Tahiti’s roulottes for fresh, cheap and quick food

Getting around Papeete is fun if you take Le Truck. This bus (which is literally a truck with 2 bench seats down each side) costs about 200 CFP each way into town (about $2.70) and they run all night. The whole family is usually sitting in the cab - dad driving and mum and a couple of kids hanging out the window taking the money while a toddler sleeps with its head on the dashboard. No such thing as seatbelts over here.

Each evening down at the port in Papeete is the roulottes (French for caravans). And each one cooks up fresh and delicious food like mahi mahi, tuna, steak, crepes, pizza, Chinese. It’s a matter of browsing along them all, trying to make out what the blackboard menus say in French, looking at the photos displayed and plonking yourself down at a table with plastic stools. I ordered a tuna steak with frites and peppercorn sauce. (They’re big on roquefort cheese here too, but it’s disgusting!) My fish came to 1200 Tahitian francs, (about $12 US - $16 NZ?).

Live music often accompanies your dinner down here, and afterwards you can wander across the road to find a local bar for a drink. I loved the sight and sound of the impromptu band that had set up outside one bar with a guitar, ukulele, coke bottles filled with rice, spoons for percussion and a plastic drum turned upside down with a pole and a piece of rope for the bass guitar. Order a local Hinano beer and immerse yourself into Tahiti time…

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