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With limited technology and resources, almost everything grown on the islands is organic, hand-picked and bursting with tropical flavours. Ni-Vanuatu people are fiercely passionate about what they do, and creating great food, or kaikai as they call it in Bislama, is no exception.

The fertile volcanic islands of Vanuatu produce a lot of exotic crops and well-nourished cattle, while the warm tropical waters surrounding the islands are teeming with lobsters, shrimp and fish caught daily by local islanders. Pair these amazing raw ingredients with thousands of years of Melanesian culture and influences from French settlers and you have quite the local cuisine on your hands. If you’re a serious foodie, these are the Vanuatu food experiences you won’t want to miss.


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Lunch by the sea anyone? You know, you could so have this all to yourself ???? at Aore Island Resort. Photo credit: @Montie #DiscoverVanuatu

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Aelan Chocolate 

Made by local Ni-Vanuatu chocolatiers from cocoa beans grown on the islands, the Aelan dark chocolate has been internationally recognised with awards from certified foodies in New Zealand. The Aelan Chocolate Makers Factory is located at the ACTIV Centre near Port Vila and is owned by a not-for-profit organisation that works with local growers, helping educate them and ensure fair trade for the products they produce. Over the last few years, Vanuatu cocoa popularity has been on the rise and it’s shipped internationally to make chocolate all over the world. Take a tour of the factory and find out how the chocolate is produced before checking out the ACTIV shop which sells local oils, spices and handmade crafts.



Tanna Coffee  

Fancy something a little bit different for your morning latte? Tanna Coffee beans have been grown and harvested on the volcanic island of Tanna for the past twenty years and there’s a lot that goes into the process. From the growing and hand harvesting of the cherries to the processing and packaging, it really does take a village (actually, several villages) to create this tropical caffeinated drink. The beans are transported to Port Vila to be roasted and visitors to Efate island can take a tour of the roastery and enjoy a cup of coffee in the Tanna Coffee Cafe. Can’t get enough tropical java? Coffee aficionados will find Tanna Coffee at cafes around Vanuatu and can even order a subscription to have a little bit of island life delivered to their home each month. 



Santo Beef

Perhaps an unexpected local delicacy in Vanuatu are the melt-in-your-mouth beef that originate from the island of Espiritu Santo. One might have thought the islands too small to accommodate cattle, but the gentle beasts have plenty of room to roam between the palm trees. The quality, texture and flavour of the beef is said to come from the oils the cows ingest while grazing in the coconut plantations. 


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Seafood Feasts 

Beachside cafes and restaurants producing exquisite seafood lunches abound in Vanuatu. Caught fresh by local fishermen, make sure to try a lobster dish or poulet fish (a popular food in Vanuatu, it’s a type of snapper with a similar texture to chicken). Whether you want to dine at a local beach hut at Port Olry or at an Italian restaurant with an ocean view, there’s a seafood feast to suit all tastes and budgets. 


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Fresh seafood caught locally! Enjoy a perfect seafood lunch served in paradise at #aoreislandresort ✨?

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Seasonal Fruit

Walking through the markets in Vanuatu is like a tropical fruit festival. Villagers bring their home-grown crops to sell, and what you can buy really depends on the season. The cooler winter months bring citrus fruits such as grapefruit, oranges and wild raspberries, while the warmer summer months see the markets teeming with mangoes, pineapples, watermelons and bananas. If you’re from a cooler climate you’ll be blown away by the exotic flavours and freshness of these colourful creations, transported no more than a few kilometres across the island and straight into your hand. Haggling is not part of the culture in Vanuatu, so bring local currency in small notes if you can. While at the market, or restaurants and cafes, make sure to try some of the local specialities and Vanuatu traditional foods such as laplap and tuluk.


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The popular South Pacific drink, made from the root of the kava plant, is used for both ancient ceremonies and is also part of everyday Vanuatu culture and traditions. It’s certainly an acquired taste but, like most things on the islands, worth giving a go at least once. The taste of kava is not why people drink it, the root is said to have a sedative, anaesthetic and euphoric quality to it (so take it slow and just try one cup if it’s your first time). There are plenty of places to try kava while in Vanuatu, normally served from a coconut shell, you can find it on village tours, at a kava ceremony or in a local nakamal (kava bar). 


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Have you tried Kava yet? ? @peterajgreen

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Is there anything more rewarding than catching your own dinner? Head out on a Vanuatu fishing charter with the locals and witness the ocean to plate process first hand. Depending on what you want to catch there are lots of different fishing trips and fishing charters in Vanuatu, from deep-sea game fishing with Coral Quays to sport fishing on the peaceful reefs of Lelepa Island, and even live-aboard fishing trips which depart from Santo with Fiesta Game Fishing Trips.



French Bakery 

A remnant of the colonial era, French bakeries are a great place to grab food in Vanuatu. Stop in for a quick breakfast or to pick up some supplies for the day’s adventures. Le Fournil De Vila in Port Vila is a well-known institution for delicate pastries and freshly baked bread.  


Switi Icecream 

Serving delectable gelato and sorbets for over forty years, the team at Switi Icecream factory in Vila do not disappoint when it comes to incredible frozen treats. The factory is located right next to the airport (and close to the Tanna Coffee Cafe) so if you have a few hours between connecting flights, head on over for a sweet treat or two. Switi Icecreams can also be found at shops and resorts around the islands. 


Tusker Beer

What better way to end your day exploring the rugged terrain of the beautiful tropical islands of Vanuatu than relaxing in a hammock with an ice-cold beer in your hand. The local brew, Tusker, is available in draft and bottles (rumour has it the draft version is tastier, but you will have to try it yourself to know for sure). Whether you fancy a quirky family-friendly restaurant set in recycled shipping containers, a quiet spot on a remote beach, or somewhere a bit more lively, a frosty Tusker will be just as refreshing.