Food & Wine
Now you don’t have to travel all the way to Europe to enjoy some of the finest French regional cuisine and wines. In fact, a taste of France with an exciting South Pacific twist lies only 2.5 hours from Auckland.
You will discover that European elegance and laid-back Pacific styles merge in New Caledonia, and this melange is particularly obvious in the local cuisine. Making New Caledonia is a very special place to enjoy a gourmet holiday.
We are pleased and proud to have renowned New Zealand “foodie” Julie Le Clerc as our Gourmet Ambassador to New Caledonia. As Julie says; “I regard New Caledonia as the best place in the Pacific region to indulge in a truly unique gourmet holiday. Here you can relish some of the most exciting gourmet foods outside of France, as well as taste a unique local cuisine. Enjoy the warm hospitality New Caledonia has to offer, and savour the wealth of French-Pacific cuisine, as experiences like these make for a holiday you’ll never forget. Bon appétit!”
Good food is an important part of life in New Caledonia and provides great pleasure to locals and visitors alike. Choices for dining are wide and varied. It’s possible to sample classic and cutting-edge cuisine every night, if that’s your fancy. At the other extreme, DIY picnic feasts and self-catering options abound. There’s even an Escoffier cooking school here, for those who want to sharpen their culinary skills.
There are many excellent Hotels and restaurants with top-notch, French-trained chefs, offering classic food and fine-dining menus. Simpler eating options include bistro fare and café food – numerous casual eateries are spread along the Baie des Citrons (Lemon Bay) and Anse Vata, where many of the tourist hotels are situated. Dotted about the waterfront and at Port Moselle, you’ll even find some road-side caravans, called ‘roulottes,’ that sell simple, tasty take-out meals and snack food. These serve some of the best new Caledonia foods in the islands, you must try it
Paris is the home to some of the world’s best restaurants – and Nouméa, with over 150 quality restaurants is without doubt the haute cuisine hub of the South Pacific. While French is the dominant style, other cultural cuisines have been thrown into the melting pot and New Caledonian food can show a mix of Pacific, Asian and European influences. Bougna, a local Melanesian dish offers a taste of indigenous food.
Supermarkets, some local butchers (boucheries), and caterers (traiteurs) do a great line of meals to-go, such as duck confit and sauté potatoes, quiche Lorraine, or stuffed cabbage leaves. These are great for reheating if you’re staying in an apartment or a hotel room with a kitchenette. Another memorable way to experience French food is to shop for picnic fare at any number of specialty food stores and European-style supermarkets.
And if you want to explore the delights of New Caledonian cuisine before you go, get hold of a copy of our new “Taste New Caledonia – The Gourmet Guide for New Zealand Travellers“.
This 36 page book has been compiled with the input and assistance from Julie Le Clerc. If you would like to be posted a copy of Taste New Caledonia, please email us HERE Or if you would prefer to download a pdf of it, please click HERE.
Our Taste New Caledonia Food book includes:
A map of New Caledonia with links to places to visit
Julie’s Gourmet Trail – what to buy and where to buy it.
Do-it-yourself gourmet dining – a guide to local markets, gourmet shops and supermarkets
A map of greater Noumea with gourmet places of interest
Local, seasonal and regional produce
Favourite picnic spots
New Caledonia is good value – a price guide
A guide to French wines in New Caledonia – and how they compare to NZ wine varieties
Restaurant guide – we visit Nouméa’s main dining precincts and fine dining restaurants
Casual dining guide
Cafe and breakfast trail
Greater Noumea map showing eateries
A guide to French cheeses
Foodie events calendar – there’s something interesting happening every month of the year in New Caledonia
Regional specialty foods: The finest Tropical and Melanesian Flavours
Other shopping areas (non-food)
Getting around is so easy – a look at tours, taxi and public transport options
Plus useful information including French phrases, Customs information (what you can bring back) and a shopping price guide with a quick reference to NZ dollars.