As Italian travellers, we can definitely suggest Stefano's restaurant as a perfect Italian restaurant. We really appreciate their cuisine because it rally tastes like home-made cuisine, as we normally cook in our houses. Stefano and Roberta, the restaurant owners, have been living in Rarotonga for a while, but did not lose their Italian way of cooking.
We ate at Stefano's twice, and were both times very satisfied.
Any tipe of pasta or sauce is freshly made.. excellent!
Remember to book your table in advance, the restaurant is very small.
We visited the Tamarind House Restaurant for dinner, it was suggested by some italian people living in Rarotonga.
The atmosphere is quite sophisticated, I see on their website that the restaurant also organises weddings and special events. If you are travelling on a budget, I suggest to keep this restaurant as an option for a "special occasion".
We had a candle-light dinner on a beautiful terrace facing the sea, but they also have some tables on the beach, under palm trees.
Unfortunately we don't eat fish, but they also offer excellent meat and vegetarian dishes.
I have discovered Les Palmiers in Muri beach quite by chance. It is new and not very well advertised but really worth visiting. has a little outdoor garden with pleasant music and a rock waterfall as a backdrop, inside is cool, spacious the whole one side is open to a marvelous tropical water garden. the place is called Te Vara Nui and has Overwater night shows. The setting looks really awesome and I have heard that the shows there are spectacular.
I couldn't make up my mind as the food selection is pretty big and impressive.
Finally I settled for lamb and beef skewers which they very kindly agreed to mix for me therefore making my choice a bit easier, and...a gorgeous spicy passion fruit cocktail or what they call mocktail as it had no alcohol in it. I hope I can come back again for crepes as, after consuming a good portion of homemade gelatos I had no space to fit anything else this time
Favorite Dish: The skewers in les Palmiers are delicious, succulent and well presented but cocktails are just heavenly and the homemade gelatos are something to die for and if you do after two of those cocktails you will be in heaven for sure haha
Occupying the main floor of the Rarotonga Sailing Club, this airy, nautically decorated restaurant offers a variety of salads, sandwiches, and "island fries" -- sweet potato, taro, and banana. At dinner the chef turns his attention to fresh fish and vegetables, plus mussels and steaks flown in from New Zealand. You might be offered Cajun-style pan-seared tuna or Moroccan-style lamb shanks. Weekend afternoons are especially lively here; club members gather to sail their radio-controlled miniature yachts out on the lagoon. I went there every morning for their excellent coffee and to avail myself of their Zenbu WiFi hotspot, and I also ate there sometimes in the evenings. I liked their food but most of all I loved their very efficient, friendly and helpful staff, they made my stay in Rarotonga special.
Favorite Dish: Caesar Seafood Salad, plenty of scallops and prawns.
By Nathan Fitzgearl
Of all the little cafes in the Muri area, this is the absolute best staple for backpackers/budget travelers: tasty, hearty food at cheap prices. It features a wide variety of big, ambitious burgers - each named after the motu (islets) in the lagoon, some for under $10. As well as sandwiches and several full-sized dinners with side dishes for only NZ$18 - a great price in any 1st world country. And Gail, the delightful little lady who runs it, knows how to take excellent care of her customers; her wonderful service skills are second to none. So the ambiance is just as pleasant and satisfying as the food. When I'm in Rarotonga, a good percentage of the meals I eat are at Kai Kai Time. It's a cute, clean, reliable cafe I recommend to anybody.
Favorite Dish: My personal favorite is the Koromiri burger - very juicy and keeps me full for many hours. Don't miss the salads, either, they have just the right touch of sweetness to them.
Trader Jacks is on the water front of the main town of Rarotonga. It has a couple of bars and a restaurant all with view of the Pacific Ocean; a fantastic setting. We sat and watched locals racing the 6 man canoes whilst we ate.
Favorite Dish: Pizza. Oddly enough Trader Jacks is a seafood restaurant but we visited the restaurant twice and the best thing we tried on the menu was the pizza! It was the best pizza I've had in years and one of the best meals we ate on the island. They also do a desert pizza that the girls tucked into, again fantastic!
With indoor and outdoor seating, this place is somewhere where you can grab a bite to eat. The servings are large, but you pay for it. Can get quite busy during the day.
Favorite Dish: I had a ham, cheese and tomato omlette at a cost of NZ$14.50.
Apparently, the first thing to go in a cyclone, Trader Jacks is right on the water. It opens at 6pm (feel free to have pre-dinner drinks at the bar next door while you wait for your table).
While it is known for it's seafood, it does also have meat dishes on the menu.
Favorite Dish: I had the seafood platter for 2. It doesn't look too filling when you get it, but it is. For those not a fan of raw fish - there is quite a bit in this dish. A good idea to book ahead as it gets very busy.
This small coffee shop has a few tables indoors and about 5 outside on the deck, each with it's own big umbrella for shade.
Toasted sandwiches and burgers are the main menu items with fish & chips and also bacon & eggs also available.
Favorite Dish: I had a ham & cheese toasted sandwich and a bottle of mystery juice (I guess it was home made as it had no label - turned out to be orange and mango). This plus a ham, cheese and tomato toasted sandwich and a fanta cost us NZ$12 - a good price for 2 meals.
This place is fantastic. It is a very small Italian restaurant, with only 5 or 6 pasta's on the menu. There are only 6 tables here, so it is very important to reserve a table. The service is very friendly and there are local and imported wines and beers on the menu.
There is a menu outside so if you walk by during the day, you can have a look at what they offer before they open (opens at 6pm). Open Tuesday to Sunday (closed monday).
Favorite Dish: The Gamberi was simply divine - spaghetti in a tomato based sauce with prawns, chilli and capers. Just perfect and only cost NZ$24.50 - and this was the most expensive thing on the menu.
For desert I had the home made chocolate cake drenched in chocolate sauce. Best chocolate cake I have ever had.
Open 7 days, from 11am, this restaurant is open for lunch and dinner. Sit on the deck and enjoy an unspoilt view out onto Muri Lagoon - and the service is as good as the food.
Favorite Dish: Seafood Ceasar Salad - best scallops I have ever had!! Pleanty on the menu to choose from and the cocktails are worth a try as well.
Great little cafe with internet available (prices as at May 08 - NZ$2 for first 10minutes) - but remember that it is dial up and is not too fast.
This was the best cafe that I went to in Muri (granted, I only went to 2). There are shaded tables and tables in full sun. And you get to sit outside and watch as the chickens run by.
There is a selection of cakes in the display fridge, but you can also order something a little more substantial off the menu.
Favorite Dish: I had a chocolate brownie with icecream. It was simply divine, and I spend the rest of my holiday wanting to go back for seconds.
All up, a rocky road, V energy drink, Fresh Up (juice) and the brownie with icecream only cost NZ$15-50. Great value!
this little resturant in the middle of town is a great find for reasonble prices and excellent food and drinks
Favorite Dish: our favourite dish for breaky was the eggs benny. our favourite lunch dish was the chicken ceaser salad and our favourite dinner dish was the steak and fish dishes- awesome. plus have great live music on friday nights.
Flame Tree is an old favorite on Rarotonga and on our last visit in October 2006 it remains one of the best restaurants on the island. It is located on a secluded spot just off the main road in the Muri beach area.
Favorite Dish: Favorites for vegatarians include an amazingly delicious French Onion Soup (this was from the specials list, be sure to order it if it's still on the menu!) and a wonderfully laid out and tasty South Indian vegetarian curry.
For seafood lovers, try the Spring Roll filled with local fish, it is unlike any other spring roll I've ever had and very tasty. For mains, all the seafood dishes are good but if you see a Cajun Fish one in the specials, try it out as it's simply delicious.
Stefano's is a very small Italian restaurant by the main road in Muri. It's Italian owners give it a great atmosphere and the tables are laid out in the open, in a covered pavilion-like setting and it's perfect for a balmy tropical night.
The menu is short with about half a dozen different pastas but the food is really excellent.
They also have some nice wines including Italian Chianti.
Be sure to make a booking as it can fill up quickly.
Favorite Dish: Ravioli Panna e Funghi - fresh ravioli with a savoury mushrooms and cream sauce was truly great as was the vegetarian Pasta al Pomodoro (fresh pasta in a classic rich tomato sauce with oregano and basil).
For desserts, the Tiramisu and the chocolate cake are both divine.