Top Cheap Eats in Tonga© TongaPocketGuide.com
Top Cheap Eats in Tonga

The Top Cheap Eats in Tonga

© TongaPocketGuide.com

Where to Find Cheap Restaurants in Tonga

Let’s get one thing straight, Tonga isn’t South East Asia. You’re not going to find ridiculously cheap food on every street corner (well, at least most of the time). Dining out can get pretty costly in The Kingdom, but we’re here to help you cut the costs by showing you the top cheap eats in Tonga, including delicious street food!

Before we begin, see how these cheap eats compare to the rest of Tonga’s dining delights in The Guide to the Food in Tonga.

5 Tips to Save Money on Food in Tonga

  1. Eating out in the towns of Nuku’alofa, Neiafu and Pangai are almost always cheaper than eating at resorts and hotels
  2. For self-catering, buy groceries from supermarkets, fale koloa and markets – check the usual prices in Cost of Food in Tonga, so you know how much is reasonable to pay
  3. The portions in Tonga are HUGE, so you can save money (and your stomach) by either getting one main to share or an entree dish between two people
  4. Picking something vegetarian is a surefire way to cut costs
  5. Scour the roadside stalls, markets and evening barbecues for cheap street food!

For more ways to save the dough on food, check out the 10 Ways to Save Money When Travelling in Tonga.

Top Cheap Eats in Tonga© TongaPocketGuide.com

Cheap Eats in Tonga – $10-$15

Looking for the absolute cheapest food you can find in The Kingdom? Well, you can hardly do cheaper than the following restaurants and takeaways…

The Cheapest Restaurants in Nuku’alofa

The masters of fast food in Nuku’alofa, Three Men’s Fastfood (Taufau’ahau Village) have prices starting from TOP$10 with their small burgers to around TOP$15-$20 paninis.

Get your Mexican fix from Inglewood LA Snacks (Wellington Road), a hole-in-the-wall eatery with burritos, tacos, nachos and kesatias starting from TOP$12.

A long-established hole-in-the-wall eatery at the Tonga Post Building food court, Chand’s Curry House (Taufa’ahau Road) is a popular Indian takeaway. Treat yourself to a variety of curries with various boned and boneless meats, all served with rice, roti and a chilli chutney – amazing value for the price!

The Cheapest Restaurants on Tongatapu (Outside of Nuku’alofa)

That’s right, the cheapest restaurants are, indeed, outside of the capital. Ofeina Restaurant (Veitongo) serves up Tongan dishes like lu sipi, sipi soya, naketi moa, kelevi ika and more starting from TOP$10.

Travel a little further and Keli’i and Rose Restaurant (Vaini) has a wider menu of similar Tongan dishes, with the addition of BBQ food and fried chicken, for around TOP$10.

While Costlow might not be a cheap supermarket, Costlow Food (Pea) is certainly a cheap takeaway with ultra-cheap burgers, bacon and egg, and Philly cheese steaks!

For more suggestions, check out The Top Cheap Eats in Nuku’alofa & Tongatapu.

The Cheapest Restaurants in Neiafu (Vava’u)

The cheapest meal you’ll find in Neiafu is at the one-stop Chinese shop, Panda (Halaevalu Wharf). Located on the waterfront at the small boat marina, Panda’s food prices are around the $10 mark! That’s right, for around TOP$10 you can enjoy all your favourite Chinese dishes to eat in or takeaway.

Although MJ Seafood (Halavalu Wharf) might scare off some patrons with their TOP$75 lobster, their classic Tongan meals of kelevi ika, kale ika, feke and ‘ota ika are all around the TOP$15 mark.

Falaleu Deli (Fatafehi Road) might be popular for its pizzas but their nachos, loaded fries and wraps are the most affordable at around TOP$10-$15.

See more dining options nearby in The Food Guide to Vava’u.

The Cheapest Restaurants on ‘Eua

Most don’t realise that there are restaurants on ‘Eua, but those in the know can find some irresistibly affordable local food, starting with ‘Alakoka’s Restaurant (Angaha). The restaurant at the ‘Alakoka Tahi Moana Guest House boasts ultra-affordable meals for under TOP$15, including sashimi, chicken strips, chicken curry and “vegetarian with chips/rice”?

For a light snack, like meat pies and sandwiches, stop by Lei’ataua Canteen (Pangai) where everything is typically under TOP$10.

Finally, Talei’s Restaurant (Angaha) is ridiculously cheap with full fish/sausage/chicken and chips/manioke and fish curry meals for around TOP$10 (last time we checked).

The Cheapest Restaurants in Ha’apai

Although limited, the local eateries in the island group of Ha’apai are well-priced! Lucky Pot Restaurant (Pangai Market) offers incredibly affordable curry, fried chicken combos, fish in gravy and pele sipi all for under TOP$15.

Tiger Inn‘s (Pangai Waterfront) main menu might be a little more pricey, but the whiteboard menu always has affordable Chinese dishes to indulge in, from fried rice to fish to soup.

Discover more places to dine in the island group in The Food Guide to Ha’apai.

Top Cheap Eats in Tonga© TongaPocketGuide.com

Cheap BBQs and Street Food in Tonga

The cheapest meals you’re going to find in Tonga are from those selling local meals on the roadsides. In Nuku’alofa, for instance, along Vuna Road, you’ll see market stalls selling sweet but filling treats like manioke tama, topai and ngoua for around TOP$5. Meanwhile, at the Tui Mata Moana Market (Faua Wharf), walk or drive-thru to pick up local drinks like ‘otai and barbecue meals all for TOP$10 or less.

Similar meals can be found at the Pangai Market in Ha’apai and along the road leading to Halaevalu Wharf and the ‘Utakalongalu Market in Neiafu on a Saturday morning.

Finally, look out for roadside BBQs and food trucks particularly found at the Vuna Wharf Bus Station (Nuku’alofa) every evening except Sunday, or occasionally on the roadsides but particularly on a Saturday morning in Neiafu (Vava’u).

Check out Tongan dishes in the 10 Unique Foods in Tonga You Have to Try.

Top Cheap Eats in Tonga© TongaPocketGuide.com

Cheap Eats in Tonga – $16-$20

Convert TOP$15-$20 to your home currency to see how cheap that actually is! If you’re willing to bump up the budget a bit, you’ll have access to these Tongan restaurants too…

Cheap Restaurants on Tongatapu

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 Mum’s Cafe (Cnr Fatafehi and Laifone Road, Nuku’alofa) and Maleitaha Cafe (Cnr Taufa’ahau Road and ‘Alaivahamama’o Bypass, Nuku’alofa).

More Tongan delights can be found at the 12 Seafood Restaurant (Umusi Road, Popua). Indulge in super fresh fish and chips and Tongan seafood dishes, like fish curry, ota ika and sweet and sour all for under TOP$20!

Siva’s Dream Cafe (Te’ekiu) offers amazing value with their creative burgers for under TOP$20, while raw fish, pele sipi, chicken curry and chicken salad are also very affordable.

For a light lunch throughout the day, Pizzeria Royale (Faua Wharf) has very small vegetarian, ham and cheese, pepperoni, Hawaiian and BBQ chicken pizzas, as well as salads for under TOP$20.

Although famous for their burgers, Builder’s Burger (Vuna Road) has very affordable fish/sausage/chicken and chips and ota ika, while their “Jack” burger just sits at the TOP$20 mark.

Although a little more expensive than other Indian restaurants in town, Little India (Cnr Taufa’ahau Road and ‘Alaivahamama’o Bypass) still keeps things affordable with their menu of thalis all under TOP$20.

The popular open-air Billfish Bar and Restaurant (Vuna Road) also offers good-value food, serving hearty burgers, curry and cheap bar snacks, even with some burgers under TOP$15.

For more dining options, check out The Food Guide to Tongatapu.

Cheap Restaurants in Vava’u

Neiafu might generally be more expensive to eat out than elsewhere in Tonga, but the odd cheap eat can be found at Tropicana Cafe (Fatafehi Road) with burgers, burritos and nachos for under TOP$20.

Le Galion (Fatafehi Road) also offers more affordable lunchtime meals in Vava’u, with the likes of fried noodles, homemade nachos, subs, wraps and enchiladas for up to TOP$20. They also offer some fantastic vegetarian dishes, as described in our guide on Tonga for Vegans & Vegetarians + 10 Best Restaurants.

Cheap Restaurants in Ha’apai

Last but certainly not least, Leleno ki Moana (Hihifo) is a beachfront restaurant with huge yet lovingly presented meals at incredible prices. Make sure to visit at least once for their fish burgers, aromatic curries and beasty burgers.

Learn more about the above restaurants and much more in the 20 Best Restaurants in Tonga.

More Cheap Eats in Tonga

That’s it for our list of the best cheap eats and restaurants in Tonga. For inspiration on where to eat in Tonga, take a look at the following guides:

Finally, if there’s anything we’ve missed, you’re likely to find it in The Guide to the Food in Tonga and The Budget & Backpacking Guide to Tonga.

Author

Robin (Lopini) C.

This article was reviewed and published by Robin, the co-founder of Tonga Pocket Guide. He has lived, worked and travelled across 16 different countries before settling in the South Pacific, so he knows a thing or two about planning the perfect trip in this corner of the world. Robin works and consults regularly with the Ministry of Tourism of Tonga. Robin is also the co-founder of several other South Pacific travel guides and is a regular host of webinars with the South Pacific Tourism Organisation.

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