The Best Restaurants in Moorea

Artists and poets like Paul Gauguin and Jacques Brel chose to live in the volcanic islands of French Polynesia for more than the turquoise waters, white sand beaches, coral atolls, and dramatic, green carpeted hills, you know. The fresh ingredients available in the Windward Islands—both the fruits and vegetables growing in the fertile black soil and the abundant seafood and fish in the surrounding Pacific—coupled with the culinary genius of the French colonists make this a paradise for food-lovers, too.

Pk6 Maharepa cote mer, Maharepa 98728, French Polynesia
Featuring Polynesian-Asian-French-fusion cuisine, this contemporary-chic beachfront eatery in Maharepa, owned by French-born restaurateur Bruno Jamais, is a sunny spot where you can indulge in some upscale Papeete-meets-Paris dining—maybe paired with a glass of bubbly. Devotees adore dishes such as marinated tuna tartare with wasabi, avocado and fried shallots. A three-course lunch runs about $60 per person (without beverages).

Windward Islands, French Polynesia
Over on Moorea, the Restaurant Te Honu Iti offers you a chance to eat on a deck over the water while watching rays swim around. It’s a bit more affordable than comparable Papeete restaurants, and has well-prepared food. But let’s face it, the crowd’s here for the rays, amazingly soft and velvety, who are drawn by the restaurant’s underwater lights and swim right up to the edge of the deck.
For a truly special and elegant dining experience, book dinner at K. The restaurant, on the grounds of the Sofitel la Ora Beach Resort, is set under a cathedral ceiling made from wood from the Tuamotus, from which crystal chandeliers dangle. The tables are draped in white linen and decorated with shells and driftwood. Candles create a romantic glow and the floor is sand. Dinner is a 3-, 5-, or 7-course tasting menu by renowned Chef Guillaume Burlion, and the house has a superb vintage wine list that sommelier Fabrice Jarry is happy to help pair. For an even more romantic option, have dinner set up at a private table on the beach.
Holy Steak House is run by Thierry and Bénédicte Sauvage, who also own the popular Restaurant Le Coco in Punaauia on Tahiti. Located in Haapiti, this Moorea restaurant boasts unique, contemporary decor indoors—we love the mix of floor-to-ceiling windows and wood-beamed ceiling with modern chandeliers. The varied menu changes monthly, though you can, of course, expect excellent steaks. An elegant outdoor wine bar, with comfortable chairs and water views, has a strong wine (and cocktail) list, with vintages from around the world. Free shuttle service runs to and from a number of resorts, including the Hilton Moorea Lagoon Resort & Spa and the Hôtel Hibiscus. Reservations suggested.
This family-owned eatery, with its shady tables right next to the lagoon, has a delicious and affordable (under $25 per person) menu—generous, freshly prepared plates of poisson cru, garlic shrimp (a specialty), grilled mahimahi, burgers and more—that attracts guests of the nearby InterContinental Moorea Resort & Spa, who invariably return for more. Lunch only; cash only.

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