The Vegetarian’s Guide to Food in Fiji

March 20, 2019
Food & Drink

Table Of Contents

Captain Cook Cruises Fiji | Blog

If you have made the decision to forgo meat and become a vegetarian, unless you know where to go, eating out can become that much harder. The challenge increases when you’re travelling in a foreign country where there are a lot of strange and unknown menu items to choose from. Or if you throw veganism or a raw food diet into the mix. If that overseas holiday destination is the tropical paradise of Fiji, then there is no need to worry. At Captain Cook Cruises Fiji we realise not all our guests are partial to meat, so we’ve put together this guide to help our vegetarian friends negotiate food in Fiji.


You’ll find plenty of tropical fruits like papaya, bananas, pineapple and, of course, coconut. Fijians also eat a lot of root vegetables like cassava or taro (sometimes called dalo), and spinach-like greens. Being a nation of islands it’s not surprising that they also have fish as a staple to their diet. If you decide to leave the main tourist areas in Fiji and head into a village for a cultural experience – for example, during a Captain Cook Discovery Tour – then you may be offered a traditional Fiji dish. Here’s an overview of the most popular local dishes to help you know what you can and can’t eat:

  • Kokoda: raw fish marinated in coconut milk (called lolo in Fiji) and lime juice.
  • Lovos: a lovo is an underground oven, often where a dish of chicken, pork, taro and coconut milk is wrapped in banana leaves and cooked. The food is wrapped separately, so any vegetarian options won’t be in direct contact with the meat.
  • Palusami: taro leaves filled with coconut cream, corned beef and onions. You may be able to get a vegetarian version of this dish.
  • Kava: a drink made from the powdered roots of the yagona plant. This drink is friendly for vegetarians, vegans and those on a raw diet.

A lot of Fijians speak English quite fluently, so it shouldn’t be a problem letting them know that you don’t eat meat. However, some villagers may struggle to understand why you won’t eat it if it’s for ethical reasons or preference of taste. It may be more straightforward to just assign your vegetarianism to health or religious reasons.


When travelling to Fiji you’ll want to make sure you contact the hotel or resort you are staying at. See if they have enough options on their menu, or discuss with them the possibility of their chefs preparing something special for you. If you do have special dietary needs you want to follow like only eating raw food, then you’ll most likely have to arrange with the resort staff for dishes to be prepared to your specifications. Generally, any good Fiji hotel or resort will be happy to oblige.

If you are looking to dine out in one of the cities, then you won’t be lost for choice. As there’s a large Indian population in Fiji, there’s an array of Indian restaurants around which cater to vegetarians. For any snacks or meals you want to prepare yourself, a number of local supermarkets stock vegetarian and vegan friendly staples like muesli bars, tofu or soy milk. And you shouldn’t go past the local markets for fresh produce. Saturdays tend to be the biggest days for markets, with plenty more fruit and vegetables to choose from than any other day in the week.



While you won’t be short on options in the city area, here are a few of our favourite places to eat out where you won’t struggle to find a dish that’s meat-free.

Govinda Vegetarian Restaurant – 97 Marks St, Suva

This Indian restaurant is inexpensive and even caters to vegans. It’s considered by many to be the best vegetarian in the capital city of Suva. We recommend trying their Masala tea with your meal.

Gangas Vegetarian Restaurant – Vidilo St, Lautoka

Another Indian option on the main island of Viti Levu, this time in the city of Lautoka. Try the masala dosa and the uttapam. In addition, the price range for this is relatively affordable, so those looking to save a couple of dollars can potentially go here!

Coconut Grove Beachfront Restaurant – 9 Matei Rd, Matei

This hotel restaurant features a variety of vegetarian options. They also cook with organic veggies grown in their own garden. The restaurant is on the more expensive side, but the food is delicious and not just limited to Indian cuisine.

They have a website page for the restaurant with the full menu you can check out here.


Book your Fiji holiday with confidence that you won’t go hungry from lack of vegetarian choices. If you’ve got a Captain Cook small ship cruise as part of your itinerary, make sure you let us know of your dietary preferences. We usually need around two weeks notice before your cruise departs, to ensure we can sufficiently arrange meal options to your liking.

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