The restaurant scene changes quickly on Moorea, so I can only hope the ones I recommend below are still in business when you get here. As on Tahiti, you can save by eating at snack bars for breakfast, lunch, or an early dinner.
Check Out Moorea's Roulottes
As on Tahiti, your best bet for inexpensive nighttime meals is the local roulottes. The best of these meal wagons, Roulotte Jules & Claudine, at the fish market in Pao Pao (tel. 56.25.31), serves a mixed menu of poisson cru, chow mein, and char-grilled steaks, chicken, and fish, but the best item is local shrimp in a tasty coconut-curry sauce. Prices range from 1,000CFP to 1,800CFP (US$13-US$23/£6.30-£11). No credit cards. Open Monday through Saturday from 6:30 to 8:30pm. You'll find another roulotte near Le Petite Village shopping center in Haapiti.
A Sunday Tahitian Feast
Locals love to partake of huge ma'a Tahiti feasts on Sunday afternoon, and I join them at Ron Sage's Painapo (Pineapple) Beach (tel. 74.96.96; www.painapo.com), on the southwestern coast. It's a lovely setting with tables under a natural thatched-roof restaurant (with sand floor) as well as outside under the shade of a sprawling beachside tree. Ron's all-you-can-eat Sunday buffet of traditional Tahitian foods costs 3,500CFP (US$44/£22), a steal in these expensive islands. He also serves an à la carte menu of fresh grilled fish for 1,900CFP to 2,500CFP (US$24-US$31/£12-£16) Monday to Thursday, when Pineapple Beach is open from 9am to 3pm. Bring cash, for Ron does not accept credit cards.
The Cook's Bay Area
Nicely spiced pies come from the wood-fired oven at Allo Pizza, in Cook's Bay near the gendarmerie (tel. 56.18.22). There are only two tables, so most folks carry out or call for delivery if they're staying between the Sofitel Moorea Ia Ora Beach Resort and the Sheraton Moorea Lagoon Resort & Spa. Prices range from 1,000CFP to 2,000CFP (US$13-US$25/£6.30-£13). Open Tuesday to Saturday from 11am to 2pm and 5 to 9pm, Sunday from 5 to 9pm.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.