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Beyond the fresh ingredients and local flavors, dining in Tahiti is all about the experience. Whether sharing a meal with the locals or dining at one of the island's gourmet restaurants, Tahiti serves up some wonderful food experiences. Here are the five best Tahiti food experiences according to Forbes Travel Guide’s editors:
1. Eat at Les Roulottes. Each night, these gourmet food trucks open for business at Tahiti's famous waterfront promenade, Vai'ete Square. They serve a range of delicious and affordable snacks including crépes, fresh fish and steak sandwiches. It's the perfect opportunity to grab a quick bite and experience a popular local hangout.
2. Take cooking lessons at Le Méridien Tahiti. L'Atelier du Chef is a series of intimate cooking classes offered at the resort. With a maximum of only five students per class, you'll receive hands-on instructions from the resort's executive chef. The curriculum includes unique dishes such as crispy shrimp with fresh mint and mango salsa, or tuna tartar with parmesan biscuits. At the end of class, you'll head into the dining room at Le Carré to enjoy your creation in a real restaurant setting.
3. Order fondue at Le Belvedere. This popular local restaurant has a setting high on a hillside with spectacular panoramic views. Arrive early enough to enjoy the sunset and then watch as the city lights take over downtown Papeete below. The most popular dish on the menu is the meat fondue, which is served with a selection of savory sauces. The price of a meal here includes your hotel transfers, since the road leading up to this hillside restaurant is very steep and narrow.
4. Buy fresh local produce from Le Marché. Open daily, this vibrant marketplace is Tahiti's equivalent to a farmer's market. Give yourself plenty of time to walk around and take in the sights, smells and sounds. You'll browse through a colorful selection of fresh fish, organic vegetables and tropical fruits. Use this opportunity to try some of the island's more exotic varieties, such as noni and breadfruit.
5. Enjoy a buffet dinner and dance show at the InterContinental Tahiti Resort. Though the buffet boasts an impressive selection of fresh seafood and Polynesian cuisine, the food is not the highlight of the evening. Instead, the focus is on the performance. This traditional Tahitian dance show is by far the best on the island. Be sure to request a table near the stage when you make your reservation.