7 Best Places To Eat In Port Vila, Vanuatu

Best places to eat in port vila vanutatu

One of the things I look forward to on my travels is trying out different cuisines. And while visiting Port Vila, I was presented with various places to try traditional dishes. 

From the mysterious flying fox to hearty underground baked savory puddings, I savored every single one of the meals. 

In this post, I’ll share 7 of the best places to eat in Port Vila for a gastronomically satisfying trip. 

Kucina Filipino

Tristan Balme Where to eat port vila cucina phillipino

To satiate your craving for authentic (and affordable) Filipino food, you can’t go wrong with Kucina Filipino. This cozy restaurant boasts various dishes, but its specialty is chicken, pork, and fish-based dishes. 

I tried the chicken adobo, a tender and flavorful meal coated in sticky sauce with a slightly tangy taste. The portions were generous and priced at around 800 vatu ($7). 

If you’re looking for a vegetarian dish, I recommend their Ginataang langka (jackfruit cooked in coconut milk). 

What I liked

  • Warm and welcoming environment
  • Authentic Phillipino food
  • Reasonable prices
  • Extensive food menu 
  • Option to order ahead for a takeaway

Three Pigs

Tristan Balme Where to eat port vila three pigs

For a casual and fun dining experience, you should pop in at Three Pigs. It’s a great spot to hang out with family and friends and the staff are friendly and provide prompt service. 

The eatery specializes in American-style cuisine, all made with fresh and quality ingredients. I ordered their wood-fired Calabrese-flavored pizza, which had a thin and chewy crust and a generous amount of toppings. 

The restaurant also has a happy hour, which I recommend if you’re looking to enjoy any of your favorite alcoholic beverages at a discount. You can expect to pay anything from 1950 Vatu ($25) for a decent meal. 

What I liked

  • Relaxed atmosphere
  • Friendly and prompt staff

What I didn’t like

  • Pricier than the surrounding eateries

Mangoes Resort Restaurant & Bar

This is an upscale and cozy eatery overlooking the Erakor Lagoon and has a serene ambiance. You can sample a range of seasonal contemporary dishes, all made with fresh, local, and organic produce. My highlight was their tender and juicy Vanuata Santo Beef Tenderloin braised in red wine, which cost me around 3500 Vatu (around $40). 

What I Liked

  • Elegant and relaxing atmosphere
  • Friendly and professional staff
  • Scrumptious international and contemporary cuisine

L’Houstalet Restaurant

L’Houstalet serves French cuisine with a twist. One of the locals recommended it claiming they offer some of the best exotic and specialty meals, like flying fox and coconut crab.

And I don’t regret dining there. 

I tried the flying fox. It was cooked to perfection and had a complex chicken-like flavor. I appreciated the attentive and friendly staff, who even suggested a few desserts worth trying. I spent around 3000 Vatu ($27) for the main. Bear in mind, though, the price you see on the menu doesn’t include VAT. Expect to pay an extra 20% when you get your bill.

What I liked

  • Tasty meals
  • Friendly staff

What I didn’t like

  • Price on menu did not include VAT

Port Vila Market

Visiting Vanuatu wouldn’t be complete without a detour to the market. It’s within this vibrant and lively place where you can find authentic local food cheaper than any of the restaurants. 

And the cooks don’t skimp on quality. 

There are various food stalls to sample traditional dishes–laplap, tuluk, and poulet fish. The vendors make the most hearty laplap, which is a great snack for when you’re shopping around for other items. 

What I liked

  • Reasonably priced place to sample local dishes
  • Vibrant and lively atmosphere
  • Friendly and chatty vendors

Bultahi Kava Bar

Tristan Balme Bultahi Kava Bar

Bultahi is one of the many nakamals (Kava bars) where you can interact and bond with the locals over their traditional drink, kava. It’s newly built and attracts a lot of locals and tourists alike. The bar has a couple of windows leased to different vendors from various parts of Vanuatu. 

I was informed that the leasers prepare the drink as they traditionally would in their villages. A shell costs around 300 vatu ($2), and after gulping down a few from 3 different booths, I noticed that some were more pronounced and potent than others. 

Regardless of where you buy it, I recommend you chew on a piece of fruit or mint to mask the bitterness, if it’s your first time trying kava. There is also a small shop on the premises where you can grab a snack or light meal. 

What I liked

  • Cozy bar 
  • Deep cultural and social aspects of the town

Sol Wota Beach Club

Tristan Balme Sol Wota Beach Club

I liked this option for the relaxed vibe and scenery it had to offer. The hosts are extremely friendly with a vast knowledge of the area. 

And they serve the most amazing pizzas too. 

I ordered the Narpow Works flavored pizza, which was baked to perfection and had generous toppings. You can expect to pay around 1750 Vatu ($22) per dish, which I think was reasonable for the quality and the setting. 

What I liked

  • Serene and scenic atmosphere
  • Awesome pizza
  • Welcoming hosts

5 Foods You Must Try While In Vanuatu

Coconut fish curry

This creamy and spicy dish is a staple in Port Vila. And reasonably so given they have an abundance of seafood. It’s made with fresh fish cooked in coconut milk and a medley of spices. It’s usually served with rice or breadfruit and has a rich and satisfying flavor. You can find this dish at many restaurants and hotels, but the cooks at Mangoes Resort Restaurant & Bar take the cup. 

Laplap

For a taste of Vanuatu cuisine, I recommend you try lap-lap. It’s an underground-baked pudding made from grated root vegetables–mostly taro or yam–coconut milk, meat/fish, and wrapped in banana leaves. It’s hearty and filling with a subtle earthy flavor. If you’re wondering where to get the best one, the market is the place to go.

Poulet fish

Poulet fish has a pinkish-red color and a firm white flesh with a chicken-like flavor. It’s usually grilled and served with a side of rice or breadfruit. I especially loved the one prepared at L’Houstalet Restaurant. 

Tuluk

Similar to laplap, tuluk makes for a great snack when exploring other parts of the city. It’s a blend of cassava, minced meat, and spices wrapped in banana leaves. The mixture is steamed, producing a soft and moist treat with a savory and sweet flavor. Port Vila Market offers a variety of flavors and sizes, so I recommend you sample it there. 

Kava

As mentioned, kava is to be the go-to drink for locals. And as a tourist, you have the opportunity to join in on the tradition. The drink is made from the roots of the kava plant and has a calming and numbing effect. It’s bitter with earthy undertones and a muddy appearance. After a few shells (I gulped down 3), you’ll feel relaxed and happy. Bultahi Kava Bar is the place to go for a strong and authentic drink. 

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