Top Cheap Eats in Nuku’alofa(c)
Top Cheap Eats in Nuku’alofa

Top Cheap Eats in Nuku’alofa


Where to Get Cheap Food in Nuku’alofa

Indulge in a feast fit for the royal family for no more than TOP$20 when staying in Nuku’alofa. Tonga’s capital city is brimming with affordable cuisine, the most affordable of which is often delicious local Tongan dishes! Nevertheless, many international cuisines are represented across the city, providing plenty of options when it comes to cheap eats in Nuku’alofa.

Check out the list of cheap food in Nuku’alofa below! Otherwise, get more tips for visiting Nuku’alofa on the cheap with The Guide to Nuku’alofa on a Budget.

5 Tips to Save Money on Food in Nuku’alofa

  • Eating out in town is almost always much cheaper than eating at Nuku’alofa’s hotels
  • For self-catering, buy produce from the stalls and the Talamahu Market – check the usual prices in Cost of Food in Tonga, so you know how much is reasonable to pay
  • The portions in Tonga are HUGE – either buy one main to share or an entree dish to save money and your stomach
  • Picking something vegetarian is a sure-fire way to cut the costs
  • Find out more ways to have money in Nuku’alofa in the 10 Tips for Visiting Nuku’alofa on a Budget.
Top Cheap Eats in Nuku’alofa(c)

Cheap Eats in Nuku’alofa – $10 and Under

Cheap eats takes a whole new meaning in Nuku’alofa where some of the local restaurants are selling dishes for TOP$5-$10! That’s in Tongan Pa’anga! The cheapest restaurants in Nuku’alofa are Tonga-cuisine restaurants and takeaways, as well as fried food takeaways. Note that Tonga doesn’t have any international fast-food chains.

Super Cheap Tongan Restaurants in Nuku’alofa

Try Tonga favourites like Ota Ika (raw fish marinated in coconut cream) or Lu (taro leaves wrapped in meat and coconut cream) in restaurants, such as Mama’s Cafe (Laifone Road) or “Mum’s Cafe” and Talahiva Restaurant (Taufa’ahau Road). Both serve traditional Tongan dishes for TOP$5-$10.

Super Cheap International Restaurants in Nuku’alofa

Choose from a mix of Tongan mains and naughty fried food at Sabrina’s Chicken Vilovilo (Railway Road). Try the Tongan barbecue dish Moa (chicken) BBQ or try Tonga’s version of KFC with the fried chicken dishes. All of which are TOP$4-$10!

If you’re craving a hearty burger or something fried, then check out High Five Delight Burgers (Taufa’ahau Road), also spelt “Hi5 Delight”.

For some cheap Chinese food, check out the Tiger Inn Restaurant (Railway Road) behind the post office building. Their menu mostly consists of noodle dishes with wontons, with a good selection of meat and vegetarian options. Most dishes are TOP$6-$10.

Top Cheap Eats in Nuku’alofa(c)

Cheap Eats in Nuku’alofa – $11-$20

If you’re willing to pay a little bit more, which let’s be honest, isn’t much more, then you’ll open up your cheap eats choices to the following restaurants in Nuku’alofa…

Cheap Tongan Restaurants in Nuku’alofa

More Tongan delights can be found at the 12 Seafoods Restaurant (Vuna Road) at Faua Wharf. Indulge in super fresh fish & chips and Tongan seafood dishes, like fish curry, Ota Ika and fish burgers. Prices range from TOP$6 to $25.

Cheap International Restaurants in Nuku’alofa

Get your dose of European-style cuisine at Chef Zero Restaurant (Popua). They specialise in steaks with a choice of sauces, pork and fish served in a number of ways. Prices range from TOP$10-$45.

The popular open-air Billfish Bar and Restaurant (Vuna Road) also offers good-value food, serving hearty burgers, curry and cheap bar snacks. Mains cost TOP$14-$37.

Slurp on beef, lamb and chicken curries, black-bean sauce, steaks, Szechuan cabbage or delve into sweet and sour fish dishes at the Precious Stone Restaurant (Vuna Road). The Chinese restaurant serves up and an array of dishes, including vegetarian food, for TOP$12-$20. Most of the seafood dishes, however, are much more expensive.

Cheap Cafes in Nuku’alofa

For lunch, head to one of the city centre’s hotspots, Friends Cafe (Taufa’ahau Road). Learn about the history of the building on the little notices found on each table and treat yourself to affordable paninis, sandwiches and general European lunch food for TOP$10-$25.

Located at the post office building in the city centre, Coffee Post (Taufa’ahu Road) boasts an array of healthy lunch options and not-so-healthy breakfasts. Indulge in beautifully-presented pancakes or save yourself for lunch with sandwiches, toasties and more for TOP$10-$25.

Have your coffee with a Tongan twist at ‘Utuongo Cafe (Taufa’ahau Road) opposite the Tungi Colonnade Hotel. Try their cappuccino with coconut syrup, try freshly-baked treats and sandwiches made with coconut and banana bread. Coffees cost TOP$2.80-$5.50, while mains are TOP$10-$20.


Laura S.

This article was reviewed and published by Laura, editor in chief and co-founder of Tonga Pocket Guide. Since arriving solo in the South Pacific over 10 years ago with nothing but a backpack and a background in journalism, her mission has been to show the world how easy (and awesome) it is to explore a paradise such as Tonga. She knows the islands inside-out and loves sharing tips on how best to experience Tonga’s must-dos and hidden gems. Laura is also editor of several other South Pacific travel guides.

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