Back to listing

Food in French Polynesia

All year round - Bora Bora, Tahiti, Moorea, Huahine, Raiatea, Taha'a, Tikehau, Nuku Hiva

Picnic on an islet in the Islands of Tahiti

Your arrival date to French Polynesia is coming soon and you would like to know what foods we eat here?  In this tourism information you will discover the culinary Polynesian culture.

First of all, you have to know that the Polynesians love foods and you can judge by yourself when they are organizing a tamara’a (banquet). Indeed many dishes will be served in front of you. If you do a traditional tamara’a, you will eat different dishes that make the ma’a Tahiti (typical Polynesian meal).

Raw fish with coconut milk

You will perforce eat the famous raw fish with coconut milk. This dish is prepared with tuna (white/red) or bonito fish cute into cubes marinated in lemon juice, sliced onion, tomato, cucumber, garlic, spring onion and homemade coconut milk.  

Traditional Polynesian Oven

The other dishes that make the ma’a Tahiti will be cooked inside the “ahima’a”, the traditional Polynesian underground oven where hot stones are disposed inside in order to cook the ingredients. Suckling pig, fishes (mahi mahi, tuna, and other fishes of the lagoon), chicken, crabs, “fei” (Polynesian banana), shrimps, taro, umara (sweet potato), uru (fruit of the breadfruit tree), “ufi” (igname) and “fafa” (Tahitian spinach) will be wrapped with banana leaves and put inside the oven. Once all the ingredients are inside the “ahima’a”, we disposed banana leaves on the top and then the whole thing is cover with sands.  4 hours later the ma’a Tahiti is finally ready.

Fafaru, a traditional Tahitian meal not easy to taste

You will probably find on the table the notorious “Fafaru”. It’s a fish dish. Generally the “fafaru” is prepared with slices of tuna or parrot fishes that have been macerated in sea water with crushed heads of shrimps.
For the desert, you will eat some “Poe” (a famous Polynesian desert made from mashed banana/pumpkin and starch) that has been cooked in banana leaves inside the Tahitian oven.  There will be also many tropical fruits like papaya, mango, pineapple, grapefruit etc…

Great choice of fresh fish and polynesian sea food

If you like fish, you will enjoy in French Polynesia. You will probably eat one of the best tuna (red/white), “mahi mahi” (dolphinfish, swordfish or thazard in your life. Grilled, chaud-froid, carpaccio, tartare, sashimi or sushi, are different ways to enjoy the fish that you will eat in our islands. One advice, eat your fish grilled fish with Taha’a vanilla sauce, it is just amazingly good.

For the sea fruits lovers, once again the French Polynesia will satisfy you: “Pahua” (giant clam), “Vana” (sea urchin), Korori, Langouste, “Varo” (squille), “Kaveu” (coconut crab) and “Maoa” etc…  In short a multitude of delights from the Polynesian waters.

In French Polynesia you can also eat the French cuisine, with the particularity to have your dishes made with local products. In Tahiti there are also Italian restaurant, Japanese restaurant and a lot of Chinese restaurants.

French Cuisine with an Asian twist

Chinese people has arrived long time ago in French Polynesia. They are now considered as Polynesian and their food is really appreciated in French Polynesia. The Chinese cuisine of Tahiti is relatively close to the Hong Kong style cuisine but adapted to the Tahitian tastes. Thus you will find again the famous raw fish but the Chinese version. Try the famous “chao men” (fried noddle with vegetables, meat and shrimps), the chicken with lemon sauce, the “chao chap”, the roasted duck, the “mapo tofu”, the “pua taro” and other delicious dishes.

The New Zealand Beef and Lamb in your Tahitian plates

In Tahiti, we have excellent beef and lam meat from New Zealand so if you are a meat lover you will be happy in French Polynesia. Have you heard about the skewer veal heart? Don’t pay attention of the name that could disgust lot of people.  This skewer veal heart is really appreciated from the Tahitian and they eat it with mustard and barbecue sauce. Try it you won’t regret it, this is absolutely yummy.

Breadfruit like you never tasted it

Another famous way to eat the “uru”  is to combine it with the “pua’a toro”  (corned beef) cooked with sliced onion. Polynesian people love it that way and it is simply delicious.

Breakfasts in The Islands Of Tahiti

For the breakfast, if you would like to eat like a Polynesian here what you can try: Tahitian or Chinese raw fish, “firi firi” (Tahitian donuts), banana crepes, “pua roti” (roasted porc), coconut flavor bread and Chinese bakeries (chao pao, bouchon, nem, navet). In fact, in French Polynesia you can eat everything for the breakfast (salted and sweet).

We hope that this little “mise en bouche” will help you to know better the food that you can find in French Polynesia. When you will be here, you will without a doubt discover other dishes that are not in this “traveler information”. Have a nice trip in our islands and don’t forget to say before eating: Tama’a Maita’i (Enjoy your meal)!

Thuna tartare
By using this website, you consent to the use of cookies. For more information, please see our Cookie Policy.