Samoa - Dining & Nightlife
Upolu has a wide selection of snack bars, cafés and restaurants, especially in Apia, and you’ll find everything from Chinese, Japanese and Italian to European-style dishes to traditional Samoan fare. One of the best places to sample the local fare is Apia’s colourful Maketi Fou (food market) on Fugalei Street, behind the flea market. It’s open daily, and you can buy plates of traditional-style fish, chicken or vegetables cooked with local staples like banana and breadfruit. Out of town, meals are provided by hotel restaurants or home-cooked by fale proprietors.
On Savaii, Salelologa has the largest selection of cafés and restaurants. For a taste of the local fare, the Salelologa Market sells traditional-style dishes at its food stalls. Although there is less in the way of nightlife than on Upolu, there are still a couple of choices for a night out. Hotels and fales also stage regular fiafia nights, with a chance to see traditional Samoan dance accompanied by a buffet dinner. Traditional food consists largely of root vegetables, including taro (talo) and breadfruit (fuata), along with coconut cream, pork, chicken and fish dishes. The local staple of oka (raw fish marinated in coconut cream, lemon juice, chilli and onions) is always tasty, or sample the sweet palusami (baked coconut cream in taro leaves). For a delicious drink, try koko Samoa, made from locally grown roasted cocoa beans with sugar and water – ideal for washing down the Samoan ‘pancakes’ (small doughnuts). There is plenty of seafood available, including tuna, lobster, squid, and freshwater crabs and prawns. Locally grown tropical fruits include pineapples, papayas and bananas, with mangoes in season.
When it comes to entertainment, no one does it better than Samoans. The nightlife varies from bars and nightclubs to cultural shows and events. Apia is ideal for a lively night of bar-hopping, with plenty of bars and nightclubs to choose from. Most are open nightly until midnight (except Sundays). You may pay a small cover charge for nightclubs but entry to bars is free. Most of the larger hotels also stage Fiafias – a spectacular Samoan dance performance accompanied by a Samoan buffet. Some hotels present shows for their hotel bar and restaurant guests only.
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