Eat on Savai’i
Most travellers come to Savai’i with waterfalls, caves and beaches in mind; not the dining scene… It’s true, Savai’i is far from your cosmopolitan destination. What it is, however, is its own source of sweet fruit, earthy cocoa and hearty tropical vegetables. Therefore, it’s not difficult to find a cultural tour on the island that incorporates food production and tastings. As for all your other forms of sustenance, there are a few hidden gems when it comes to cafes and restaurants, as well as heartwarming (and mouthwatering) home-cooked meals shared with your hosts and fellow travellers at the beach fales. We go through it all – the food tours, the accommodations, tips and places to eat – in this ultimate food guide to Savai’i.
The 10 Best Places to Eat on Savai’i
Where are the best places to eat on Savai’i? Here’s our ultimate list of the best restaurants and cafes with something for all tastes and budgets.
- Adria’s Cafe (Lalomalava)
- Harbourside Cafe & Pizza Bar (Salelologa)
- Taefu T. Matafeo Store Asaga (Asaga)
- Amoa Restaurant (Amoa Resort, Faga)
- Vailili Restaurant and Leilina’s Pizzeria (Le Lagoto Resort, Fagamalo)
- Va-i-Moana Seaside Lodge Restaurant & Bar (Asau)
- Beach Bar & Restaurant (Stevensons at Manase, Manase)
- Barefoot Bar & Restaurant (Savaii Lagoon Resort, Fagamalo)
- Vaisala Hotel Restaurant & Fetogi’s Bar (Vaisala)
- Le Tolotolo Restaurant & Bar (Jet Over Hotel, Salelologa)
Scroll down to “About the Best Places to Eat on Savai’i” to learn more about our top picks!
The Best Food Tours on Savai’i
Make indulging your palate part of the experience by partaking in one of the amazing food tours on Savai’i. From casual tours of cocoa plantations to romantic dinners organised just for you and your loved one, Savai’i’s food tours are a treat for all of the senses.
Koko (Cocoa) Plantation Tour and Demonstration
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!
Alternatively, Amoa Resort offers a fantastic Koko Samoa Demonstration. Join the friendly local staff at the dining fale bar to not only learn how koko (cocoa) is grown on the island but how locals turn it into a unique version of hot chocolate that’s made every morning in the typical Samoan home (and usually doesn’t last long). You’ll understand why after trying some of the smooth cocoa goodness for yourself, sweetened just to your liking!
Peruse a wonderous array of tropical fruit and vegetables while mingling with the friendly locals at the Salelologa Market. As well as sampling some of the sweetest bananas 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 section selling cheap baked goods and fried food that makes a good snack to fuel your sightseeing, usually including the likes of pork buns, doughnuts and fried chicken and chips – see The Top Cheap Eats on Savai’i for places to eat on the cheap.
Farm Tours at Florence’s Place
Stay at the unique B&B experience of Florence’s Place inland in Fa’a’ala village for the fascinating foodie experience 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 Accommodations for Foodies in Samoa.
More Food Tours on Savai’i
And that’s not all the food scene on Savai’i has to offer. Check out alternative food tours, such as:
- Village walks with Amoa Resort to see an abundance of local fruit and vegetables
- Private lagoon-side dinners with Le Lagoto Resort and Jet Over Hotel
- Roadside fruit stalls, such as our favourites in Lalomalava
- Fishing charters with Va-i-Moana, Amoa Resort and Aganoa Lodge
- Trying local dishes at Savai’i’s beach fales
- Barbecues, cafes and restaurants…
… For elaboration on each activity, check out the 10 Best Foodie Experiences on Savai’i.
About the Best Places to Eat on Savai’i
Savai’i might be bigger than Samoa’s main island, Upolu, but its dining scene hardly compares to the substantial offerings of the likes of Apia. Even in Savai’i’s main town, Salelologa, you have very little to choose from between the takeaways that come and go and the hotel restaurants of the Jet Over Hotel and Lusia’s Lagoon Chalets. A diamond in the rough, however, is the Harbourside Cafe & Pizza Bar, which is thankfully open for breakfast, lunch and dinner and even late nights on Fridays and Saturdays. This attractive establishment provides a range of hearty cooked breakfasts, fresh poke and sashimi for lunch and indulgent seafood platters and, of course, pizzas for dinner.
Head north to the village of Lalomalava and you come across a quaint local eatery with a Western-style vibe at Adria’s Cafe. The menu is diverse if not a little meat-heavy but the coffee, cakes and vai tipolo are certainly a treat. Similarly, Taefu T. Matafeo Store Asaga, also known as Netta’s Cake Shop, is another cute cafe both inside with its vibrant beach-style decor and outside in the lush garden, which you can find a little further north in Asaga village.
When it comes to resort dining, which is the rest of Savai’i dine-in experiences, expect prices to increase by a couple of $10s. The Amoa Restaurant of the Amoa Resort serves well-presented plates of international cuisine made with pleasingly local ingredients (how about your taro nachos topped with seagrapes?) Le Lagoto Resort‘s Vailili Restaurant is popular with the locals for its pizzeria but it also has an eclectic menu to go with its sunset-encapsulating setting.
See full reviews of each place to eat in The Best Places to Eat on Savai’i: 10 Best Restaurants on Savai’i, as well as affordable dining recommendations in The Top Cheap Eats on Savai’i.
Tips for Eating Out on Savai’i
There are a few quirks to eating out on Savai’i that are worth mentioning. That way, you’re bound to have a more positive experience if your expectations are set correctly.
First, it’s very common on Savai’i for not all of the items to be available on the menu. This is due to limited resources on the island, as well as some restaurants being so remote that, with limited customers, it makes more financial sense to only offer a limited menu.
Second, there are not many cafes, restaurants or even takeaways on Savai’i. Where you see a village or built-up area on the map; don’t assume that there’s somewhere to eat. Villages only tend to have convenience stores which sell snacks and the occasional baked goods, which you can learn more about in A Guide to Supermarkets & Food Shopping in Samoa. In other words, it’s best to prepare where to eat using the 10 Best Restaurants on Savai’i.
Third, in some cases, restaurants will only open if they know they are getting customers so it’s best to call ahead, especially if you are in remote parts of the island, such as Asau and Vaisala. Even at, for example, Va-i-Moana Seaside Lodge, they ask orders from their a la carte menu to be communicated to them before 5pm! Otherwise, there will only be a couple of items available (one usually being fried chicken and chips) once dinner service begins.
More Options for Food on Savai’i
So, with limited eateries on Savai’i and almost no self-catering accommodations, what happens if you’re staying somewhere without a restaurant? Luckily, your Samoan hosts will absolutely not let you go hungry!
Dining at Beach Fales
One of the best ways to sample the local cuisine on Savai’i 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.
See our list of recommended fales where you can enjoy this dining experience in the 10 Best Beach Fale Accommodations on Savai’i.
If you’re feeling adventurous and are not too fussed about “menus”, try one of Samoa’s famous roadside barbecues. Most can be spotted on the roadside leading in and out of Salelologa but you might be lucky to see large signs saying “$10 BBQ” or “Hot BBQ” propped up outside of family homes in other villages too. What do you usually get for these “$10 BBQs”? Expect something along the lines of marinated chicken drumsticks or lamb with either taro, banana, rice and/or chop suey. A drink is not usually included.
For more tips for acquiring cheap local food on Savai’i, check out The Top Cheap Eats on Savai’i.
Alternative Things to Do on Savai’i
As much as eating is exciting, you can’t travel all the way to Savai’i just for the food. You’re on one of the most adventurous islands in the South Pacific! So balance out your stay with some of the alternative activities, such as:
- Afu Aau Waterfall – Savai’i’s most picturesque waterfall
- Laauoleola Cave – A pleasant forest walk to an epic lava tube
- Siapo Demonstration – Authentic Samoan crafting show
- Alofaaga Blowholes – Samoa’s famous blowholes
- Saleaula Lava Field – Church ruins among a lava flow
- Cape Mulinuu – Stellar sunsets and historical sites
- Mt Matavanu – Hike or drive to the summit
- Asaga Mangroves – Paddle to a freshwater spring…
… and much more! Check out the details of these activities and get more inspiration in the 50 Best Things to Do on Savai’i.
More About Savai’i
That’s it for our food guide to Savai’i and the best places to eat on Savai’i, but not the end of our Savai’i advice! Check out these other guides that might not necessarily fall under the “foodie” category, but are still pretty useful:
- The Complete Travel Guide to Savai’i on a Budget
- The Luxury Guide to Savai’i
- The Wedding, Honeymoon & Romantic Getaway Guide to Savai’i
- The Complete Travel Guide to Savai’i for Families
- The Complete Travel Guide to Savai’i
Finally, discover even more foodie trip tips in The Food Guide to Samoa: Places to Eat & Food Tours and plan your foodie road trip with the Samoa Food Itinerary: 10 Days and Samoa Food Itinerary: 7 Days.