Go for Something Familiar
If you have certain food restrictions or you just feel like eating something you know you’re comfortable eating, there’s nothing wrong with that. Being a US territory, the Northern Mariana Islands have a plethora of popular restaurant chains and establishments. You can look up locations online or use a standard physical phonebook, too. If you feel like eating pizza on a certain day, you can look for a pizzeria in CNMI to see what your options are.
If you would rather have something a little more hearty and fun, you can go to the Saipan Hard Rock Cafe for your fill of burgers, fries, milkshakes, and more. After all, your vacation in the Northern Marianas is a chance for you to unwind and do what you want. If you don’t feel too adventurous at first or feel a bit homesick at some point, you can definitely find some great comfort food and still have a great meal!
Sample the Local Chamorro Delicacies
One of the best things about traveling is getting to savor the local cuisine. Being a tropical island, the food choices on the islands are packed with all kinds of insular ingredients with heavy Spanish influence. Grilled foods, rice dishes, flavorful sauces, chilis, seafood, and more are common in many Chamorro dishes. You shouldn’t miss out on the chance to gorge on them while you’re on the islands!
Try traditional island favorites like chicken kelaguen, a spicy and sour chicken dish that will bring your taste buds to life as you eat them with flour titiyas. Enjoy succulent barbecue like short ribs or chicken served with red rice and dipped in finadenne—the perfect meal with a cocktail or ice-cold beer! If you’re planning to have coffee somewhere, you can enjoy it with apigige (grated cassava and coconut cake), latiya (cinnamon custard cake), or bunelos aga (banana donuts). Going on vacation is the perfect time to try new things, especially foods that are new to you.
Dine in a Place That Specializes in Foreign Cuisines
Being a tourist destination, it is possible to find restaurants that offer all kinds of food in the Northern Mariana Islands. If you feel like exploring your food options more, why not check out how the locals prepare different kinds of cuisines. You might be surprised at how close to the authentic dish or how creative they can get with it!
No matter where you are in the territory, you can easily find a lot of establishments that specialize in Asian and American cuisines. Places like Wild Bill’s Bar and Grill serve a mix of both Asian and Western culinary traditions, with delicious Thai dishes and good old Texan favorites being a part of the menu.
Asian cuisines are popular on the islands, too. If you happen to be in Susupe, Saipan, for example, you can enjoy a taste of authentic Korean kimchi from Myung Ga Restaurant. Many of their dishes contain kimchi, with the ingredients being sourced all the way from South Korea.
If you’re looking for a bit more variety in terms of Asian dishes, the Fiesta Resort and Spa in Garapan has exactly what you’re looking for. They have a wide array of different Asian dishes so you can try them all in one place, and they also host a teppanyaki experience that is sure to satisfy both your theatrical and gustatory appetites.
Needless to say, you won’t find yourself lacking in food variety when you’re in the Northern Mariana Islands.
Seek Out the Best Bars in Town
What’s any gastronomic adventure without seeing what the nightlife has to offer in the Northern Mariana Islands? While your choices seem a little limited at first glance (karaoke and hostess bars), part of the fun is really taking the time to look for where the best watering holes and drinking spots are. If you explore a bit more, you’ll find many Western-style bars dotted across the region.
Relax and party the night away in Garapan’s The Godfather’s Bar, a place where locals and tourists can have a good time. You can catch a late night movie, watch a game, enjoy the live music, and try the variety of beers while you’re there. For a great bargain and a good time, The Chambre Bar is another great place to go to on weeknights.
You can find their drinks at 50% off and enjoy appetizers on the house, perfect for the budget traveler looking for a good time. You can also find bars with fun tournaments, dance clubs, and so much more when you dig a little deeper. Indeed, the Northern Mariana Islands reward the adventurous with unforgettable nights.
Enjoy a Seaside Dining Experience
Of course, what would any trip to a tropical island destination be without dining by the sea? The Northern Mariana Islands boasts a wide range of seaside restaurants so you can enjoy the view of the sea and have a delicious meal. If a nice early dinner overlooking the sea after a whole day of exploring the island is something you fancy, you’d love the Sunset Bar and Grill in Chalan Kanoa, especially after a long day in the water.
If you’d prefer to shower and change into clean and dry clothes, Revolving Restaurant 360 is a stylish place to dine by the sea. Boasting a diverse menu full of sumptuous comfort food (pizza, pasta, burgers, and more), you can enjoy the view of the sea from high above the ground, no matter where you sit! If you prefer a more rustic seaside atmosphere and a cold beer with good seafood dishes, definitely go to Naked Fish Bar & Grill in Saipan. You can dine on a wide range of simple but delicious foods and enjoy the view since the restaurant is close to the sea.
When in the Northern Mariana Islands, there is more than one way to enjoy the food so your stay is even more memorable. Whether you’re an adventurous foodie or simply want to eat good food while you’re on vacation, you’ll find and eat something you’ll love on this beautiful island location!
Article written by Briana
(Photo by pagedooley via Flickr)