Traditional food consists largely of root vegetables, including taro (talo) and breadfruit (ulu), along with coconut cream, pork, chicken (moa), and fish (i’a) dishes. The local staple of oka (raw fish marinated in coconut cream, lemon juice, chilli and onions) is delicious. A favourite of many visitors to Samoa is the tasty palusami (baked coconut cream in taro leaves) cooked in the umu.
Hotels and resorts can give you a taste of umu (earth-cooked) meals and also stage regular fiafia nights, with a chance to see traditional Samoan dance accompanied by a buffet dinner.
Samoa is a veritable fruit basket with locally grown tropical fruits including papayas, star fruit and bananas, and mangos and pineapples in season.
Seafood lovers will delight in freshly caught crayfish, snapper, octopus, tuna and more. Look for the Samoan delicacy of palolo (similar to whitebait or caviar), ask the locals if this is available. It may surprise many visitors to Samoa to see how popular Asian flavours are here, be sure to try the Samoan version of chop suey.
The local Samoan beer is very refreshing, while a cocktail in a coconut is the ultimate island-holiday accessory. Remember that the sale of alcoholic beverages outside hotels or licensed restaurants is prohibited on Sundays.
Upolu has a wide selection of snack bars, cafés and restaurants, especially in Apia. Apia is ideal for a lively night out, with plenty of bars and nightclubs to choose from. There may be a small cover charge for nightclubs but entry to bars is free.